Groomer to Groomer

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Medicated Shampoos

By Richard Ticktin, CEO and Chief Chemist of Synergy Labs

There is a huge variety of shampoos in the pet industry: oatmeal, aloe, and herbal among plenty of other variations. If that weren’t enough, medicated shampoos are another option within the category. Should you be offering medicated shampoos to pet parents? Savvy grooming operators know that offering different options can directly increase the bottom line. By offering medicated shampoos, groomers can offer value-added services, for which pet parents will pay premium prices. However, how do you know what to offer, who to offer the treatments to, and what to charge?

Offer the Solution

What to offer? Offer solutions to the most common skin maladies. Stock medicated shampoos and sprays to treat the five most common skin problems: bacteria, fungus, allergic reactions, seborrhea, and parasitic infestations. Medicated shampoos are a requirement to treat various types of skin disease that pets can develop at any age. These types of shampoos help speed up skin treatment and diminish the required oral medication to treat the disease. In turn, this reduces side effects for the animal and becomes a cost-effective solution for the pet parent.

Learn the Symptoms

Who should you offer these treatments to? This is where the education comes in. The professional groomer should learn how to identify these five common skin problems. Take advantage of the many online tools and several good books in the industry to help you know what to look out for. Don’t discard asking your local veterinarian for a crash course on some of the symptoms.

What to Charge

How much can you charge for this value-added service? The answer is “that depends.” That depends upon how much your competitors are charging for similar services and how much veterinarians in your local area charge for similar medicated treatments. There is no hard and fast rule as to what you can charge, but caring pet parents are clearly more than willing to spend extra money for a quality medicated treatment for their pet.

It’s All About What You Want

Why should this matter to you? Aside from wanting to relieve the pet’s condition and provide the pet parent an alternative to save money, supplying and using medicated shampoos can also put you in a great position to become a more consistent option for your customer. You see, medicated shampoos usually need to be used at least 15 days to six months depending on the severity of the skin disease. The treatment can start with applications two to three times a week and then become a once-a-week application, keeping in mind any veterinarian suggestions. This allows groomers to play an important role in helping pet parents treat their pets while avoiding costly doctor visits and medications.

The Bottom Line

By carrying a line of medicated shampoo, you have three possibilities that can benefit your business and potentially grow it. First, stocking medicated shampoo can open a service you can provide your customers at a higher price point (e.g. giving the pet parent the option to use a medicated shampoo versus regular shampoo). Second, selling medicated shampoo at your grooming salon can increase an end sale and provide a future solution to your customer. Third, the repeat service will increase, as the dog or cat would require multiple treatments with the product.

If this is of interest to you, then you will be happy to know that there are a lot of companies that provide medicated shampoos. Beware: some can describe themselves as medicated but show disappointing results. To determine what products are really medicated can be predetermined by examining its active ingredients. Keep an eye out for the main ingredients that treat animal skin diseases (see chart on this page).

Medicated shampoos can be a successful solution to increase your bottom line while providing your customer with an excellent service. For more information on medicated grooming treatments and/or questions or comments, contact SynergyLabs’ veterinarian, Daniela Solomon, by email at dsolomon@synergylabs.com. ✂