CARING FOR PETS FROM TIP TO TAIL
In early fall, Cardinal Pet Care started shipping its EcoBath Manuka Honey grooming line, which includes a
shampoo, a conditioner, a detangling spray, an anti-itch spray, a tooth gel and a dental water additive.
“All of the products are made with natural manuka honey from New Zealand, which is valued for
its healing and restorative abilities,” said Tom Wien, director of marketing for the Azusa, Calif.-based
company. “The manuka honey in EcoBath products is combined with high-quality organic and botanical
ingredients to create Cardinal’s exclusive Honey Hygiene, a new nature-based approach to caring for pets’
coat, skin, teeth and gums.”
Dr. Sniff, a division of Dallas-based Kibble Pet, released two products this fall. Freshening Spritz is an
odor remover that comes in two scents: Fresh Pup and Bright Pup.
“I love creating products that pet parents will love and will be multipurposed,” said Samantha Kent,
founder and CEO. “This particular spritz is alcohol free and safe to use in the home as well as on pets and
will even satisfy human needs.”
In addition to containing no alcohol, parabens and sulfates, the sprays include certified organic
ingredients and nontoxic fragrances formulated to keep dogs smelling fresh between groomings, Kent
Dr. Sniff also unveiled its 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner in Fresh Pup, Sweet Pup, Perky Pup and
Calm Pup formulas. Like other Dr. Sniff products, the line is cruelty free, and free from gluten, parabens
and alcohol, Kent said.
John Paul Pet can easily recognize and capitalize on the overlaps between pet and human grooming
products, because it is a Paul Mitchell-related product line, said Gina Dial, vice president of sales and
marketing for the Austin, Texas-based company.
“The Paul Mitchell [human] demographic is the same as the [pet] grooming demographic, so we are
creating pet products that mirror human products so our consumers can have their favorite shampoo in a
pet version,” she said.
To that end, Dial reported that the company plans to add a Lemon Sage collection to its lineup in 2019.
EDUCATING PET OWNERS ABOUT PROPER SKIN AND COAT
CARE DURING THE FALL AND WINTER SEASONS IS KEY.
As we head into the colder months of the year, pets’ winter coats have begun to grow out. As such, pet groomers and specialty retailers should take the opportunity to inform pet owners about proper coat and skin care.
Groomers depend upon the right tools and techniques to properly care for dogs. Likewise,
pet owners often depend on groomers for guidance on how they can maintain their dog’s health
at home. An easy way to do this is by educating pet owners on simple grooming practices they
can implement to create healthful habits at home.
Here are four things for groomers and retailers to keep in mind as they educate their
Coat Care Is Skin Care
Pet owners can see if a coat is tangled or losing its luster, but they are not always aware
of the implications a coat might have on the dog’s skin. The care (or neglect) of a dog’s
coat will directly impact the health of its skin. Matted fur, for example, prevents naturally
occurring oils from distributing and conditioning the skin and coat. This can lead to
painfully dry skin, a dull coat and even infections. If a pet’s coat is tangled, matted or even
hiding pests, it could be a sign that pet owners are not caring for their dog’s coat between
appointments. If you notice a pattern, take the opportunity to share a few simple daily or
weekly maintenance tips.
Prevention is key, and a few simple tools are perfect for this purpose. A pin brush is an
intuitive tool for pet owners. It can stimulate hair and skin follicles while detangling and
removing any loose dirt from the hair. A tool like the Andis Premium Double Sided Brush
provides the same value with an added bonus: It has gentle pins on one side and bristles
on the other for a shiny, lustrous coat. It might take a little more effort for pet owners with
double-coated dogs. If an unruly mat has already formed, a dematting tool is perfect for
removing excess undercoat and tackling even the trickiest tangles. Do your clients need
some encouragement? Remind them that, in addition to its preventive benefits, daily at-home grooming is an excellent way for pet owners to bond with their pups.
Don’t Overlook Paws
As the seasons transition, the skin on paw pads becomes especially vulnerable to the
elements. Overgrown fur can tangle and create mats between paw pads and, because
matted fur does not dry effectively, this leaves dogs cold and wet. Matted paw pads can
also cause discomfort, decreased mobility and even pose a risk of infection. In colder
climates, ice, snow or even any ice melt products found on the ground can accumulate in
the hair between pads. This will not only make the pet uncomfortable, but it can also be a
Determine the Right Tool
Many pet owners choose to leave paw care to professional groomers, and if pet owners
are not confident or informed, that might be in the pet’s best interest. However, there are
options for different experience levels of at-home maintenance. An honest conversation
about their needs and comfort levels might lead to pet owners being pleasantly surprised by
the many opportunities for at-home maintenance.
A compact, cordless trimmer, like the Andis Trim ‘N Go, works well for sensitive areas
like paw pads. It’s also a popular choice among pet owners for its quiet-running motor,
small size and convenient starter kit. More experienced pet owners might choose to invest
in a professional-grade clipper. They can try a #30 blade on a detachable blade clipper or, if
maneuvering is a challenge, start with something lightweight like the Andis Pulse Li 5. Tools
that offer an adjustable blade for cutting versatility, like the Pulse Li 5, are great options for
trimming all coat types or full body grooming on small and medium size breeds.
Scheduling shorter, more frequent maintenance appointments during the cool weather
seasons will help pet owners who are less savvy with at-home grooming. By encouraging
these healthful practices with clients, you’ll help improve each pet’s quality of life—and
happy pets mean happy pet owners!
Nicole Kallish is Andis Co.’s global education manager
and a certified master groomer and board member for
the Creative Groomers Association. She received her
education from The Academy of Dog Grooming Arts
in Arlington Heights, Ill. She is also a current competition judge and has been a Groom Team USA liaison
STRIKE A BALANCE
Independent pet stores strive to create harmony in their assortment of skin and
coat grooming products for dogs and cats, insiders reported. Offering product
diversity, optimal pricing and maximizing shelf space all play important parts in
what can be a difficult balance.
“Diversity is important because not everyone will spend $22 on a bottle of
shampoo,” said Samantha Kent, founder and CEO of Dr. Sniff, a division of Dallas-
based Kibble Pet. “As a retailer, you’re trying to accommodate everybody without
overwhelming them. Finding a balance is important.”
Product diversity is a focal point at Furly’s Pet Supply in Lake Forest, Calif.,
said store manager Jackie Cain.
“We want to make sure that there is a product for every type of customer
and their budget,” she said. “We also offer special ordering, which alleviates the
problem of our customers having to find products elsewhere.”
While price is a consideration, Tom Wien, director of marketing at Cardinal
Pet Care in Azusa, Calif., reported that quality is also a high priority for many
“The type of customer who buys grooming products at a pet specialty retailer
tends to be more concerned with getting a quality product that’s right for their
pet,” he said. “If a store stocks a good assortment of grooming products, covering
a wide range of coat and skin types, and offers accurate advice to customers, it
can become known for its expertise in the grooming category.”
Gina Dial, vice president of sales and marketing at John Paul Pet in Austin,
Texas, said to keep things simple.
“Keep your assortment small; too many choices only confuses the customer,”
she said. “Choose a few products you believe to be the best, and feature those.”
By Nicole Kallish