In Switzerland, I spoke with someone who is prepared to chase their dream.
She saw her dog destroying her toys quickly all over the house and the amount of waste it created.
Still wanting her dog to play and chew with toys, she looked into other avenues.
After researching about the dangerous substances that were in commercial dog toys, she discovered untreated hemp.
Betty Woof was handmade (literally)!
Fast forward a few years, with a cult following and raising awareness throughout Europe on the chemicals and toxins that are in dog toys.
With her Aussie border collie by her side, I had the privilege of speaking with the very creative, dog lover, Elli Panagopoulos Zocco, the founder and owner of Betty Woof- your natural dog toy
When was Betty Woof created?
It was a hobby for me actually, then my friends and locals with dogs had seen them and their dogs really enjoyed them. It was word of mouth to begin with. I officially started at the beginning of 2016, selling my toys online.
How did you come across hemp rope?
I was looking for a non-toxic toy alternative for my dog Betty. She is a heavy chewer and destroys everything within minutes, which doesn't bother me at all. I was curious to see what her usual dog toys are made of and stumbled across different articles about all the chemicals in dog toys. This was concerning me a lot, because when you think how many times a day our dogs carry, play or chew on dog toys it's absolutely inconceivable why the industry still uses such bad chemicals in their product.
That's when I found out about hemp rope and all the benefits for our dogs and environment.
Why is creating a biodegradable product important to you?
I love the fact, that I create a product which, after it isn't in use anymore, it can leave this planet without doing any harm to it.
How is Betty Woof different from other toys?
It's absolutely free from any chemicals and has a very own (earthy) smell, which dogs love! I know the trend goes to indestructible toys, but I say it's okay for dogs to destroy their toys. They actually love to chew on things! So why not offer something they can chew on and play with and that is safe for our pets and planet!
Who is Betty Woofs ideal customer?
Dogs love to play and chew. Especially on products with earthy smells. The products are made for our lifestyles, you can take the products out in the environment. I love to take Betty out for hikes in the mountains, so this allows me to try out all the toys too. Betty Woof is for all dogs that love to play and be active.
What’s next for Betty Woof?
I am always looking for new ideas and I'd love to offer some extra large toys in the near future.