When Biscuit the family terrier wouldn’t leave an old antler alone, John and Sandra Palmer-Snellin spotted a new eco-business venture opportunity.
John Palmer-Snellin had a sudden lightbulb moment when he picked up a piece of naturally fallen off antler from his wife’s tame deer. Biscuit, the family Border Terrier, wouldn’t leave the antler alone and began chewing on it; Staglers, the dog chew specialist, was soon founded. Staglers now provides sustainable and eco-friendly shed deer antler chews.
John is passionate about nature, photography, falconry, and of course his beloved dogs – Biscuit and Dodger. The Stagler business catchphrase is ‘Just Ask John’. John served in the Royal Marines, and went on to be a Personal Protection Officer to RT Hon Edward Heath for three years before joining Dorset Police, where he was the first, and only, full-time force Wildlife Officer, speaking at local schools and educating young children on the importance of nature.
The issue of dog chews
Finding the right chew is an issue many dog owners tussle with. Raw bones carry bacteria (and smell), but cooked bones beome brittle and cause choking hazards. Leather hide chews can contain all manner of chemicals – and swiftly become soft, stinky and messy. Commercially packaged chew sticks don’t last long, especially for bigger dogs, and many are filled with unnecessary sugars. Staglers think they have the solution.
Farmer Palmer’s deer
John’s wife Sandra, Director of Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park, grew up on a farm surrounded by animals. 23 years ago she and her brother, Philip Palmer, opened the farm to the public for family-friendly days out. Sandra owns a herd of red deer that children often meet and feed at the family-run farm, a firm favourite activity. Like many species of deer, only stags have antlers and they shed on
a seasonal basis, allowing new ones to develop (the antlers are a ‘status symbol’ in the mating ritual). Although Staglers don’t use Farmer Palmer’s deer antlers to form their business, they were inspired by these local Red Deer.
The right Stagler for your dog?
“Choosing the appropriately sized antler is important for your dog” John Palmer-Snellin commented “our ‘Just Ask John’ service allows the customer to receive a bespoke cut, weight and sized dog chew depending on their breed and chewing habits. “Staglers are rich in protein, so dogs do not need to chew more than a half-inch or so per day; this is what makes them last a whole lot longer than your average dog chew. My passion has always been with animals, wildlife and nature – so to be working directly with people and their beloved pets makes it all worthwhile”.
The local couple are often branded ‘The Dog Whisperers’ as they supply eco-friendly, non- smelly and natural dog chews that outlive the lifetime of an ordinary dog chew.