An online petcare business that started as a side-gig now has thousands of furry followers and plans to expand to Australia.

Vetty - a subscription-based flea and parasite treatment company - sends busy and forgetful pet owners the correct treatment when their pet is due.

Kiwi veterinarian Leon Christensen was shocked at the number of much-loved family pets brought into his clinic with avoidable gut and skin issues from parasites and worms.

He teamed up with business partner David Walker who wanted to create a simple and affordable way of treating his pets.


The business launched late last year but already has thousands of pets subscribed and is aiming to have more furry subscribers by the end of the year.

The pair are tapping into the $1.8 billion business that is petcare in New Zealand. It's a staggering amount but that's what Kiwis spent on their pets in 2017.

Leon Christensen and David Walker of Vetty want to see pets treated well and on time. Photo / Supplied
Leon Christensen and David Walker of Vetty want to see pets treated well and on time. Photo / Supplied

It's predicted to rise as pet ownership continues to increase and small breeds grow in popularity.

That figure includes everything from pet insurance, food, minding services, grooming, pet care luxuries - and now subscription treatments.

The Taranaki-based business is online only and delivers free throughout New Zealand.

Walker said the success of the business was down to Kiwi's love for their pets. That, and they send out treats.

"We are a nation of pet-lovers but flea and parasite treatments are really complex so knowing what your pet needs can be difficult.

"People put it off or forget and that leads to huge health issues that are completely avoidable."


Christensen said around 64 per cent of New Zealand households own a pet but only 25 per cent of them treat them correctly.

With a Vetty subscription, each pet is registered online and a safe and suitable product recommended. The pair say the subscription system is about 15 per cent cheaper than store-bought.

The first order is sent out immediately and from then treatments arrive exactly when the pet's next treatment is due.

"As a veterinarian, I have seen countless animals come through our clinic suffering from a variety of conditions linked to poor parasite management," Christensen said.

"The frustrating part of this is that they are all well-loved animals but, either due to a lack of understanding or misinformation from unreliable sources regarding the safety of treatments, these animals suffer."

The pair are in the final stages of raising revenue to take the business to the next level.

Their goal is for more New Zealand subscribers by the end of the year and entry into the Australian market in 2021.