Just like people, dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Unlike people, dogs don’t have to deal with systemic racism. The tragic murder of George Floyd is the latest of many, many injustices in our country, sparking nationwide protests.
The positive news is that with more awareness comes more potential for change. If you’re one of those people who wants to help but you’re not sure where to start, small steps can make a difference.
Supporting Black-Owned Businesses is a good first step.
It’s easy! Just start buying products you would normally buy, like pet supplies and dog treats, from black-owned businesses, and don’t stop! You can also support black-owned businesses without spending a cent by writing reviews, giving them a shoutout on social media, and signing up for their newsletters.
To get started, check out our list of some of the best black-owned pet businesses of 2020 below!
Ava’s Pet Palace
12-year-old Ava Dorsey is already killing it as a business owner. She followed her passion for animals by starting Ava’s Pet Palace, an online retailer for healthy pet treats with high-quality ingredients that dogs love.
The treats she sells are organic and made in small batches to ensure freshness. For her amazing work, she was even awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the WDB Marketing Legacy Awards. Way to go, Ava!
Bark and Tumble
A contemporary, luxury dog apparel brand, Britain-based Bark and Tumble makes handmade garments that are chic, comfortable, and easy to put on. It’s like Freshpawz, but with a different style! the clothing is designed to fit any dog breed and size, and fabrics are chosen carefully to ensure long-lasting wear.
Shop Bark and Tumble here.
The Bark Shoppe
Founded in 2012 by the Bronx native Melissa Mitchner, The Bark Shoppe is a top-rated pet care facility. Offering boarding, daycare, dog walking, grooming, and their in-house brand of grooming supplies, The Bark Shoppe brings quality pet care to a brick and mortar location in Harlem.
Even better, Melissa’s business offers internships to help people of color explore opportunities in the pet care industry.
Learn more about Melissa and The Bark Shoppe in this podcast episode.
100 St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, New York
The food dogs want to eat doesn’t always match up with the food they should eat. When veterinarian Joe J. Owens realized that many of his patients were struggling to eat their prescribed dog food, he came up with a solution: The Enjoy-A-Bowl.
The Enjoy-A-Bowl is a food bowl that stores a small amount of great-smelling food at the bottom, with their real food in a tray at the top. The bottom food stimulates the dog’s appetite and encourages even the pickiest of eaters to eat vet-recommended food. It’s ideal for pets managing their weight, diabetes, or other health issues that require food they’re less than crazy about.
Follow Dr. Joe J. Owens on Instagram here: @juscallme.doc.
Happee Dawg Premium Raw Food
Chris and Rachel Morrisey got their first family dog, Kira, in 2014. The excited new pet owners wanted to give her the healthiest, happiest life possible, so they didn’t rest until they figured out the best diet they could give her. During their research process, they realized even the most expensive kibble contained unhealthy ingredients, so they invented something new. They generated a completely natural, raw dog food formula free from preservatives, grains, and fillers. Their dog loved it, and their customers’ dogs do too!
After losing their schnauzer, Beau, to cancer, Nana and her husband Marcus started Homescape Pets. Their brand is on a mission to help dog owners provide their dogs with comfort and pain relief without the use of heavy drugs and the side effects that come with them. They developed a line of natural hemp and CBD-based supplements just for pets, and the rest is history!
Based in the eclectic Portland, Oregan, former Nike designer Angela Medlin runs an eco-friendly dog accessory brand called House Dogge. The unique, modern products are designed to be both sustainable and fun!
Inspired by her English Bulldog Wubbi and years of travel and design, former Nike design director Angela Medlin founded House Dogge, a modern, eco-friendly dog accessory brand. Angela’s products are so impressive that they were recently featured in Oprah Magazine!
Little L’s Artisan Dog Treats
Lenny Forde was disappointed when he tried to find a healthy version of the jerky his two dogs, Lulu and Lily, loved so much. When he turned up short, he started making kookies, krak’ems, woofulls, and more at a shop called Little L’s Pet Bakery and Boutique. All the treats are made in house, and you can now have them shipped right to your door!
42 Bruckner Boulevard,
Bronx, NY 10454
Paws and the City (P.A.T.C.)
Brooklyn native Jae has always loved animals, so when she realized there were few resources for pet products and services in Crown Heights, she took action. With the help of her outgoing cat Fiona, Jae opened a brick and mortar pet shop called Paws and the City.
She carries a vast array of pet products in a cozy setting, but that’s not all! Like a Petsmart upgrade, Paws and the City offers premium grooming services, boarding, dog walking, in-house pet sitting, and local pet food delivery. Wow!
754 Nostrand Ave,
Brooklyn, NY, 11216
Pet Parent Allies
To have a healthy, fulfilling relationship with your dog, training is a must. Not everyone knows how it’s done, and that’s where Pet Parent Allies comes in. CPDT-KA dog trainer Curtis founded the company, implementing positive reinforcement techniques to train dogs and teach owners how to communicate with their furry friends. His offers classes both in Philadelphia and online, so everyone can get in on the training action!
Featured on Shark Tank, Pet Plate was created by Renaldo Webb to solve a major problem in the pet industry. The consultant turned entrepreneur witnessed how mass-produced pet food was really made. It wasn’t pretty, so he invented an easy way for people to feed their dog food that’s fresh and healthy. After signing up for a Pet Plate subscription, all natural, ready-to-eat dog food is formulated just for your dog and delivered to your door. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Inspired by an elegant schnauzer named Beatrix, her owner, Chaz, founded an online dog shop called Sir Dogwood. The shop sells carefully curated dog wear that’s both stylish and comfortable, including a wide range of accessories and apparel. Sir Dogwood makes a point of featuring other inventors and business owners, like in this interview with crafty queens DWJ. It just goes to show that goes around comes around, because Sir Dogwood is more popular than ever!
Smart Bitch Dog Training
New Orleans native Taylor Barconey was crazy about dogs from day one. After graduating from college, Taylor knew she wanted to be a dog trainer. She worked hard to get certified, build experience, and find a great business partner, and it wasn’t long before she made her dreams into reality. Hilariously dubbed “Smart Bitch”, her training courses help NOLA residents connect with their dogs. She also offers live, online group classes and digital coaching services.
You can follow Taylor Barconey on Instagram at @taylorbetraining.
Your Pet’s Chef
Chef Gregory’s journey into the natural pet food industry started with his South African Mastiff, Ramesses. When Ramesses started showing signs of food allergies, Gregory used his decades of culinary expertise to create a stunning array of delicious and nutritious dog food. He first tested his recipes on his own dogs, whose health issues were drastically reduced. After seeing such impressive results, he decided to share his creations with other local dog lovers in the Austin area. If you’re not convinced, check out some of his products. My mouth started watering, and I’m a human!
Before you go…
Remember that fighting systemic racism and preventing the loss of more black lives is a fight to commit to for life. Don’t just order one cute dog accessory