Global Home

BASF launches dog-grooming ‘fur-mulations’ to address the growing pet-care market boom

The chemical company utilizes its robust personal-care portfolio to cater to man’s best friend.

Three dogs in towels after bathing
Animal adoption has risen steadily over the decades, and this year's boom in ownership bodes well for the dog-grooming market.


Pet ownership has continuously been on the rise. And presently, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulting in a huge increase in the number of people quarantining at home, it is no wonder that furry-companion ownership has spiked higher than ever before.

According to a 2019-2020 survey, 32% of pet owners say they spend more on their pooch now than a year ago. The numbers on general pet ownership are strong as well. A study by Mintel shows that 67% of U.S. households own a pet – 63.4 million of those are dogs. The same study predicts a $7 billion market opportunity in the American pet-grooming industry this year.

“It’s a very pet friendly environment in the U.S. in general; in addition, pet-care product sales via e-commerce grew by 60% between 2016-2019, including on,” said Sevgi Senel Guler, Distribution Account Manager, Personal Care, BASF North America.

As the lucrative pet-grooming market continues to grow, dog owners are willing to pay a premium for high-quality products that keep their pets happy and healthy, ergo scrutinizing labels on pet-grooming products as closely as they would their own products. That is why BASF Care Creations uses its human-grooming expertise to develop pet-grooming solutions with nature’s finest raw materials, sustainably sourced ingredients and high performance. The chemical company has developed a line of safe, gentle and effective pet-grooming formulations, or ‘fur-mulations’, and BASF Care Creations is standing by to help grooming product manufacturers meet their needs.

Anything is ‘paw-sible’

BASF’s extensive personal-care ingredient portfolio makes it possible to customize formulations for just about every hair or skin type.  Pet grooming needs are not all that different from those of humans; one size does not fit all, especially in hair care or fur care.

“People with straight hair have different needs than people with textured or curly hair. So that’s what we tried to address here. We took non-traditional formulations based on current trends in which we targeted specific dog breeds or dogs with certain types of hair or coats – we brought that expertise over from people to pets,” said Gina Guiliano, Application Chemist, Hair & Body Care, BASF Care Creations, North America.

“Many ingredients that we use for human grooming are used in pet grooming, you only need to change the pH (the numerical measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, usually measured on a scale of 0 to 14) of the formulation to make it more animal friendly,” added Guler. 

Belarus, Adult, Adults Only, Animal, Animal Body Part
According to a 2019-2020 survey, 32% of pet owners say the spend more on their pet than they did a year ago.
Little boy is giving a bath to his beagle dog, while they are in a bathtub together
BASF uses human-grooming expertise to develop pet-grooming solutions with nature’s finest raw materials, sustainably sourced ingredients and great performance. 

The main difference between dog and human products is that ingredients in pet formulations in the U.S. require approval in line with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Also, dogs’ skin pH is slightly higher, 7.0, and slightly less acidic than that of humans, which is in the 6.0 range, according to Guiliano.

“Formulations or ingredients that you use on people or in products meant for humans can also be used on your pets, you just have to confirm with the regulatory requirements,” she said.

The BASF team developed three formulations specifically for dog grooming: Creamy Co-Wash for Dogs, Fresh Obsessed Dry Shampoo Mist and Micellar Dog Shampoo. The team selected three key ingredients to incorporate in the dog-grooming formulas:

  • RAMBUVITAL – All that walking, fetching and rolling around can make your dog a little “ruff” around the edges. Found in the Fresh Obsessed Dry Shampoo Mist, this light, dry-cleanse mist is the perfect way to refresh hair. Rambuvital is a sustainably sourced material from the seeds of the Rambutan fruit and part of BASF’s bioactives portfolio. It protects dogs’ coat from pollution and malodor, while hydrating the skin underneath.
  • Plantasil Micro – Found in the Micellar Dog Shampoo, this ingredient is a natural, NPA-approved material that blends a combination of surfactant and oil. The gentle shampoo rinses away quickly, leaves no build-up, while providing weightless conditioning and refreshing cleansing to dog fur.
  • Plantaren 1200 N UP – Who’s a good dog and loves a bath? Found in the Co-Wash for Dogs with wavy, coily or curly fur, this co-wash gently cleanses and conditions fur without stripping its natural oils. It is an organic, NPA-approved alkyl polyglucoside (APG) surfactant, derived from plant-based sources. It provides sulfate-alternative cleansing that is mild and gentle to the dog’s skin and eyes.
What also sets BASF ingredients apart from competitors on the market is that the company tested the formulas on actual dogs as consumers, according to Guiliano.
While some may see dog-grooming products as a luxury market, BASF scientists say it is quickly becoming the mainstream. And they’re not only speaking as scientists, or creators of the products, but also as dog owners and customers themselves.
“I have a highly allergenic Pug, and they need a certain kind of conditioning agent,” said Amber Leigh Hubschmitt, Scientist III, Performance & Claims, BASF Care Chemicals North America. “So, I’m going to seek it out and I’m going to get it. And I think shopping for dog-grooming products is going to become even more mainstream going forward.”
And that makes for a lot of happy wagging tails.
For more information on BASF Care Creations’ pet grooming formulations, go here.

Published on Nov. 13, 2020

For media inquiries or to repurpose this article, please contact: or