PRO PRODUCT PICKS
When choosing shampoos and conditioners to use in their businesses, professional groomers agreed that performance is a main decider, with cost following
“I like to use shampoos that work well, that are relatively inexpensive and give
a good result,” said Amanda Patterson-Inzinna, national certified master groomer
from the National Dog Groomers Association of America Inc. and owner of Canine
Castle Pet Grooming Salon in Alexandria Bay, N. Y. “I also like to stick with what
works well for me and not change often. This way it eliminates dogs having a
reaction or owners not liking a scent.”
Rebekah Sparks, owner of Sparky’s Spa in Webster, Texas, agreed that cost-ef-
fectiveness is important and added that she looks for ingredient sourcing and
“For example, it’s important to know that the neem oil is actual neem oil, not a
synthetic,” she said.
Skin issues remain a common problem for pets, so groomers often address
this during appointments by using products that calm or soothe the skin.
Because she receives a lot of veterinarian referrals for dogs with allergies,
Sparks said they focus on Pure Paws’ Sulfate Free Line in the salon.
Alison Schwartz, general manager, grooming, at The Salon & Spa at All Pets
Considered in Greensboro, N.C., also said a lot of customers bring in pets with skin
issues. The groomers use Nature’s Specialties’ Derma Treat Shampoo, in particular,
as well as Quadruped Pet Care’s products.
Combining concern for safety and the natural trend, many professional groomers seek out natural lines and smells in the products they use in their businesses.
For example, Donna Walker, co-owner of South Bark Dog Wash and South Bark
Professional Pet Products, both in San Diego, includes Showseason’s Naturals
Revitalize Shampoo and Naturals Nourish Conditioner in grooms because “it’s
soothing, smells natural and works well,” she said.
For some groomers, USA-made and supporting local businesses plays a part in
which products they choose to use.
“I am a real fan of Bada-Bing Pet Products’ Wise Choice Professional Dog
Shampoo, as it is from a local company,” Canine Castle’s Patterson-Inzinna said.
“It works great, is oatmeal-based, whitens and leaves the coat very manageable. I
also like Groomer’s Edge Hypo Plus; it cleans the best of any hypoallergenic I have
Walker and other savvy groomers keep customers and their preferences in
mind with their product selections.
“When looking for shampoo for the dog wash, we keep in mind that these will
be seen and used by our clients,” she said. “Even though you don’t need a lot of
lather to wash properly, I ensure [the products] feel good in the clients’ hands and
they have colors that will get their attention. I know that no matter how much
education clients have, generally they come in asking for the shampoo by color.
They don’t remember the name unless it’s like oatmeal.”
Over the past year, sales of shampoos and conditioners have remained about the same
or seen a slight dip, according to professional groomers, and the reasons they give
Rebekah Sparks, owner of Sparky’s Spa in Webster, Texas, said sales always drop
a bit during an election year, while Donna Walker, co-owner of South Bark Dog Wash
and South Bark Professional Pet Products, both in San Diego, said they’ve had moments
over the year where they’ve had to overcome challenges to keep business up. Both
agreed that educating clients and offering quality products impact sales greatly.
“We focus on continuing education, like at trade shows and seminars,” Sparks said.
“And we push [groomers] to understand how the products work so they can tell the
clients how to care for the pet and see that [the product is] working, and they do better
with their sales all around.”
On the other hand, Alison Schwartz, general manager, grooming, at The Salon &
Spa at All Pets Considered in Greensboro, N.C., reported increased sales due to a newly
expanded storefront retail space.
“I think that has crept up our sales for everything, especially grooming, because the
store layout makes more sense,” she said. “All the grooming products are together, and
we can offer a wider variety now.”
They also recently put shampoos in their grooming waiting area so the groomers
can recommend products for in-between baths.
The focus on education is paying off for groomers and manufacturers, because
pet owners are buying shampoos and conditioners for use at home. Sparks said that
90 percent of her clients buy their products from her for maintenance, with the main
sellers being Pure Paws’ sulfate-free and hydrating lines.
“People are getting more professional, and they want to use good shampoos,”
Walker said, adding that oatmeal is no longer the most popular product in her store.
Aroma Paws and Earthbath are the more popular brands for customers at The
Salon & Spa at All Pets Considered.
“It has everything to do with scent, so having a wide variety is good,” Schwartz
said. “Aroma Paws sells very well for us and has pairing sprays to go with them, so
they’re very popular.”
They also sell a lot of shampoo-and-conditioner-in-one products.
“People prefer it instead of two bottles or products,” she said. “It’s about ease.”
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE THINGS GROOMERS LOOK FOR IN
PROFESSIONAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS?
“Ingredients: At least a couple times a
month we receive requests asking if we
have any shampoo that doesn’t have
sodium lauryl sulfate. They really like
tearless products. And high concentrations address the economic issue.”—
RICHARD BIEGUN, ownerof Quadruped
Pet Care in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
OF THE 82 PERCENT OF DOGS THAT WERE GROOMED AT LEAST
ONCE IN 2014, THEY TYPICALLY WERE GROOMED BY A
PROFESSIONAL BETWEEN FOUR AND FIVE TIMES IN A YEAR,
ACCORDING TO RESPONDENTS TO THE AMERICAN PET
PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION’S 2015-2016NATIONAL PETOWNERS
SURVEY. AND 49 PERCENT OF OWNERS GROOMED THEIR
DOGS AT HOME IN 2014, THE SURVEY FOUND.
NEW TO THE
Manufacturers are listening to
groomers, and many of them have
provided new offerings that meet
users’ needs and preferences.
Because itching and shed relief
are two of the top three issues that
dogs face, and Earthbath in San
Francisco brings a needs-based ap-
proach to its product line, the com-
pany has introduced several new
products for professional groomers,
said Paul Armstrong, president and
CEO. These include Fragrance Free
Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo, Fragrance
Free Oatmeal & Aloe Conditioner,
Shed Control Shampoo with green
tea leaf, awapuhi and fair trade
organic shea butter, and Shed
Control Conditioner with green tea
leaf, awapuhi and fair trade organic
Quadruped Pet Care now offers
Super Luster Yucca Shampoo and
Satin Luster With Aloe Vera Leave-in
Conditioner for professional groom-
ers, said Richard Biegun, owner of
the Wappingers Falls, N. Y., company.
Pure Paws recently introduced
its Sulfate Free Line.
“The Sulfate Free Line was our
answer to demand from groomers looking for an option for very
sensitive dogs as an alternative to
products containing sulfates,” said
Ed Kennedy, national distributor for
the San Antonio manufacturer.
The company also launched the
Pure Paws Cat Line, for a completely
safe option for cats that features
the ingredients printed on the
bottles so there will be no confusion
as to its safety, he said.
Keeping economy in mind,
EQyss recently launched Professional Grade versions of its Premier and
Micro-Tek Shampoos, said Dallas
Van Kempen, owner and president
of the Vista, Calif., manufacturer.
“Groomers have asked us for
more economical products and
higher dillutability, and we listened,”
Van Kempen said.
This year, BioDerm Laboratories introduced Natural Scents
Shampoos. They come in Desert
Agave Blossom, Lemongrass &
Verbena, Pink Jasmine and Tuscan
Olive, and they are fortified with
organic baobab protein, said Peggy
Smith, media manager for BioDerm
Laboratories in Longview, Texas.