(Left) Pura Naturals Pet’s Organic Dental Solutions (Right) Merrick Pet Care’s Fresh Kisses
FRESH ON THE MARKET
James Brandly, content writer and public relations manager for
TropiClean in Wentzville, Mo., said there has been a noticeable
increase in pet owners seeking natural ingredients, products that are
made in the USA, and options that are both effective and easy to use.
The company recently introduced its Fresh Breath Dental Chews.
“[These are] gluten and grain free and expertly crafted in the
USA,” he said. “The unique chewy texture and natural ingredients
help remove plaque and tartar with each bite.”
Pura Naturals Pet created;Organic Dental Solutions;in time for
National Pet Dental Health Month in February.
“The kit comes with a nonslip-grip canine toothbrush that
is free of phthalate, latex, BPA and BPS,” said Julie Creed, vice
president of sales and marketing for the Seattle-based company.
“The Sweet Potato and Cinnamon Toothpaste Gel is all about
the healthy organic ingredients. This product is a co-brand
between;Pura Naturals Pet;and;Radius, a recognized innovator of
premium personal care products.”
Merrick Pet Care in Amarillo, Texas, introduced Merrick Fresh
Kisses last year, a natural dental treat designed to clean dogs’ teeth
and freshen breath at the same time.;;
“It features a new-to-the-category double-brush design to clean
teeth by removing plaque and tartar during the chewing action
of the treat,” said Betsy Berger, communications manager for the
company. “It is the only dental treat to be both grain free and potato
free. They are made with all-natural ingredients and, like all Merrick
treats, are safely cooked in the USA with no ingredients from China.”
Retailers should tell a story with merchandise by promoting the dental
category with signage that is informational, clear and concise, and
illuminates the benefits of good dental care for the pet, said Julie
Creed, vice president of sales and marketing for Seattle-based Pura
Elizabeth Lewis, owner of Canine Carousel Pet Boutique & Salon in
Ashburn, Va., said that sometimes the best marketing is done face to
“Talking with customers is the best way to get them interested; not
everyone knows that these products are out there and what they can
do,” she said.
Rory Flynn, store manager for Feed Rite Pet Supply in Lincoln Park,
Mich., said a lot of customers have questions about the products and
that the staff is prepared to answer them the best they can.
“You still want the customer to think for themselves, because they
know the pet better than we do and experience things firsthand,” Flynn
said. “The pet owners are the ones who feed them and see the changes
in their dogs. You educate them and get feedback from them so you have
a broader sense of how it’s working.”
The store also displays toothpastes, gels and water additives in its
health care aisle, and individual dental chews are incorporated into its
A STANDOUT ASSORTMENT
There are many ways to merchandise dental care products in pet specialty
stores, but manufacturers and retailers agree that visibility and accessibility
are key to any merchandising strategy.
Natural dental products should be displayed in high-visibility areas such
as endcaps or by the cash register in order to generate interest and spark
inquiries, said Scott Reinhardt, vice president of sales and marketing for
SwedenCare USA in Poulsbo, Wash.
Canine Carousel Pet Boutique & Salon in Ashburn, Va., has most of its
natural dental products on the counter near the register, said owner Elizabeth
Lewis. Having products by the register increases the likelihood that customers
will see them, pick them up and start reading the packaging, Lewis said.
Feed Rite Pet Supply in Lincoln Park, Mich., caters to a millennial crowd
and tries to catch customers’ attention by keeping oral-care products behind
“About 75 percent of our customers come in for holistic dog food and don’t
have time to waste, and this is a great way for them to notice the items and
look at it,” said store manager Rory Flynn. “I like to hand them the products
when discussing things. If they are holding it, there’s more of a chance they
will buy it.”
Kristen Watson, area manager for TailsSpin Pet Stuff, a Bentley’s Pet Stuff
Co. with stores in Georgia, agreed that merchandising natural dental products
next to the register is a smart idea.
“Single chews are a good add-on item for customers at the register,” she
said. “Having a conversation with the customer and being available to assist
them in choosing the right product for their needs is also a good way to sell