News Different Dog Smashes Crowd Funding Target

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Different Dog smashes crowd-funding target
20th March 2020

By Karen Pickwick


Subscription pet food business Different Dog, which recently appeared on the BBC Worldwide News programme ‘The Inside Track’ and triumphed at this year’s Crufts by winning the prize for the Best Small Trade Stand, has smashed its crowd-funding target.

The Shropshire company was seeking investment of £750,004 and, with more than three weeks to go has already raised £786,730 – that’s 105% of its investment target.

Different Dog was started by husband and wife team Charlie and Alexandra Thurstan.

“I used to work for a company that sold a lot of dog food,” said Charlie. “One day I got to see the food being made and it turned my world upside down. It seemed crazy to me that a diet of purely processed food, which has a two-year shelf-life and doesn’t even live in the fridge, could really be the best way to health and happiness. So Alex, Crumble and I set out to prove that adding hand cooked food to a dog's diet would change their life, and make them a different dog.

DIFFERENCE

“We started cooking in our own kitchen for Crumble. We asked an experienced vet, Alison, to join our team. We spent 18 months experimenting with different processes and recipes and testing our food in the lab. The more we tested our food, the more we learnt and the more convinced we became that this food would make a tangible difference to the health of dogs fed processed foods.

“We launched our subscription business in 2018. Since then our customers have told us time and time again that we have changed their dogs’ lives.

“We use the same fresh ingredients and methods you would at home to cook your family meals. Once defrosted, our food requires refrigeration and will only last for five days, much the same as if you had made a casserole yourself. We are regularly taking our food to the lab for testing and we use the results to improve the nutritional value of our food…It’s all about changing dogs’ lives with real food.” 

Charlie says the team at Different Dog are as passionate about the environment as they are about dogs, which is why looking after the planet is part of every decision they make, from its eco-friendly compostable pots, to sourcing fruit and vegetables that aren’t ‘pretty enough to go on supermarket shelves but perfectly good to eat’. 

COOKED BY HAND
Different Dog recipes are cooked by hand and adhere to the FEDIAF nutritional guidelines for optimum nutrition for dogs and the company bases its food standards on the Safer Food Better Business guidelines, which are restaurant standard. It also have one of the highest ratings on All About Dog Food (97%).
In 2019 Different Dog achieved real traction with the press, including a live interview on the BBC News Channel and 5 minutes of TV coverage on Channel 4 during Crufts, which was replicated this year with another visit from Clare Balding to its stand.

“We believe that we are the only UK dog food company that is willing and able to demonstrate its cooking processes at shows and events, and hires chefs from the human food industry,” said Charlie.
Different Dog was also named Best Natural Dog Food Company 2019 at the UK Small Business Awards.

Fifty per cent of the investment money will be spent on marketing and the other 50% will be spent on salaries, tech and working capital. As well as shares in the business, investors will also be given a number of other perks. Investments start from as little as £13.36.