How a Family’s Pet Dog Inspired a Startup

By Teen Blogger: Hanna
Social Media Link: @hanna_bnrd

What began as a plan to make top quality dog food which would provide excellent nutrients, alongside tasting good, quickly expanded to include a youth mentoring scheme as well. Brutus Broth, the brainchild of Hawaii-based, Kim Hehir, was envisaged in 2016 on Thanksgiving Day, when family members noticed how healthy their pet dog appeared to be. The reason, Kim explains, was ‘Grandma’s Bone Broth’.

Ever since he was a puppy, they had always added nutritious bone broth to Brutus’ dog food. As a result, Brutus remained in remarkably good health well into old age, according to Kim, so along with her co-founder, they launched a dog bone broth business that would allow other pets to benefit too. The fortified product combats conditions that older dogs commonly suffer from, “We took our mom's recipe and turned it into an extremely high quality (human grade) commercially viable product that has helped thousands of dogs”.

“Our bone broth products are fortified with glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric, for joint health and inflammation. They can be added to any dog's existing diet to boost nutrition and flavour”, continues Kim.

TalksForTeens caught up with Kim to find out more about her startup and her youth committee.

Anything about building the startup you would have done differently in retrospect?

‘Building a start-up comes with so many challenges, but it makes the success and triumphs so worth it. We obviously couldn't predict that COVID would happen and some of the challenges that came along with that were difficult. Being a co-founder is a lot about trial and error, especially in an industry where we were really the first to create the product that we did.

What exactly do the youth team do within the mentoring program? And what values do you seek to teach them?

‘They learn about entrepreneurship and the basics of running a business (for example, what is a supply chain and why is it important to plan). The kids get involved with voting on packaging designs, testing out recipes, etc. They also learn about the importance of philanthropy and giving back to their communities. We often have Kids Committee Members who spend time bringing donations to local pet shelters to brighten the days of animals who need as much TLC [tender loving care] as they can get. The program aims at teaching kids to give back, to be kind to others (and to animals), the value of hard work, to follow your dreams and to never give up.’

Was the kids committee part of the original business idea?

‘YES! Sue (my sister and co-founder) and I both have children. As parents, we wanted to lead by example and show our kids that if you have an idea, you can bring it to life and that sometimes if things don’t go as planned, you need to problem solve and not just give up. We also wanted our kids to learn about what it means to be philanthropic and that it’s not just a one day act.’

Do you have any future goals to extend the mentoring program, and if yes how?

‘We are very lucky to have an incredible internship program in partnership with the Yale Entrepreneur Society but it would certainly be great to be able to keep in touch with and assist our Kids Committee members, all the way through adolescence, into college, and wherever their lives take them beyond there - especially if in the business realm!’

What do you enjoy about the mentoring program?

Just knowing that we are impacting lives, and proud that we've made it such a focal part of our business.

Is there any particular obstacle, either with the startup or with programme?

‘Obviously, kids change often (as does technology) so making sure that our content and programming is up to date with the ever-changing world we live in definitely keeps us on our toes!’

If you had any advice to someone who wants to create a startup? Or to encourage someone to create a mentoring program?

‘We love being women co-founders who have defied the odds in a really tough and very saturated market. A startup is a lot of work, but it's also so worth it and if you think you have a product that can somehow make the world a better place, you should absolutely pursue those dreams to bring it to life.’

It’s clear that their love for the family pet inspired this idea, but what is striking is their vision to share this with all pet dogs. Though it has not always been a smooth road, together with their team of young advisers, Brutus Broth has overcome obstacles including the massive one that was COVID, to now be sold in over 4000 shops in the US. Congratulations team Brutus Broth, who took their own advice by following their dreams and never giving up!

Suggested Links:

Yale Entrepreneurial Society (

Brutus Bone Broth for Dogs | Healthy Dog Topper | Added Glucosamine –