Request Feedback for potential Dog Treats Subscription Box Business Idea!

Hope all is well! My wife and I are planning to launch a dog treats subscription box business. The customer proposition is curating a monthly selection (4-5 treats) of the best treats from the best brands - those that share our values of delivering the highest quality treats made of the best ingredients. Our experience has been that buying dog treats is confusing & overwhelming - too many products, too many brands & without enough visibility on quality.

We notice that there are a few dog boxes out there like BusterBox, which provides an assortment of toys, treats & other products. Our focus would be on providing treats & less on toys. We would personalise the offering, packaging & experience (for example, “Joey’s July treats” with a picture of your dog on the box) & provide a wide variety of treats - many of which may not be available at your local pet shop but approved by our vetting process. We would also provide a monthly card of suggested treats & tips with your dog, and also surprise & delight with unexpected gifts on birthdays, etc.

Just wanted to get feedback from the forum on the idea in general, and any suggestions on what you would look for in a service like this.
Cheers, Roger

Hi, as an owner of a dog with food allergies, it would be great to see these being catered for. Maybe let the customer personalise their own box , for example offer a pick your own treats to a value of £? . I’m not sure if I would subscribe to something like this but at the minute I can’t because I would be throwing half the box away each month as my dog can’t eat the treats due to his allergies. Also, may be give options of 2 monthly subscription, quarterly etc… During this current time people may not be able to justify spending ££££’s on their dog each month. Hope this helps…good luck in your new venture

thank you lewie0205 for your feedback! here’s a few thoughts on your suggestions:

  • yes absolutely, we will allow customisation for the box for allergies. during the customer sign-up, we would ask for any allergies or excluded foods. For example: “Are there any foods you want to us leave out” Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Fish, Wheat, Dairy, Egg, Grain, Soya. We could also offer essentially a hypoallergenic only box (that would restrict the variety somewhat, but we will still have a lot of treats to choose from)

  • Re: subscriptions for our monthly box, we’d likely would offer it as a “pay as you go, cancel any time”. good point about these tough COVID times. what some subscription companies do is offer a discount if you commit to 3-6-12 months as opposed to monthly. we will also have 1-off boxes like birthday box, christmas box, meat-only box, etc.

  • our mission is to have as much personalisation as possible, without detracting from the customer experience (i.e., it needs to be simple & intuitive). we want you to be able to curate a box in less than 8 steps. and then we would want to make sure there is a built-in feedback loop (customer reviews on treats received, customer profile that can be changed) so that we can further personalise & tailor your experience over time.

let me know your thoughts. cheers, Roger

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I can’t be of much help because I don’t give my dogs many treats. They have high quality food which is quite expensive so I feel that they don’t really need them. When they do have treats I look at the ingredient list carefully because like astranine I have a dog with intolerances. I prefer treats to be good quality, low fat and made in the UK.

Also not likely to be of much help because with a few exceptions I try to avoid specific dog treats. Mainly because mostly they are far too expensive, per gram more than Orijen dog food. Although your mileage may vary of course. And talking of which Orijen is what I use for my dog treats! A 2kg bag lasts my two for several months.

thank you both dottie & astranine for your feedback - very much appreciated. treats can be very expensive, especially those with better ingredients and made in the UK. dottie: what intolerances/allergies do your dogs have? would hypoallergenic treats be more suitable?

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The intolerances are not confirmed by any tests but based on observation I believe that she doesn’t do so well with legumes and white potato. Currently they have dried sprats - a few sprinkled on their dinner for a bit of crunch and Forthglade hand baked treats at bedtime. These contain chickpeas but she is OK with them, presumably because there is just a small amount. It is hard to find good quality biscuits. I’m not a fan of them but they won’t go to sleep unless they have had their biccies. They are useful for staving off morning biliousness due to having an empty stomach. I would quite like to give them dried chicken strips but can’t make them myself because I don’t have a dehydrator and I don’t want to leave the oven on for hours on end. Haven’t been able to find any but tbh I haven’t looked very hard.

dottie: have you tried these 2:

  • Tribal Liver & Lavender Dog Biscuits: biscuits that are all-natural, gluten-free, human grade ingredients. these have lavender which are supposed to have a calming effect on dogs.
  • Lily’s Kitchen Organic Bedtime Biscuits: also 100% natural with calming ingredients chamomile & passionflowers

they might be a good recipe for what you are looking for!

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Thank you for that - will check them out.

Hi. It seems you have given things much thought. I guess it will now come down to what types of treats you offer and the price range. If you are catering for allergies, might I suggest you include a full ingredients list for your customer to read before they make a choice. I have to avoid any food that has generic ingredients listed, such as “cereals” or “animal fats” or “poultry “. As I know from blood tests what my dog is allergic to, I have to be careful and be aware of all ingredients before buying a product. I was given the advice by my vet that if I wasn’t sure what was in a product then I should avoid feeding it to my dog. Maybe also look for novel proteins such as camel, ostrich etc… as a flavour option. I now tend to feed air dried animal parts such as chicken feet or camel skin. They absolutely reek but my dog goes crazy for them!

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I do not give many treats as such, but give a bit of food when he has come back from a walk, and also play find the treat around the house, but use his food for this as well. I use his food as he has a sensitive tummy so have to be careful so would not go for this idea, but a lovely idea for those dogs who can eat anything. I also have a dog who loves a few biscuits when he goes to bed Dottie , but again I give him his food and this is good enough for him.

thank you for the feedback rebecca - when we have a prototype of the website, i will be sure to share it with this group!