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Could these Norfolk supplements help your dog feel less stressed?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 September 2020

The canine stars of Buddy and Lola's new social media campaign on set. Picture: Supplied by Buddy and Lola

The canine stars of Buddy and Lola's new social media campaign on set. Picture: Supplied by Buddy and Lola

Archant

Buddy and Lola products are formulated to help pets with anxiety, upset tummies, itchy skin and more.

On location in London at Buddy and Lola's video shoot Picture: Supplied by Buddy and LolaOn location in London at Buddy and Lola's video shoot Picture: Supplied by Buddy and Lola

They say you should never work with animals – but on location for an advertising campaign for a growing Norfolk dog supplement brand, its canine stars were impeccably behaved.

“It was like kindergarten for dogs,” laughs Clare Millar from Dereham, who co-founded Buddy and Lola with her husband, Charles, in 2016.

They have created a range of nutritional supplements and what they call ‘treats with benefits’ for dogs, aimed at helping them to live as long and healthy a life as possible. They are targeted at a range of issues, including joints and mobility, tummy trouble, itchy skin and stress.

And the new Buddy and Lola campaign, which Clare describes as a “major milestone” for the brand, will run across social media this autumn.

Preparing the set at Buddy and Lola's video shoot in London. Picture: Supplied by Buddy and LolaPreparing the set at Buddy and Lola's video shoot in London. Picture: Supplied by Buddy and Lola

As Clare, who does the PR for some of the county’s best-known restaurants including the Ingham Swan, explains, the inspiration behind the brand was their first rescue dog, a Doberman/Labrador cross called Rusty, who they adopted in 2008. They have gone on to re-home two more rescue dogs.

“We realised that just like humans, dogs need support with health and nutrition,” says Clare. “We realised that as one of our dogs got older mobility became a problem.

“A dog can’t say to you, ‘I’m not very well mum’ and we wanted to do something to help, so we started researching the market.

“We are not scientists ourselves and we decided we needed to partner with a manufacturer that had the expertise.”

On location for Buddy and Lola. Picture: Supplied by Buddy and LolaOn location for Buddy and Lola. Picture: Supplied by Buddy and Lola

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They found their manufacturer a few miles away at Wymondham and they worked together to develop the products, with veterinary specification ingredients, which are natural where possible.

The products, which include Tummy Buddy, Happy Tummy, Weight Gainer, Bouncy Bones and Calming Treats, which contain lavender and camomile, have been shipped to 22 countries worldwide and Clare says that sales have grown by 30 per cent in the last year.

“It’s exciting that, despite the challenges of Covid-19, online retail is growing and the pet sector in particular seems to be showing a lot of resilience and is weathering the storm,” says Clare.

The new Buddy and Lola marketing campaign will centre around its brand new product, the 15-in-1 Daily Super Boost, which is designed to aid digestion, mobility and healthy skin, alongside their Weight Gainer product, which has also been inspired by their own dogs.

“When we re-homed our rescue dogs they came to us underweight – it’s the nature of rehoming dogs that haven’t had the best start in life,” says Clare. “We researched the market and there wasn’t a product that could help them put on weight, a high protein product that could allow dogs to get all the nutrients they needed for weight gain. Now it’s flying off the shelves and we are hearing amazing customer stories.”

The products are available via Amazon and their website buddyandlola.co.uk and Clare hopes that in the future they might be stocked in pet stores and supermarkets.

The video shoot took place at Loft Studios in London, which has also welcomed celebrities including Ellie Goulding, Robbie Williams, Little Mix and Dame Helen Mirren through its doors.

It was shot by Tim Hyland, who is originally from Newmarket and studied in Norwich. And Clare says that the canine actors which took part in the shoot were all stars. Labrador Whisky, Miniature Schnauzer Ruby, Boston Terrier Milo and Bull Terrier Cross Missy, who travelled down from Norfolk, were joined by a Golden Retriever called Megan.

“We were excited to select dogs who we know and love,” says Clare. “It was quite a challenge, I can tell you, taking four of our doggies to London in hot weather, but we made sure we put the welfare of the dogs first. When we rocked up to this studio my mouth fell open. It was like another world. It was literally lights, camera, action.

“Ruby’s a puppy, but she held her own. Missy took it in her stride, Whisky was seeking out all the food and Milo was Mr Cool.

“Ultimately the dogs and the dog owners had a fun day. And we know that our products are making a difference.”


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