Two Austin dog lovers with entrepreneurial skills have put businesses on wheels this year to get closer to pets and the people who love them. They’ve hit a lucrative and growing market. According to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. pet spending this year should reach about $52 billion.
The Great OutDogs
Matt Edwards is his own target demographic: a career-minded Austinite who “loves his dog to death.”
This 28-year-old broke into the pet industry last year while designing outdoor gear for dogs. His Great OutDogs is a website and mobile store that sells eco-friendly, outdoor gear for dogs.
When the mobile trailer is parked at Auditorium Shores, visitors, both two- and four-legged, skid off the jogging path around Lady Bird Lake to follow the yellow-paw-path to the store. Customers pick through the merchandise: 1,300 eco-friendly, outdoor dog products. The trailer sells customer favorites from Edwards’ online store, which launched in February and features more than 10,000 outdoor dog items.
The mobile store used to be a tool truck that traveled around Edwards’ hometown of Byhalia, Miss. Items that line the inside of the trailer include best-sellers such as tug-and-fetch toys that are made from recycled materials and organic treats that are locally prepared by Healthy Hound.