FIVE FROM FINLAND: Pet care
Looking to provide your furry family member with the healthiest and most comfortable life possible? These five Finnish solutions are here to lend a helping paw.
The pandemic has seen a spike in the number of people around the world introducing pets into their lives. Yet, even before this, Finns have had an affection for four-legged friends and have been developing a number of exciting pet-friendly and dog-oriented solutions in recent years.
The local pet sector is continuously developing. Here are five more ways to make pets healthier and happier.
The brainchild of experienced veterinarian and entrepreneur Heidi Kellokoski-Kiiskinen, Paulus is a mobile app that assists dog and horse owners in maintaining their pets’ important health and medication data, such as vaccination, vet prescriptions, treatment protocols, and changes in weight and body temperature. On top of that, the digital service offers plenty of useful knowledge and advice, making everyday life easier for both animals and humans.
Named after Kellokoski-Kiiskinen’s energetic Jack Russell terrier, who loves spending time around horses, Paulus has eyed international markets from the word go as the global pet industry is rapidly growing and the demand for digital pet solutions is on the rise.
“We wanted to develop a feasible and reliable app which would serve horse and dog owners and professionals no matter the sport or level they work at. Most importantly, the horses and dogs would be well taken care of,” explained Kellokoski-Kiiskinen. “By using Paulus, the health information of your animal is always with you in case you have to use different veterinarians.”
This digital solution helps dog owners to train their pets to stay home alone and alleviates the symptoms of separation anxiety and isolation distress in a natural way. The idea was born out of the need to solve a real-life problem which Juuso and Emma Kaari faced when they moved to a new apartment: their Welsh corgi, Väinö, kept on barking and howling when left home alone, causing discomfort to the neighbours.
The Digital Dogsitter web application tracks the sound and location of the dog and plays the owner’s pre-recorded voice whenever the dog starts barking, which is reported to have a soothing effect. With Digital Dogsitter, owners can also see and hear in real time how their dogs are doing and get a detailed visual report of the day’s events.
Each dog’s individual reaction to the solution, however, needs to be observed, as some dogs have behavioural problems beyond the help of an app. In this case, Digital Dogsitter can also offer tips and assistance from professional dog trainers on how to “make home a better place for dogs”.
“This way, we can help both dogs and their owners in the best possible way,” Juuso Kaari pointed out.
This Finnish family business focuses on the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of various treatment products for both people and animals based on Norway spruce (Picea abies) resin and its active substances, known for their antimicrobial and healing-promoting properties. The spruce resin is collected by hand in northern Lapland using a method that respects nature and doesn’t harm trees. The resin is then purified and refined using Repolar’s patented technology.
Pet owners can now choose from Repolar’s range of safe and innovative products designed for treating wounds and infections, insect stings and tick bites, as well as claw damage. To unlock the full potential of spruce resin, the company is strengthening its scientific and clinical evidence and is actively co-operating with international partners in developing new efficient healthcare products.
“Nature-based products are seen positively around the world, but the challenge is their varying quality. Some work, some do not. This why we emphasise scientific research,” the company told us earlier. “Everything we do and what we claim about our products is based on medical research.”
Founded in 2017, after nearly a decade of scientific research to find the best possible solution for treating damaged cartilage in both humans and animals, Askel Healthcare is now enabling dogs and horses to live a quality life free of pain with its innovation, COPLA scaffold.
This new type of a biodegradable implant is used in veterinary medicine for cartilage repair and the prevention of osteoarthritis, which can be a question of life and death for pets. The implant temporarily fills the hole that the worn-out cartilage has left in the joint, and dissolves while the new cartilage is formed, leaving room for healthy tissue.
“We have received really positive feedback about how painless it is for dogs to move shortly after the operation – they just heal really fast,” CEO and co-founder Virpi Muhonen enthused, adding that the business “is not only about making money”, but about “love for animals”.
A lot has been said recently about the carbon footprint of food consumed by people, yet pet food and its impact on the planet have been largely neglected. Until now. With its eco-friendly dog delivery service, launched in April this year, Alvar Pet is on a mission to minimise the carbon “pawprint” of pets.
The startup offers tailored monthly plans with meals delivered right to the customers’ door and ensures sustainable choices are made along the entire operational chain. The dog food is made from Nordic ingredients, such as Baltic herring, oats and faba beans, and produced using wind power, the packaging is fully recyclable, and the carbon emissions are compensated.
The promising business idea has gone down well with Finnish and Swedish investors. Alvar Pet recently raised one million euros in a seed funding round and will use the money to fuel its expansion to new markets, starting with major cities in Sweden and Germany.
“As dogs become an increasingly popular and prominent part of our lives, their environmental impact must be addressed,” commented CEO Ilari Haataja. “The industry has failed to offer sustainable solutions to conscious dog owners.”
Text: Zhanna Koiviola
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