Are you in the market for customized dog food or looking for someone to watch your pets (that includes farm animals!)? Maybe you're interested in helping out a cat and dog rescue organization. You may even need a dog trainer that can strengthen your human relationships, too. There are several ways to immerse yourself in the pet community, and the following LGBTQIA+ businesses are making it easy.
We urge you to support these incredible companies this Pride Month (and all year round!). Here's why they're fantastic.
Barkin' Creek, which has five locations throughout Texas (four in Austin and one in Dallas), is known for being a one-stop-shop for dog parents. Not only can you sign your pup up for daycare, but you can buy customized food from their kitchen (including pet-friendly birthday cakes!), book your pet’s spa or grooming appointment and buy pet accessories all at their store.
The company, which was founded in 2015 by Flint Beamon and Jeff Springer, was inspired by their love for their two rescue pups, Bea and Jax. Austin, the country’s largest no-kill city, seemed like the perfect place to set up shop.
"Austin is already one of those amazing cities with tons of dogs and animal advocates, so it just seemed like a harmonious place to build this business," Flint says.
And since Barkin' Creek Dog Kitchen & Bath’s opening, its impact on the community has extended far beyond simply taking great care of animals.
"I'm most proud of the sense of community that our team and our staff represent," Flint explains. "Being a member of the LGBTQ community and having a queer-owned business helps support the idea of inclusiveness, but it also gives a safe place for people to work who identify — whether they’re trans, queer, non-binary — we really promote everyone to be their authentic selves where they can thrive and feel successful."
When asked what the one word Flint would use to describe Barkin' Creek Dog Kitchen & Bath was, he chose "love."
"Love that comes from the love of pets, love of people, love of community, love of doing what we do and just trying to extend the lives of dogs as much as we possibly can," Flint says.
Since MaeDay Rescue’s opening, the nonprofit cat and dog rescue has impacted the lives of thousands of rescue pets, supported spay and neuter clinics and helped support pets’ medical needs. Clearly Natalie Garcia, MaeDay Rescue’s owner and founder, cares about making a difference in her community and the world. She even opened a pet supplies store, MaeDay Outpost, that only carries ethically sourced and sustainable products.
A legacy built on love, Natalie's organization and business are named after her late pup, Maggie Mae, who inspired her incredible work. Now, Natalie is the parent to three dogs and a cat, but her involvement with animals spans far beyond her pack.
“It's very rewarding to rescue animals every day and find great homes for them,” Natalie explains. “I'm also very proud of the community I've created. I realized recently that all of my really close friends are actually people who started off fostering for MaeDay or have adopted.”
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Michael Hill, the celebrity dog trainer behind Michael Hill Dog Training, based in Los Angeles, California, knew he had a strong connection with dogs from a young age. But, his family didn’t have pets — so he’d do anything he could to get exposure to animals — including spending extra time at the houses of friends with dogs.
Since beginning his business in Washington D.C. — which at the time was just a website and business cards — he’s become a global dog trainer.
“I’m proud of the reach and the broad application of my methodology,” Michael says. “I’ve been able to work with clients and their dogs all around the world, in multiple countries, with people from all walks of life, ideologies and backgrounds and with dogs of all different breeds, to rescues, to puppies and everything in between.”
And when he's working with different clients, he's creating solid connections with not just animals but humans as well. Once Michael's clients understand the communication and psychology behind how dogs interact with people, he notices that the humans start to have better relationships with each other, too.
“As a dog trainer, I have the benefit of not only working with their dog but also forming a relationship with my clients, as we’re working intimately in the home and creating solutions for everybody involved.”
The idea for Nomad At Home, LLC, a business offering several pet-related services, blossomed when the owner, Missy, was a bit of a nomad herself. Her work began as a hobby when she lived in a converted van, pet-sitting while she traveled.
However, since she’s developed a community of clients in eastern Pennsylvania, she set up roots there (but she’ll still travel when necessary). Nomad At Home, LLC, provides flexible options like pet-sitting, dog walks and hikes, drop-ins, farm-sitting and even managing a pet at your wedding.
While growing up on a dairy farm, Missy cultivated a connection to animals. She is actually named after one of her dad's favorite cows. During childhood, there were moments when she actually preferred the company of animals over people.
And her understanding of animals is proven in the way they gravitate toward her, too. One of the most rewarding aspects of Missy's job is hearing new clients' surprise when their pet warms up to her almost immediately (and it happens quite a lot).
“I can’t tell you how often people come back, and they say, ‘This is the first time we’ve been able to go away without worrying,’” Missy shares. “It feels really good to provide that peace of mind to my clients.”
The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.
The Dig is the expert-backed editorial from Fetch Pet Insurance. We're here to answer all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash