The Fussy Dog Co’s gravy mix for dogs has gone from a handful of online sales to being stocked in 82 stores around New Zealand.
The Fussy Dog Co. is a Christchurch-based start-up. It was registered on 17 September 2021 and three months later, on the 11th of December, sold its first jar. It was born as a result of the first Covid-19 lockdown when founder Anthony Gardiner lost his job and could no longer afford the ‘premium’ food he’d previously fed his three dogs.
“Two of my dogs refused to eat their new food and became dangerously underweight. In desperation I mixed up packet gravy, put it on top of their food and they cleaned their bowls, but human gravy is not good for dogs at all,” says Anthony Gardiner.
“After searching the internet for packet gravy for dogs, without luck, I decided to make my own."
I made some for friends and family then I thought I could make a business out of it. So after 130 unsuccessful job applications, and with my last $300 in the bank, I did."
“Dogs going off their food is a big problem, particularly for dogs who are on special diets or medication. So I’m thrilled to hear our customers tell us how life changing our products have been for them,” he says.
Vets are also recognising the benefits of Fussy Dog gravy.
Dr Robert Sawicki from online veterinary care VetConsults says “Anthony and The Fussy Dog Co. have come up with an absolute hit. Getting fussy and sick dogs to eat their food and keep up their nutritional intake is always a challenge. Doing it without resorting to huge dietary changes or to feeding them unhealthy food is even harder. The Fussy Dog Co. provides New Zealand with a unique product that not only tackles this problem, but does it in a safe and healthy way from a veterinary perspective.”
Fussy Dog is on a mission to become the world’s most transparent pet food company.
“Our products are made from natural, healthy, restaurant-grade ingredients. Every jar has a QR code that takes consumers to photos of the actual ingredients used in that batch. The nutritional information on pack also exceeds animal requirements to meet human standards,” says Anthony.
Fussy Dog gravy comes in three flavours - corned beef, bacon and apple; chicken, peanut, and banana (low salt, low fat – great for dogs with special dietary needs); and steak & kidney with blueberries. All flavours also include New Zealand green shell mussels.
While still early days, the company’s recent success has enabled Anthony to invest revenue into upgrading equipment to keep up with demand.
“When I started it was slow going. A 36-jar batch took four days. We can now produce up to 5000 jars per week.”
One jar of Fussy Dog instant powered gravy makes 25 servings, which is about a month’s supply.
Click here to shop the Fussy Dog range online today!