PawZ is a leading market innovator of consumable paw health and wellness products. Started more than 15 years ago with the flagship product Pawz Dog Boots, PawZ has grown into a line of paw wellness products. Pet Age recently spoke with Michael Friedland, president of PawZ, to learn more about the brand’s disposable rubber dog boots, paw wax and sanitizing products.
How have your SaniPaw Spray and Wipes performed since being launched during the early part of the pandemic in 2020?
When we started developing a paw sanitizer we couldn’t have known that a global pandemic was going to strike at the same time we launched. We introduced Sanipaw sanitizing spray and Sanipaw wipes last March at Global, and it really resonated with buyers. With the virus raging, a dog safe paw sanitizer like hand sanitizer, was a very compelling offering and although we ship the same day, retailers couldn’t keep them in stock. We use the same active ingredient that municipalities use to purify their drinking water. So you know if it is drinkable, it is lickable. Being nontoxic and still able to kill essentially all bacteria and virus on your pet became a must have item.
Are PawZ Rubber Dog Boots considered a year-round product?
Whether it’s scorching hot pavement in the summer or frostbite inducing cold in the winter, dogs need the protection of dog boots. Most of us know that snow melt chemicals burn dog’s pads. However, do you think your new Gen Z customer know this? Do your customers consider hot pavement, dangerous lawn care chemicals or dog run bacteria? Do they know their dog is bringing eColi into their home? There are myriad year-round conditions that could adversely affect a dog’s pads and it’s your responsibility, with our help, to inform pet parent of the need for boots, wax or sanitizer.
How does PawZ support retailers in their eff ort to educate consumers on paw care?
Whether for companionship during isolation or to reduce stress, tens of millions of Americans became dog parents for the first time during the pandemic. For the most part these were Millennials and Gen Zers, and as first time dog parents they need and expect advice on what to buy. This is your moment to shine. E-commerce companies don’t personally know its customers and don’t know all of the conditions in the customers region so giving personalized advice is a challenge. Being face to face is your advantage here. Knowing how to solve for problems locally is your strength. Your sage advice at this stage will secure a loyal customer and repeat business.
It is important for you, your associates and customers to be educated. We offer merchandising and educational materials such as floor, power panel and counter displays, peg headers, size charts and seasonal ideas for how to use the products. We also schedule short question and answer sessions with team leaders and store associates in person or video call.
We stress our product’s high quality, safe and toxic free formulation and ingredients. We spend a lot of time reminding consumers that hot pavement, allergies and germs are as serious as snow melt chemicals burns and frostbite.
With COVID on people’s minds, dog boots and sanitizer are considered new essentials. However, long before the pandemic your customers were germaphobes. Store associates should educate customers that dogs’ paws are carrying E. coli and other bacteria, fungus and viruses. The more facts your customers have, the more they will want to buy the product.
There are two drawbacks to conventional dog boots: dogs don’t like wearing boots and, if they do, the boots don’t stay on. The reason dogs accept Pawz is that without a hard sole dogs can feel the ground giving them a sense of security.
In what section of their stores do you recommend retailers carry PawZ MaxWax?
When you take on a new product, make an effort to introduce it by the register. An associate is not always available to assist and make recommendation to shoppers. Having products on display at the register allows the customer to have the time to explore compelling products and possibly ask the associate what MaxWax does. The associate can then answer and educate the customer on the product by saying, “It forms a hydrophobic barrier that protects a dog’s paw from the elements.”
How would you describe your relationship with retailers who carry your products?
The educated consumer starts with an educated retailer. New pet parents are very receptive to learn about products that will make their pet owning experience easier or more fun. So an educated retailer and educated associates are key to upselling and cross selling.
Why should groomers consider carrying PawZ products?
Grooming is about health and hygiene. Sanitize the paws with Sanipaw then use MaxWax paw wax to moisturize and condition dry cracked pads making them look puppy fresh and return the pup to the owner with dog boots on to keep them clean from the shop to the home. Cleanliness and hygiene products fit perfectly with a shop’s mission. Not only are they grooming essentials, but their small size and low price point make them great for an easy upsell and won’t take up much space in the retail area.