Table of Contents
This February, we are spotlighting six Black-owned pet brands for Black History Month. Yep, the act of spoiling our pets can turn into an expression of solidarity too. When you think about how often you treat your pets, you might realize there’s room in that monthly budget to diversify the brands that make our pets happy.
Founded by entrepreneurs, tastemakers, and game changers, these six companies all feature unique and original products. A gift from any of these brands will spark tail wags and smiles. Read on to learn about the companies and their stories behind the scenes.
Product picks: Pastel Rainbow Ombre Sweater, Wiggle Butt Badge
When it comes to representation, Chaz of Sir Dogwood wants BIPOC dog parents to be seen. This care won’t go unnoticed as you browse through Sir Dogwood’s collection of globally sourced, chic pet products. Most of Chaz’s curated products are from female and/or Black-owned pet brands. From one-of-a-kind dog clothes to minimalist walking gear and gorgeous food bowls, the collection features gifts to suit even the pickiest of pets or pet parents.
Behind the scenes: Sir Dogwood supports One Tail at a Time (OTAT), a Chicago non-profit welfare organization for pets. Like Chaz, OTAT seeks to address the lack of diversity in the pet space and has even appointed a Black veterinary surgical team at the Ellis Veterinary Clinic. This partnership is a wonderful reminder that pup culture can be a powerful home for change.
Product picks: Who Rescued Who tag, Cuban Gold Link Chain Collar
Say goodbye to boring circles and dog bone designs. Trill Paws has the most stylish picks for the modern pet parent. Think bling, emojis, and catchy sayings on scratch-resistant material. There’s an over-the-top tag for every pet and their unique personality. For the dog parent who wants to announce their role from head to toe, Trill Paws also carries dad caps, socks, and sweatshirts.
Behind the scenes: Based out of Los Angeles, Trill Paws is founded by Rachel Jones. Jones focuses day in and day out on creating relatable products for dogs who people consider family. Trill Paws is pup culture at its peak.
Ava’s Pet Palace
Product picks: Gone Bananas (for dogs), Salmon Nuggets (for cats)
For pets looking to eat as good as people do, get them Ava’s Pet Palace, a small-batch treat company focused both on snackable and social good. Pet parents who want limited-ingredient, organic treats are sure to be happy with Ava’s Pet Palace snacks.
Their Snappin’ Salmon treats, followed closely by their Gone Bananas biscuit treats, are a household fave of their at-home treat tester Lacy (a Miniature Pinscher Mix). Find Ava’s Pet Palace at on Amazon and at independent pet stores.
Behind the scenes: Ava launched her company when she was just eight years old. Now 15, she has learned important lessons about making time to reflect on her passion. This passion includes giving back to the pet community, like donating a portion of her income to a local rescue organization or program. If you see a sale on Ava’s Pet Palace, know those promos are likely going to go to pets in need.
Product picks: Happy Jasmine Pet Odor Candle, De-Stress All Natural Pet Shampoo and Conditioner
Gerrard Larriett knows how dreaded baths can be. And from this hands-on experience, he created Gerrard Larriett, an anti-anxiety-based aromatherapy line of pet shampoos, candles, and deodorizers. Now carried by Amazon and Chewy, Gerrard Larriett’s grooming products can also help tackle your pet’s dry skin and stinky breath. If you have a pet who is soothed by scents, Larriett’s products may be a good fit for their grooming needs.
Behind the scenes: With an MBA from NYU and a decade in the cosmetics industry, Larriett brings his expertise and combines it with his passion for dogs to have a calm experience.
Product picks: Cluck-Cluck Krak’ems, Cluck-Cluck Krumbs Food Topper
Single-ingredient treats are all the rage in the pet space these days, which is why we’re happy to highlight Little L’s. Known for their “Krak’ems,” this natural, artisanal dog treat company makes oven-baked meat brittle. It’s this process that makes the treats crunch and crackle in a way dogs love.
Little L’s also offers food toppers for picky eaters and meat chip cookies for dogs who want to celebrate big days with you. For those local to Brooklyn or New York City, you can also stop by their Pet Bakery & Boutique to pick up celebration cakes for your dog’s gotcha day or any special occasion.
Behind the scenes: This Black-owned pet treatary gained momentum by howl of mouth. Lenny Forde wanted to create jerky alternatives for his two dogs Lulu and Lilly and brought to life a small business that’s received nearly a decade of love.
Product pick: LooHoo Wooly Tug toy
Founded by Cyndi Prince, LooHoo is a company with a mission to create safer, non-toxic products for every family home. While LooHoo primarily sells wool dryer balls, they also offer a wooly tug toy for dogs. The long-lasting LooHoo Wooly Tug toy is made of 100% natural wool and is built to withstand (almost) all serious chewing.
For pet parents who are looking for an eco-friendly pick, the LooHoo Wooly Tug toy should be on your gift list. Not only is it beautiful and durable, but the toy itself also won People Magazine’s Top Pet Products Award in 2020!
Behind the scenes: This Maine-based company is also local. Prince uses only domestic wool from just 100 miles away and oversaw the process of creating these high-quality wool balls by hand until she perfected the production method.
Looking to shop more Black-owned businesses? Check out Intentionalist, a site that allows you to search and add businesses aligned with communities you want to support. Using this site can also help you stay local, especially if you like to shop while you walk your dog!