Pet-related businesses are thriving in the Treasure Valley. Here are three local companies carving out their niche in the lucrative pet product market.
Key people: Ben Carter, president; Anna Carter, director of marketing.
Product: PupRunner bike trailers for dogs.
Background: The Carters launched the business in summer 2011 using personal savings and a small family loan for a patent. This is the Carters full-time business. They manufacture the trailers in Boise.
Niche: Riding trails while holding a dog leash is difficult, if not impossible, to do safely. Other pet trailers didnt allow the dogs to get any exercise. The PupRunner allows a dog to run or ride.
Innovations: A newly released version is collapsible and has a removable front basket.
Where sold: www.puprunners.com or (208) 577-0785.
Cost: $349 to $500.
Fozzy Dog LLC
Key people: Cuyler Binion, president and founder.
Product: Fozzy Dog all-in-one dog leash. Single, double and minis available.
Background: Binion funded the startup with personal savings. Commercial sales began in 2012. Binions sister came on board as an investor/employee in 2013. The leashes are made by hand in Boise.
Niche: Taking dogs running can be frustrating if youre carrying keys, cellphone, bags and treats in your pockets. The patent-pending design is unique, because reportedly no other leash on the market has an integrated storage pouch for keys, bags, phone, treats or other items.
Where sold: In 120 stores in 12 states, including these locations in the Treasure Valley: Bandanna Running & Walking, Bark n Purr, Boise Co-op, H3 Pet Foods, Habitat Veterinary, Idaho Humane Society, Idaho Mountain Touring, Legacy Feed & Fuel, Toby & Omar's and Zamzows.
Cost: $34 to $40 for small and large single leashes; $44 to $49 for tangle-free double leashes.
Key people: Troy Sawyer, owner.
Product: Pedal Pooch dog-bike safety leash.
Background: Sawyer made his first dog-bike safety leash in 1997. He made some for friends and received positive feedback. In 2010, he sold out of his supply at the Pet Expo. He launched his business with tax-return money. Sawyer makes the devices at his home as a part-time business.
Niche: Some dogs need a lot of exercise. Pedal Pooch allows a dog to run alongside a bicycle without running into wheels or pulling the rider or bike down. Sawyer says its the only riding leash that takes no tools to install or take off, and its less expensive than others. He reports selling 300 so far with none returned.
Where sold: pedalpooch.com; local retailers, including Bark n Purr and McU Sports; and events, including See Spot Walk and Pet Expo. Call 343-7625 to order.
Cost: $25 at event booth; $25 plus shipping and handling online; and $29 at retail outlets.