• News
  • People
  • Long Read
  • Opinion
  • Weekend Wrap

Five from Finland

Dog-friendly solutions

These Finns are transforming the dog care industry with their innovations.

Julia Helminen

Dog training, apparel, skin care products, food and nutritional supplements – these Finnish innovations are making dogs wag their tails.

Finland is known for its innovative approaches to pet care and boasts a variety of exciting solutions aimed at improving dogs’ health and wellbeing. Below are five examples of how Finns are bringing the best to man’s best friend.


OneMind Dogs helps to make training a positive experience that enhances the relationship between dogs and their owners.

OneMind Dogs

Founded in 2012, OneMind Dogs specialises in dog training online and with smart devices, and has a distinctive method of training from the dog’s perspective. By emphasising mutual understanding, OneMind Dogs helps dog owners to learn how to communicate with their pets in a way that is intuitive to the animal.

“Our training philosophy starts from the dog’s point of view,” said CEO and co-founder Noora Keskievari. “It’s about how dogs learn and how they view you, including your body language. A common mistake is canine training from the human point of view. This is not logical for dogs, so it doesn’t work well, people give up [the] training, and the dogs have behavioural issues.”

The company offers a range of training programmes that cater to all levels, from puppies to advanced competition dogs, designed to make training a fun and rewarding bonding experience for dogs and their owners. With registered users in nearly 100 countries, OneMind Dogs has been especially active on the North American market.


Pala’s products are notable for containing high levels of meat and fish, complemented with fresh vegetables, berries and all-natural boosters.

Pala Petfoods

Pala Petfoods was founded by Prabha Natarajan out of a desire to provide the best possible diet for his own dogs and improve the quality of dog food available in the market. Made using human-grade natural ingredients, Pala’s air-dried raw dog food combines the benefits of raw diets with the convenience of dry kibble. The company also maintains rigorous standards in its production process.

“The advantage of Pala’s raw food is precisely that the raw ingredients get processed very modestly,” Natarajan explained . “[D]ogs benefit more from raw food, because the maximum nutritional value is preserved.”

Pala’s commitment to quality can also be seen in its engagement in scientific research. The company collaborates with such institutions as DogRisk at the University of Helsinki and Tallinn Technical University to develop recipes that are not only nutritious but also scientifically proven to support canine health.


Hurtta has become a popular brand among dog owners who appreciate outdoor activities.


With a focus on durability, functionality and comfort, Hurtta's outdoor gear and accessories for dogs are designed to withstand the harsh Nordic weather, making them suitable for all kinds of outdoor adventures. The range includes everything from harnesses and collars to coats and life jackets, all crafted with the safety and wellbeing of dogs in mind.

“Just as people invest in their gear for the rain and cold, dog accessories and clothing are important, including appearance,” said Mika Holappa, CEO of Best Friend Group, the company behind the Hurtta brand. “Certain breeds need more clothing than others. The need is affected by the [weather] conditions and how long you are outside. In the end, it’s all about love and care.”

Sustainability is at the core of Hurtta, which is looking to become a fully circular brand by 2030. Last year, Hurtta was among the participants in the first national Circular Design training programme funded by the Ministry of the Environment of Finland and coordinated by Design Forum Finland and Ethica. The programme aimed at teaching companies circular design principles, enhancing their readiness for the circular economy.


The important effective substances used by Arctic Vet are yarrow, resin and tar originating from the pure nature of Northern Finland.

Arctic Vet

Paimio-based FinnTar has carved a niche for itself by creating a line of natural skin care products sold under the brand of Arctic Vet and targeted primarily at dogs, horses and farm animals. Co-founders Kirsi Suhonen and Niina Autti wanted to treat their own animals with safe products that make a difference.

“The company was born out of a need,” Autti noted . “There were no products on the market matching our values, whose raw materials come from nature.”

Arctic Vet takes pride in using local raw materials, including tar, resin and herbs collected by hand in Finnish forests and fields. Known for their soothing and healing properties, these ingredients are used to produce shampoos, protective creams and sprays for treating wounds, rash and cuts.

Another exciting ingredient is the Reconnecting Nature microbial extract developed by Helsinki-based startup Uute Scientific. The extract of diverse microbes from forests and agricultural environments aids in supporting the immune system and has a stimulating effect in a natural way.


Chia de Gracia caters to the needs of dog owners interested in organic feeding.

Chia de Gracia / Facebook

Established in 2014, family-owned company Chia de Gracia specialises in natural supplements and feeds for dogs and horses. Founder Mirva Kettunen was looking for suitable alternatives to complement the daily nutrition of her Spanish mare, Gracia, and first tested chia seeds known for their multiple health benefits.

Since then, Chia de Gracia has extended its offering to include a variety of natural feeds, herbal mixes and nutritional supplements such as hemp seeds, nettle, rosehip, ginger, devil’s claw and chasteberry. Produced in Finland, the product line is designed to support pets’ daily health and wellness without the use of food additives or synthetic ingredients.

In addition to quality and safety, aesthetics matter. Chia de Gracia is the first Finnish feed company whose packaging has received an award for design.

“Even though the products are for animals, it is people that buy them,” said Kettunen. “I have been asked if these are really for animals, as [people] would like them for themselves.”

By: Zhanna Koiviola