Dog Treat Companies

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Dog Treat Companies - Purposeful Mission

Owing to the highly fragmented nature of the dog treat and dog food industry, there are several dog treat companies in the United States that have a compelling social mission, as far as giving back to the society is concerned. As such, it's hard to give a specific shortlist of the big, medium or small companies that have a purposeful social mission. That being said, this research gives a representative compilation of some big and small companies that can be used to help a start-up develop its positioning and understand what already exists in the market place.

In this research, Rescue Box and Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation are the examples of big dog treat and dog food companies with a compelling social mission, while Rescue Me, Good Reasons, Goodness Gracious Treats and Giving Treats exemplify the small and medium companies. Most of these companies give back to the society in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to): providing rescue homes and shelters for animals, giving vaccines, food and supplies, among others. Other companies--such as Good Reasons--give back to the society in unique ways like hiring people with developmental disabilities such as autism while others take it a step further, donating 100% of their profits--as is the case with Giving Treats. Below is a deep dive of the findings, including an overview of the companies, their social mission and how they give back to the society.

Rescue Me is a small non-profit dog treat company founded for the Love of dogs with the goal of increasing their help to animals all over the US. The company’s main social purpose is donating 25%-35% of its profits to local shelters and rescue homes. Profits from the treat company are realized through the sale of nutritious and organic dog goodies. When people buy these treats, they make it possible for other less fortunate animals to get well and find a forever home. Other profits are realized through the farmers’ markets, festivals, craft shows and pet expos that they conduct while traveling all over the country. Proceeds from these endeavors are donated to local shelters in the form of beds, food, veterinary care, and cleaning supplies rather than handing out cash to the local shelters. In addition, Rescue Me also provides specialized social services for pets—specifically those that are scared dirty and matted—that are brought to their facilities. With the help of Canine Massage Therapist, the poor babies are bathed and given massages to help them relax. These pets also get treatment while in the shelter for the various illnesses they may have had when rescued. In special occasions, surgeries are also performed in order to save the homeless animals.

Good Reasons is a small non-profit dog treat company with the purposeful social mission of providing employment opportunities to people with autism or any other developmental disability as a way of giving back to the society. Through the sale of the natural dog treats, the company is able to fund and advocate for the employment of the disabled community, “Unleashing love and potential in every bite!” More aptly put in the company’s words, “We create delicious and healthy dog treats while providing opportunity and employment for people with autism and other disabilities, in an integrated work environment.”

Goodness Gracious is a small/medium nutritious dog treats company that was founded with the social mission of helping the less fortunate dogs and cats through giving back to the communities and shelters where their products get to be sold. The company donates 51% of the profits made from every product sold to the earmarked community in which the sale is made. Goodness Gracious Treats’ profits come from retailers who sell the company’s products and its online stores.

Giving Treats is a very small company that mostly realizes its profits from local sales. The company is partnered with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in the sale of premium dog treats, with 100% of its profits given to rescue groups and dog shelters. According to the company and its partners, animal rescue has funding that is neither predictable nor sustainable, since shelters rely mostly on public and/or private donations. As a result, during tough economic times, some pets remain homeless, adoption stops and cooperate donations disappear creating a shortage of funds. This causes rescuers to have inadequate resources when their services are needed the most. By donating 100% of its profits, Giving Treats is therefore able to help many dogs to live happily.

Rescue Box is a big company that has grown considerably over the past years. The company’s main social mission is to give back to the animal rescue community. This is a big company that is aimed at giving profits to shelters and homes that take in millions of abandoned and abused animals every year. The company has founded several successful pet companies-- including Doggyloot, AnimalRescue and Coupaw--which collectively donate up-to 500,000 pounds worth of food to shelters with animals in need. Rescue Box made even a bigger impact when they decided to partner with local distributors and vendors in the pet industry where every Rescue Box subscriber receives treats and toys. Every delivery has a Rescue Me story which would not happen without the generosity of those spoiling their pets through the purchases. To make the subscribers feel appreciated of their value, they receive monthly specials. Some homes that benefit from Rescue box include Rescue Bank, A Shot at Life and Greater Good.
This is a large foundation with the social mission of giving dogs a second chance at a permanent home and family, especially in the city of Chicago. The foundation sells its products at Paw Tree and the profits are used to give back to the community in a variety of ways. The products include all high quality nutritious pet treats and foods, and a percentage of the food goes to the rescue shelters. As of 2018, the company has saved over 6000 cats, kittens and dogs in Chicago. The company has also started rescuing felines too. The dogs under the care of Chicago Canine Rescue come from open intake facilities, families with various reasons of no longer taking care of them and some rural partners who have insufficient resources for the adoption of the animals. CCR has a team that provides behavioral and emotional support, specialized medical treatments, and adoption services for each animal brought in. The foundation focuses most on the vulnerable animals around the city such as old dogs and cats, the injured ones and the young ones such as kittens who are searching for a home. Apart from the special needs dogs, they receive healthy dogs that lost their homes.

In summary, Rescue Box and Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation are the examples of big dog treat and dog food companies with a purposeful social mission, while Rescue Me, Good Reasons, Goodness Gracious Treats and Giving Treats exemplify the small and medium companies. There are, however, many other dog treat and dog food companies--both big and small--in the US that are dedicated in giving back to the community, including Advantek, BizBagz, Calm My Pet, Dogswell, FidoBiotics, Healthy Pet, World's Best Cat Litter and Rescue Pet Foods. A pre-compiled list of these companies can be found here.

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Companies and Brands - Social Mission Marketing

Most of the information used in this report was found preexisting and is drawn from reliable industry reports, company websites and resourceful media sources. A quick search for brands engaged in social missions both in the past and currently established compiled lists that show progress in social mission marketing campaigns as compared to specific brand advertising campaigns. While there are both success and failure stories on social mission marketing campaigns, the report dives into the successful campaigns and companies who have established the social mission marketing strategy.


Patagonia’s mission statement states that the company is committed to “Building the best product, causing no unnecessary harm, using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” As a result, the mission informs the corporate culture, product development and marketing strategies. Patagonia integrates its mission into its marketing strategy through investing into renewable energy, manages the impact of chemicals emitted by the global supply chain on the environment through the Chemical and Environmental Impacts Program, and uses raw materials that cause less environmental harm among other environmental friendly campaigns. Its “Worn Wear Program” allows consumers to buy and sell used Patagonia garments while educating them on how to assist them maintains their gear. Since 1985, Patagonia pledged 1% of all its annual sales to the protection and preservation of the natural environment.


In 2014, Dove started what is now known as “Dove Self- Esteem Project” as a campaign for real beauty. As a result, Dove has been transformed from being merely a soap company to a visionary and socially connecting company. Through this front line, Dove is able to align marketing efforts with its mission statement “Beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety.” This way the company is able to change its public perception and champions women’s empowerment while advocating for a progressive conversation around beauty.

In its Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign, Dove has achieved in aligning its mission by assisting women to develop positive relativity of their beauty perceptions with the company’s marketing content. Overtime, Dove has launched online marketing adverts that have received multi-million views around the globe.


TOMS Shoes mission statement is “For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair to a child in need. One for one.” Based on the company's overall marketing strategy, a mixture of “social purpose and product development” has been established and packaged, which creates awareness and attracts consumers to the company's products. Toms uses social media to integrate new season imagery which TOMS support by working with retailers to host high street window displays. In 2016, Toms donated 27,435 shoes to children worldwide while engaging more than 3.5 million people on all social media channels with the #WithoutShoes hashtag which produced 17 million impressions across all Toms’ social platforms and 62 million impressions.

Progressive marketing strategies that worked for Toms' include: TOMS' Thrift Shopping, One Day Without Shoes, Partnering with AT&T to show customers how their purchase helped someone else and importantly launched “A Walk in Their Shoes,” which is a virtual film following a California customer to Colombia. This way the company is able to identify to its customers with most identifying with it due to its involvement in the social mission assignments.


CEO Tony Hsieh has assisted Zappos in being viewed as an authentic brand through its differentiated 10 core values which are the heart and soul of the company. The company's mission statement is " To provide the best customer service possible. Deliver WOW through service". Zappos for Good is a long-standing department dedicated to fostering Zappos' community and charitable efforts and has continually supported a variety of charitable causes over the years. Zappos for Good's mission is to spread happiness and celebrate the good in everyone while encouraging employees to be the good they want to see in the world. This mission is supported by a series of new and ongoing programs and partnerships that include GIVE, Zappos for Good, Pawlidayz, Friends On Us Fridays among others. Interestingly, Zappos has collaborated with creative collective Variable to produce “Box Home,” which is a compelling short film that captures the emotion of the #ImNotABox campaign. Zappos alongside Variable created the film to challenge viewers to not only “open up and look inside” the box, but also reflect upon themselves.

The box signifies how customers desire and perceive life as the company provides them with the things they need and love. It is established that every box has a unique story and purpose. Therefore, Zappos plods into the emotional intelligence of its customers making their products sell while ensuring that its customers identify that the company genuinely cares about their needs while also hoping to inspire people to become the best version of them and to see the world from a new perspective.


Consumers have high expectations of the brands they identify with and consume. Not only do they seek functional benefits that meets their physical needs but also addresses their social purpose. Companies have overtime implemented successful marketing campaigns that address their market by aligning their mission statements with their marketing activities thereby making their products and services more attractive while raising huge revenues.