The Creative Pet Solutions Story
Our story began quite some time before the launch of our first product, The Sydney Sleep Mattress. It began with a love of animals, me being a magnet for sick pets, a beloved dog with a chronic illness, and a realization of a blatant lack of integrity of products and marketing, especially in the pet industry.
I used to be a consumer blind to marketing. I purchased what I thought was the best in health, and didn't think too much about the impact anything had on our environment. I thought more about the immediate cost to me than I did about something being an investment.
Becoming the Advocate for a Dog with a Disease
I had a dog that was diagnosed with Addison's disease, which involves decreased hormone production. My quest started with finding better food for him, largely, because the medication to keep him alive was very expensive. I was in college at the time and didn't have a lot of room in my budget.
When I changed his diet from the typical commercial pet food to food with real ingredients from a smaller company with integrity, not only did his health change but so did his disposition. He felt better, he was happier, and his medication dosage was cut in half!
Then I Became the One with the Health Issue
I was diagnosed with a chronic "incurable" disease. It took years to get a diagnosis and an invasive surgery that made the surgery worse. My doctors were not optimistic, and the options they gave me were terrible.
After seeing how my dog's life improved through good nutrition, I decided to do my own research and look outside the traditional medical community. I worked with many holistic practitioners. I did a lot of my own research and experimenting. I even added to my physical therapy education and received a certification in holistic health coaching.
I changed my diet. I removed toxins from my environment (cleaning products, personal care items, etc). I slowly replaced as many of the fabrics and household items I could with organic and natural fibers.
When I did all of this, the debilitating symptoms that I had been living with not only became manageable, I felt like a new person.
I was told I would never live a normal, productive life and that diet and other things were not going to help. This isn't just how it goes in human medical care. This is how it goes in veterinary care too.
Using the Holistic Approach To Battle a Brain Tumor
The story doesn't end there. I adopted another dog named Jackson. My beautiful, loving, and challenging rescue dog. You can read about him here.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumor after attacking me in my sleep one night. He came to me with lots of health and behavioral challenges. Once he was diagnosed, I was told he wouldn't live long. But I knew better. We used the holistic approach with diet and supplementation and Jackson lived eight years past what I was told.
Learning the Facts About Toxins
All of the above led to me studying up on our environmental challenges, and how they impact health, and I made some discoveries that seem like they should be common knowledge, but obviously aren't.
One major concern for me was how many more toxins our pets are exposed to than we are simply because they are low to the ground. Carpeting, furniture, lawns sprayed with toxins, fluids that leak on the ground from vehicles and other machinery - among many other things that are absorbed through the skin and lungs into the bloodstream. These are all factors can cause cancer and other diseases.
My Quest To Find a Better Products for Pets
Knowing what I knew, I was on a mission to find beds and toys for animals that were made of natural materials and did not off-gas potential toxins.
Strike one: I found a bed made of recycled material that was called "green" that was marketed to make it sound like it was better for your dog. Yes, it was better for the environment, but the cover was not a natural fiber. I wanted the parts of the bed that my dog would lay on to be natural fiber. I wanted no chance of off-gassing or having them absorb toxins from the bed through their skin.
Strike two: I found a bed made of natural fibers. But it was not supportive at all.
Strike three: I found plenty of beds labeled "orthopedic" simply because they were made with memory foam. Memory foam does not support the skeletal system well and it is TOXIC!
This quest was frustrating, but it yielded the most positive outcome.
Building a Better Bed
I used my biomechanics background and my passion for changing the way the industry makes pet products to create the Sydney Sleep Mattress. There were many iterations before it was just right, especially finding the right materials so the inside of the bed can be washed, and ensuring it wouldn't be a challenge to put the cover back on.
I am excited for dogs and pets everywhere to experience the difference. My dream is to create and locate many more pet products that will replace the toxic garbage that's currently on the market. Our pets deserve a comfortable, healthy environment.
Sydney is an 8-year old Rhodesian Ridgeback. She was born in South Dakota and moved to Michigan to live with Rachel at eight weeks old. She is a big fan of food, squirrels, and skunks, and she loved a rabbit too much once, but swears that probably won't happen again.