When friends Jye de Zylva, a former carpenter, and Davie Fogarty, an entrepreneur, joined forces to launch a line of innovative dog beds in 2019, in just a few months their passion project turned into a million-dollar business.

Since launch, Pupnaps, a line of calming dog beds designed to reduce anxiety, stress and improve sleep quality in dogs, has maintained consistent growth, attracting more than 4,000 sales each week, equating to over $1 million in monthly revenue.

Each bed is made from soft faux fur and features comfortable padding and a raised rim, to instantly produce a calming effect on pets and help them feel secure.

“Anxiety can impact a dog’s quality of life, not to mention the guilt and fear that owners have whenever they need to leave their pets alone,” de Zylva said.

“I know from personal experience when my dog becomes stressed, he’ll often run away, especially if I’m not home at the time. I wanted to create a product that solves this problem and improves the mental health of our pets, while giving dog owners peace of mind when they need to leave their dog alone or outside for a few hours.”

The international success of one of Fogarty’s own brands, Calming Blankets, a line of weighted blankets designed to assist adults and children with troubled sleep or sensory conditions that impact sleep quality, also served as inspiration for Pupnaps.

“Pupnaps was a natural next step for the business, considering the success of our other anxiety-reducing products. We also saw a noticeable gap in the market,” he said.

“While products such as ‘thundershirts’ have been around for years, there was an absence of other products that successfully support the mental health of our pets. Dogs spend a lot of time enjoying their bed, whether they’re relaxing, napping or playing, and introducing dog owners to the idea of a stress-relieving bed was a no-brainer for us.”

The key to the success of Pupnaps lies in the foolproof sales and marketing model incorporating a strong focus on content, social media, customer service and product development, in addition to direct customer communication, according to de Zylva.

“When we first started Pupnaps, we knew that we needed to communicate with potential customers to have the best chance of success and create a problem-solving product people truly wanted. We did just this and asked dog owners what they wanted out of the product, including the designs, patterns and colours that would appeal to them most. By engaging with our customers from the outset, our products are frequent sell-outs. We’ve continued to communicate frequently with customers ever since, launching new products as a result,” he said.

The brand has continued to evolve and grow, moving beyond its original calming dog bed, into different fabric varieties, as well as orthopaedic products. The Bamboo Calming Bed is a popular choice for those living in warmer climates and during summer, while the best-selling Orthopaedic Memory Foam Bed brings comfort for older dogs.

Next month, an Orthopaedic Floor Rug and a Calming Furniture Couch will be launched. The Orthopaedic Rug offers the same support as the Orthopaedic Memory Foam Bed, at ground level, to provide more accessibility for senior, injured or disabled pets, while the Calming Furniture Couch features the signature Pupnaps faux fur fabrication and padding, and is designed to protect household furniture.