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- Wild One
- Online startups that make pet products, whether they focus exclusively on pets or make pet versions of popular human products, are thriving in a pet-obsessed economy.
- Fresh and healthy food, comfortable memory foam dog beds, and luxe leashes and toys are among the innovative pet products being favored over the products from traditional competitors.
- Shop these 11 cool pet startups if you don’t like to shop the large, overwhelming aisles of pet specialty stores.
The American Pet Products Association estimates that US shoppers spent about $72 million on their pets in 2018, up from $69.5 million in 2017 and $66.7 million in 2016.
Having seen my mom bring home a new outfit for our dog every time she visited Target, I believe in the strength of our obsession with our pets, and these rising spending habits come as no surprise.
In the era of direct-to-consumer brands, startups making pet products find themselves in the perfect position to compete with traditional pet brands and win over pet parents.
These startups have more distinct personalities than their traditional competitors and don’t compete on the overwhelming, cluttered shelves of pet specialty stores. Living on the internet does bring its own set of challenges, but so far these 11 companies have been faring quite well among animal-loving shoppers.
For everything your pet needs, you can shop at these 11 startups making innovative pet products:
Fresh pet food delivery: Ollie, PetPlate, The Farmer’s Dog, and NomNomNow
As humans become more health-conscious and careful about the food they consume, they’re extending the same caution with the food they feed their pets. These pet food delivery startups, which make individual meals from fresh, nutritious ingredients you recognize and probably eat yourself, are underscoring the links between diet and health.
Though our pets have loved all of them, there are some subtle differences. For example, Ollie’s meals start at just $3 a day for small dogs, making it one of the cheaper options. The Farmer’s Dog also makes fairly affordable meals but they come in flat bags that have to be emptied into a bowl rather than trays. PetPlate’s meals are resealable and thus easier to store, and NomNomNow rounds out the pack by offering both dog and cat food.
Read our full reviews here:
- Ollie makes healthy, vet-approved food that’s tailored to your dog’s specific needs
- I tested The Farmer’s Dog, a meal plan service that sends your dog fresh food for as little as $3 a day – here’s what it’s like
- I compared PetPlate and Ollie – both fresh dog food delivery services kept my 14-year-old pup happy
- We tested NomNomNow, a monthly delivery service for healthy, human-grade cat and dog food – here’s what our cats thought
Dog beds: Casper, Parachute, and Purple
Each of these three online startups that humans love, Casper, Purple, and Parachute, sell miniature, pet-approved versions of their best selling sleep products. People who shop with these innovative companies tend to be heavily invested in their overall missions and brands, so it’s no surprise that they want matching beds for their pets.
Casper’s dog bed combines pressure-relieving memory foam and durable support foam, while Purple’s features its signature Smart Comfort Grid, a polymer design that adapts to your dog’s movements. Parachute’s favors a polyester filling over a foam one.
Read our full reviews here:
DNA tests: Embark
If humans have their own at-home DNA tests to discover more about themselves, why not dogs? Embark, which partners with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, determines your dog’s breed and checks for over 175 genetic health conditions and traits. You’ll not only satisfy your curiosity about your dog’s origins, but also better understand important things about its health.
Read our full review here:
- This dog DNA test helped me figure out what breed my rescue dog is – and what health conditions to watch out for
Dog accessories and supplies: Wild One
- Wild One
At Wild One, even tennis balls and poop bags get the elevated, aesthetically pleasing, and high-quality treatment usually reserved for home startups. It places special emphasis on clean design and resilient materials that will keep both you and your dog happy, whether he’s walking, sleeping, eating, or playing.
Dog toys and treats: BarkBox
BarkBox, founded in 2012, tapped in early to dog owners’ increasing commitment to their pets. Its monthly boxes, which always revolve around some type of fun theme, contain at least two creative toys, two all-natural bags of treats, and a chew. Dogs (more than 2 million of them to date) can’t get enough of these monthly surprises.
Dog shampoo: Ethique
Ethique’s solid shampoo and conditioner bars cut down on plastic waste and are better for your hair because they’re made with natural, non-toxic ingredients. If you care about both the environment and your body, your commitment to sustainable cleaning solutions doesn’t have to stop here. Ethique also makes gentle, pH-balanced dog shampoo bars. One of these bars is equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo.
Read our full review (of the human shampoo) here:
- This eco-friendly startup was named New Zealand’s most sustainable business – its solid shampoo and conditioner bars aim to reduce plastic waste