How I Met My Dog Speaks to: 001 Jacqueline Prehogan – Founder and CEO of Canada Pooch
Canada Pooch is an international canine apparel company with a vision to bring the standards of the human apparel industry to the dog world. Since 2011, they have been making things like stylish clothing, harnesses, cooling bandanas, and beds for dogs (and even a few great accessories for pet parents), with a focus on functionality, quality, and affordability.
After purchasing the best dog-walking fanny pack I have ever used from Canada Pooch, I decided to sit down with Jacqueline Prehogan (via Zoom, of course) to pick her brain about her inspiration for creating Canada Pooch.
Q: Did you grow up with dogs?
A: “Dogs have always been a constant for me. I’ve been obsessed with animals my entire life.”
As a kid Jacqueline would write letters, leave notes, and create presentations with the hopes of convincing her parents that they needed a family dog. Her mom and dad both worked full-time, so it was difficult to imagine finding the time in their schedules for a pet. But Jacqueline never gave up and eventually, in her junior year of high school, her family got a standard poodle and named him Chief. Chief lived to be 14 and was the star of the first Canada Pooch photo shoot.
After college, Jacqueline volunteered at the Toronto Animal Services shelter and it was there that she met and adopted one of her current dogs, Bella. Next she adopted Maddie, then Duncan. The three are 9, 7, and 11, respectively and, even with the addition of their new human baby, Jacqueline and her husband will always consider the dogs their fur babies.
Q: What inspired the founding of Canada Pooch?
A: “There’s nothing good here.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Jacqueline founded Canada Pooch as an answer to a personal problem. In 2010, after adopting Bella, she wanted to purchase a coat to keep her warm during Canada’s harsh winters. To her dismay, she discovered her two options were either something decked out in bows with a tutu or something utilitarian and not at all fashionable. Recognizing that she couldn’t possibly be the only pet parent looking for function as well as fashion for their dogs, she decided to create her own lifestyle brand for pets and Canada Pooch was born.
Q: How does Canada Pooch give back to the rescue community?
A: “Since the beginning of time, we do a big, annual rescue giveaway.”
Canada Pooch does more than sell high quality, innovative pet and pet parent products, they also give back to the rescue world. During their Annual Rescue Giveaway, Canada Pooch donates thousands of coats, sweaters, beds, and accessories to local animal shelters. Canada Pooch team members personally deliver these items so they can meet the shelter dogs and thank the shelter volunteers for all of their life-saving work.
“We’re obviously very involved with rescues but we also try to be very involved with our communities too.”
When COVID-19 hit the world, Jacqueline and Canada Pooch launched into action and went above and beyond for their community. In a span of two weeks, they set up a sourcing structure for medical grade masks, raised over $69,000 on GoFundMe, and donated over 100,000 masks to over 15 hospitals. Jacqueline and her husband even personally donated $20,000 to this cause.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
“I never knew this before [about myself] but I am a creator.”
Jacqueline is also the co-founder of two other successful pet companies: Diggs Pet, another innovative pet product company and Open Farm, an ethically sourced dog food brand. With her hands, mind, and heart so deeply intertwined with all things pet-related, making well-designed products that improve the lives of both pets and pet parents is clearly her passion. Seeing the excitement on consumers faces as they find the products they really want, is her favorite thing about the job.
Jacqueline’s passion to help animals in need as well as her drive to create better lifestyle products for pets is not only a testament to her success, it’s her commitment to make the world a better place for animals.
So, if you’re in the market for some super awesome dog apparel? Check out Canada Pooch to learn even more and see their lineup of pet and pet parent lifestyle products.