Heatwave leads to business boom for doggy ice cream factory near Horsham

Sizzling temperatures in Sussex’s heatwave have led to a business boom for a company near Horsham that makes ice cream – for dogs.

Waggy Doggy Doodahs specialises in producing doggy ice cream – and it’s been flying off the shelves in this summer’s hot weather.

The company has a factory in Partridge Green and prides itself on being the only purpose-built, Defra-approved, dog ice cream factory in the country.

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It was founded by former children’s worker Petra Bayliss, 64, who launched it after becoming bored during retirement.

Doggy ice cream-maker Petra Bayliss gets a friendly lick of thanks

“Now we supply all over the country and sales are booming,” said Petra, who lives at Dial Post.

It all started when she bought ‘a little ice cream cart’ with the aim of selling traditional ice cream at local fairs, but her dream folded.

“The big fairs I wanted to do said I had to have an ice cream van less than three years old.

“Then my partner suggested I try making dog ice cream and I thought it was a great idea.

Enjoying the doggy ice cream made in a purpose-built factory in Partridge Green

"I started making it in my kitchen at home. I gave it to my dogs and they loved it.”

And she soon discovered that her own dogs were not alone.

"I went to little local dog shows, then big dog shows. It was great research.”

However, she found that greyhounds were not so keen. “I wanted all dogs to enjoy it.

'Ninety nine per cent of dogs love it'

"But greyhounds will turn their noses up at anything that isn’t ‘fat.’

"I made a recipe with cheese in it. My goodness me, I couldn’t believe it. The greyhounds loved it but so did all other dogs – 99 per cent of dogs loved it.”

The doggy ice cream is now a “Mr Whippy style ice cream that dogs can’t resist,” says Petra.

“It is real dairy ice cream with 100 per cent natural dog-friendly ingredients.”

And Petra’s own little Yorkie – called Teddy – can vouch for that.

His photo adorns the ice cream pots.

"He’s the face of Waggy Doggy Dooh Dahs,” says Petra.

As well as the ice cream, made with lactose-free milk, the company makes other dog treats including doggy popcorn and doggy crisps.

The products are on sale through specially selected retailers and catering outlets.