Just as the natural pet food and treat segments continue to grow, pet owners are taking notice of other natural products.
“It first started when people wanted to relate to their pet’s food,” Gleason said. “They started to become aware of the ingredients that were being put into dog and cat food. When they started thinking that, it started to spill over to other product categories. It raised their overall idea about natural products, which led into learning about natural shampoo and natural bedding.”
He said people are just becoming more and more conscious of what’s in the product and wanting more natural products. The next level of this is combining natural ingredients with how you want them to perform.
“Some years ago when people wanted to move toward natural products, there was a tradeoff with performance,” Gleason said. “It was all right if the product didn’t do exactly what you wanted it to do, but at least it was natural. Now we are at the point where you want the product to do exactly what you want it to do, and be natural.”
One last big trend they are seeing is called natural pet health and beauty.
“Some of our products have a lot of wellness components,” Gleason said. “We not only want our pets to have a beautiful looking and smelling coat, but we want them to be healthier and prevent future issues. One example are our ear wipes. Ear infections are one of the leading causes to go to the vet. Our product won’t fix it after the fact, but it helps to ward off the infections. Clean ears are less likely to get infected. Ear wipes are a way to be a part of the preventative health regime.”
Bobbi Panter, owner of Bobbi Panter, has products that are salt free and tear free. She worked with a chemist for two and a half years to handpick the ingredients to go into her products.
“It’s kind of exciting and a little bit frustrating because you want it just right,” Panter said. “It’s really rewarding when you get the one you have been going for, when all the percentages come together.”
Her natural line includes puppy dog shampoo, moisturizing dog shampoo, soothing dog shampoo and rejuvenating dog shampoo. They all contain natural ingredients specific to that particular product. For example, the soothing dog shampoo contains tea tree oil, aloe vera gel, lavender, cucumber extract and oatmeal to help soothe and heal dry skin and fur.
Panter has used primarily one chemist to help get all the formulas perfect and to her liking.
“I started by mixing things in my own kitchen,” Panter said.
Fresh From the Farm
Mutt Nose Best Co-Owner Jenny Dwyer said they have a “Farm to Bottle” philosophy.
“Handcrafted in Maine, our signature is that we incorporate antioxidant rich wild Maine blueberries into our formulas to provide superior skin nutrition; after all, a major component of a healthy coat is healthy skin,” Dwyer said. “We went back to basics and let nature provide our palette. We source our finest ingredients from local farms, vineyards, and even the deep blue sea. We leave the Maine grown, organic oats in our itchy dog shampoos so that the dogs benefit from the soothing relief of colloidal oatmeal.
Dwyer said the movement toward more natural products for pets has taken the market by storm in the past couple of years.
Ark Naturals’ Neem “Protect” Shampoo is an environmentally friendly, gentle and non-drying formula for cleaning dirt, oil and sebum from a pet.
It can be used on dogs, cats, horses and other animals.
The active ingredient is Neem, which has been used for thousands of years by the people India, Southeast Asia and Africa. Their shampoo contains no sodium laurel sulfate.
Justin Jones of Espree said the company was built on its dedication to pets and their family of pet friendly customers to solve pets’ problems with effective, natural, wholesome solutions.
“Since 1989, it has been our uncompromised belief that simple, natural ingredients are gentler and safer for pets and owners alike,” Jones said. “One of Espree’s strengths is the breadth of product line. Espree manufactures more than 80 different pet products and 10 equine products. In addition, the products are solution oriented. Many consumers are looking for natural products that are effective and meet a specific need.”
Espree products are 100 percent organically grown aloe from the inner filament of the aloe plant. Aloe vera is the highest percentage ingredient in every Espree product.
“Aloe vera has so many benefits: It helps heal burns and cuts, has anti-inflammatory properties, is a cell regenerator, has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects, and rehydrates the skin and coat,” Jones said. “In addition to aloe vera, Espree utilizes natural, botanically derived ingredients proven to meet or exceed expectations such as tea tree oil, oat proteins, silk proteins, natural fruit and flower extracts and oils, jojoba and vitamins; the list is long.”
Aroma Paws’ CEO, Crystalyn Guzman, said the company has a full line of natural and organic grooming supplies.
“Some of our most popular are our shampoo and conditioner in ones, in 9 formulas to help solve common dog skin and coat issues,” Guzman said. “Our Deodorizing and Conditioning Coat Spray helps condition and freshen dogs’ skin and coat in between baths.”
Earthbath’s CEO Paul Armstrong said the company has a full line of natural grooming products for pets that is needs-based.
“We have a variety of needs-based shampoos that can solve itching and hot spots, deodorize, clean sensitive or allergic skin, kill fleas, and provide light coat brightening or extra conditioning and more,” Armstrong said. “We offer 3-in-1 between bath spritzers that deodorize, condition and help moisturize skin, all while leaving a show-quality shine.”
Armstrong said that Earthbath’s products are more about what’s not in them than what is. They put in the basics and nothing else.