The market for pet grooming products is fast growing, fueled by increasing concern about animal hygiene and appearance.
Gone are the days when a simple bath would do. Today, across most households, the grooming routine is only complete after a shampoo bath, fur trimming, and teeth brushing.
The growing obsession has given rise to many pet stores selling grooming products.
Luke Munene, the owner of Everland Pets, says he owes his good fortune to the consciousness about diseases brought about by unkempt pets.
With the increased awareness, he has seen demand for his grooming products skyrocket.
His fastest-moving products are shampoos.
“Being an avid pet lover, entering a business dealing with pets was easy. The pet accessories industry is also niche, so quite easy to specialise and make good margins,” says Mr Munene.
He started the business in 2019 and stocks various pet accessories and well-being items that he sources from China and Europe.
“The prices differ, but the European products tend to be more expensive,” he says.
At his shop, pet shampoo and conditioner sell at Sh1,000, a good quality dog leash costs at least Sh2,000, pet beds go for up to Sh4,000 while a grooming comb sells at Sh800.
He says his consumers are mainly pet owners and veterinary officers. There are also pet groomers and trainers in the value chain who also buy from him.
“The demographic of our end-user clients is mainly youth, expatriates, or parents of children with pets,” he says.
It is no different for Joseph Kimani, who owns Cutepets Kenya. He ventured into the business in 2020, and since then, his venture has continued to grow.
Like Mr Munene, he says he has loved pets since he was a young boy. He now has all kinds of pets at his home.
“I sell pet grooming items like shampoos, brushes, foods, cages, feeding bowls, and accessories like toys, beds, leashes, and harnesses, all imported from China.”
Sh25,000 pet dryers
“Pet dryers cost up to Sh25,000, shedding brush at Sh950, fur wizard at Sh1,500, and pet grooming scissors at Sh6,000,” says Mr Kimani.
But like any other business that relies on imports in Kenya, high taxes have been a thorny issue in their enterprises.
Mr Kimani is thankful that the business is doing well so far and hopes that the cost of importing the products will decrease.
For Mr Munene, “The challenges include reduced sales since people now focus on basic goods due to the prevailing economic conditions. The weakening shilling also makes importing goods very difficult and, in turn, makes our products expensive.”
According to the Global Pet Grooming Products Industry report published by the ReportLinker, the global market for Pet Grooming Products, estimated at $11.4 billion in 2022, is projected to reach $21.4 billion by 2030, growing at an annual rate of 8.2 percent over the period.
Shampoo and conditioner are projected to record an 8.8 percent annual growth rate and reach $12.2 billion by the end of the period.
Business of pet grooming
Pet lovers like Eliud Kiama, have been making good money by offering pet grooming services.
He started a pet care business in 2015 and seven years later, Mr Kiama has grown into a professional pet groomer, serving different pets from different classes of people.
“We mainly groom dogs and cats. I look forward to the day I might be called to groom a bird, horse, or an exotic animal. We offer shampoo baths for dogs and cats, claw clipping, teeth cleaning, ear cleaning, fur trimming, and detangling. We also do dog walks, dog sitting, and veterinary services. We sell pet food and some pet accessories,” says Mr Kiama.
Mr Kiama, who has grown his business to offer employment to six people, says they mostly attend to house calls for minor veterinary calls and grooming.
“For the sitting services, we keep them in Ruiru, Membley estate.”
“For grooming services, our fees range from Sh1,500 for both dogs and cats to as much as Sh3,500 for dogs,” he says.
One major challenge he notes is the pets’ temperament. “We normally don’t sedate the pets while grooming, but it could be organised if necessary.”
Why groom your pets?
Grooming is essential to pet care as it improves skin, prevents infections, and cleans the fur coat. The mouth, eyes, and ears of pets are vulnerable areas prone to infection. Keeping them clean can help in preventing ailments.
Gloria Chepkorir, a veterinary doctor, says proper grooming is more than just having a cute pet.
“By grooming your pet, you will get rid of fleas, ticks which enhance the animal’s appearance and fragrance. You will also tackle potentially unhealthy conditions, as it allows you to identify any underlying conditions or diseases early,” says Ms Chepkorir.
She recommends weekly grooming for dogs and after two weeks for cats. This also depends on whether they are outdoor or indoor pets, as well as their coats.
Despite being such a satisfying process, Ms Chepkorir advises caution while doing the grooming as there as also side effects resulting from the groomers not being careful, like when nail clipping, that might harm the pets.