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Grooming: What's the Buzz?

Byline: Megan Jander

If you thought all the commotion in the grooming sector was the sound of grooming tools, you'd be both right and wrong. Now, more than ever, the sector is taking a big leap and blooming with new trends. Groomers are keeping up with what is popular in the industry and their customers in order to provide the best grooming experience possible, from highlighting the products they use on a daily basis to offering new, unique services to their clientele.

"We're definitely seeing a rise in demand for all-natural and organic grooming products as pet parents continue to become more vigilant about what they're exposing their furry friends to," said Liz Illg, owner of Puff and Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting, which has several salons in Arizona. "There's also been a move towards more diversified grooming services. From quirky haircuts and styles to pet massages and essential oil treatments, we're seeing a lot of fun trends these days!"

Retailers are also responding by offering popular grooming products for groomers to use on the go or for consumers to use at home in between grooming visits. And manufacturers are developing more and more products that are convenient to consumers and groomers alike. So, the grooming sector as a whole is maintaining the overall wellness and appearance of all pets through popular demand, and this is having a big impact on consumers and the industry.

Tools

Not all pets like unusual noises, and tools in general are notorious for making less-than-pleasant sounds. Even the softest of sounds can be scary for a pet that is sensitive, so it's important to soothe pets' uneasiness. Happy Paws Boutique & Bakery is more than just a grooming shop, it's like a daycare and a one-stop shop for pet owners with food, treats, accessories and toys.

"We know that grooming can be really stressful for a lot of dogs, so we created little waiting areas at the front of the store for them. This way they don't have to sit in kennels in the back while they're waiting to be picked up," said Heather Adams, owner of Happy Paws Boutique & Bakery in Sarasota, Florida. "We really want our clients (the dogs) to feel as comfortable as possible while they're here."

For its grooming services, Happy Paws loves products by Artero and brushes by Chris Christensen. But no matter what product is used, Happy Paws emphasizes the importance of providing the customer with a product that the groomer stands behind, not a product that is cheap or easy to sell. And this is a trend that many companies are projecting in their grooming tools.

Andis has been committed to delivering the highest-quality, innovative products for nearly 100 years, knowing that the right tool can make all the difference. And with the growing demand for cordless products to allow groomers to be mobile and consumers to use at home, Andis introduced its new Cordless Nail Grinder, a powerful cordless tool that can run for three hours on a single charge.

"Having the right equipment to provide the best service to clients is critical to success as a groomer," said Nicole Kallish, animal education manager at Andis. "This product is an expansion of our innovative cordless product line and is providing the quality tools that groomers need to build their businesses."

In addition to expanding its products, Andis is expanding its Animal Education team to provide the best learnings to groomers around the globe, as well as producing education videos for aspiring groomers looking to acquire new skills.

Having invented the high-speed rotary tool in 1934, Dremel is all about providing versatile, easy-to-use tools that deliver solutions for almost any grooming job. The Dremel 7300 PT continues to be one of Dremel's top-reviewed products and best-sellers because of its cordless and intuitive design. So Dremel is launching its newest pet grooming tool, the Dremel 7760 PawControl, to provide the grooming accessories needed to support the varied grooming skill levels of pet owners.

"Many users expressed a fear of hurting their pet and not knowing how to trim their dog's nails on their own," said Marie Verceles, brand manager, integrated marketing communications at Robert Bosch Tool Corporation NA. "Our line of Dremel grooming products were designed to address these gaps--providing turnkey features to make the grooming process easier, safe and flexible."

The new version of the tool also features a USB rechargeable lithium battery, offering improved battery life for extensive, effective use. And while Dremel tools allow groomers and pet owners to quickly, easily and gently trim pets' nails, it still emphasizes acclimating pets to the sounds of the tools running and the feel of the grinding on their nails for a grooming process that is gradual and enjoyable for both owners and pets.

Pet Product Innovations knows that many groomers like to stick with what they know until something comes along to make their lives easier and safer. And because it believes that grooming is not just for groomers, this transcends to pet parents as well. So Pet Product Innovations launched the Zen Clipper Precise, the first and only fully adjustable pet nail clipper with a patent-pending design of "V" shaped blades for 360-degree force.

"We think with the Zen Clipper Precise, we actually have fulfilled a need for groomers and pet parents," said David Levy, founder of Pet Product Innovations. "[It's] a safer, more secure way to keep pets' nails clipped."

Pet Product Innovations advises on providing pets with a treat before and after their nails are cut so they associate the experience with something positive and become accustomed to the process.

Other brands that follow this trend:

Eyenimal: Eyenimal's Electric Cordless Pet Clipper has an adjustable ceramic blade to keep cats and dogs looking neat, trimmed and stylish. It has an ample use time of 240 minutes (4 hours), and users can easily know when a charge is needed via the LED battery indicator display. Quiet and powerful, the electric pet clipper makes it easy to keep pets looking their best.

Groomers Helper: Groomers Helper created the "NO CHOKE" Control/Slip lead to keep pets safe during the grooming process. It prevents the "choking" of pets, with an emergency quick-release buckle incorporated as an added safety feature. It fits perfectly into its "Do No Harm" philosophy while upgrading a critical everyday-use item for most grooming operations.

Shampoos and Cleaners

While few pets are eager for "bath time," pet parents are eager to know what "clean" really means. And increasingly, groomers and pet parents are becoming more vigilant in the care and benefits provided. That's why Cat Naps Cattery, a cat-exclusive boarding and grooming facility, maintains a "home away from home" environment while paying special attention to safety and cleanliness standards so pet parents don't have to pick and choose the benefits they want for their pets.

"With more and more options becoming available, there's less of a 'one size fits all' mentality," said Lynn Paolillo, owner of Cat Naps Cattery and certified feline master groomer. "Owners and groomers alike are also trending toward companies with transparency in product ingredients and education in what those ingredients mean for their pet's skin and coat."

Cat Naps Cattery firmly believes in educating other groomers, industry leaders and pet parents on everything from the ingredients to the end result. That's why products now tend to be less scent- or perfume-oriented, and many feature natural and organic ingredients instead. Because the latest trend is not just having pets smell nice, it's also ensuring they are getting the exact product for their needs without harming them or the planet.

RomeKin USA aims to manufacture high-quality, handcrafted and human-tested grooming products that don't cause harm to the environment and contribute to the well-being and healthy care of pets. That's why it created Green Coat, a line of natural, soothing grooming products that accommodate every pet's needs, big or small.

"We believe that times are changing and consumers have become more conscientious with regards to caring for the environment and giving a higher-quality care to pets," said Hamlet Garcia, general manager of RomeKin USA. "We want to inspire consumers to love nature and understand the wonderful resources that Mother Nature has to offer to humans and pets as well."

Knowing the needs of pets and the importance of contributing to nature, RomeKin USA emphasizes treating pets with nature and treating nature with love.

TropiClean strives to perpetually innovate the finest products and packaging with each category, and grooming is no exception. Its grooming line is known for its long-lasting fragrances and for its ease of use and rich, lathering effect. And with products like TropiClean Papaya 2 in 1 Shampoo and Pet Spray and the new TropiClean Tear Stain Remover, there is a product for every pet's needs that features both popular scents and soothing relief.

"Almost all pet parents that buy grooming products buy shampoo, and most have specific needs," said James Brandly, associate trade marketing manager of TropiClean. "Therefore, we continue to focus on odor management and scent, while developing solutions that address specific needs like deodorizing, de-shedding and itch relief."

This is why TropiClean encourages groomers and retailers to educate themselves on the options available and stand by brands they support in order to guide pet parents and fulfill pets' specific needs.

Oxyfresh creates products that matter for pet parents who are ingredient-conscious and looking for effective and safe pet products. That's why the company doesn't use harsh chemicals that can cause dryness or irritation to ears or skin, and has pH-balanced formulas that include its non-toxic Oxygene to safely and gently neutralize bacteria that causes pet odors. Its Pet Deodorizer is popular because it eliminates pet odors at the source instead of masking them.

"Pet parents and groomers are paying more attention to ingredients and looking for solutions that really work," said Melissa Gulbranson, vice president of marketing at Oxyfresh. "Groomers have been asking for better products without harsh or overpowering fragrances and it is time that brands start to listen."

Oxyfresh advises retailers and consumers to look for pH-balanced products and products that help support long-term care versus short-term fixes.

Pura Naturals Pet started as a company with USDA Certified Organic grooming and wellness products, and has grown into a brand that is also solution-driven with products that hit a specific niche, like hot spots, eye stains, paw protection and more. Last year its Flea & Tick line was a hit for groomers, retailers and consumers who were looking for a healthier solution to treat pests. And the new Pro-Coat GROOMING line and Sweet Orange and Coconut Shed Control Shampoo and Conditioner address concerns without compromising quality.

"Grooming is more than shampoos... it's also care specifically for ears, eye stains, noses, paw pads and oral care," said Julie Creed, vice president of sales and marketing for Pura Naturals Pet. "It's important to know what you're putting on pets and that it's not only safe for pets, but also for the family and the environment."

Pura Naturals Pet is big on education, and while that can be different to groomers, retailers and consumers, the one commonality is reading the labels to find the right product for grooming and wellness needs.

Skout's Honor's mission is creating a fundamental shift in how the industry looks at the role of grooming in a pet's overall health and wellness plan. Its goal is to move the industry away from treating symptoms and focus on the problems embedded in current animal health standards by breaking the cycle of "treat and repeat" with easy-to-use, great-smelling, top-quality products. And its Honeysuckle-fragranced Probiotic Shampoo, Detangler and Deodorizer are all popular because of this.

"The biggest contributing factor to excessive itching, odor, shedding, dryness and irritation is an imbalance or 'dysbiosis' in the skin's natural microbiome," said Jenny Gilcrest, director of marketing for Skout's Honor. "Our Probiotic Grooming products deliver a live colony-forming unit of Probiotic Kefir to the surface of the skin, disrupt negative biofilms, inhibit growth of pathogens, calm inflammation and give the natural microbiome a chance to bounce back. This gives the ability to actively make a difference in pets' health and happiness through the grooming process."

Skout's Honor advises groomers, retailers and consumers to be conscious of what may be going on below the surface when it comes to an animal's skin health; just because they are itchy doesn't mean an oatmeal shampoo will keep them from itching after one bath. So a high-quality product that offers a preventative approach rather than just "in-the-moment" relief can make all the difference in the long-term health of an animal.

Other brands that follow this trend:

Vetericyn: Vetericyn FoamCare Pet Shampoo is designed specifically for the density of a dog's coat. It sprays on quickly, foams instantly and rinses easily to give pets a healthy, stress-free bath every time. Anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic and pH-optimized, paraben-free and a medicated version treats hot spots and skin ailments.

Glomarr: Glomarr is dedicated to skillfully creating leading pet shampoo, conditioner, grooming, hygiene and health care products. All products are made with natural, USA-sourced materials. And each brand, including BALANCE and KENIC, caters to specific grooming needs for each pet.

Cardinal Petcare: Cardinal Petcare's EcoBath Natural Manuka Honey Products are made with Honey Hygiene to help heal, cleanse and beautify. Organic hempseed oil and nature-based ingredients moisturize and provide fragrance.

Best Shot Pet Products: Best Shot aims to excite pet parents and animal professionals with continued advancements in grooming technology. The company sources the finest natural, organic and human-grade ingredients available in all of its lines of products, including Scentament Spa and ONE SHOT.

Pet King Brands-ZYMOX: ZYMOX brings relief to pets and their owners with its products. Easy to use, convenient, safe and effective, these products employ a patented formulation of naturally occurring and derived enzymes that are gentle to the skin but pack a powerful antimicrobial punch.

earthbath: earthbath's line of shampoos, grooming wipes and spritzes offer heavenly scented solutions for the unique needs of pets. earthbath products are made in the USA with natural and organic ingredients and no artificial colors.

Sturtevant's: Sturtevant's Veterinary Remedies Canine Antiseptic Powder is known for its efficacy, safety and value. It is formulated to stop itch and irritation, and promote healing. All products are developed, sourced and produced holistically in the USA.

kin+kind: kin+kind carefully selects each ingredient for its products without unnecessary processing and additives. Using organic oils for soap and essential oils for fragrance is "Simple. Effective. Natural." Kin+kind is pet-focused, so everything is vet-tested, cruelty-free and produced in its own U.S. facilities.

Pet Society Pet Products: Pet Society's HYDRA, Megamazon and Beeps lines combine extensive knowledge of ingredients and cosmetic formulation to develop and offer exclusive, innovative, safe and effective products for industry professionals and pet owners across the globe.

"My advice for other groomers, retailers and consumers is to stay informed," Illg concluded. "Transparency and clear communication is key in this industry, and together we can continue to care for and help our furry friends each and every day."

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Publication:Pet Age
Date:May 1, 2019
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