Teen With Down Syndrome Starts A Dog Treat Company For Pooches Large And Small

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

Starting your own business is a daunting move for anyone, even with years of work and business experience.

Starting your own business at just 19, without any of that background, is even more daunting. And starting a business at 19 when you also live with Down syndrome and all the challenges it presents seems very daunting indeed.

But for Gracie Jagler, it’s just another day.

The 19-year-old was born with Down syndrome, which affects both cognitive and physical growth. She’s currently in a school that helps young people with Down syndrome find appropriate employment.

Her father, John, didn’t like the limited options suggested for his daughter, so he encouraged her to make her own way.

Gracie has always loved animals, especially dogs: she grew up with three rescued schnauzers. When a local store owner offered Gracie a job packaging dog treats, her dad encouraged her to take it.

People with Down syndrome can sometimes face discrimination when it comes to finding employment, as others may not always understand the realities of their condition.

But society is making strides and coming to a better understanding of what people with Down really have to offer — which is actually a lot.

Shortly after Gracie started her new job, she and her dad came up with an even better plan: they would buy the dog treats wholesale, then package them at home and resell them. And thus, Gracie’s Doggie Delights was born.

[H/T: Wide Open Pets]

Gracie Jagler was born with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects both physical and mental growth.

Gracie’s Down syndrome is toward the middle of the range of the condition’s severity. While she can’t live alone, she still wants to work, create, and do things that will give her a sense of fulfillment.

Gracie also loves her three rescued schnauzers. Growing up with dogs has given her a lifelong love for them, just like it does for anyone who has been raised with pups.

So when a local store owner offered her a job packaging dog treats, she and her dad decided they could take it a step further: They decided to start their own dog treat company.

Of course, the schnauzers were in full support.

The treats were her pets’ favorites, so Gracie decided to share them with dogs everywhere.

She started Gracie’s Doggie Delights out of her living room, though the quickly expanding business soon required more room.

Gracie sells bags of freeze-dried raw lamb, turkey, and chicken hearts, as well as freeze-dried raw beef liver. She sells them online, and the local Piggly Wiggly also stocks them on its shelves.

And dogs are really into them. The treats are also all natural and full of the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Additionally, they have all the benefits of raw meat without the mess because they’re freeze-dried.

Starting your own business is always tough, but Gracie’s Doggie Delights took off right away and became an instant hit among local dog owners.

She even started making T-shirts!

Through her experience, Gracie is also learning valuable lessons about running a business, and also learning how to be more independent, which will help her lead a happy and fulfilling life in the future.

She also helps operate the business’ Facebook page, where fans of the treats can share photos of their dogs, which are given the title of “G-Dogs.” Gracie hopes that the business will continue to grow and expand, eventually adding more and more items to the inventory.

Check out what’s available on the shop’s website, and SHARE with any dog owners looking for some great, healthy new treats for their favorite pooches.