Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Store Spotlight: DOG for DOG

We're back with another Store Spotlight highlighting an inspiring small business that is doing good in the animal community!

DOG for DOG creates high quality, all natural, US made dog food and treats with one mission in mind: to help save homeless animals. For every DOG for DOG item sold, the company donates food to a shelter. Since lack of supplies is often a cause for euthanasia in shelters, DOG for DOG's generous business model not only saves lives, but gives pups a fighting chance to find their fur-ever home.

I was lucky enough to connect with the founder of DOG for DOG, Rocky Kanaka, to learn more about their mission and the amazing work they do. Read on to hear his story, and how you can win one of TWO paw-some DOG for DOG prizes!!

Little Holly's Big World: First thing's first: what compelled you to start a dog food company?

Rocky Kanaka: What compelled me to start DOG for DOG was the overwhelming need to save pets lives.  I started small in a little bakery for dogs called The Dog Bakery.  My staff and customers really got involved in holding adoption events.  What started out as a real win, quickly became discouraging because we could not save enough pets.  It was with that frustration that DOG for DOG was born.  We started hand-making DOG for DOG items in the bakery.  In fact the very first DOG for DOG employee, Kelly Hannaford, made the first treat by hand and customers just loved it!  We were growing fast when my partner and media mogul, Ryan Kavanaugh, got involved and it helped supercharge the company.  Soon after, all kinds of people wanted to be involved from Snoop Dogg to Chelsea Handler to Michael BublĂ©.  But the real success came from our customers.  They deserve all of the credit because they are some of the most loyal, passionate and determined customers I have ever seen.  

LHBW: Tell us more about the one for one model: how does it work when a customer purchases one of your products? 

RK: The amazing thing about our model is just how simple it is; for every DOG for DOG item purchased, we donate food to dogs in need.  If you purchase a bag of our DOGSFOOD or DOGSTREATS we donate that same amount in DOGSFOOD to a dog in need.  And it is the same high quality DOGSFOOD you feed your dog.  We only want the best for your pup and rescue dogs.  Coming soon are toys, beds, and more that also follow that same model.  Buy a toy and we feed a dog!  Even better our model often works on a local level.  In most cases the store where you purchase your DOG for DOG product gives their donation amount to the local rescue in your community.  We are big fans of buy local, give local.
Holly was happy to taste test some of DOG for DOG's amazing products, and even happier they help pups in need!
LHBW: I imagine that using all natural, grain free products and keeping production in the USA is more expensive. Why is it important to you that your food has this level of quality?

RK: I love my dog Flip and only want to feed him all-natural, made in the USA products.  Flip was a puppy that would not stop following me around at one of the first donation drops we did.  I can’t imagine not feeding your family pet and rescue pets the same way because they all deserve proper nutrition.

LHBW: Why is DOGSBUTTER a better snack for my pup than regular peanut butter?

RK: Like all of our products, DOGSBUTTER is all-natural and made in the USA. We work to keep the ingredients in our DOGSBUTTER simple and understandable.  It is a peanut butter specifically formulated for dogs.  With key ingredients being peanuts and flax seed, it is the perfect treat.  In some versions we add coconut to help with skin and coat, and ginger to help with immunity and digestion.  DOGSBUTTER has a very loyal following and for a good reason. Our DOGSBUTTER is manufactured in the USA so you know where it's coming from. Bonus: it's human-grade peanut butter and tastes delicious!

Holly gives DOGSBUTTER four licks for tastiness!
LHBW: Tell us about your own rescue pooch, Flip!

RK: He is the best! He's full of energy and is the most loving puppy I could ask for; he'll make friends with anyone. He loves cuddling, long runs on the beach, and standing over and staring at me in the morning before I wake up. But seriously, he has had such a powerful impact on me, not just as a pet owner, but as an inspiration for going to work everyday.  Flip is the perfect example of the impact saving lives can have.  I met Flip on our first ever donation drop to Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue. He was severely malnourished and after I adopted him, he was diagnosed with distemper and things weren't looking too great.  I refused to give up on him.  Even after the vet recommended calling an end to the treatment.  After a long road to recovery, Flip is a healthy 70lb boxer who can now run almost 5 miles with me. Flip's love and energy is a constant reminder of why I work endless hours and will never give up helping those in need.

Rocky's rescue pooch Flip went from a rough start to being a happy, healthy (and adorable) pooch!
Image courtesy of Rocky Kanaka on Instagram.
LHBW: You have gained a lot of traction with celebs, including having a spot at the TeenChoice gifting suite and getting investments from Snoop Dogg and Chelsea Handler. When you started the company, did you ever imagine it would lead to you hanging with so many A-listers?

RK: It just goes to show that doing the right thing pays off.  It still surprises me when Michael BublĂ© and his wife Luisana call to tell me a great adoption story or when we have a board meeting and Snoop Dogg is arguing with Chelsea Handler on who has rescued more dogs.   What I can’t stress enough is the overwhelming amount of joy you get when you see these A list celebrities roll up their sleeves just like us to do whatever it takes in our mission to help as many pets as we can. 

Snoop Dogg talks saving dogs with Queen Latifah. Video courtesy of DOG for DOG on YouTube

LHBW: For my readers out there who are not in a place financially to adopt, what are other ways they can help out pets in need?

RK: I will be the first to say that every time I am at an adoption event I want to take every one of those pets home with me…but my home is not big enough :).That’s why DOG for DOG has really taken off.  It’s a very simple convenient way to help.  If you are already buying food and treats for your dog you don’t have to do anything extra.  By simply switching to DOG for DOG you make an immediate impact. 

LHBW: Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to do good in the world?

RK: Start now.  You don’t have to wait for the next big idea or spend years putting together the biggest business plan in the world.  In everything you do we can make small efforts that effect big change.  Already have a company?  Dedicate one of your products or offerings that give back.  It’s not about the next big idea that will create the biggest impact; it’s about the one life you can make a big impact in.

I want to thank Rocky Kanaka and DOG for DOG for taking the time to chat with us, and to send such a generous number of goodies, some for us to sample, and some to share with all of you!! In fact, DOG for DOG was so generous we will be giving away not one, but TWO amazing prizes!

First prize: 1 bag of DOG for DOG food, 1 bag of DOG for DOG peanut butter treats, 1 jar of DOGSBUTTER, and 2 DOG for DOG snack bars!

Second prize: 2 DOG for DOG snack bars!

One thing's for sure, with DOG for DOG, all pups are the winner! Enter below for your chance at one of our prizes, and be sure to check out DOG for DOG at your local pet store (find a retailer near you here). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to Jack F and Meghan C! Check your inboxes for details on your win!

Until Next Time, Darlings!


  1. My chihuahuas would love the DogsButter so much!!! nom nom nom lol :)

    1. OMG I'm sure they would! Holly is OBSESSED :)

  2. Replies
    1. Holly loves it! It's an awesome product!!

  3. I agree with everyone the Dogsbutter sounds just wonderful! What beautiful dogs :)


    1. Thank you!! The DOGSBUTTER really is delish (according to Holly)!

  4. Our dogs love regular peanut butter, so I know they would love the DogsButter, and then we would have to worry about them sneaking a bite of our sandwich!

    1. And the DOGSBUTTER is human grade, so maybe you'll be sneaking bites of their treats :)

  5. Would love to win the peanut butter dog treats! My pup LOVES pb so these would be perfect for her upcoming birthday on February 15th :) Paws crossed!

    1. Happy birthday to your baby! Holly is obsessed with the duck treats she got, and I know she was eyeing those peanut butter ones too ;)

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