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Support your Family Business

Small Family Business

The Small Family Business

It’s so easy to pop down to your handy Super Store to get all your shopping – including Dog Treats. But, as a general rule, you don’t get the same level of service as you would from your small, family business.

The Doggie Boat

Here at the Doggie Boat, a small family business, we are perhaps smaller than most! Living and trading from our narrowboat, we don’t have much room for lots of stock. This means that what we do stock, we choose very carefully. We are also proud of the level of service we strive offer and we look forward to seeing reviews on TrustPilot.

Naturally we choose our suppliers with care, prefering to deal with fellow small independent businesses, especially for the Healthy Treats. Being dog owners ourselves, we are conscious that we all only want the best for them!

This is why we only stock treats from small independent companies and family businesses. We first started with JR Pet Products. Initially, we took on a limited selection of Meat Sticks – and nearly sold out at the first floating market we traded at! Gradually, we have significantly increased the number of their products that we stock.

The full range of 12 varieties of JR Pet Products Meat Sticks.
JR Pet Products Meat Sticks

With the current cost of living crisis, and expenses rising everywhere, we try to keep our prices as low as possible. Although our costs have increased, we have held many of our prices to pre-pandemic levels. We believe we are the cheapest online retailer of the JR Meat Sticks!

Christmas Cards Scoff Paper
Edible greetings cards from Scoff Paper

Scoff Paper is another great small family business based in England that we are proud and honoured to be dealing with, especially as our Loki was the inspiration behind the idea. Their unique product is edible greetings cards for dogs – a fantastic option if you want to send something different.

A Green & Wild's healthy treat
One of our Green & Wild’s healthy treats


We stock a selection of healthy treats and Jute toys from Green & Wild’s, another small family business. We love their Jute toys, as they are not only strong and durable, they are environmentally friendly too – something that is important to us.

Fetch It range of fully compostable poo bags
Compostable Poo Bags

This is also why we now only stock fully compostable poo bags, from Fetch It. Whilst they are more expensive than the traditional plastic bags, these are made from corn starch, which will fully rot down and not leave any micro plastics behind. And, they are surprisingly strong too!

Green Neo-Skin Dicky Bags
The Dicky Bag – clever storage for your poo bags

Another small family business and British company we are proud to be dealing with is Dicky Bag. They not only hold your stock of poo bags ready to use, they also have discrete, smell resistant storage compartment for your filled bags until you can find a bin. Plus, there are matching treat bags to go with them.

ProFleece Non-Slip Pet Vet Bedding: Comes in two vibrant colour options.
Fleece bedding made from recycled plastic bottles

We are also excited to have been able to take on the Fleece Blankets from ProFleece. Made to order, in Yorkshire (from recycled plastic bottles), these quality blankets are a great addition to our range. They are sent directly from the supplier, so they don’t take up any of our limited space.

Pugs are Great Jute Bag
One of the range of Jute Bags

For something a little different, we stock a range of fun shopping bags from These Bags Are Great! Another small British family business, these Jute bags are tough and environmentally friendly as well as practical and make great presents.

So to Summarise

Of course, you can get some of these products from larger chain stores. Indeed, until recently, Pets at Home stocked a selection of JR Pet Products. However, they have now discontinued this in favour of stocking their own brand versions. Obviously, we can’t comment on whether or not these are as good, because we don’t know who makes them. However, we can quote from an email JR Pet Products have sent us:

“…they have now also told customers that these are being supplied by us under their own branding – This is absolutely NOT TRUE. We do not offer our products as white label goods and these are not our products! We do not know the quality, welfare or origin of these treats and feel we must let our customers know about this.”

If you want to ensure that you give your pet the best, then we strongly recommend you stick with the brands that you know and trust – and buy from the small family business that truly care and will give you the best advice.

Loki (Yellow Labrador Guise Dog) & Ozzie (Pug x Chinese Crested).
Loki & Ozzie

We pride ourselves with only stocking products that we would buy for our own dogs. (Indeed, Loki and Ozzie are our Chief Product Testers, and will personally vouch for every item in our ranges, although they try to convince us that they need more samples for testing for true verification!)

We research all our suppliers carefully and will only buy from the best.

The small independent / family business has to work relentlessly to build its reputation. Unlike a large company or multi-national corporation, small traders rely on their reputation and on repeat custom. This is why we always strive hard to offer the best service we possibly can.

We truly value all of our loyal customers and all feedback is very welcome.

Recent strike action at Royal Mail has, of course, disrupted our deliveries. We have tried alternatives, with varying degrees of success. However, they are generally more expensive and often slower with reliability issues.

However, we are now able to use the Royal Mail Tracked services at the same price we have been paying for the standard, non-tracked service. This makes it an attractive option, as you the customer get notifications of the progress of your delivery. This will now be our default shipping option.

Of course, all of our products are available in our shop, so why not take a leisurely browse. And, if you have any questions – just ask by using our contact form. As a family business, we are here to help!

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