Doggy style: Why beauty is betting on pet care

By Julia Wray | Published: 24-Aug-2022

With pet care one of the best-performing areas of discretionary spending, traditional beauty players are extending their expertise into pet grooming formulations. So which brands have crossed to the ‘fur’ side and what does their competition look like?

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The worlds of animal grooming and human grooming have long been in synergy. There is good reason the equine care brand Mane ‘n Tail bears the tagline ‘formulated for horses and discovered by humans’.

But, recently, rather than the phenomenon of humans discovering hair care ‘hacks’ sitting alongside their riding tack, traditional beauty brands and retailers are looking to get their claws into the pet care market.

THG-owned beauty e-commerce brands Lookfantastic and Cult Beauty both offer pet care as part of their lifestyle offer, as does e-tail rival Feelunique.

Lookfantastic, which launched into pet care in mid-2021, has seen searches for dog shampoo shoot up 38% over the past three months.

“We chose to move into this sector as our customers became increasingly aware of the products and ingredients they were using on their pet’s skin and fur, as well as seeing beauty brands such as Ouai expand into the pet care category, thereby increasing demand,” Faith Hobson, Buying Director THG Beauty, tells Cosmetics Business.

In addition to Ouai’s Fur Bébé Pet Shampoo, which blends ingredients that wouldn’t be out of place in human shampoo – moisturising aloe vera, antioxidant-rich rambutan extract and hydrolysed vegetable protein – several other big beauty names have released pet-specific goodies.

Organic beauty player Green People launched allPaws, an organic, cruelty-free pet grooming range with dog shampoos in Wild Mint and fragrance-free Sensitive variants, while L’Oréal’s Kiehl’s offers three skus in its Dog Grooming Collection: Cuddly-Coat Grooming Rinse, Cuddly-Coat Grooming Shampoo and Cuddly-Coat Cleansing Spritz.

And for pet parents for whom money is no barrier, Aesop includes Animal in its line-up. Powered by lemon rind, tea tree leaf and spearmint leaf, it retails for £29 for 500ml, and, rather charmingly, is also available as part of a You & Your Dog Duo, together with Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser, so that owner and pooch can smell equally fragrant.

Another crossover to the pet care field is Faith in Nature, which launched its Dog Shampoo range in August 2021.

The pH balanced, 99% natural formulations are biodegradable and have been developed for sensitive skins. They come in three different variations: Coconut (detangling for curly coats and knots); Chamomile (for sensitive pooches) and Lavender (which provides deep cleansing for dirty dogs).

The variations are also available in shampoo bar format and in larger 5 litre liquid shampoo sizes, which Faith in Nature says lets owners of especially mucky pups stock up on doggy wash.

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