By Mark Pavilons
Pet owners would do anything for their beloved, four-legged family members.
In rural areas, pets face a number of natural hazards and there has been an increase in attacks by predators, particularly coyotes.
To ease her own peace of mind, and provide dogs with added protection, a King City area resident has come up with an innovative solution. The Iron Pup puncture-proof coat is the brainchild of Jasmine Montreuil.
She and her husband Devin often hear the eerie cries of coyotes near their home. Concerned about the threat of predators for her eight-year-old cockapoo Abby, Montreuil went to work earlier this year researching methods of creating such a coat. She studied the habits of coyotes and other predators, such as large birds of prey.
The result is an adjustable, comfortable coat, made from correctional grade Kevlar fabric. It consists of a water resistant shell, two layers of Kevlar and an inner lining. It also boasts a studded collar at the back of the neck, an area favoured by attacking predators. Montreuil relied on bite force data and mounds of information from U.S. law enforcement, for her design specs and materials.
Designed for smaller dogs – cocker spaniels, corgis, dachshunds and chihuahuas – the vests are lightweight, even fashionable. Montreuil described them as “functional 1980s punk.” She has had requests from owners of toy dogs, and she will look into those once the products are launched.
This project, she admitted, is more of a “creative endeavour” rather than a business plan. Sales and marketing will be online at first, but Montreuil does hope to have them available in retail outlets.
She has received a lot of requests from friends and acquaintances who live in the Beaches area of Toronto.
Coyotes, she said, have become a problem in recent years as the animals appear to have no fear when it comes to approaching people and pets in the GTA. In Halton Region in 2015, there were roughly 500 reported encounters with coyotes. Fear and concern locally resulted in the establishment of Coyote Watch King Township in December of 2015, by a resident who lost her prized dog to a coyote.
“Almost everyone you talk to has had an encounter with a coyote,” Montreuil pointed out.
The Iron Pup can be used anywhere you take your dog – hiking, camping, even a dog park.
The business process has been frustrating at times, Montreuil admitted. She said as a health-care professional, she was a bit out of her element as an entrepreneur. It was a “huge learning experience” and once you step outside of your comfort zone, you realize how valuable your skills are.
She’s tried to source as much as she could within Ontario, and the manufacturing will be done here.
Protecting pets is Montreuil’s mandate. She’ll be happy when those “success stories” start coming in about how beneficial the protective coats are. Making a difference, and perhaps helping to save a dog’s life, is all the reward she needs.
The Iron Pup will go a long way to easing the minds of pet owners.
For more, visit www.theironpup.com.
The Iron Pup offers unique protectionMark Pavilons
By Mark Pavilons