Say “Ahhhh, Profits”
How pet specialty retailers can clean up with natural dental products.
BY KEITH LORIA
Consumers are becoming more informed about the value of prop- er oral hygiene for their pets, both for the sake of improving their health and freshening breath. This rise in awareness is driving
sales of natural dental products, as discerning pet owners seek safe
and effective oral-care solutions.
Scott Reinhardt, vice president of sales and marketing for SwedenCare USA in Poulsbo, Wash., said many oral-care applications are
loaded with chemicals that are hard to pronounce, so it is important
for pet specialty retailers to know what they are selling.
Fortunately, many manufacturers are supplying the market with a
variety of options for shoppers seeking natural solutions.
Pet owners do not have to use chemical-laden dental products
when they can safely clean their pets’ teeth naturally, said Julie Creed,
vice president of sales and marketing for Pura Naturals Pet in Seattle.
“Customers are looking for healthy solutions with their canines’
dental care,” Creed said. “It’s important to know what ingredients
are beneficial and what you don’t need, which is why we researched
ingredients and spoke with veterinarians.”
Kristen Watson, area manager for TailsSpin Pet Stuff, a Bentley’s
Pet Stuff Co. with stores in Georgia, said some of the latest trends
when it comes to all-natural dental products are gels, water additives
and individual dental chews.
“Customers don’t want dogs with stinky breath, and they are usu-
ally looking for a quick fix to remedy the problem,” she said. “We’ve
been selling a lot of the water additives. It’s very easy for the consum-
er to add a capful to the dog’s water bowl for the day. Another very
popular item are dental chews like Whimzees. They offer different
shapes and sizes suitable for all dogs, and these chews do a good job
of cleaning plaque off of the teeth and creating fresh breath.”
Elizabeth Lewis, owner of Canine Carousel Pet Boutique & Salon
in Ashburn, Va., said that customers are interested in products they
can put in their pets’ mouths while they sleep so the products can
work all night.
“We also have good luck with the sprays and gels that work on the
teeth in the daytime,” she said. “People are more interested in these
products, and we’ve noticed a rise in sales.”
Rory Flynn, store manager for Feed Rite Pet Supply in Lincoln
Park, Mich., said natural dental products is a big category for the store.
“We especially find interest in anything with a more holistic
approach or American made,” Flynn said.
Dog owners want their pets’
teeth to be clean and healthy.
Promote the dental category with signage that illuminates the benefits
of good dental care for the pet.—Julie Creed of Pura Naturals Pet