While you’d be hard pressed to find much more than a supermarket brand shampoo, a brush and some nail clippers in the cupboards of a dog or cat owner twenty years ago, fast forward to 2017, and even the least style-obsessed owner will likely own a bottle of specialty shampoo packed with skin-saving ingredients alongside their grooming basics.
The stats support this observation. Animals Medicines Australia (AMA) report there has been a marked shift away from shopping in supermarkets for pet products, and professional clipping and grooming is the fifth largest expense for pet owners - totaling a whopping $580 million in 2016 (a 33% increase in the average household spend since 2013). And when it comes to DIY grooming tools, pet beauty product sales reached A$22 million in 2015.
It’s part of the overall trend of humanising pets
The AMA note the growing spend on prettying up our pets is tied to the larger trend of ‘humanising’ our pets. Their latest report shows there’s been a significant lift in the proportion of owners who see their pets as a member of the family, rather than mere companions.
When asked what role they play in the home, 64% of dog owners and 65% of cat owners said they were a member of the family, while only 23% of dog owners and 24% of cat owners saw their pet as companions (and only 6% of dogs have a security role).
The grooming spend is not without benefits
Here’s the thing – grooming may have aesthetic benefits (who doesn’t melt at the sight of an Elvis inspired bouffant on a long-haired terrier, or a mohawk toting standard poodle), but it’s also great for our pet’s health and wellbeing.
Pets that suffer skin allergies can benefit from a carefully chosen grooming product, a message clearly making its way to pet owners as a decent chunk of the $22 million spent on beauty products is being spent on natural products.
As well as caring for their skin and hair, regular grooming – be it at home or in a salon, can remove snarls and tangles that can pull at the skin, causing irritation and pain to your pet. Regular brushing also removes dirt, cutting down on how often they’ll require a wash.
What to look for in your grooming products
Shampoos, conditioners and other hair cleaning products should be hypoallergenic and sulphate free, as they clean the hair without stripping natural oils from the skin. Avoid products listing Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate (SLES) on the label, as these commonly used ingredients can seriously irritate the skin. Also avoid products with artificial fragrances, and instead look for products containing natural essential oils.
Read more: EBOOK: 20 things no one tells you about raising a healthy dog by Dr Katrina Warren
PAW Sensitive Skin Shampoo
Developed by vets specifically for dogs with fragile skin, this new nutrient rich formulation in this sulphate free shampoo leaves your dog looking good and feeling great.
PAW NutriDerm® Replenishing Shampoo
An innovative, advanced way to wash and care for your dog’s skin. A sulphate free, moisture rich, oatmeal pet shampoo suitable for dogs and cats with normal, dry and itchy skin.