No More Choking With Robust Bully Stick Holder │ Safety Chew


No More Choking With Robust Bully Stick Holder │ Safety Chew

Are you worried your dog will choke on that last bit of bully stick stub? 

Kirby Kendall, an organic chemist, had the same worries with his dog.

“My dog gets on that last inch or so of a stub, and you walk into the room, and she’s like, ‘Oh, he’s gonna take it.’ ─ Which we would ─ so she would gulp it down. And a couple of times, I have to reach into her throat and try to pull it out because she is gagging.” 

Feeding Happiness with an All-Natural Bully Stick

No More Choking With Robust Bully Stick Holder │ Safety Chew

Taking the stub away seems like pure evil since it is clear that dogs enjoy eating it. It does not hurt them unless they choke and gag on it. 

Kirby got the idea of inventing his version of a bully stick holder after trying out ones with clamping mechanisms. He can yank the stick out on the ones he tried, which defeats the purpose. His dog of 60 pounds can quite easily do the same.

In Kirby’s words, 

“I am a garage inventor. I’ve invented a few things and never gone anywhere, so I’m going to tackle this one too. Maybe this one, I can take somewhere.”

Kirby has a principle he follows as he works. It is to keep a list of requirements he will stick to. With this project, he had two.

The first one; he will not modify the chew in any way. 

He needed to break his rule to ensure the product’s success. He drilled a hole on the stick, where he would fit a nylon pin inside. The pin will hold the stick in place, which is inside the rubber ring. 

“Another part of the requirement was no tools, and so everything had to be easy to do with just finger strength.”

Kirby made it so that people could easily use it. 

No More Choking With Robust Bully Stick Holder │ Safety Chew

His drive to invent and create came to fruition after three years of hard work, brainstorming, and experimenting. He used different designs and materials to make the best possible bully stick holder. 

He tried to kickstart in 2018, which ended up as a total bust. It was launched as Everchew back then, but it did not sell well. 

His next try timed perfectly with the global pandemic. 

“Then we launched February of COVID. Yay. The week of the lockdown.”

Unexpectedly, the pandemic became a sort of blessing in disguise for Kirby. They launched as Safety Chew this time around. 

“The pet product industry accelerated because people are home with their dogs during COVID.”

This launch became more successful, with 60% of orders being refills and returning customers. 

Safety Chew’s plans include preparing to release collagen chews this calendar year. Kirby is also working with food scientists to develop a vegetarian chew. There were also mentions of rebranding back to Everchew.

Kirby’s journey is all about starting an idea and pushing through. Once you notice a problem and you know how to fix it, do it. 

Learn more about Safety Chew

Visit their website at

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Kirby: Hello, I’m Kirby Kendall, and you’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Why don’t you start us off and tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals?

Kirby: My dog Eva, a few years back—like many dogs, was chewing on a dog chew. And she gets to that last inch or so of a stub,  and you walk into the room and she’s like, oh, he’s going to take it, which we would.

So, she would gulp it down. And a couple of times I had to reach into her throat and try to pull it out because she’s gagging and I get it out.

And my wife said, “No more chews, like, raw hides, bully sticks, or anything.” So, I was like, I want her to have these things. She enjoys them. They’re good for her.

And my dog— oh, lord, she was 60 pounds, and so she could rip them out easy, too.

Okay, I’m a garage inventor. I’ve invented a few things that have never gone anywhere, so I’m going to tackle this one, too. Maybe this one I can take somewhere.

That was my goal, was to invent something on my own and get it out there onto the shelves, as they say.

And so, it took me about three years. I had tried all these different designs and the one requirement I had to give up on was I’m not allowed to modify the chew. That was one of my requirements.

I ended up modifying the chew by drilling a hole in it. And so, you can kind of see a hole in the stick because the only way I could grip it that was undefeatable by my dog, that didn’t require tools and didn’t require metal was to use a nylon pin that fit through the chew and held onto it.

And then the pin itself is held inside of a rubber ring. And so, it’s kind of a double-step process to lock in the chew.

And another part of the requirements was no tools. And so, everything had to be really easy to do with just finger strength.

You can do it with long fingernails or fat fingers.

And when I was working on it, I was making sure I could use my pinky to do the installation and do my thumbs. So, I was trying to make it as easy as possible for people to use.

And I think we finally got there. 

Chris: So, now take us back.

So, you said you were kind of playing with this for like, three years. So, what year did you come up with the idea for this?

Kirby: I tried to kickstarter in 2018, and that was a total bust. I didn’t know what I was doing.

It was the EverChew back then, and so then it was— does nobody want this? And it’s just not really a viable product.

So, after the kickstarter didn’t fund, I decided, okay, I’m going to invest another. I pulled some money out of my 401(k) and give it a shot.

And I was in the process of doing that and lining everything up and building up the website. And then we launched in February of COVID.

Right, the week of the lockdown. Which is okay because we’re only e-commerce.

Chris: I’m curious, did COVID actually end up helping you?

I know with COVID, a lot more people are home and so they were obviously with their dogs more often. That ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Kirby: In some things, yes.

Because they say that the pet product industry accelerated some because people were home with their dogs.

We didn’t have a baseline before, so, we’ve actually had to not grow because I’m sitting there, I’ve got a 100 rings. That’s all I’ve got.

And I’ve only got 2000 bully sticks. That’s only enough to last me a couple of weeks.

But we’re finally starting to get our inventory and get our feet back under us now.

Chris: So, now when you came up with the idea, obviously you went through a whole bunch of stuff.

You started with a hockey puck. How did you decide on the materials that you wanted to use? I mean, it sounds like being a research scientist, you have this whole methodology of things that you go through.

Kirby: That did help, I was able—I’m an organic chemist, so, I can kind of imagine polymer chemistry a little bit.

So, I started out using my injection molders recommendation on the polymers to use and looked at all the other stuff out there that dog toys are made out of.

So, we started out using a class of polymer that’s really typical elastomer for dog products and dog chews.

And that’s what we went with on our initial product run. And it was good, but not good enough.

And so I was like, “Okay, let’s see if we can identify a whole new class of polymers with experimenting.”

I reached out to all the different vendors and suppliers and such, right. Every class of polymer out there. And then I made my own test rig and ended up selecting a material.

Right now, we’re using the DuPont type of material.

Chris: Yeah, and that’s kind of cool for somebody that’s—obviously, you’re an entrepreneur, right.

So, you’re kind of learning some of this as you go. So, how is the product then received? I mean, you launched it like you said right before the world kind of shut down and you’ve worked through supply chain issues.

How is it selling? Are customers liking it?

Kirby: Oh yeah, we sell—I guess the biggest data point we got, it says that it’s successful is on any given day when I go out to do fulfillment, about 60% of the orders that I’m doing are refills.

So, we’ve got people that subscribe and they get their sticks every month. But I guess it’s well-received because it’s the refills. People are keep coming back to it.

Yes, we finally got the material. The right material that they can’t tear up the ring. That’s really kind of good.

Chris: So, what’s next, Kirby? I mean, where do you take this?

It sounds like you—you know, as an inventor, you’ve tried all sorts of different things, and now you’ve hit on a product that works.

What’s your future plan?

Kirby: Well, we only sell bully sticks right now.

We are getting ready to add collagen chews, and hopefully this calendar year is our goal.

So, we’re thinking of doing that and doing some testing with different vendors of the collagen chews. I’ve hired a couple of chef/foodscientist people to develop a vegetarian chew for us.

I’m trying to learn all this business stuff as well.

Chris: Yeah, I was going to say, I mean, you’ve had quite a journey. It sounds like you’ve been developing products for years, and now even just with this one, you said it was three years from kind of idea to fruition.

I’m curious, on your journey, what have you learned about yourself in this process?

Kirby: I like to be inventive and creative and discover there’s a whole bunch of different areas and I can try them.

Chris: That’s cool.

Kirby, this is really neat. I’m excited that you finally honed in on what works and your product is successful.

I saw your video out there of you literally lifting a dog, right. So, you’re showing it. Even the big dogs aren’t going to be able to tear this out. So, I think that’s really amazing.

Is there anything else you want to mention before we wrap things up today?

Kirby: So, the only thing is right now we’re SafetyChew. So, you can go to SAFETYCHEW.COM site. We’re rebranding back to EVERCHEW again.

So, we’re going back to the original name. So, you can Google either website and it will pop up on both, that’s what’s going to happen.

But eventually, by the end of the year, it will all be only EverChew, that’s the plan.

Chris: Thank you, Kirby.

This is really exciting to see this product come to life and hear about what you’re planning to do with it.

And as I wrap up our show today, I always love to just remind our viewers and listeners, it starts like Kirby’s did with an idea.

He noticed a problem and said, you know what, I can fix this. And look at where he’s come. It’s been a journey for him. But he’s got a product that’s selling. He’s selling it globally.

So, if you— maybe even sitting on an idea, you’ve been thinking about a product, we want to know about it.

Come on the show. We’d love to talk to you about it. Learn more about your journey and the product or the service or whatever it is that you’re selling.

So, even if it’s a product that you have out there or service or even just an idea, we really would love to know about it.

Just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW we’d be glad to have you on the show to learn about it.

And don’t forget, please sign up for DOOBERT.COM where you can be a Dooberteer.

So, we need many volunteers to help. You can be a foster, you can be a transporter. There’s so many different things that you can do on Doobert to help out our rescue animals that are always in need of your help.

So, thank you again, Kirby, for coming on. I really enjoyed the conversation and I’m really excited to see what you’re going to develop next.

Kirby: Great, this is a lot of fun, thanks for having me.

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