‘Pet’ or ‘family': what’s your dog to you?

I’m guessing you know my answer to that, and it is probably the same as yours: family, of course.

And that’s how we’ve formed our community, built on something in common.

You and I have welcomed a dog, or maybe dogs, into our family. We have embraced a rare species capable of giving us unconditional love; a friend that listens but doesn’t talk back, there when we need company, and so much more.

That’s why I started Your Dog’s Club – a vision of being not just another big online pet store, but a community that shares the ups and downs of living with a dog. A place where we can go for answers when they can’t tell us what’s wrong, a place dedicated to dogs where you can get everything you need for your dog, when you need it.

We are 2 years into that journey, we’ve come a long way and we’ve still a long way to go.

I have learned that Trust is fundamental to any relationship and must underpin everything we do if we are to build and hold a community together. Yes, we have a Trustpilot rating of 4.9 which is excellent and we love to shout about it – but it’s not about the number, it’s about how we make you feel. That’s far more important and it’s why we go above and beyond to make sure everything we sell is trustworthy, of high quality, arrives quickly and, if there’s a problem, you trust us to fix it.

Those are the basics, right?

Yet, here’s the thing – owning a dog is an adventure; the ups and downs can be huge. There are so many dogs and their hoomans finding that out, especially post-lockdown: from the new puppy parent discovering that life will never be the same to the more seasoned parent whose routine may have been turned on its head only now to be returning to some sort of normal. And then there’s the expense: food, treats, beds, toys, insurance, vet bills, medicines, flea and worm treatments. The list just goes on and on.

There are also so many problems to solve within the dog-owning community. Things like puppy farms, dog theft, dodgy products that fall apart on the first use. There are even foods out there which mislead us with great marketing, but that can damage the health of your beloved pup. It makes my blood boil, but I can’t fix it alone.

But together we can build a community of dog owners, and give us all a forum where we can share trusted information and sources of everything we need as dog owners. But it’s more than just sharing knowledge: it’s about making our dog’s happiness affordable. Together, we can source great quality products, cut out the middlemen, bring prices down, and share these benefits among us all, as a community.

After all, that’s what a community does – it looks after its own. That’s what I’m trying to create.

It’s not rocket science and it’s not new – it’s the idea that saw the formation of the Co-Op back in 1844 when a few local people got together to “treat the local people with respect and provide affordable food for all”. Sourcing better for less with the buying power of the community.

A revolution it is not – but a close friend of mine called it a “movement”.

We all agree that dogs are different: we take them on holiday, we take them for walks and meet other dog owners. We mourn their passing the same as the loss of any member of our family.  They are family and “Pet” retailers don’t get that.

And this is where you come in.

You’ve registered as a Waggy; you may have bought stuff from us – but do you feel part of a community?  I guess not… yet!   We haven’t got that right…… yet!

My dilemma has always been “build a business or build a community”; we need both, but which one comes first. The classic chicken and egg conundrum. So, we’ve built a business. A good solid, robust business that does what it says: delivers unconditional love.

Then I found crowdfunding: a way of inviting my fellow dog owners to sign up to the community and share the rewards. We are now on the Seedrs platform and selling shares in the “business” to investors. It seems it’s attractive for investors to buy shares in the business but some of them are not dog owners; they’re interested in investment return but not the dogs. Kind of missing the point.

I want to stop this trend. I want Waggys to own their share in our business and community. I want the truly ‘doggy people’ to reap the benefits. But, that hasn’t happened yet – and I found myself wondering ‘why?’

I guess a Waggy might not consider themselves an “investor’ but what if I told you that if you bought 24 shares at £4.21 a share (£101.04), you become part of our community and get :

  • A 15% discount package (worth £93.60 if you spend £50 a month)
  • A £10 gift certificate when you tell us about your dog and what you need
  • Free access to our video “Dog Doctor” service launching later this year,
  • A £5 gift card at Christmas.
  • A £30 credit against your tax bill (depending on your tax situation)
  • A share certificate in your dog’s name
  • A share in a business that could be worth a lot more in the future.

But you’d also be helping me build the community I set out to create. Would that change your mind?

I hope so. If it does, you can access our Seedrs crowdfunding platform here :

https://www.seedrs.com/your-dog-s-club

There are some ‘investor’ questions that you may need to answer, but they are there purely for your protection and to make sure you and your investment are as safe as possible.

Please don’t let them put you off a great opportunity to join me as we build our community.

Let’s create a “movement” together, our dog co-operative community: Your Dog’s Club

Come and meet the team and watch our campaign video:

 

Finally, if you have any ideas on how we can provide you with your dream doggy community, just let me know. Drop me a line at: woof@yourdogsclub.co.uk. I’d love to hear from you.

Jon Ralph | Your Dog's Club Founder & CEO

Crowdfunding

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