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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Meet the friends who started Freshwoof to provide vegan meals for dogs

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Two friends founded, Freshwoof, a Jaipur-based founded company that provides nutritious, vegan meals for dogs. The friends, Saakshi and Tejwinder Singh, are both vegans.

Sixteen-year Ruby wasn’t a picky eater. She had some white in her coat and some silver peeping through at certain angles, but she was still an easygoing dog at heart. Unless it came to eating.

Ruby, who is very sensitive to meat and animal-based meals, would vomit anytime her mother, Saakshi Sharma, tried to introduce some species-appropriate food into her diet. Then the itching would get intolerable, and she’d stop eating for two or three days.

To stop the pattern, Saakshi experimented with numerous diets and cuisines before placing Ruby on a completely vegan diet. Saakshi, a vegan, has seen significant improvements in her life after giving up animal-based meals.

Ruby’s intestinal health and skin condition improved quickly after starting the vegan diet, as did her general energy levels.

When Saakshi began looking for vegan, plant-based meal choices for dogs on the market, she was disappointed. Her only alternative was to create food for Ruby at home, ensuring that it had all of the 37+ important components that animals require in their meals on a daily basis. It was a difficult position to negotiate, but it provided Saakshi with a new perspective on the Indian pet food market.

If she, a vegan and canine nutritionist, was having problems preparing healthful, vegan meals for her Ruby, it had to be doubly difficult for other pet parents in the same situation.

This inspired Saakshi to team up with another vegan coworker and friend, Tejwinder Singh, to launch Freshwoof, a plant-based pet food company located in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

FreshWoof, which was founded in 2020, has so far raised a pre-seed round from Marwari Catalysts and a few angels. The founders spent Rs 1 lakh in the company, and its goods are available on Supertails, Vegan Dukan, Wildermart, and other ecommerce sites. Veganism and vegetarianism in the pet food industry are an oxymoron, at least according to canine nutritionists who stand by species-appropriate diets.

Freshwoof’s meals are delivered in ready-to-feed packets that don’t require any extra preparation. There are now three flavors available: brown rice and beans, tofu and quinoa, and oats and chickpeas.

It is commonly understood that, although being domesticated, pets’ biological make-up does not make them suitable just for vegetarian/vegan diets. Many canine nutritionists have promoted species-appropriate diets for dogs in recent years, arguing that if they were in the wild, they would not have access to vegetarian foods such grains, pulses, and vegetables.

However, a recent research at the University of Winchester in the United Kingdom found that vegan diets are healthful and safe, and that dogs fed raw meat diets are only modestly healthier than vegan diets. In India, where vegetarianism is inextricably linked to religious beliefs, healthy and nutritious vegan diets have assisted pet owners in feeding their dogs healthier.

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