main decider, with cost following close
“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 Associa-
tion 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 reac-
tion or owners not liking a scent.”
Sparks agreed that cost-effectiveness
is important and added that she looks
for ingredient sourcing and top-quality
“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 at
The Salon & Spa and 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,”
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,”
Patterson-Inzinna said. “It works great,
is oatmeal-based, whitens and leaves the
coat very manageable. I also like Groom-
er’s Edge Hypo Plus; it cleans the best of
any hypoallergenic I have ever used.”
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
Over the past year or two, sales of shampoos and conditioners have remained
about the same or seen a slight dip, according to professional groomers, and the
reasons they give differ greatly.
Sparks said sales always drop a bit during an election year, while Walker 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 educa-
tion, 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, Schwartz 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.”
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE THINGS
GROOMERS LOOK FOR IN PROFESSIONAL
SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS?