We dress our pets in designer clothes. We feed them gourmet human food. We treat them like family. So why not invite them to happy hour?
Brandon Zavala sells wine for cats and beer for dogs, even though his products don’t actually contain alcohol. They just make pets act a little buzzed.
“Some people yell at me and say, ‘You’re an idiot! Why are you trying to make animals human?’” says the 33-year-old entrepreneur. “I’m sorry, I’m not the one making animals human. You are.”
Three years ago Zavala started his business Apollo Peak, named after his eldest cat, Apollo, in Golden, Colorado. Zavala was working at a pet food company when he noticed something missing as he patrolled store aisles.
“There was nothing out there that existed other than just hard treats and hard food and wet food,” he says.
Zavala wondered why no one had thought of creating something liquid — a pet beverage — especially since the beverage market for humans had been growing “exponentially,” he says.
“What I noticed, too, is that wine culture in America is actually quite big,” he says. “A large percentage of cat owners love wine.”
Zavala decided to make a cat “wine.” While there’s no actual alcohol in the beverage, there is liquid catnip, which creates a similar effect.
“If you can make cats look like they’re drinking something, and roll over as if they’re acting drunk, people are going to love it,” he laughs.