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Beyond Personal Grooming: Spongeables Expands into Pet Care

By: Leslie Benson, with input from Lynne Merrill
Posted: November 3, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
Spongeables' Haute Dog Bath Buffer

Spongeables' Haute Dog Bath Buffer

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Elaine Binder: Haute Dog is not a health product per se, but it will promote a dog’s overall comfort and wellness. By reducing his risk of fungus, skin irritations and infections, hot spots and other common, painful and annoying conditions, you have a happier and overall, a healthier dog. Haute Dog is not a treatment for dogs with damaged skin or severe problems like mange or ringworm, but it will prevent these problems and it will also keep the dog smelling fresh, looking its best. A clean dog makes a better companion and is less susceptible to illness and problems.

GCI: What makes your pet care bath and body products stand out from competitors?

Elaine Binder: Haute Dog is the only all-in-one puppy buffer. The doggy biscuit shape is designed for easy holding and easy application. You don’t need to juggle a bottle of shampoo in one hand, the washcloth or shower hose in the other hand, while trying to hold on to a slippery and eager to escape wet dog at the same time. Everything needed to shampoo, condition and protect the skin and coat are already infused into the Bath Buffer sponge. You don’t have to squirt liquids on the dog, struggle to keep suds out of its eyes, nose and mouth, or risk spilling your shampoo and conditioners. All you do is get the dog in place, add water and hold the dog securely by its collar while gliding the Bath Buffer over him with the other—a quick rinse and it’s over. It’s not just the convenience of use or the excellent formula that makes this such a unique new product; it’s how easy it is on the animal. Nothing else is as stress-free, and nothing else has that essential all-in-one formula.

GCI: Are there products available in the market now for more “exotic” pets other than just cats and dogs?

Elaine Binder: Right now we are focusing on the Haute Dog. With the tremendous market in the U.S., and a global market that’s expanding even as we speak, it will keep our hands full as we change the way the world thinks about dog washing. We are going to revolutionize that entire concept—no more cartoons about angry, snarling dogs, dripping with wet soap, and one or two struggling humans trying to get the job done. We’re going to show the world that dog washing can be trauma-free, fast and if not exactly fun, at least an acceptable experience for dog and mankind alike. After that, who knows? Why not introduce Haute Ferret or Spongeables for Horses?

GCI: What are some innovative avenues you foresee pet care possibly heading into in the future?

Elaine Binder: Spongeables LLC’s proprietary infusion process is so adaptable that there is almost no direction we couldn’t take. All of the areas you mention are possible. We can envision medicated Haute Dogs with specific pharmaceutical formulas, or Haute Dog with herbal flea repellant formulas. Products can be created for specific breed requirements, long or short-haired animals, show animals who require the ultimate in coat and skin conditioning, even age-appropriate products for new born pups to elderly pets. Sunscreen products are about to become very important to all pet owners, as they become aware of the risk of skin cancer for pets, particularly light-colored dogs. The Haute Dog sponge matrix makes application and dosage easy. Unlike liquids that can spill or splash, the sponge application is pretty much foolproof, whether you are applying medication on a dog with compromised skin, or sunscreen on your little Chihuahua. Products can be made according to animal size, special needs, for over the counter or pharmaceutical products, for premium or mass market needs. It’s an all-encompassing format.