Episode 9 – Johnna Devereaux: Bow Wow Labs

Johnna Devereaux

Johnna Devereaux

Bow Wow Labs created the innovative safety device, the Bully Buddy. This device allows pet parents to offer a dog’s favorite long-term chew, a bully stick, in a safe way that prevents a dog from choking or swallowing the last inch of the bully stick. Sadly, too many dogs get rushed to the emergency room from intestinal obstruction or choking than ever should. Their safety device offers pet parents a way to give their pups the benefits of long-term chews without this risk.

 

Learn more about Bow Wow Labs

Bow Wow Labs website: bowwowlabs.com

Grab your own Bully Buddy: bowwowlabs.com/products/bully-buddy-starter-kit

Buy Safe Fit Bully Sticks: bowwowlabs.com/products/bully-sticks

 

Follow Bow Wow Labs on Social Media

Facebook: facebook.com/bowwowlabs

Instagram: instagram.com/bowwowlabs


This is Jonah Devereaux, and you’re tuned into the Animal innovation show. You’ve tuned into the animal innovation show, where we feature people, products, services and ideas that are helping animals and the people who care for them live better lives. If it’s innovative, and if it helps animals, you can find it here first. So get ready. Here comes this week’s newest innovation for animals. That was perfect. Jonah, Thank you. I’m so glad you’re here. Welcome. Tell us a little about you and how you’re innovating to help animals. So my name is Jonah Devereaux. As I said, I’m a clinical pet nutritionist specializing in canines and felines. And I am the director of nutrition and wellness for bowel labs, which is this phenomenal young company that came out with this product called a Bully Buddy, which allows people to give their dog a bully stick in a way that’s safe and healthy so the dog doesn’t choke on the last one inch of the bully stick. So that’s our innovative product. Yeah, and it is. It was funny because I think when you and I first started talking, we had just started giving our dog Matics a bully stick. And I was like, What is this thing? Because when you get down to that last little piece we had to keep and I am, we didn’t know about the product yet, right? So we were just trying to figure out How do we keep him from choking on it? So I’m guessing that’s where the idea came from. Yeah, So the inventor actually had given his dog and bully stick, and the dog got that last one inch and did, in fact, choke on it. Thankfully, he’s fine. He was able to regurgitate it without any issue, but he was one of the lucky ones. There are almost half a million dogs a year that get rushed to the emergency room because of choking hazards or intestinal obstruction because of things like bully Stick. So he started scouring the Internet to try to figure out, you know, how can I give this bully stick this great long term to, you know, nutritious to to my dog in a way that’s safe. And the only thing he found, oddly enough, was vice grips metal vice grips that carpenters use and he, you know, common sense kind of took over, which is like, I’m not putting something metal in my dog’s mouth because they don’t have broken teeth. Besides, I would have a choking hazard, but I’ll have no teeth. You’ll have no teeth. So he came up with this great idea, and so it’s bone shape and it has a hole in the center. I didn’t realize I’m matching it perfectly, so it’s a little bit hard to see, and what you do is you actually take a bully stick and you insert it into the center hole and you screw down on it and I can’t pull it out. And if I can’t pull it out, your dog can’t pull it out and he’s able to He or she is able to safely navigate the bully stick and chew on it safely. Yeah, I know. I mean, I actually bought one, and my wife is really skeptical about these kinds of things, right? She’s always What did you buy? Now I’m like, No, no, no. It’s this really cool thing to keep him from choking, and she’s like, Yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’ll pull right out right. And I was really surprised because what I really liked about it is that it’s not like this tiny little knob that I had to twist right, because those are impossible. Is this big? I don’t know what you call it on the end, right, That you can see that can take a screw mechanism, right? So yeah, so that was easy. And then it Doug actually into I could see the plastic screw and it would kind of dig a little bit into the bully stick and just like you did, I mean, I was pulling and I handed it to my wife and she’s like, Okay, but you know, how is he going to hold it? I put it down, the dog put his paws on it, and that was the end of that. He was happy. It’s funny because the dogs know exactly what to do. There are occasionally one or two dogs to get a little bit hesitant about going to the bully. Stick with the bully buddy. But you easily desensitize the dog to the bully buddy. If he is a little bit shy or she’s a little bit shy by putting a little bit of coconut oil or some peanut butter, they go right to it and then suddenly it’s their best friend. So it’s such a great device, I will tell you that we have realized that not all bully sticks fit properly in the bully buddy. So what we’ve done is we actually have our own line of bully sticks that we call the safe and bully sticks. I’ll show you just keep it’ll bag here, safe it. Bully sticks are in essence, hand selected and right size. So we’ve chosen the bully sticks that actually will fit your specific size bully body, which there are six different sizes. So if you have a two hour, you’re going to need, you know, a different size ballistic than if you have a great game. So one of the things that we can ensure you is that if you buy our bully sticks are safe and bully sticks that are matched to your size bully stick than if you buy a 10 pack. Every single one of those 10 bully sticks will properly fit. If you go out and buy a random bag of 10 from somewhere else, you may only find that six or seven of those six fit, then you have the conundrum of What do you do with the other three or four? Do you throw them away because no one wants to throw money away? Or do you give them to your dog? And if you give them to your dog without the bully body, then you basically just reintroduce them to the potential for choking or intestinal obstruction and kind of defeated the purpose. So we’ve really tried to make it like a 12 punch. So it’s as easy as can be to give your dog a ballistic as safely as possible. Yeah, what I really like, I have to say. I mean, there’s a lot of thought that went into this because the colour coding on the screw and you have a nice little chart on the website. That’s kind of like if you ever read one, you know, these are the size as you put in if you have a green right orange. So I have to say it was just something as simple as that that made it really easy for me to say for this size. This is what I’m looking for. Well, and most people, if you think about it when you’re buying pants, shirts, whatever it might be if it identifies the size on the tag, you’re cutting the tag off, right? You’re throwing the tag away. So one of the ways that we were able to make it easier for people was by the color coding. So as you, you are so kind to mention the different colors. But you do have like the size medium is a purple. The large is this lime green. So even if you don’t remember what size bully buddy you have, if you just remember the colour of the screw mechanism, then you basically are all set. Have you seen Amazing animal foster videos on Facebook and Instagram and wondered how you could create videos for your foster cats to highlight their true personalities and get them adopted? Do you want to be an adoption ambassador for your foster animals but lack the tools to easily capture and post compelling video of their true personality? Is your shelter Rescue Group signed up as an organization on Dilbert through the Revolutionary Foster Space module? Do? It is the only platform that has adoption ambassador pages so that you, as the Foster, can upload videos and photos of your foster animal to their own unique Instagram style page. Be an adoption ambassador for your foster animal and help them to get adopted faster. Sign up for free at www dot dilbert dot com and fill out your foster profile and let your shelter rescue know today about Joubert Foster space so that you can get started. No, I think I had told you when we first talked. I mean, I hadn’t heard of bully sticks until my wife brought one home. And, you know, we don’t get our dog rawhide anymore. Just, you know, given some of the things we learned that they’re not really healthy for them. So as a nutritionist, right? I mean, bully sticks are different. They’re better. I mean, there’s no problem with giving into them on a regular basis, so bully sticks are the muscle of a bulb. It’s basically the genitalia of a bowl, so there’s no nice way for me to put that it is what it is, right, But it’s high in protein. It’s low in fat, and it’s a muscle, so the muscle fibers make it a really wonderful long term chew. Depending on the size stick that you buy if you get a thin one versus so this would be thin versus this would be considered more of a thick If you can see that you’re looking at maybe about nine calories per inch on the thin stick versus like 15 calories per inch on the thick stick. So you have to be mindful of the fact that they are calorie dense if you allow your dog to chew on them all at one time. So if you’re going to give your dog a six inch or 12 inch fully stick, you know, I say, with a 12 inch fully stick after 20 minutes of chewing, take it away and put it in the refrigerator until their next two sessions. Obviously, you’d want to refrigerate the difference because you now have their bacteria right from their mouth and you say you don’t want to get moldy or gross, but you really want to give a bully stick only two or three times a week, and that’s kind of what makes us different. As a company, I could say, Yeah, you need to feed them two or three really 60 day and make our sales go through the group. But I’d be lying and I’d be telling you something. It wasn’t good for your dog. So 2 to 3 times a week is really the maximum as far as sticks. So when we talked previously, you told me that you kind of take the six inch stick and you give half of it and then put it away so you could make that six days of chewing as long as you’re not getting more than 2 to 3 sticks per week. If that makes sense, yeah, that makes total sense. And that’s what we do. We just set a timer with Syria Alexa for 20 minutes and then let him just to away right. And then it’s okay. Now we’re done, and we’ll revisit that tomorrow. The next day. You know, it depends on what’s going on. Yeah, and a lot of people don’t understand the benefits of chewing. You know, sometimes it’s because you have a meeting and you need to keep your dog occupied. So giving them something to chew on is just more a matter of convenience rather than realizing that there are other benefits of chewing. So there’s also the benefits of oral health that come with chewing as far as mental stimulation, it actually does stimulate your dog for them to try to navigate side of their mouth. They’re going to chew on how long they’re chewing if they’re using the bully buddy, how they’re going to navigate it. And it’s also the act of chewing releases dopamine and serotonin, which a lot of people don’t know. And so it does support a calm mental state, so it kind of makes them happy. So it’s almost like with humans. If you’re feeling super stress or if you’re like, not really having a good day, you throw a piece of gum in your mouth and suddenly things are a little bit brighter and you don’t know why. It’s because you naturally instinctually knew that Chile would make you feel better. It’s the same thing with dogs, so it’s really That’s why I ate Oreos. But, you know, maybe I should get a better way to go. If only we could find a long lasting Oreo. I think we’d all be really when I’m feeling stressed, I just need a couple of Oreos, and now you’re telling me it’s just the chewing. I didn’t need the chocolate Goodness, I’m sorry to break that to you, but yeah, trying to make sense. No, I think as I learned more about the bully stick and that and the fact that it is all natural versus you know, a lot of times you’re buying stuff that you know, it’s processed crap, right? We try to be really treated, right. I mean, in the matter of rawhide, it’s really how it’s treated. That makes it such a horrendous offender. But yes, yeah, because we’re just I mean, we try to be more cognizant of those things, right? So that we certainly don’t want to be given our dog crappy stuff, right? We try and give him better things. And so it’s interesting to know I didn’t really know that it released chemicals that chill him out. I mean, our dog, we ought to say he’s a cat in a dog’s body, so he’s pretty chill. So maybe that’s why, after he’s just like, Oh, yeah, that was good. That was really good. Yeah, it is great thing. And just getting back to the old national. You know, our ballistics are grass fed and grass finished, so they are raised out in the pasture. They are free range feeding. So they are eating a natural diet. They are never given hormones or steroids. So you know, I can say our products are police Sticks are going to be natural and going to be good for your dog. But you always want to do your due diligence and do your research on any product or on anything that you’re gonna be putting in your dog’s mouth because everything that goes in their mouth affects their health. So you want to make really important choices when you decide to just give something as a treat? Yeah. Now, what I find interesting is, I mean, your animal nutritionist, right? So what’s your back story? I mean, how did you go down that path? It all happened from my boy Diego. I was volunteering at an animal shelter. I actually had had cats. I didn’t really have a lot of time to commit to a dog. So I was volunteering at an animal shelter and I was would stick to the cat room. And then this One day I got called in because they had picked up a pitbull, basically who was pregnant and they needed help. And so I met her and she was super sweet. And then two weeks later, I get called into the dog room again, and she just had puppies. So there were three days old when I met my boy Diego. I was helping them actually take pictures that we could kind of log all of their statistics, right? The weight, uh, the age and whatnot. And Diego became very quickly, uh, the love of my life. Like within two seconds, I was like, Oh, my God, I’m getting a dog like I I need I need this boy right here like he was, might use my heart dog, right? So every day I would visit him and I took him home when he was eight weeks old. And as soon as I took him home, he was like my first dog. Not my family dog, but my own dog. He was starting to have issues. So yeast infections in his ears almost on a monthly basis, rashes all over his body, yeast reactions all over his body. And after about nine months of following the veterinarian’s advice of switching foods and putting on different medications, I kind of stopped for a second because besides being a canine nutritionist, which I was not back then I’m an herbalist. I’ve been an herbalist for like, 20 plus years, and I found myself stopping, saying, Wait a second. This is never the way that you would approach health in any other in any other way. So why are you doing it with this dog? It was because I didn’t have any information. I didn’t have the knowledge to know what he needed. So I kind of asked myself the question. What would you do if it was a human? I said, Well, we’d be looking at what is being fed, what’s going into the body. So I realized at that point that I needed to know a lot about dogs. So I started doing research on the anatomy and started looking at what they what. They would eat what they should be eating. And then I realized I am never going to get the information that I want, just from looking in books and online. And I ended up finding a school that had a two year course, and that kind of was everything. So Diego is the reason that the trajectory of my life changed. Um, I have never looked back. I love every second of what I’m doing. I love being able to help cut parents to assist and work with veterinarians and, really more importantly, to help dogs and cats feel better. That’s the greatest gift, and it’s the gift that I’ve been given that I’m able to help people in that capacity. But it all started with Diego, and I can very happily and proudly tell you that as soon as I switched his diet to one that was more in line with how dogs are designed to eat and kind of he’s continually gets healthier. But he never had another eager infection. He never has had another rash. He’s 9.5 years old now, so we’re going back just under nine years. And he is just the epitome of good health. And, you know, he’s perfect, Of course, is that’s awesome. That’s awesome that he became the inspiration it sounds like I mean, it took you down a different career path. Oh, yeah? So I was in the finance world, So a complete the different career different. Yeah. Yeah, and I’m so happy I since rescued another dog, Lola. Now she’s 6.5. I actually was the I don’t know. I might have been the fastest foster fail ever. I was fostering her. She was 6.5 weeks old at £2.5. I was going to foster her, get her back to good health, kind of get her nutritionally sound and then find for a new home and then under 24 hours, slowly became art. So she’s one of the family now. So I’m just blessed for us to be quite honest with, you know, and I love that. That’s a great story, and it sounds like now you’ve found your passion, and you’re able to bring both the herbalist side of you and the nutrition side of you, so it’s kind of a unique combination. It sounds like it’s a unique combination, but it’s really intuitively so connected because if you think about it when we talk about herbs, I mean stages and herb thyme is an herb. Rosemary is an herb. We look at them as culinary herbs, but they also have medicinal properties, so it is really closely integrated and the thing that’s great about animals is that they respond so well. Their bodies heal themselves and they energetically know what they need and respond just amazingly so. I just feel again. I hate to repeat myself, but I just feel so blessed, right? But I’ve been able to do this and that. This is kind of the way my I feel almost like At some point, my life was laid out this way, right? But if I hadn’t been doing the herbal stuff first, I wouldn’t have necessarily been able to go down the path that I did. So what would you do if your cat stop breathing? Would you be able to check their pulse or perform rescue breathing and CPR in time to save their life? Getting certified in cat first aid and CPR is essential to being prepared in case of an emergency. That’s why the Animal Rescue Professionals Association teamed up with Denise Fleck, the pet safety crusader, to bring you the courses and certifications you need to be prepared. Their cat First Aid and CPR course will teach you what you need to know about how to find your cats, pulse and respiration rates and how to conduct rescue breathing and see PCR if required. You also learn how to deal with other emergencies like snakebites, bee stings and tick removal so you can render the age or pet requires. Learn more at www dot animal rescue professionals dot org and get certified today. So now what’s next for you guys? Is there a whole line of products being developed at Bell Labs? I see you’ve got some treats that looks like they’re so we actually launched our waguih wafer treats, which are these fun little treats in there in a little coin shape, which I will open and show you because they’re amazing and they’re really easy to treat your dogs. They’re all made in the USA. They have all natural ingredients. It looks like a little coin because I like to say that I pay my dogs when they do something like meat is the first ingredient. They have nine ingredients or less. So these are a great treat line that we actually just came out with, and we have an amazingly awesome treat coming out in January 2021 that is unlike anything that’s on the market. I can’t tell you much about it yet, but it’s a single ingredient treat. You’ll have to have me back, but it is going to knock the socks off parents and dogs alike. So it’s going to be great. That’s really cool. So now were you as a nutritionist apart then of coming up with the recipe and really the science behind these treats? Yeah. So the fun thing is that I am never afraid to try things. So I get in my kitchen and I just start whipping things up and making things and, you know, doing whatever I need to do. And so it actually had its birth. I’ll say in my own kitchen. So yes, I am. The inventor will say, I was going to say in Diego and Lola, where your taste testers, right? Making Lola approved. But they did need to have many, many, many, many, many samples just to make certain they loved it as much as they did the first time. And yes, it’s good. It’s good that you have the taste testers built in right at home. Absolutely well, Jonah, this has been great to talk to you. I mean, why don’t you tell people how to learn more about you guys. How to get in contact with you. Yeah, thank you. So that will labs dot com. Or you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Bow Labs. You can also learn about our new club that we actually are launching called Bowel Now, which is an easy way for you to make certain that you are never without ballistics or treats. And it’s always going to be free shipping. So bow labs dot com Very cool. I like the free shipping. That’s a good thing. So that’s really cool. Well, I’m really glad you came on to talk to us today. It’s been really exciting, and I learned a lot, and we’ll just remind our viewers and listeners that if they’ve got an idea for somebody that I should have on the show, whether it’s a product, a service or just somebody that’s really innovative, I just go to innovations dot show and let us know about it. So thanks again, John. I appreciate you coming on. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for joining us for the animal innovations show. If you want to volunteer to help animals, check out Dilbert dot com, where you can join tens of thousands of duper tears supporting rescues and shelters around the world to help animals. And if you know, if something or someone innovative that’s helping animals, let us know by going to www dot innovations dot show, mm.

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