Our story really begins back in 2006 when I (Heather) finally persuaded Andrew to consider getting a dog. I’d had dogs around me when growing up, but had been desperate to have a dog once we got married. He’d been right before then that having a dog wasn’t practical. But now we had our own business and could take them to work with us so no leaving them all day. We also had a large garden after moving house yet again back to the Warrington area.
We travel to Wakefield a couple of days before going away on holiday to see a litter of Labrador puppies that have only 2 bitches available out of the litter of 8. Perfect as we wanted a bitch and a black Labrador after weeks of research into the best dog for our lifestyle. The mum is stunning and am amazing mum and we both fall in love with her and the 8 tiny little puppies. Still with their eyes closed they are the cutest thing I’d ever seen.
Whilst there Andrew then turns and says well if we’re having a dog why don’t we have 2 and take the last 2 of the litter when they turn 8 weeks old! All my dreams had come true so off we go knowing we’ve just agreed to have not 1 puppy but 2! And from this point Andrew was smitten with dogs, not just ours but all dogs!
I won’t bore you with the stories of training 2 same litter puppies, I can save that for another time, but safe to say it was the best decision we made and the girls (as we call them) added something special to our lives.
Skip forward to 2018. I was working running a Garden Centre and Andrew had developed a Dog Home Boarding business. The first time we’d worked in different jobs for several years.
Our girls are now 12 years old, ageing and both affected by Arthritis. Despite their waterproof coats we need coats that allow warmth and waterproof properties to stop them feeling worse and getting stiff. And it was hard to find the right product. Nowhere offered a good range of options and I really didn’t have the time to go around different smaller shops to gain a choice. So our dogs didn’t have a coat; we just avoided the worst of the weather for walks.
We also had many different breeds of dogs coming into our home. We had been doing this for 3 years by this stage and understood the differences in breeds and their needs. So many owners would ask us for advice on products and we also saw a variety come in with the dogs themselves.
At the same time I was getting frustrated working for someone again. I had ran our furniture business for 12 years with Andrew before this and missed the buzz of our own business and doing something that I was passionate about.
Put all this together and we realised that there was an opportunity in the market and an opportunity for me to work with dogs in a way that provided great things for dogs and owners. And so the concept of Treat Your Dog (but not the name) was born late in 2018.
In our continued quest for a great coat for our Labradors, we came across Weepet. The business was for sale and it had a fabulous range of own design coats. After testing them on our girls we knew this was meant to be. We had to buy the business! Our girls had inspired another business and I was able to combine my love of dogs AND my years of retail experience. Perfect!
January 5th 2019 is when we started trading with Weepet. Initially we planned to keep the name as the coats are branded as such, but we started to listen to you all and the name was confusing many of you. It wasn’t just small dogs we were catering for, and we wanted to add so much more onto the business.
And so with some help from a friend, we realised that we all “treat our dogs” and enjoy this, so Treat Your Dog was created!
But we kept some history. If you look at the logo it is a black Labrador on the outside (our dogs) and in the centre a Chihuahua. Chihuahua was the founders of Weepet dogs, and we wanted to ensure we maintained some history within the new brand.
A week after we started trading in January 2019 Jess, one of our Labradors, was diagnosed with cancer and died 3 days later. She was almost at her 13th birthday. It was a tough start to a new business that had been inspired by her and her sister Pepper.
It did inspire another key product, the Snuggle Puppy, as Pepper missed her sister so much but her new friend offered her a lot of comfort. We did a year later rescue Boo, another black Labrador which gave Pepper company in her last few months as Pepper sadly passed in July 2020. Both Pepper's and Jess’s memories live on in this business, as without both girls we wouldn’t have gone out looking, nor had the love for dogs that we have today.
And here we are today. Treat Your Dog is growing organically with exciting products that our dogs, or those who stay with us, have tested.
We are still on our journey to offer the biggest choice of dog coats in the UK so that you have the choice we once struggled to find.
Every single product, coat or other has to be tested on Boo or within our dog community. Only then will it be added to our site for you to buy and enjoy, so you can rest assured you know it’s going to be great!