Launched in November 2020 Dubai-based pet products brand Pawdega is all about making non-toxic products easily available making this world a safer place for our pets. Brainchild of Charly and Larry Pruden Pawdega is all about making carefully sourced non-toxic products easily available to pet parents.
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Let’s start with a brief background about your canine companion.
Charly: Milka joined our family in 2015 in Germany and grew up to be a real Berlin City girl. In 2016, we moved to Dubai after Larry accepted a job here. Milka fell in love with the desert right away. Her favourite thing is hunting anything that moves on our desert morning walks. Her nickname is Sandy because she always manages to be the sandiest dog around.
Over to business, please describe Pawdega in 100 words.
Charly: With the tagline “I like my pet products like I like my people… – NON-TOXIC” Pawdega is a holistic and natural pet health store in the Middle East. Catering to dogs, cats and horses, Pawdega is a safe place for pet parents to shop without worrying about toxic ingredients. Our team has helped thousands of pets live a longer and healthier life while reducing vet bills and increasing quality of life. The Pawdega product line consists of only safe and non-toxic pet products, including natural treats, supplements, certified organic pet shampoo, raw pet food and toys to help improve the health of animals.
Could you share the brand’s offerings and USP? How is it filling a gap in the market?
Charly: When we say natural and non-toxic, we really mean it. ‘Natural’ has become a buzzword in today’s pet industry, but most pet stores don’t know the truth about what ‘natural’ actually means. The term ‘natural’ is unregulated and labelling laws for pet products allow for pet parents to be tricked into buying ‘natural’ products. In reality some of these products contain synthetic ingredients, preservatives and all kinds of unnatural ingredients that can negatively impact the health of our animals. Pawdega is built on the promise that everything in our store is actually natural and benefits animal’s health and wellbeing. Every single ingredient of every single product undergoes an extensive vetting process to make sure that it is truly safe and non-toxic for pets to consume, play, sniff. My partner Larry and I are holistic pet lifestyle experts and have worked with world-renowned holistic and integrative veterinarians to increase awareness around important pet wellness topics.
Which milestones are you most proud of? What are some challenges that you’ve faced so far?
Charly: We are the proudest of the incredible healing stories that we receive from our customers every day. Each pet’s healing journey is unique, and we are so honoured to be able to help and be a fundamental part of pets becoming better, living longer and staying healthy. In particular, there’s one dog with seizures that comes to mind who we have been supporting since 2020. Back then, euthanasia was suggested due to the intensity of seizures he was experiencing. His incredible fur mom got in touch with us, and we’ve been working with her, incorporating healthy food, targeted supplements, a detox plan, and reducing toxin exposure. Two years later, the dog is thriving, and the frequency and intensity of seizures has been dramatically reduced. This is why we do what we do!
Challenges that we’ve faced have mostly to do with being the first-of-its-kind pet store in the UAE. Finding the right brands to work with, making sure their ethics truly align with ours and getting the correct registrations done to bring them to the UAE.
Since Pawdega launched, how has it resonated with the community?
Charly: The feedback we get on a daily basis is that pet parents are incredibly grateful to have a resource like us and a truly safe place to shop in the UAE without having to worry about ingredients. I remember when we first launched there was one woman who said she needed to double check our location because she couldn’t believe a pet store like Pawdega existed in Dubai. Our products are now available in vet clinics and pet stores all over Dubai, everyone we work with is excited to be able to offer safer alternatives to common pet products.
What are your future plans for the brand?
Charly: We hope to be able to open a brick-and-mortar store soon. We are 100% self-funded and we don’t take any sponsoring from brands, so things tend to move a bit slower for us. But that’s what it is like when we stay true to our ethics.
Finally, what is that one crazy thing that Pawdega will do for the love of dogs?
Charly: One of the crazy things that Pawdega will do for the love of dogs is investing thousands of hours into research to make sure that the products we offer are 100% non-toxic and safe. Crazy right?!? This should be the norm, but sadly it is not. Many people tell us that we are crazy for turning down 99% of the most popular pet products out there and losing out on so many popular sales. Maybe we are crazy, but for the love of dogs, animals, humans and the planet, that is what we’re all about. Making this world a safer place for our pets.