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11 pet startups that are taking on traditional brands with more innovative products

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 18 Mar 2019

Insider Pickswrites about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.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 NomNomNowOrder dog food from Ollie hereOrder dog food from PetPlate hereOrder dog food from The Farmer's Dog hereOrder dog or cat food from NomNomNow hereAs 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 needsI tested The Farmers Dog, a meal plan service that sends your dog fresh food for as little as $3 a dayhere's what it's likeI compared PetPlate and Ollieboth fresh dog food delivery services kept my 14-year-old pup happyWe tested NomNomNow, a monthly delivery service for healthy, human-grade cat and dog foodhere's what our cats thoughtDog beds: Casper, Parachute, and PurpleThe Casper Dog Bed, from $125, available at CasperThe Purple Pet Bed, from $189, available at PurpleDog Bed, from $129, available at ParachuteEach 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:Casper has a new line of dog bedsI got one for my new puppy, and he's in love with itDNA tests: EmbarkDog DNA Test Kit, $199, available at EmbarkIf 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 isand what health conditions to watch out forSee the rest of the story at Business Insider
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