A love for his pets and a desire to become his own boss has prompted one Cariboo man to invent a brand new way to clean his dog and, soon, everyone else’s.
Andrew Brown makes his home with his family, including two young daughters, in 150 Mile House, though he’s lived in the Williams Lake area his entire life, where he works in the local mining industry. However, Brown’s always been attracted to the freedom that comes from working for oneself and starting his own business. Furr Dogz, however, marks his first foray into both the worlds of enterprise and inventing.
It all started close to seven years ago when Brown found he was often fighting with his Great Danes to get them into the tub for a bath. Both he and his dogs disliked this process and soon enough everyone involved ended up unhappy.
Brown wanted to come up with a way to efficiently wash his dogs out where they were comfortable: in this case the yard, or while on the go.
What followed this initial impulse was “a ton of work” that was way more than Brown could have imagined as he began to design, build, prototype and test various devices of his own invention, before redesigning it and starting all over again. Oftentimes prototypes would not work, sending him back to the drawing and patenting board all over again.
“It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you think you’re going to strike it rich right out of the gate and well this is year seven and here we are and I’m just starting,” Brown said.
It was in one of Brown’s low moments, sitting in a MacDonald’s drive-thru when the inspiration for his invention’s current design struck. As he sat there he noticed he had a milk bone between the seats and a light went on in his head and he decided to design the next prototype based off of a bone.
Not only would it be themed appropriately for a dog, but it’d be eye catching and create a recognizable brand. One of the most rewarding parts of this entire journey, Brown said, has been watching his idea grow and evolve and become a physical product.
Today, the Furr Dogz resembles a cross between a grooming mitt and a tank sprayer, with a capacity of eight litres for both soap and water. The material of the grooming mitt is made out of neoprene which Brown said he chose for its water resistance and antifungal natural properties to avoid the buildup of smells and potentially harmful bacteria.
Using it is simple and natural, Brown said, basically pumping the handle then having a dog owner petting their dog with warm water. As they do so the water and soap flow through a tube from the tank into holes in the rubber grooming mitt, distributing the water into the animal’s fur by the petting. Its ridged surface also removes loose or dead hairs alongside mud and other debris.
“They’re getting a massage, you’re boosting their circulation, you’re pulling out dead hair and being as it’s wet it all kind of just sticks, as opposed to floating in the air, so you just kind of peel off a big hair pancake and dispose of it that way,” Brown explained.
He’s tested it thus far on both his own dogs and others completely unknown to him so far with largely good results.
“It actually is enjoyable, it’s not a stressful environment for you or your dog and overtime when my dogs see the wash mitt come out they’re coming towards me, not running away from me,” Brown said.
Brown is currently waiting for a shipment of 500 Furr Dogz to come in, of which 100 or so are already spoken for, and recently received both his U.S. Utility Patent and his U.S. trademark. Due to the expensive nature of applying for patents, Brown’s chosen to target the biggest market though he is still open and willing to sell within Canada.
Currently, Brown’s products are only available to order online at www.furrdogz.com, however, he said As Seen On TV has expressed an interested in featuring Furr Dogz in the future. He thinks that currently, though, it’s just a matter of getting units out there and seen to start creating interest and eventual demand.
“I really believe it’s one of those things you have to see to believe, it’s only eight litres of water and you can wash a large breed dog with eight litres of water,” Brown said.
“I just hope that it’s a tool people actually enjoy and obviously I hope it’s a viable business for me.”
For those looking to buy a unit within B.C. Brown said that he and his wife would be open to possibly personally delivering them to certain regional hubs themselves, avoiding the $35 shipping fee. Units on their own cost $150, and this would reduce the overall upfront price.
These hubs would include Williams Lake, Quesnel, Kamloops, Prince George and 100 Mile House.
Those looking for more information can reach out to Brown directly at email@example.com.