The time has come! Healthy Pets is officially launching this week! In conjunction with the air date of our Dragons’ Den episode this Thursday, March 29th, we wanted to take a trip back in time to where it all began, and dive into how Healthy Pets became the leader of the #pettech revolution.
As a recent grad, Healthy Pets’ Founder and CEO Emma Harris began working at a biotechnology company, which focused on technology for people with chronic health conditions. Soon after, Emma and her fiancé, Nigel, adopted an 8-week-old Yellow Labrador Retriever named Bo. Unfortunately, Bo presented rare health concerns quickly thereafter. Multiple vet visits and thousands of dollars confirmed Bo suffered from lungworm. Lungworm is an infection caused by multiple parasites that live in the respiratory tract and has only been found in Ontario a handful of times. Along with this, Bo suffered from reoccurring ear infections, kennel cough, and allergies – all within year one! A year that cost Emma and Nigel about $10,000. Frustrated and exhausted, Emma came up with an idea.
What if pet owners had more power in their pets’ healthcare? What if there wasn’t an obvious divide between veterinarians, their clients, and their patients? Following multiple appeals to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, Emma was granted approval to pursue the first form of Canadian telemedicine within the veterinary field. By spring of 2017, following months of hard work and dedication, the first prototype of Healthy Pets was born. As an online marketplace connecting pet parents with local veterinarians, Healthy Pets offers an alternative way for pet owners to access affordable, trustworthy advice. Whether it’s a simple diet discussion, a second opinion on a surgery, or a dog bite at the park, Healthy Pets provides you with peace of mind. Knowing you can connect with a veterinarian immediately regardless of time, location, or cost, is a dream come true for many pet owners.
In April 2017, Emma was given the opportunity to pitch the Healthy Pets’ platform on season 12 of Dragons’ Den. With only 2% of venture capitalism going to women in business, this was no easy feat. As an all-female team of 3, we’re an anomaly in Canada’s startup community, but we have an edge. Emma’s hard-working, tenacious spirit, and her well-needed idea has drawn positive attention from all over the tech community. But will the Dragons feel the same way? Tune into Season 12 of Dragons Den on Thursday, March 29th to find out!