As a pet owner, you will notice certain buzzwords when it comes to choosing a good source of protein for your furry friend. Healthy coat, strong bones, and real chicken are phrases us, pet parents, are familiar with but do we really know the fluff behind them? On a mission to save pets nationwide and bring back the pro in protein, Jonathan Regev, co-founded The Farmer’s Dog to provide a clean, healthy way of eating for your pet, hassle-free.
If you haven’t watched a couple of documentaries on the pet food industry, we encourage you to highly do so (it will blow your mind). Not only are large companies sugar coating the ingredients they use in pet food, but half of that stuff isn’t even real food! As a result, we see dogs with medical problems they shouldn’t have due to their diet. It was this exact problem that co-founder Brett Podolsky encountered with his dog, Jada, before launching The Farmer’s Dog.
“Back in the early days, I was crashing at Brett’s house and remember watching him cook raw food for Jada every day to try and battle her health issues. Brett worked closely with his vet to create a high protein, high vitamin infused diet that would surely enough, solve all of Jada’s problems. I was looking at this whole situation from an outsider's perspective and thinking that Brett was crazy! However, I understood and saw the effect this diet had on Jada and realized how my own dogs had passed away due to what they ate.”
And so, the seeds were planted for what would later become an online subscription-based dog food service. Similar to Jada’s story, scientists have discovered the multiple benefits adopting a healthy diet can do for one’s lifespan. Fun fact: Steve Jobs’ actually lived longer due to his vegetable and fruit diet.
“We launched in July 2016 and wanted to make sure that we provided customers with the right experience, making it seamless so that people don’t have to worry about re-ordering the food right when it is running out.”
When it comes to creating an online business, it is important to launch in beta mode first to work out the kinks. As a Business major from the University of California, Berkeley, Jonathan ended up working at Rocket Internet overseas for a couple of years before rekindling with Brett in Tel Aviv and ending up on his couch. “During my time at Rocket Internet, they had launched Hello Fresh, which is similar to the Blue Apron model and now, our current business strategy. So, I was very familiar with this landscape and felt comfortable starting a similar business”.
How It Works
“Depending on the size of your dog, we send weekly portioned food. Smaller dogs have a longer duration between re-orders since we optimize for fridge space, freezer space, and fulfillment cost. We also realized that dogs are the perfect subscription customer. Fun fact: there are more dogs in the USA than babies! “Once you get above a certain price point for food, it makes much more sense to order premium food directly from a vendor than purchasing via retail due to the high mark-ups.” As a result, to keep prices competitive, Jonathan does not want to enter retail.
“It’s not about paying influencers, it is about keeping the authenticity in tack.”
For Jonathan, it is really important that The Farmer’s Dog remains authentic. Therefore, partnerships and influencer strategies need to be organic or synergistic. Some of their bigger partnerships include the Outdoor Voices dog walk, vet educational programs to refer new customers, word of mouth marketing, visiting dog parks and digital marketing.
Jonathan has learned a thing or two about being an entrepreneur and doing things right:
- Follow your gut.
- Do interesting things, don’t stay on the path that is set out for you by society.
- Seek out things that you can connect with.
- Do things you are good at and find meaning in them. If you are lucky enough, they will materialize.
Priced as low as $13 a week, Jonathan wants to make The Farmer’s Dog more affordable than its competitors. “We don’t want to take people's intelligence for granted. We try to be very authentic and don’t use any marketing buzzwords or fluff” (except for when Jada is on camera). Sign up here to become a conscious parent, reduce your health bills and receive unlimited puppy love.
Photo courtesy of The Farmer’s Dog.