Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sharon Tuggle, Founder and CEO of 5 Element Food Therapy, located in Oakland, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

5 Element Food Therapy makes whole food supplements to improve the lives of dogs and cats. My customers are pet parents who are looking for a seamless solution to improve and maintain their pet's health by supplementing their current diet.

Tell us about yourself

I began this business in 2016 after my dog, Hoochie, passed away from pancreatic cancer. She was initially given 60 days to live, but by supplementing her commercial food with combinations of whole food based on Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, Hoochie's life was extended by 9 months. I knew I had to share the benefits of feeding our pets fresh whole foods and herbs, and created my company so dogs and cats could be fed better and pet parents could love their pets longer.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is that so many pet parents credit my food with improving health concerns for their pets, such as reducing allergies, weight regulation, increased mobility, and accelerated healing. But I am truly honored that pets near the end of life have had their appetites stimulated and been nourished by my food. It has often been their last meal, and for that, I am sincerely grateful to have been such an important part of their lives.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Raising capital and brand awareness have been the most challenging aspects of being a business owner for me.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find something you are truly passionate about because on the tough days, and there are many, you will still find pride and joy.
  2. Find mentors and like-minded people to support you.
  3. Don't give up.

Where can people find you and your business?


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