By Jennifer Higgins
When I was a kid, my family had a German shepherd mix named Max whose fur could be found on almost every surface of our home. My mother would sweep the floor and claim to be able to make, “a whole other dog” with all the fur that had accumulated. As nice as it would have been to have a second dog, it was clear that she was making light of what she felt was a nuisance.
For creatures covered in fur, shedding is a normal part of their life, and a very necessary part at that. For pet owners, breeders and handlers alike, shedding is often a nuisance but an unavoidable reality. It is also an example of how, “necessity is the mother of invention,” for it has produced the need for specialized products and tools to mitigate it, hence the many deshedding tools, devices and shampoos out on the market.
Swees America, a grooming product manufacturer, has a flagship product called the Eazee Deshedding Tool. Swees America’s CEO, Eddy Cathaud, said he “designed it from the ground up to be safer, gentler and easier to use than conventional metal tools, as well as more effective.”
“Conventional deshedders have sharp metal edges that can cut people or pets, while the Eazee has smooth rounded teeth, so there’s no risk of accidentally scratching the skin or snagging live pet hair,” he said. “It’s even safe for kids to use!”
Hair collected by the Eazee Deshedding tool is easily disposed of by ejecting it with one backward pull of the selector button. Available for both dogs and cats, this tool comes in six different decorator colors and three different sizes for dogs. According to Cathaud, the Eazee line is sold by independent retailers in over 60 countries worldwide.
At the time of publication, Swees America was expected to introduce three new grooming accessories at this year’s Global Pet Expo. They are the Intense Massage Brush, Pin Brush PRO Medium and Comb PRO14 Large.
“Like the other six items in the Eazee accessories line, these stylish yet durable tools are designed to share the same Click on Brush handle,” Cathaud said.
Cathaud also had advice as to how retailers and salons could best place and display his tools.
“It’s always good to have a tethered demonstrator sample on display so shoppers can handle the tool and see how it works for themselves,” he said. “Swees America also offers a space-saving shelf/ counter display, as well as a spinner rack with a built-in video player. These pointof-sale aids make it easy to merchandise our deshedding tool line and accessories.”
Cindy Krosche, owner and operator of Local Pet, a retail pet store in Victoria, Texas, attests to the quality of Swees America’s Eazee Deshedding Tool. As in-store DIY services become a growing trend, Local Pet offers a space in its stores, with everything at your fingertips, for pet owners to wash their pets (mostly dogs) themselves. What better way to sell your products than to make them available for use right in the store—this is exactly what Krosche has implemented, and the Eazee Deshedding Tool is essentially the only deshedding tool she has available for customers and pet owners to use in the self-wash area.
Krosche and her customers, alike, prefer this Swees American deshedding tool for several reasons, including its “ability to pull out only dead hair, leaving the healthy, living hair behind. And, more importantly, it is not uncomfortable to the pet.” Other features that help the Eazee Deshedding Tool stand out among the competition include the hard rubber material which will not corrode, the ease to disinfect, its interchangeable blades and its comfortability for the user as well as the pet. Pet owners and customers who use it in the store, by way of the bathing area, frequently end up purchasing it for home use.
Rakes: Not Just for Leaves
Andis recently introduced its Premium Fine-Toothed Deshedding Rake, available for both retail stores and professional groomers. Andis Company Marketing Product Manager Danielle Gallo describes it as “an ideal tool for all sizes and breeds.”
“This new deshedding rake features a premium fine-tooth design to reach through the topcoat to effectively and painlessly remove loose fur without coat or skin damage,” she said. “The effectiveness of this tool is driven by its uniquely angled, heavy-duty stainless-steel teeth. An anti-slip, easy-grip handle allows for safe, comfortable grooming and makes the Fine-Tooth Deshedding Rake a staple for professionals and at-home users alike.”
Andis is known for manufacturing quality, durable grooming tools and products, and the Deshedding Rake joins the already popular deshedding and dematting tools marketed to both pet owners and professional groomers.
“By prominently featuring Andis deshedding tools and educating staff on these tools, retailers can, therefore, educate pet parents on the benefits of these tools and how to properly use them at home,” Gallo said.
Tools and brushes aren’t the only way to decrease or eliminate shedding. Isle of Dogs (IOD) offers a line of shampoos and mists to help with shedding issues and coat health. For example, Coature No.20 is “a highly effective tool in the fight against shedding. Formulated with Royal Jelly, it is a protein-rich botanical which stimulates new hair growth, repairs damage, and reduces shedding,” according to IOD associate director of Marketing, Sherri Klaus.
Additional shampooing products from IOD include CocoClean De-Shed Shampoo, “a custom formulation that reduces excessive shedding while maintaining a clean and healthy coat and features a signature fragrance, violet + sea mist” and Coature No. 63 Detangling Conditioning Mist which “lubricates the hair so tangles and mats can be separated and removed painlessly.”
When it comes to this campaign against pet hair, the struggle is real. However, the industry is taking measures to ensure that both pets and people stay safe and happy. With well thought-out design, deshedding tools can get the job done while maintaining durability, comfort, affordability, quality and selection.