A fledgling Milton Keynes business was recognised as the best newcomer at the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Awards 2021.
Barking Bags, a family-run enterprise, based in Milton Keynes was awarded the Best New Business this year.
The awards were recently handed out at a black tie event at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Northamptonshire.
The recently formed business focuses on pet accessories, specifically providing a specialist bag to place items in while out on a dog walk.
Barking Bags is the brainchild of Debbie Greaves and her partner Rob Angell, who were inspired by the need to find a bag that would carry all the paraphernalia that they needed when they were training and out on a walk with their dog, Maisie.
Now, Debbie's business offers a variety of fashionable and multifunctional bags to best suit the needs of dog walkers and their furry friends.
Barking Bags claims its products are weatherproof and suitable for any climate or environment.
Debbie said: "Regular exercise is vitally important in the winter months and it is important to make the walk pleasant for you and your dog. Always carry bags for cleaning up and
disposing of doggie poop—leaving dog waste is not only a health hazard, but also it is against the law.
"Try to hydrate by carrying water for yourself and your dog, especially in warmer weather, and be sure to pack your dog’s favourite bite-size treats for rewarding good behaviour away from home.
“We have a range of high quality, water resistant, unisex fabrics and also high end luxury leather bags to choose from, but in response to customer demand, we also produce a vegan friendly range as well. These allow you to carry all the essentials you need.”
Among the innovations which caught the eyes of the judging panel are: mesh pockets for water bottles and soggy toys, a poo bag dispenser, a safe place for keys and other valuables.
Some models have reflective strips for added safety when walking in the dark and Barking Bags sells police approved panic alarms that can be clipped onto the bags.
The bags come with breathable side pockets with the option of a drawstring side pocket – large enough to carry the dog waste once it is bagged up.
Outside of its trademark bags, the Milton Keynes business sells, water bottles, bowls and other accessories.
Currently the business has a perfect 100% five star rating on Google, it has been reviewed 25 separate times.
Barking Bags was shortlisted for two further categories at the PIF Awards, and earned three nominations at the PetQuip awards.
The bags are currently made by artisans in India and are packaged in the UK at MK SNAP - a local charity working with adults with learning difficulties.
The next planned innovation is to produce smaller bum bags with similar accessories.
More information can be found on the Barking Bags website here.