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10 Black-Owned Pet Brands to Put on Your Radar

Customized meals, sustainable toys, handmade sweaters, and more.

by Heven Haile
February 14, 2022
Dog sitting on a white chair

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

As pet parents, it’s important to be conscious of whose pockets our pet care money is going into. Black brand founders are underrepresented in the pet care industry, and according to a 2020 McKinsey and Co. study, “Black business owners have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic-linked economic downturn.” Supporting Black-owned brands is one of the most straightforward and sustainable ways to help them survive and thrive, while playing a part in addressing racist economic inequities. From veterinarian-designed bowls and upcycled, eco-friendly toys to hand-knitted sweaters and tongue-in-cheek dog tags, we’ve rounded up 10 Black-owned brands making waves in pet care.

Pet Plate

When Pet Plate founder Renaldo Webb started cooking for his own dogs and noticed near-instant improvements in their health, he was motivated to start his own company. Webb teamed up with veterinary nutritionist Dr. R.M. Streeter, DVM, DACVN, to create this human-grade dog food that is cooked in USDA kitchens, then flash-frozen for freshness. Available by subscription, meal plans are customized for your pet and delivered to your door. 

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House Paws

Drawing from her background as a designer for brands like Nike and Levi’s, Angela Medlin began designing toys for her English Bulldog in 2017. Her hobby soon evolved into House of Dogge, which earned a spot on Oprah’s Favorite Things list in 2020 for its sustainable, upcycled products including leather leashes, fleece hoodies, and biodegradable rope and Merino wool toys (that you can customize with your dog’s name). The House of Dogge supports Oregon dog rescue the NW Dog Project, and in her free time, Medlin pays it forward through her project Faas Design Collab, which “provides creative and professional development to underrepresented creatives desiring to enter the product creation industry.”

Shop House Dogge
Enjoy a Bowl

Veterinarian and founder Dr. Joe J. Owens created Enjoy-a-Bowl after growing increasingly frustrated with treating pets with preventable health complications. His vision was to prevent issues from diabetes to obesity by helping pets develop healthy eating habits. Simply plop your pet’s favorite aromatic food, such as chicken, in the lower compartment, place a filter on top, and then slide the bowl lid on top of that. Put your pet’s regular food in the top bowl compartment and watch as they come running for dinner. 

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little l's bakery

Little L’s Dog Bakery was founded after Lenny Forde scoured his neighborhood for healthy, wholesome ingredients to create homemade dog treats for his pups Lily and Lulu. Forde shared the treats with his community of dog parents and word got out. Little L’s “krak’ems” and “woofulls” are made with human-grade meat and other healthful ingredients like banana and blueberries at Forde’s pet bakery in Brooklyn. 

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Trill Paws

Bored with the pet ID tags on the market, LA-based Rachel Jones founded Trill Paws, a line of dog accessories that are anything but basic. From tags embossed with cheeky sayings like “Cute. But Psycho” and “Cuddly AF” to tags shaped like Tupac and Drake, you can be sure your dog is always on trend. Trill Paws also donates 25 tags a month to rescue organizations including the Labelle Foundation in LA and Rescue City in NYC.

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homescape pets

Austin-based Nana and Marcus Pfeifer started Homescape Pets after losing their first pup to cancer. “We knew we couldn’t save her life, but we could give her a better quality of life. That included less hardcore drugs and more of what nature provides,” they say. After consulting with integrative veterinarians, they developed all-natural joint supplements, CBD oil, and single-ingredient chews for that are all chemical- and toxin-free, made in the USA, and contain only organically grown herbs. The Pfeifers also support local shelters like Austin Pets Alive.

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Ava's Pet Place

Ava’s Pet Palace was founded by 14-year-old Ava Dorsey when she was just six years old (try not to get insecure) with the aim to create a healthier world for pets. Today, Ava’s Pet Place provides pet parents with USDA-certified organic and single-ingredient treats in flavors like Cheeze Pleaze, Gone Banana, and Peanutty Paws. Dorsey donates treats to rescue organizations including Magnificent Mutts and Meows Rescue and One Tail at a Time, and posts about adoptable pets on her Instagram.

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lick you silly

Barbara Clarke-Ruiz worked for big players like Adidas, Disney, and New Balance before turning her attention to her dog, YumYum, who was reacting poorly to over-processed dog treats. She launched Lick You Silly, a small line of limited-ingredient dog treats and seasonings / meal toppers, free of artificial flavors, antibiotics, and by-products. Both savory (freeze-dried beef and chicken) and sweet (peanut butter and honey) flavors are available. And a portion of the proceeds go to animal rescues around the country.

Shop Lick You Silly

writer heven haile

Heven Haile

Heven Haile is a writer living in New York City with their cat Patches.