The owner of a dog-walking and pet-sitting business was forced to do a rapid rethink during the covid-19 lockdown and has now launched a new venture selling eco parcels for pets.
Lydia Ruth, of Kidsgrove, Staffs, started ‘Happy Wagers and Sleepy Whiskers’ in January 2019 when she would walk up to 10 dogs a day.
But the business was forced to shut down in March this year, following the coronavirus outbreak, and she was left with a lot of spare time and no income.
Lydia said: “After a few weeks of feeling very lost, a loved one suggested I use my time to start an online pet shop. It was something I’d previously considered but never had the time to actually set up.
“If I am honest, at that stage I was too all over the place to see this path for myself, but the suggestion was a turning point for me.”
Lydia, who has a background in chemistry, began doing research into suitable pet products and was horrified to find a lack of regulations around pet toys and plastic ones in particular, where she was concerned about the potential for release of toxic chemicals.
She said: “At this point I decided I would only stock safe and healthy products. I check all of the products and suppliers carefully. As someone who usually spends most of their day outdoors I am passionate about the environment and I try to stock products that are as green as possible.”
It took Lydia quite a while to come up with a name for the new venture, but when she did it was simple and described exactly what she was aiming for ‘Eco Pet Parcel’.
Now the online shop sells environmentally friendly treats, toys and grooming products for cats and dogs, either pre-parceled into a single package or as a pick-and-mix parcel.