Pet-lover Amy-Leigh Norris is a woman with a mission - to get Hartlepool’s pampered pets eating properly.
The mum-of-two is opening a new shop - Mutts and Co - in Catcote Road, with everything for the designer doggie or posh puss.
People think they can feed their dog any food and get away with it, but it really does affect dogs and has a marked impact on their health, especially when they get older.Amy-Leigh Norris
But Amy-Leigh’s real passion is pet nutrition and she is keen to drive home the message that eating well is vital for the long-term wellbeing of animals.
“The shop is a pet boutique, with a bit of everything, but my main interest is nutrition and especially canine nutrition,” said Amy-Leigh, the proud owner of a pug called Captain.
“I have been interested in the subject for quite a long time now.”
Amy-Leigh has been a full-time mum to sons Olly, five, and seven-year-old Daxton for the last few years, but with Olly about to start school, she decided the time had come to get back into the workplace and turn her interest into a career.
“The youngest has just turned five and he is going into full-time education now,” she said.
“Up to now I have basically been a taxi driver, ferrying them around,” she joked.
“But recently I have started looking at how to transform my interests into a business.”
Amy-Leigh has been interested in the importance of animal nutrition since she was introduced to the subject by a friend and set about educating herself with a series of online training courses.
“My friend was interested in canine nutrition and when I got my dog, she told me about it and it really piqued my interest - that was when all the studying came about. I was just shocked about all the ingredients and stuff that had been put into the food.
“People think they can feed their dog any food and get away with it, but it really does affect dogs and has a marked impact on their health, especially when they get older.
“Hopefully we can get the message across and help lots of dogs to be healthier and live longer lives.”