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. People of all races are finally becoming aware of what black people have known from birth; that prejudice is alive and well in America, and that white privilege is very, very real.
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.
- Teach yourself. Instead of relying on black people to educate you, dive into resources like the ones listedhere. If you’re a parent, teach your kids how to be anti-racist too!
- Check yourself. Take an honest, open look at your own behavior and privilege to understand your role in white supremacy and uncover ways you can become a better advocate.
- Support the success of black-owned businesses, like ours!
The last one is the easiest to achieve; 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.
Fresh Pawz is a proudly black-owned pet business, and we’re far from the only one. To get started, check out our list of some of the best black-owned pet businesses of 2020 below.
Trill Paws is a pet accessory and lifestyle brand based out of Los Angeles, California. Trill Paws creates pet tags and accessories that are inspired by pop-culture icons and sayings -- anything from emoji designs, popular sayings, fun memes, and more. Rachel is the founder, pictured her with her baby boy Kevin!
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 Tumblehere.
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 inthis podcast episode.
100 St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, New York
Beaux and Paws
Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma took a devastating toll on families and their pets. Young Darius Brown was determined to help displaced dogs find new homes, so he started donating handmade bow ties to the ASPCA for eyecatching photoshoots. Since then, he has continued to build his brand, participating as the youngest designer to date in the “New York Pet Fashion Show.” He was also featured on Animal Planet’s “Dog Bowl III”, and was even given a shoutout by President Barack Obama! His mission is to visit and donate bow ties to animal shelters in every state. Did we mention he’s only 13??
Brock N’ Bone
If you’ve always dreamed of dressing up to match your pet, Brock N’ Bone has your back. Founder Elyssa sells matching headbands and dog bandanas from her home in Harlem, NY, with fabric locally sourced in the garment district. The inspiration behind her shop’s name is her adorable Cavapoo,Brock!
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!
Harlem Doggie Day Spa
Brian Taylor loved dogs, but he wanted to be more than a dog walker. He started The Harlem Doggie Day Spa to offer grooming, daycare, cage-free boarding, and pet transportation. He gives back to his community with an internship program for at-risk use, setting them up with training and job opportunities. He also started a campaign to increase the number of dog poop bag stations around the city to make it easier for pet owners to clean up after their dogs!
You can visit Brian Taylor's Instagram at@dogfatherofharlem.
734 St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, New York
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!
Immacula Pierre didn't always love dogs. Actually, she used to be terrified of them! After being bitten by a dog as a child, it wasn't until years later that she connected with two special dogs and rekindled her love of animals. Now a vetrepreneur and passionate animal advocate, Immacula founded Iconic Paws Natural Products™ to offer tasty and healthy organic dog treats and supplements. It's as close to homemade as you can get!
When Vanessa brought her adorable peekapoo (pekinese-poodle) home, she was soon grossed out by the stinky treats on the market. So, this attorney turned entrepreneur invented Leela Ryan (named after her dog!), a brand of vegan, plant based healthy dog treats.
These yummy vegan treats are made with limited ingredients right in NYC. They’re packed with good, healthy, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, with no artificial flavors. They’re great for dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs!
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
Moonlight Dog Cafe
When owners Jo and Eb first got their beloved dog, Shinji, they had no idea how much they would fall in love with him. Before long, they were doing their best to give him the most amazing life possible. They wanted to give him a place to meet furry friends and share great food, and so the Moonlight Dog Cafe was born. Today, they sell almost every pet product you can imagine!
Nova West Supplies
Nova West Supplies is all about natural skin and hair care products- both for people and pets! Their popular dog shampoo is all-natural and serves as an excellent remedy for symptoms of dermatitis, seborrhea, mange, and other skin infections. It's also helpful for allergy-prone dogs and those with sensitive skin. A portion of each sale goes straight to the Denver Animal Shelter, so you know your purchase helps a good cause!
In 2014, Rita Pardo couldn't find an effective remedy for her daughter's persistent eczema. That's when she decided to find an answer herself. After testing many different mixes of natural remedies and medicinal herbs, she developed a line of toxin-free products including everything from lotion to pet products. Her paw and nose lotion bars are a fan favorite!
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!
PupStars Pet Care
Based in Chicago, PupStars Pet Care has humble beginnings as a home-based dog-walking company. Owner and founder Tara Robertson had big dreams, however, and she's in the process of making them come true. Her business has expanded to a 10,000 square-foot location that offers up luxury boarding suites, grooming, training, walking, and epic puppy parties! Tara hopes to bring even more to the table soon, including mobile vaccinations and "doga"- doggy yoga!
2337-2339, West Lake Street
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Nerds, rejoice! Designed for dog lovers who love science, too, SciPaws owner Corelle Rokicki set up an Etsy shop to share her science-loving style with other pet parents. She primarily sells dog bandanas in fun, science-themed prints.
Scotch and Tea
Khrys Nikole, dog walker, sitter, and trainer, lives in New York with her dog, Butter. Inspired by her beloved pup, Khrys started selling matching masks and dog accessories online, and they've been a big hit! In fall 2020, she'll be taking her passion for fashion and entrepreneurial flair to the next level at Cuny City Tech, working towards a BA in Business & Tech of Fashion.
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 and call it a day. Support black-owned companies like these whenever you can! For even more black-owned businesses, visit www.supportblackowned.com.