As pet owners spend more on their pets, Skout’s Honor expands from cleaning products to grooming and wellness
Dogs are always welcome at the Irvine office of Skout’s Honor, which specializes in environmentally friendly pet products.
There’s President and Chief Operating Officer Pete Stirling’s shepherd mix, Maverick, who’s only 1 but sometimes scares the mailman. And there’s founder Macon Brock’s three French bulldogs: Kennedy, Zoey and Enzo, who’s deaf but makes do by following his two older sisters everywhere.
During his life, Brock has owned a mutt, beagle, golden retriever, black Lab, shitzu and lhasa apso. His wife wants another Frenchie, but he refuses.
“Which means in six months, there will be a fourth one running around here,” Stirling jokes.
Skout’s Honor is the second company Brock and Stirling have grown together. The first was a surf sunscreen company, “‘cause we’re both surfers, and we were too in love with the idea that we could surf for a living,” says Brock.
Nowadays, surfing is only a hobby, but pets are their lives.
According to a 2019 report from the American Pet Products Assn., Americans spent a record-breaking $72 billion on their pets in 2018. There are studies showing that pet owners will spend more on grooming their pets than on themselves.
Stirling laughs and points to Maverick.
“Yeah, this guy gets organic green feed food and my daughter gets a Happy Meal.”
The name Skout’s Honor was inspired by Brock’s sister’s dog and the company’s pledge to provide eco-friendly, plant-powered, non-toxic and cruelty-free pet products.
The brand‘s available online and in stores in the U.S. and Canada, South Africa, England, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines and other countries.
The company started in 2015 with stain removers, urine smell “destroyers” and odor eliminators (including one for skunked pets). There are also various household surface cleaners, as well as a laundry booster.
In 2018, Skout’s Honor added a topical probiotic grooming line after a study suggested their potential efficacy in humans.
“We’re using the good bacteria to push out the bad instead of going in there and just nuking everything,” says Brock.
The line includes shampoos, conditioners, deodorizers and detanglers scented with honeysuckle, lavender and “Dog in the Woods” (sandalwood vanilla).
They recently kicked off a probiotic wellness line, which includes a pet balm made with antimicrobial manuka honey, an alcohol-free ear cleaner, an itch-relief spray with oatmeal, a CBD oil and a hot spot hydrogel made with aloe and a seaweed-derived carbohydrate, algin.
“It’s about helping the animal lead a better life from the get-go,” says Stirling. “Treating the cause, as opposed to having to find a Band-Aid solution every time a symptom pops up.”
They’re proud of being a brand “born and raised in California,” says Jenny Gilcrest, vice president of marketing, which meant that from the very beginning, they had to adhere to the California Green Chemistry Initiative.
“For the first time in a long time, a law was in place that regulated how safe and environmentally friendly products had to be in order to be sold, distributed and manufactured in California,” explains Stirling. “And what came out of the process were really unique and neat tools that we could use in order to put together a solution for our customers.”
The products feature two ingredients: a molecular deodorizer and a plant-derived surfactant named BioKore, to which Skout’s Honor has exclusive rights in the pet market.
Brock shows some of Skout’s Honor’s earliest pet ads, with taglines like “She still wets the bed” and “Who farted?”
Their ads have graduated to puns like “I got 99 problems but an itch ain’t one” and “We shitzu not.”
Going on its fifth year, the company is looking forward to testing farm-to-bag jerky treats and plans to move to a new 26,000-square-foot office in Oceanside.
But one of the things it’s most proud of is the Skout’s Paw Pledge: Each purchase of one of its products helps provide a day’s worth of food to a rescue animal. The company partners with Rescue Bank, and according to Gilcrest, has donated more than 4 million meals.
“We really do operate off of emotion on a regular basis,” says Stirling. “So to know that every time we sell a bottle, we’re doing something good ... and to see the products make a huge difference in animals’ lives, it’s incredibly motivating. All the more reason to do it better.”
For more information, visit skoutshonor.com.
4:00 p.m. Feb. 10, 2020: This article was originally published at 11:47 a.m. and has been updated with new information.
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