Piddle Patch is the UK’s first and only soil-free, real grass dog toilet. Piddle Patch is the most intuitive way to house train dogs, teaching them to only toilet on grass and not on textiles. This helps to reduce accidents in the home and speeds up the housetraining process. It’s the ideal solution for toilet training a puppy, for dogs without easy access to an outdoor space, or for owners looking after a poorly or incontinent pet. Piddle Patch is suitable for use indoors, or outside on a balcony or patio.
There has been very little innovation in the way we house train our dogs over the last 60 years. Piddle Patch is the natural alternative to puppy pads which are mass-produced plastic products and can take up to 500 years to degrade in landfill. Piddle Patch grass is 100% biodegradable and its packaging can be recycled.
Piddle Patch is grown in recycled textiles, instead of soil, to produce a longer-lasting grass with a thick root system. It also prevents muddy paw prints from being tracked across your home. The grass is grown in the UK, without the use of chemicals or pesticides, harvested fresh for your order and delivered direct to your door on a subscription basis, or as a one-off purchase.
In addition to Piddle Patch grass, we also offer a non-chew metal tray to put the grass into. This has been a very popular addition to the business. We have also just added a stylish and functional wooden frame to go around the tray, as well as “Boost” absorbent wood pellets for use under the grass to increase the absorbency and lengthen the lifespan of each Piddle Patch. This is especially recommended for those dog owners who are housetraining a puppy and want to extend the lifespan of their grass, and for large dogs who may want a little extra absorbency.
The packaging, tray, all of the products we develop, and their components are sourced from within the UK. We believe it’s important to source locally wherever possible as this helps to support other British businesses and the local economy.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
The inspiration for Piddle Patch came during a visit to the park. The dogs were happy to be in their natural environment and the stress associated with toilet time melted away because the dogs knew instinctively where to do their business. When house training a dog, it makes sense to teach them to behave as they would in the outside world – and so Piddle Patch was born.
How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
In March 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic made it too risky to operate. Many couriers saw substantial delivery delays due to staff shortages and an increase in packages being shipped across the country. Without a reliable courier service to distribute the product in good time to customers, I made the difficult decision to stop operating for a number of months. While this decision resulted in the loss of nearly 99% of the company’s previous customer base, it allowed the business to preserve its cash reserves and reopen once the couriers had a reliable service back in place.
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By September 2020, Piddle Patch had reopened. The business now had the systems and storage in place to allow the business to scale in a way that was not previously possible. I invested a modest budget into social media advertising and saw a substantial month-on-month growth from this investment. There was a significant difference in revenue between March 2020 and March 2021, which saw revenue increase by approximately 500%, between September when we reopened and March 2021.
Tell us about your experience on Dragon’s Den.
I’ve watched Dragons’ Den since it first came out and would dream about one day pitching it on the show, so it was a big moment for me. The paperwork before the show was significant, and the deadlines almost always extremely tight. All of your business claims are investigated to ensure they’re accurate before you pitch. Pitch day itself is a very long day. I waited five hours for my time to pitch, and I was in the Den answering questions for two hours.
During that time, anything you say or do can be edited into the show, so it’s very nerve-wracking, especially as they grill you intensively and try to catch you out on your answers and find holes in your business. I remember walking out of the studio in a bit of a daze, not really knowing how it went, which may seem odd because four Dragons’ made me an offer. The whole experience was overwhelming to say the least, but I’m so glad that I put myself out there and achieved that goal!
What can we hope to see from Piddle Patch in the future?
I’m currently preparing to launch a new product called Nibble Patch, which is a nutritious, 100% edible grass food product for animals.
The product will be hydroponically grown, and as a fresh, living product will offer many nutritional benefits to animals and complement a dry feed diet. Nibble Patch will be packed full of vitamins, minerals and proteins, be easily digestible, increase hydration, and will help ensure a healthy animal. Like Piddle Patch, it will be available as a one-off or on subscription. It will be harvested fresh to order and shipped direct to the customer’s door.
I’m also looking at expanding the Piddle Patch shop by adding additional products to our offering.