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Just about any pet parent can agree that our beloved animals are more than just pets—they're family. And it goes without saying, it feels good to spoil our loved ones every once in a while.
Whether you're looking to pamper your fur-baby with a new collar or spa session, surprise them with tasty treats, or anything else in between, you'll love these pet brands that celebrate diversity. All of the brands on the list are founded and operated by Latinx entrepreneurs and small business owners—and their stories of community, relationships, and passion are paws-itively inspiring. Show them some love during Hispanic Heritage Month (and all year long, TBH). If you see any brands we missed, drop us a DM on Instagram via @dailypaws and we'll update the list!
Based in Orlando, Florida, Monro Pets is a pet apparel company that was founded by a trio of long-time friends, Christen Romero, Jose Monsalve, and Ricardo Kendrick. The three of them had known each other for years and worked together in marketing before launching their business, inspired by their own furry family members: a Maltese and two miniature schnauzers.
"They [our dogs] are our lives," Jose tells Daily Paws. "While we're designing, you have Christen on her laptop on the couch and three dogs on top of her. They're always, always there. When we're stuck in a rut, we look at our dogs—they do something silly or we play with them for a little bit, and that little spark comes back."
While the trio looks towards their own pups for inspiration, they also draw from culture, heritage, and local community when designing new products. A quick glance at their online store and your eyes are greeted with bold color and design—not what you'll typically find at a big-chain pet store.
"We did vibrant colors, vibrant patterns—and people loved it," Jose says. Their best-selling "City Beautiful" bandana pays homage to Orlando, and the team plans to launch a new line of bandanas that featuring funny little sayings many Latinx people who grew up in a Spanish-speaking household would recognize. They are also planning a new collection of bandanas based on famous streets and neighborhoods in the city of Orlando.
While products from Monro Pets can be found in 15 storefronts from Florida to Portland, fans near and far can also shop their bright bandanas, collars, and leashes online.
Nuggie PAW Shop
Owner and self-described "EntrePawneur" Silvia Balfonne founded Nuggie PAW Shop in an effort to make a difference within her local community. Originally from Venezuela, the Miami local and her team create eco-friendly handmade pet accessories (and an organic soothing paw balm for dogs) that places a priority on showcasing local talent and shelters in Miami.
With a focus on creating change, her company donates $1 to local shelters with every item purchased in her store. You'll find a wide variety of whimsical patterns to choose from, and even some accessories you can don to rep your love for your pets, like her "dog mom" and "dog dad" tye-dye shirts.
Balfonne and her team visit area animal shelters like Paws 4 You in Miami twice a month, to take pictures of senior dogs and dogs who've been at the shelter for more than six months to help them find a forever home sooner.
Rising up from the hardships that many faced during the pandemic, Cynthia Soto created a plan that combined talent with passion to launch Pocha Shop, a Chicago-based online retailer that offers an assortment of apparel for both cats and dogs. Pocha sells everything from sweaters to sports jerseys to pajamas. It's clear to see Soto's love for Mexican culture shine in her best-selling products, including this adorable Bandera dress.
If you're familiar with the term "Pocha," it usually is a term that jabs at someone of Mexican descent who isn't fluent in Spanish. In an interview with Block Club Chicago, Soto said that as a first-generation Mexican-American, she wanted to reclaim that term and embrace the blend of two cultures.
Salvage Maria Goods
Salvage Maria Goods is an LA-based company that makes handmade pet beds, blankets, and dog tents. The interesting spin? Everything is made from deadstock fabrics (leftover fabrics of other fashion brands who overestimated their needs), textiles sourced from Mexico, and yarn woven out of recycled clothing.
For owner Janeesa Maria, it's important that nothing goes to waste. They save all scraps and remnants to use for future designs and inspiration—and the results are stunning. According to the company website, most designs are inspired by Isthmus-Oaxaxan culture, splashed with Venice Beach vibes, a dash of rock n' roll, and a sprinkle of boho.
Shop at Salvage Maria Goods, and you're sure to leave with something truly one of a kind and eco-friendly.
For fur-babies that could use an accessory just as bold and festive as their personality, it's time to get acquainted with Mexican Heart. You'll find bright, colorful accessories of all kinds at this online pet shop, including leashes, collars, clothing, blankets, bandanas, and ponchos.
Mexican Heart is family-owned and operated in the U.S.A. with a mission rooted in the belief that artisan products are a fundamental part of Mexican culture, and a desire to share that with others. Their robust line of pet apparel and gear includes unique products like bright bandanas decorated with pom-poms and fringe-lined poncho sweaters for pets.
As if the adorable patterns aren't enough, Mexican Heart donates 10 percent of all sales to animal shelters, so you can rest easy about that splurge knowing your money is going to a great cause.
Food and Treats
Wild Earth Pets
With such a huge impact on the environment, it's easy to see why the founders of pet food brand Wild Earth wanted to create a plant-based line of dog food. But how could they ensure that dogs eating their line of pet food would get enough protein in their diets without including animal products as an ingredient?
Turns out, the secret is in a fungi known as koji, which is commonly used to produce soy sauce and miso. For Wild Earth co-founder and biomaterials chemist Abril Estrada, this high-protein, high-fiber ingredient was the secret to creating a nutritious pet food that did not contain any animal products. She and co-founder Ryan Bethencourt, a Cuban-American venture partner and biohacker, teamed up to launch Wild Earth in 2019 (even appearing on an episode of NBC's Shark Tank).
All of the recipes created by the Wild Earth team use high-quality and cruelty-free ingredients that are sustainably sourced and are developed by veterinarians. They've expanded from food and now offer plant-based dog treats and supplements, as well.
Honest Paws is a company that makes CBD treats and supplements for pets, which grew from a personal place for co-founder Chelsea Hunt-Rivera. Her dog Baby Rose was struggling from a debilitating condition, and after consulting with her vet on treatment options, Hunt-rivera learned the prescription medicine used to treat her dog's health issues would probably include side effects like lethargy—not to mention the medicine was not guaranteed to work.
Discouraged by side effects the medicine might cause Baby Rose, Hunt-Rivera started researching holistic methods that might bring her beloved pup some relief, and stumbled upon CBD, a derivative of the cannabis plant that's been studied for its potential role in easing symptoms of many common health issues for humans and pets alike. (Proponents of CBD oil say it offers pain relief and may reduce inflammation, and may even help ease stress without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs, but there is limited research on how it may affect pets.)
Hunt-Rivera says the CBD oil she gave Baby Rose was a saving grace for the pooch, and she felt called to bring premium CBD products to other pet parents who may be going through similar situations. She and her brother, co-founder and CEO Erik Rivera, launched Honest Paws in 2018, and now offer CBD products for cats and dogs in all types of forms—oils, soft chews, powders, peanut butter, and balms.
Meet the founders of Eola Pets and you could say that they were destined to create one of the most successful pet businesses in Orlando, Fla. Before siblings Franki Santi and Luis Santi, Jr. founded Eola Pets—which can truly be described as a one-stop-shop for Orlando dog lovers—these two helped out at their parents' pet grooming and daycare facility.
Coming from professional careers in creative digital marketing and retail, they supported their parents' business by working on their website, business planning, store design, accounting, and even employee development. After that experience, the brother-sister duo say they were inspired to launch their own business.
Eola Pets started with a handful of services and rapidly grew its offerings based on community feedback. They currently offer dog walking, training, grooming, and pet sitting, and host a number of social events throughout the year.
"Last year during the pandemic, we wanted to find a way to safely connect our clients through outdoor events," Franki tells Daily Paws. "We launched our Neighborhood Pack Walk around Lake Eola to parade around our town with our pups. People love this event and it continues to grow every time we do it, with over 80 participants in this latest iteration. We can't overstate how much we depend on our community's support and how thankful we are to receive it."
Both agree that the success of their business hinges on the importance of relationships and community. "Eola Pets brings neighbors together through the pet community and delivers quality pet care, products, and connection to the neighborhood through fun, local pet events," Luis says.
"We noticed that we were able to impact our community through the relationships built through our local business. Our clients become friends, their dogs feel safer, and our business has thrived with the support of our community partners."
If you don't live in the Orlando area, Eola Pets doesn't just offer services—they also have a bakery and online store that carries toys, leashes, apparel, grooming products, and custom treats for delivery.
D Pet Hotels
We could all use a little extra TLC from time to time—and one trip to D Pet Hotels will do just the trick for your fur baby. The D Pet Hotels location in Austin, Texas is owned and operated by Liza De La Chapa. It's the area's first luxury dog hotel, complete with indoor air-conditioned play parks and a luxury pet spa.
De La Chapa opened the doors of Austin's D Pet Hotels in 2017 after regularly taking her own goldendoodles to the D Pet Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., and shared her passion for pets in an article with KHOU saying that she was committed to the luxury pet pampering brand after seeing how happy her pups were when they'd arrive for doggie daycare. The Austin location of the luxe hotel—which also has branches in NYC, LA, and Scottsdale, Ariz.—offers boarding, daycare, and grooming services like massages and their "Classic Pawdicure" (which includes a paw soak, nail trim, and polish for $30).
Yessy Feliz saw a need for doggie daycares and pet retail in her Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Mass., which she described as changing "drastically" since she came to the area from the Dominican Republic in 1994. So in 2012, she founded Tails, an animal supply and dog care business to meet the needs of her growing community. At Tails, Feliz and her staff offer services like daycare, boarding, and grooming, as well as customized exercise and rehabilitation program for dogs that need a little extra care.
Before opening Tails, Feliz worked in the hospitality and banking industries for 15 years but says she has always been passionate about animals. Opening and running Tails has been a dream come true for Feliz, and it shows. In 2019, she was nominated for the Barry M. Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Award for Neighborhood Business.
One of the big draws about taking your pet to a groomer is avoiding the mess at home—but finding the right groomer and scheduling the perfect time can be a hassle. This is why Mario and Keith Gonzalez created Pawsitively Kleen, West Seattle's first self-serve dog wash.
At Pawsitively Kleen, you'll find walk-in pet baths that make accessibility easy, and everything you need to get your pup fresh, shiny, and happy. And if you need help trimming nails, they offer that service too. It's a great solution that's quick, easy, and inexpensive—no more wet puddles and chaos to worry about at home!
Seattle locals can schedule a grooming appointment on the Pawsitively Kleen website, or visit the shop during their regular business hours for a walk-in grooming service.
Tails on Trails
Tails on Trails has been serving Jersey City outside of NYC since 2012 with a range of pet services for dogs and cats. Recently, they've even launched a line of Kitt-Tea organic catnip! Founder Judy Nuñez has always loved animals and after spending a decade in the corporate world, felt like something was missing. This feeling led her to volunteer at a local Humane Society, become a professional dog walker, and eventually start Tails on Trails, where she puts her passion for pets to work walking dogs, cat sitting, and pet boarding. Nuñez even offers coaching and mentoring services to help other pet care industry business owners and independent walkers achieve their business goals.
Luv on Harness
Luv on Harness is a dog-walking company servicing the Hoboken, N. J. area. Founder Luis Perez is known for snapping some of the best dog pictures in the area on his Instagram, @luvonaharness, and has also made headlines this year for his community service.
Luis noticed that there was a big poop problem in Hoboken and shared in an Instagram post that he and his fiancé had noticed "crazy amounts of dog poop" and decided to help clean up the community where they live and work. The duo volunteered their weekend to scoop doggie doo around their Hoboken neighborhood. While many of us might have just complained about the issue, Perez opted instead to actually do something about it, and . His dedication to keeping his community (and his doggie clients!) safe and healthy is nothing short of amazing.