Long before Doodle Dogs opened its doors in Calgary, co-owner Corey White had the idea of owning a boutique pet store in the city. “I used to love going to Vancouver, and there were so many awesome pet stores there,” explains Corey, who owns the store along with his sister, Meghan. “Fast forward eight years to jobs we don’t like and we finally decided to do a pet store.” Doodle Dogs began in 2016 with 500 square feet of retail space and a 200 square foot dog daycare. It has since expanded and remodelled, with two locations in Calgary and a new warehouse to service their growing e-commerce platform.
With a tagline of “chic, unique, local and fresh”, Corey and Meghan have created a retail store that is boutique and local. “Our mission for sure is sourcing and supporting our local community,” says Corey. “We’ve always wanted to buy locally or as close to local as we can. It’s about community support in the sourcing of our products.” Doodle Dogs carries close to 25 locally made artisanal brands in store, with handmade treats, clothes, bandanas and collars among other offerings. Their pet food offerings are also driving their growth within the market. “Nutrition has gotten much bigger for us as we’ve grown, and I think that’s why we’re really doing well.” With a focus on fresh and raw foods, Doodle Dogs specializes in a door-to-door frozen fresh food service, plugging a gap in the market and keeping the company very busy. For Corey, meat-dense, whole food with low processing and balance is the most important thing when it comes to pet nutrition, as well as good sourcing. “We really do rely on pet specialty,” he explains. “It’s all about getting people off kibble. Our mission is just better nutrition, and longevity and health for the dogs by getting people on a better food or helping them make the bowl better.”
It has been less than two years since Doodle Dogs first started selling Smack Pet Foods, but Corey has nothing but good things to say about the product and the company. “They’ve been really great to work with - the attention to customer service has been amazing. It’s a great partnership,” he says. “As for the food, we sell a ton of it - the ingredient panel is clean and the dogs really, really love it. It’s a great product for our store and for our mission.” Another key piece of that mission - and one which Smack has also helped to support - is giving back to the community. Currently, Meghan is working on an initiative to raise $10,000 for their local humane society, and a local Calgary business has agreed to match that goal if they reach it. Corey and Meghan spend a large portion of their time organizing fundraisers and charity events and raising money for rescues throughout the year. “Smack have supported us even since day one when we weren’t a big seller of the food,” Corey adds. “They supported all of our initiatives and events by either giving samples or giveaways, or sending us goodies. I was super impressed.”
As their new warehouse opens this year to support their growing online retail platform, it is clear that Doodle Dogs is bigger and busier than ever. With close to 20,000 followers on social media, Corey and Meghan also use their online presence to provide educational resources for pet parents and customers across the entire country. “Our Instagram is very busy and very educational,” Corey explains. “We’re pretty goofy, but we also have tons of educational pieces in there. People realize that we really care.”