As the cost of living crisis starts to take its toll on dog owners and their pets, a Christchurch-based dog food company has stepped in to help dog owners customise their dogs’ diets on a budget.
The Fussy Dog Co. has created a nutritional calculator specially designed to help dog owners to use every day pantry items and food waste to feed their best friends an affordable, high quality, nutrient-rich diet.
Fussy Dog’s founder, Anthony Gardiner, created the calculator after seeing a spike in the number of dog owners asking him for advice on how and what to feed their dogs in the face of rising pet food prices and low stocks of their usual pet food brands.
“Dog food can be very expensive, and since Covid struck pet care costs are up 15 per cent at a time when dog registrations are booming.” says Anthony.
Auckland’s Chained Dog Rehabilitation and Rehoming Trust is one of many rehoming charities seeing a huge increase in applications from people looking to rehome their dogs due to increased costs. “So far this year, we’ve had 88 people the paperwork to give up their dogs vs 60 for the whole of 2021,” says Amanda Fraser-Jones (Trustee of CDR).
The Fussy Dog Co.’s wallet-friendly, calculator helps people to keep their pets healthy and happy while cutting down on food waste by utilizing their leftovers to feed their dogs the nutritional profile they need.
“Last night’s mince, floppy old carrots and wilted spinach – don’t throw those items out because dogs love them.”
Accessed via fussydog.com, the feeding calculator is based on globally recognized standards for dog nutritional requirements, which aim to maximise the health, longevity and overall wellbeing of dogs. Homemade dog food, or “raw feeding” is becoming common with Pet Business data showing it’s a category that has grown by more than 20 per cent since 2021.
“Our app helps raw feeders understand exactly what nutrients they are giving their little pals. It’s user-friendly and simply requires your dog’s age, weight, activity level and any dog-friendly ingredients you have on hand. The results provide human-grade and pet food labels, as well as a full micro-nutrient analysis, including vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and tell you how much of your recipe your dog should eat per day,” says Anthony.
While the calculator follows the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) “Complete and Balanced” guidelines, Anthony doesn’t every single meal a dog eats believes needs to meet these requirements, so long as it balances over time.
“It’s the same way humans don’t have to eat 100 per cent complete and balanced meals – that would be very expensive and a massive challenge,” he says. “Instead it’s about making sure your dog gets what it needs over time.”
Fussy Dog’s app is free for anyone who would like to access it, ensuring everyone with a dog can have the peace of mind knowing they are feeding their dog the food it needs to thrive.
The Fussy Dog Co. Also has a solution for dog owners who instead choose to switch to cheaper pet food and see their pets become fussy eaters as a result.
“It’s common for dogs to become fussy if you switch food brands to something cheaper but our gravy powders are another excellent solution to help your dog eat the biscuits that you can afford. The gravies are 100% natural and sustainable sourced from human-grade suppliers right here in New Zealand. They provide additional flavors and nutrients for your dog which ensure they will lap up every bowl,” says Anthony Gardiner.
Dog Food Nutritional Calculator: https://fussydog.com/pages/calculator
More info on The Fussy Dog Co: https://fussydog.com/pages/our-story
Media contact: Hayley Cope – Hayleyc@harveycameron.co.nz
or 027 823 1020
About The Fussy Dog Co
Fussy Dog was born as a result of Covid-19 when founder, Anthony Gardiner, lost his job and was forced to cut costs. One expense that had to go was the ‘premium’ food he’d previously fed his three dogs. Two of the dogs refused to eat their new cheaper food and became dangerously underweight. In desperation, Anthony mixed up packet gravy, put it on top of their food and they cleaned their bowls. He then searched the internet for packet dog gravy, to no avail. That’s when he decided to make his own.
After 137 job applications and only two interviews, and with $300 in the bank, The Fussy Dog Co. was officially registered as a business on September 17, 2020. Sales are up 841 per cent year-on-year and its dog gravy is now stocked in all the major pet food retailers across NZ and in 50 supermarkets. The company is now in the process of gaining its export license to target targeting Australia, Singapore, and South Korea distribution by the end of this year.
Dog registrations: https://www.localcouncils.govt.nz/lgip.nsf/wpg_URL/Profiles-Local-Government-Statistical-Overview-Dog-Control-Statistics
Pet food increases: https://www.stats.govt.nz/indicators/consumers-price-index-cpi?gclid=Cj0KCQjwdaUBhCIARIsALbkjSZmdosUXzHGbsqL0sOGnQXdCf3B7zUo2bK2VHidSALWAw7k2VJHidsALW7k2
Raw feeding increases: https://www.petbusiness.com/business-and-marketing/trends/raw-growth/article_65f1bca8-6919-11ec-9715-77a0c7c65d03.html
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