We follow lots of dog shops on Instagram, but The Designer Dog Company has always stood out because of their selection of products and adorable pictures of the gorgeous resident pooch, Holly!
We received a very warm welcome on arrival and Elsa immediately sniffed Holly out from behind the counter. Dogs have no boundaries and Elsa is always desperate to get behind the till area... we often find ourselves having to retrieve her from stock rooms that she barges into! Luckily Holly didn't mind Elsa's complete lack of respect for personal space and was quite happy to share a treat with her, and pose for a photo too!
Once introductions had been made, we let Elsa have a browse around the shop and we were delighted to see a great range of natural, wholesome and high-quality products, just as we had expected!
As the brand ambassador, we were particularly pleased that The Designer Dog Company stock Elsa's favourite food and treats by ORIJEN! You won't find this brand for sale in supermarkets or big retail chain stores, so it was great to see that this store is an approved stockist. Click here to read more about Elsa and ORIJEN.
We chatted with the store owner, Vicki, and she informed us that she chose ORIJEN for it's 5* quality and reviews on the ALL About Dog Food website (which is coincidentally the same reason that we decided to choose this brand for Elsa!). Vicki was proud to inform us that The Designer Dog Company is currently the largest ORIJEN stockist in the area (as of May 2018).
Elsa was particularly intrigued by the 'treat table' in the middle of the shop.
Along with familiar things like chicken feet and pizzle sticks, there were also some new and interesting 'hairy' chews... We are quite open-minded when it comes to trying new products and since Elsa was already licking her lips at the sight of these chews, we had to give in and treat her!
Throw us a bone - The Designer Dog Company
We chat with Vicki, the boutique owner, about the shop, products and dogs!:
What is the story behind The Designer Dog Company?
I used to spend Saturdays with Holly searching for exciting pet stores selling a good range of natural treats and food, but although we found the odd one or two there was always something lacking and they never quite had what we were looking for, so we always ended up purchasing our treats online. We knew something big had to happen.
Plans for a retail shop were in discussion for well over a year before we launched The Designer Dog Company. When the existing unit came up for let, I decided it was time to go ahead with our new venture and never looked back!
What sets you apart from other dog/ pet shops?
We are completely different to all of the other stores in and around the surrounding area of Darlington because we stock only THE BEST quality food and treats. Regardless of our fancy appearance, there is no doubt that we are in fact cheaper than many, if not the cheapest stockist in town for several brands, and can always guarantee that your dog’s health is our number one priority.
How do you select your products?
We tend to select our products by researching the background behind each one. We do stock "Woof Dog Beer" and Gabby (the owner of Woof Dog Beer) has confirmed that we are an exclusive stockist in town.
We are also a major stockist of ORIJEN Pet Foods and have the largest range available in the area.
Do you stock any exclusive products?
The Designer Dog Company is the most unique Pet Store in Darlington and the surrounding area. Not only do we provide only "the best" products in the area you will also find that we are the best stockist for natural treats. We stock the most unique treats in the area including a new primal range with hair on which have fantastic deworming properties.
What can visitors to your store expect?
Visitors to the store can always expect a warm and friendly welcome. Every four legged customer is always lavished with treats and cuddles as they are our number one customers after all!
Do you host any events in the store?
Since early 2018 we have started hosting puppy gatherings. These events have been massively popular and have catered for a maximum of 8 dogs which is free of charge and provides each dog with use of our ball pool, toys and an array of treats during their time in the shop. We have several future events planned including breed specific and continuous puppy gatherings.
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently in the process of looking to expand our interior to make use of the entire shop floor space we have round the back. I am excited for these changes over the coming months.
Tell us a bit about Holly:
Holly was initially diagnosed in early 2016 with GME (an autoimmune disease which attacks internal organs) and we are quite literally lucky that she is here with us today. She is my best friend, she's my world and a true character indeed. It’s a little cliché, but when you love your dog as much as I do then it's truly a dream job to work alongside your best friend.
With special thanks to Vicki & Holly from The Designer Dog Company for making us feel so welcome on our visit, we look forward to seeing you both again in the future. This is definitely a shop that we would highly recommend to anyone who is looking for exceptionally high-quality dog food and treats!
9 Northumberland Street, Darlington DL3 7HJ