When Lerida Grant’s husband joined a pet care company she couldn’t believe how many people would virtually line up at social events to ask him the basics of pet care. When Sophie (the dog) and Belle (the cat) joined the family she understood why.
Even with her access to expert help, she was bamboozled. She then searched for simple information on how to make caring for pets easier, and the concept of We are Pets was born – a company to help educate pet carers and provide curated products and services to give their pets a healthier, happier life. During her development of We Are Pets, Lerida would also publish the book Simple Dog Care: 7 Steps to a Healthy, Happy Dog, becoming a #1 bestseller on Amazon.
ECX Magazine had a great conversation with Lerida on her amazing journey, how she established her own company whilst writing a book and how we can take care of our pets in simple, yet effective ways.
How did it all begin?
It all started when my husband worked for a pet care company and I went to some of the events he attended. Now I’ve always had a love for pets and I had always thought about doing something for pets. But during these industry events, I was surprised by how many people have asked my husband and I about the basics of pet care.
When Sophie and Belle joined my family, I realised pet owners with expert help can still have trouble taking care of their pets. This would inspire me to start something that could inform and help pet owners.
What inspired the book?
I wrote the book Simple Dog Care because people don’t seem to take care of their pets well enough. In fact, there isn’t much know-how in the industry. People understand the basics but there are actually other simple things that would help their pets much more. The book provide answers to ways of treating your dog, in a simple and logical style.
Now people are allowed to make their own decision. I understand people are busy and the last thing we need is someone preaching at us so I just give a few simple tips on how to go about it.
The tips are detailed in seven steps, with each splitting into two parts, knowing the facts and then applying it. The first part is getting to know the facts, particularly with healthy eating in order to make the right decision. Second is to apply it to daily life. A lot of books tell you what to do but they don’t tell you how to do it. So I’ve tried to really give advice and tips on how to implement it.
Tell me about starting your company We Are Pets
Whilst writing the book, I also founded We Are Pets, which is a nutritional health company for pets. I think that a pet’s diet needs focus and that’s what the company is about. We serve nutritious and tasty meals to your pet, which will make them both happy and healthy. We curate our products from experts in the industry, with recipes tailored by veterinarian nutritional experts such as Dr. Lisa Chimes. Ultimately I want to help pet owners in Australia to take care of their pets in easy and simple ways.
Essential insights for pet care
What’s the most important thing in regards to a pet’s diet?
Healthy eating is the biggest thing for pets. Garbage in is garbage out, it’s the same for humans. That’s why it’s the first step. However, this also comes with a second step, which is exercising, especially with pets like dogs. Physical exercise is important but I think mental exercise too plays an important role in a pet’s health.
Pets love to be stimulated and they love to go around and see things and interact with the environment. Dogs in particular, do get stressed easily and they need to be mentally stimulated. If you don’t want a bored dog, digging holes and having fun, then you do need to take them out.
Do you think pet owners struggle to maintain this?
I think one of the struggles is fitting this into their routine. It’s a routine thing and people need to be able to adjust their lifestyles towards their pets. There are no other ways.
It can really depend on the owner’s choice and their developed mindset in how they will take care of their pets. People go to the pet store and they can get overwhelmed with so many choices. Some people know exactly what they want for their dogs whilst others might not worry so much. It’s important to know that pet owners must also adapt this towards their budget and family lifestyle.
So it’s really very much about the owner?
Yes! It’s big on how the family wants to adapt for the pets. Unless you have a working dog, the dog is part of the family. As a result, you know making the right decisions for the pet is just as important as for the rest of your family.
A lot of people also have the challenges regarding behaviour?
I have said that exercise is part of the mental simulation. Dr. Joan, one of our contributors has a remarkable wealth of information and she said it’s about setting ground rules for your dog.
Early on, set good habits and make sure your dogs have boundaries it understands. They are like kids, if they don’t know what to do or what’s expected of them, then they tend to get stressed and misbehave so there’s often challenges with behaviour. If you have a dog that barks all the time it’s too obvious.
“It’s not just about being healthy but happy as well.”
The main message you want people to take out of the book?
Know the facts, because once you know the facts you are empowered to make the right decisions for your pet.
Simple Cat Care is coming up! This year my key focus is getting We Are Pets up and running, it’s still early days and we are test marketing in Queensland first. I hope by the end of the year we can get to Sydney, and the Central Coast area. We are currently still doing bundle food for dogs and cat, and all of this will happen this year.
It’s definitely going to be a busy year!
Stay tuned with ECX for more of Lerida’s journey in writing her next book Simple Cat Care and to keep updated with We Are Pets.
Journo for ECX Magazine