No Deal

Shake it Pup

The entrepreneurs behind Shake it Pup took one look at dog food and said, "Well... that sucks..." and decided to come up with a way to spruce it up, give it a bit more flavor and to keep dogs interested. Yep... because anyone who's every met a dog before knows that they're picky eaters and quickly tire of the same food day-in/day-out. And, yes, that's sarcasm. Because as anyone who has ever met a dog before knows, dogs don't give a good goddamn what they eat. And this can include some truly disgusting things that your Stats Shark won't bother listing here because this is a... well... it's disgusting.

But... these entrepreneurs who met as second graders and bonded over their dogs and should know better decided that they'd create a spice for their pets to help "spice up" the every day kibble. They've created a series of spice-shakers with flavors such as "turkey feast", and "pizza". All Shake it Pup products are sourced "locally"[1] and are organic.

Supposedly, dog food needs Shake it Pup because dogs will just eat around other pet food flavor supplements.[2] In terms of competition, Shake it Pup says that their main competition are wet foods. However, because each Shake it Pup shaker costs just $2.40 per unit to manufacture and retails for $12.99 and can last between thirty and sixty meals per shaker, Shake it Pup definitely has a cost advantage over wet foods.

In terms of sales, Shake it Pup launched one year ago and has done $105,000 in sales since. Their main limiting factor to these sales is that all of their inventory is produced in-house and not with a co-packer. All of their profits thus far have been invested back into the company for equipment to produce more. When asked whether they could go to an existing spice manufacturer to have their product made, the entrepreneurs said that that would require a minimum order of 3,000 bottles per SKU and would only drop the price per bottle to $2 to manufacture.

When Mark pushes them on their current inventory level, the entrepreneurs state that they currently have about 3,000 bottles and that translates into about a six-week supply. They state that they re-order their supplies as they receive POs.

Making A Deal

Kevin says that every dog deal that's ever been through the tank and gotten a deal has gone through the roof. He says that he believes it's crazy but that he's seen the pattern. He also states that he thinks Shake it Pup is currently experiencing a marketing problem[3] and will therefore make an offer commensurate with the risk he sees in the company. He offers $100,000 for a whopping 50% stake in the business. The entrepreneurs, naturally, ask if they can't pretty-please feel out the rest of the room before commenting on the offer.

Daymond complements the entrepreneurs, stating that he thinks the idea is "genius" but that he thinks the idea and product are all about "speed to market" and that the big guys could copy their idea and get it to market quicker than they can grow. And, because of this, he drops out.

The entrepreneurs take this opportunity to point out that they don't think any major dog food manufacturer would want to be in this business because of what it would say about their product. Why sell "spices" to add flavor to your dog foods if the dog foods were already good enough?

Guest shark Maria Sharapova states that she likes the brand and the marketing behind it but that she feels like it's a niche product and already crowded in that niche. She also says that she thinks its expensive as something to just put on top of other dog food people have already paid for and is, therefore, out.

Lori sees promise behind the idea, noting that every dog person she knows would be into it and possibly even cat people too. She suggests that Shake it Pup could even expand further into new lines of products. She then offers $100,000 with a $1 per unit royalty until it earns back the initial investment, at which point it drops to $0.25 per bottle into perpetuity. All of that plus 3% equity in the business. Kevin, usually the one to make such a deal, objects, saying that the business doesn't have enough capital to support a royalty but Lori responds that she will fund all of the orders that come in.

Mark comes into the middle of all of it and says that he's seen a lot of success with Wild Earth, a deal he did in the previous season. He says that pet owners will spend "anything" to do it "the right way." Because of this, he offers $100,000 in exchange for 25% of the business, stating that he thinks Wild Earth and Shake it Pup would make a great combination.

Even though the entrepreneurs could have saved more of the company value by going with Lori, they accept Mark's offer and the modest $100,000 it bit from the company's value.[4]


This seems like a spectacularly bad idea. Firstly, it's just a waste of money. Your Stats Shark has seen dogs eat cat shit, vomit, and then lick up their own vomit. These are not creatures with discerning palettes that require a wide range of flavors to stay interested. So, "spicing up" dog food is really to make the owners feel like they're doing something for their dogs, not to actually make dogs feel good. In fact, dogs got exactly what the original wolves wanted out of the bargain: they have a warm place to sleep every night and regular food that they don't have to hunt down.

But this is also a terrible idea because, if these "spices" actually impart flavors like they say, this would actually teach dogs that eating human food is okay and it most definitely is not. While dogs may love cheese, there is no way that eating a whole, actual pizza could be good for a carnivore's digestive track. And, if a dog gets a taste for pizza, what's to stop this animal from attempting to eat a pizza if it can find one. But, additionally, it's terrible because it goes against the training that most owners attempt to instill in their animals of not begging at the table. If a dog smells the scent of a food that someone has "spiced" into their bowl, why wouldn't that animal reasonably believe that they're about to get fed as well and beg at the table for food they probably shouldn't be eating.

So this deal, in your Stats Shark's mind is terrible because it's both completely unnecessary and also potentially harmful both to the animal and to the training those animals have been given.

People need to stop treating their pets as if they're little humans who think and feel like humans do. This is by no means an advocacy to be cruel to animals, rather the opposite. It's important to remember what they are, what their needs are, and how we can best serve those needs as they serve ours.

Scroll chart to see it all!

Scroll chart to see it all!


  1. What does "local" even mean in this context? Local to where Shake it Pup is located (Sunset Beach, CA, according to the Terms of Service on their website) or local to where it will be consumed? If you intended to ship your product around the United States for consumption, does the ideal of "locally sourced" even matter? This is one of those health buzzwords that has ceased to mean anything outside of certain, specific concepts.
  2. Your Stats Shark had a dog as a kid that would actually lick the egg that was occasionally mixed into his kibble and leave the actual kibble in the bowl. But, if he could do that with egg, it makes one wonder how the same couldn't be done with a "spice" that is shaken onto the food.
  3. To the viewer, this certainly seems counter-intuitive as the entrepreneurs for most of what has been shown have been talking about their problems with inventory. But... if Kevin thinks there's a marketing problem...
  4. A bite of $100,000 seems reasonable considering that Fur, a deal which aired in the same episode, lost $16,000,000 in value. However, this is only because the entrepreneurs came in with a reasonable amount of equity on offer in the first place so plus or minus 5% wouldn't change the value that much. That said, $100,000 still did represent 20% of the company's overall value, so perhaps "reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder...

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This page was last edited on 9 March 2020, at 08:45.