by Wendy Steele
Keys and KODA CEO
For many of our long term customers, you will remember that we created a pet product line many years ago. The line migrated to crossover products that are good for people and their pets. Our most popular in this line is and was RediCare. Our medicinal products grew in popularity over the years.
Our original move into the pet products business was based on an experience with our Bichon “Disney.” Now about 7 years ago, he returned from a groomer and began pulling out his fur until his skin was bleeding. We calmed him, got him to a vet and a cortisone shot later, he was on the road to recovery. We discovered that his reaction was due to an experimental whitening shampoo that the groomer was asked to try by a manufacturer. It turns out that the shampoo had a near lethal level of Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). This was our inspiration to begin making Disney his own shampoo that we affectionately named “Muttineer.” Eventually, a modified version of the shampoo became know as MetaClean and the line became a cross-over product offering for us.
A little over two years ago, Disney passed away on Valentines Day. Breeder friends felt for our deep loss and offered us a Bichon pup from a future litter. We were in Canada near Jasper National Park when we received a call that we would be puppy parents again. Jasper was born into our crazy lifestyle July two years ago.
This past December, Jasper contracted Blepharitis, which is an inflammation of the eyelash follicles, along the edge of the eyelid. Spiking a fever of nearly 106, we feared the worse. The great doctors at VCA in LaQuinta, California nursed him back to health. Six weeks of antibiotics and prednisone left him very weak. When we talked to the doc’s, they knew the treatment to cure him, but they did not know of a wellness program to stabilize and bolster him during the harsh treatments. It was at this very moment when KODA was born in concept.
As Jasper struggled, we started to look for products that could help him balance the treatments. It was a lost cause finding products on the market, so we began to make things for him and use some very high end human supplements that friend of Keys make for people. Dale and Trisca at Health Freedom Nutrition in Reno offered us ideas and solutions. Most of which were in the form of capsules that Jasper just did not want any part of. As he got better, we started to add in other things like fish oil and trace minerals. He did not like fish oil and we were worried about the high levels of Vitamin A found in them. So, we developed a vegan version of fish oil. The products and ideas continued as he got better.
Jasper got well and recovered over a period of three months. It took it toll on this young guy and we are grateful for the docs at VCA. We do feel that he recovered better with our wellness campaign and it became clear to us that we needed to refocus our attention on pets. Specifically dogs.
KODA which means friend in Lakota Sioux became the brand name that we chose. It seemed fitting. We employed our Keys philosophy of using pharmaceutical grade ingredients in therapeutic proportions for each formula. Because of Jasper’s illness and our connection to VCA, we decided to connect with the pet insurance industry to find out the top reasons for vet visits. These top 10 reason that find dogs going to the vet were the map that we used to develop the first 10 products. They are five topical products and five internal functional supplements. We also sought ways that administering the products would be easy for the dog and their parents.
KODA is Keys for Dogs, but is a separate company with separate manufacturing. This is because the Keys factory mostly deals with products that are constructed from oils and essential oils to perform functional uses for the skin. KODA is made from very exotic extracts that we make in Oregon and we decided to center the KODA product line there. So, KODA and Keys are related and share science, but KODA is solely focused on dog wellness, life extension and therapies.
Please take a look at KODA if you have a dog or have friends that have a dog. We have two sites. If you want to buy, go to www.Keys-Koda.com. If you want to learn, go to the KODA blog and reference site at www.Koda-Karma.com.
Thanks so much for being a Keys customer and advocate. We hope you will also become a KODA “friend” as well.