June 3, 2014

The natural products category of the pet industry has experienced tremendous growth over the years.

The call for them has moved beyond just food and treats, as owners begin to look for grooming products like shampoos and conditioners that can not only clean their pets and make them smell good, but also treat problems like dry skin, flakes and itchiness.

“My customers are extremely knowledgeable, because I make sure they are before they leave the store,” said Toni Bolling, owner of Mackie’s Parlour, an upscale pet boutique in Arizona. “Nine times out of ten, they want to buy the best.”

Natural Confusion

Natural is a term that is not really regulated. For this reason, customers can experience confusion when asking, “What makes a shampoo natural?”

Cameron Fang, founder of ReliqPet, gave this definition to use as a guideline.

“All shampoos contain a natural surfactant for the purposes of foaming, emulsification and solubilization, but at least 90 percent of the surfactant must be derived from plants, and they cannot contain alcohol or drug ingredients, dyes or parabens,” Fang said.

Reliq is the first grooming line, which includes shampoo options like rosemary, lavender and jasmine, that integrated natural minerals with Nanotechnology. By utilizing this technology, molecules are broken down and cleaning agents are able to work past even the toughest coat, all the way down to the dog’s skin. As a result, cleaning is more effective and nutrients are better absorbed.

“Most shampoos contain sodium laurel sulfate, which the FDA has recognized as a known irritant,” Adelia Ritchie, founder of DERMagic Skin Care for Pets, said. “This ingredient was first used as an engine degreaser and is present in many personal items to help make them foamy. Animals are very sensitive to this ingredient.”

Natural Luxury

Founded by the Raviol family in the South of France, Les Poochs Grooming Products uses only the finest ingredients from around the world. The Pooch line features conditioning fragrances, finishing shampoos and crème rinses.

“We take a holistic approach to grooming pets,” Dakarai Gerrard Larriett, general manager of Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Pet Care, said. “Our Pet Spa in a Box includes a pet shampoo and conditioner, a freshening and shining spray, and a handmade deodorizing soy candle for the home. Each of our products has been custom formulated for the sensitive skin of pets, and manufactured under the strictest quality-control systems. And our signature aromatherapy scents have specific mind and body benefits for both you and your pet.”

Bundling is a great way for manufacturers to utilize this holistic approach.

The new line of Scentament Spa products from Best Shot Pet Products, LLC features Hawaiian-inspired Mango Maui, Tahitian-inspired Tropical Breeze and Caribbean-inspired Exotic Island fragrances. Each boasts fully aromatic essences for robust consumer appeal.

“With summer just around the corner, retailers can easily bring in seasonal items to freshen up their merchandising and generate impulse sales,” Dave Campanella, sales and marketing director for Best Shot Pet Products, LLC, said. “Our new Summer Scents Spa Collection features three refreshing body and facial washes that are tearless and hypoallergenic. Each has a matching body-splash spray that will refresh, deodorize and detangle all-in-one. Best of all, Scentament Spa is pH neutral, so it’s great for pets and their people, too.”

Reducing Carbon Paw Print

One of the more important trends in the pet industry entail reducing carbon paw prints. Consumers are becoming more aware of the processes used to create a product, as well as the ingredients used in the product.

When selecting product lines to carry, pet packaging and eco-safe practices should also be considered.

For every 10 bars of Shampoo Bars sold, DERMagic Skincare for Pets plants a tree. Its packaging is eco-friendly, fully recyclable, and made in the USA from certified organic products. The company’s first-of-its-kind shampoo and conditioner bars make it easy for owners and groomers to bathe pets with one hand on the dog and one hand on the bar.

Along with offering less mess, the DERMagic shampoo and conditioner bars create less waste with streamlined packaging, and leave a much smaller shipping footprint than traditional shampoos and conditioners whose dominant ingredient is water.

KENIC Pet Care Products are also eco-friendly, and all of its product packaging is recyclable.

“Formulated in a hypoallergenic base, KENIC Kalaya Emu Oil Shampoo helps restore and rejuvenate hair growth by keeping follicles clean,” Steve Nicolosi, national sales representative for Glo-Marr, said. “All KENIC Shampoos are soap and detergent free and may be used on pets that use topical flea preventatives. KENIC shampoos and conditioners contain no steroids, hormones, or alcohol, and will not strip the coat of oils or dry the skin of pets.”

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