Despite how smart you believe your furry, four-legged pal to be (and I'm sure he's very, very smart), he doesn't actually have the capability to comprehend how important exercise is to his well-being. To help you instill the same kind of healthy habits in him as you do in yourself, Great OutDogs was born.
Inspired by the love for his dog Nugget, Matt Edwards set out to create the "Bass Pro Shop of outdoor gear for dogs" in a mobile store that roves around to highly trafficked dog parks. It's a one-stop-shop where people with pups can buy agility toys, walk and run gadgets, handy harnesses, collars and much more.
Particularly clever are the items categorized according to pet owners' lifestyles: You'll find hiking, hunting, travel, swimming and other fitness-focused classifications. "I want to provide a source where people can find new activities to do with their dogs and how to take their dogs with them safely," Edwards explains.
Edwards' concern regarding canine obesity served as a starting point for his business and continues to be a large focus for both he and Great OutDogs' future. "A lot of people don't realize that what you feed your dog, how much exercise they get and their weight really affect how long they live," he says. "Pet obesity is something that can easily be controlled — people just have to be knowledgeable on what to do to slim their pups down and what or what not to feed them."
But before you get the idea that Edwards wants you to send your chubby buddy to a doggy drill camp in the dead of summer: "Heat is definitely a big concern when it comes to how much exercise your dog can get, because you definitely don't want them to have a heat stroke or get overheated."
Should you find your guy is panting like crazy at the dog park, Great OutDogs has a solution: "I use the Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler on my boxer, and let me tell you, it works big time!
"I took him to Auditorium Shores one day, and after an hour, his tongue was huge and he couldn't stop panting. I soaked the Swamp Cooler and within 30 minutes, his tongue had shrunk back to its normal size and went back into his mouth. He was able to stay out with me the rest of the eight hour day without any problems at all."
To see where you can catch Great OutDogs next time you're out with your pup, check out the truck's calendar. There will surely be something fitting for Fido among the 1,500+ products that Edwards carries.