Our story

PickPockets Fabric Food Foragers offer fully washable/tumble dryable fleece feeders in which dogs hunt for treats inside pockets. They are simple to use, easy to launder and bring all the benefits of foraging into your dog’s home.

PickPockets were the brainchild of dog owner and sewing hobbyist Sue Hanslow and canine behaviourist Kate Mallatratt. Kate approached Sue when she wanted to combine scent work with a fully washable feeding mat to help her clients manage their dogs. As a behaviourist, Kate saw first-hand the benefits of canine enrichment and in particular how foraging could lessen behaviour problems and boost the wellbeing of her four-legged clients. Kate saw a gap in the market for a durable and easily laundered product that provided gentle enrichment and puzzle solving through foraging. Sue came up with the pocket idea, making the first prototype, and PickPocket Fabric Food Foragers was born in 2016.

The business has continued to enjoy great success and has expanded to include crate hanging foragers, floor mat foragers and small foraging pouches. PickPockets come in a range of sizes and are suitable for all breeds including those with brachycephalic (flat) faces, and PickPockets are especially valuable to dogs with ‘special’ needs. Kate is passionate about the welfare benefits of foraging for less-able dogs who often become more reliant on their sense of smell. PickPockets can bring enrichment pleasure and gentle mind-body exercise to dogs with sensory impairment like blindness and to senior dogs with mobility issues/cognitive impairment/visual and auditory decline as well as offering much-needed mental stimulation to those on restricted exercise or recovering from surgery. 

Kate manages the day-to-day PickPocket business alongside her force-free training and behaviour business, Contemplating Canines, in East Devon, UK. She holds an advanced diploma in Canine Behaviour Management (with distinction) from Compass Education Ltd, she is the author of the book Home Alone & Happy and writes regular columns on canine behaviour for Animal Therapy Magazine.

PickPockets welcomed dog trainer and enrichment tutor Sophie Reilly onto the design and marketing team in 2017. Sophie runs the popular Facebook page Canine Enrichment Joy and she has turned her passion into a thriving Cheshire-based business, Dogginess, where she delivers one-to-one canine enrichment sessions to clients’ dogs in their homes.

By placing the dogs’ needs at the core of the business, PickPockets Fabric Food Foragers continues to go from strength to strength and is delighted to have its products recommended by canine professionals and vets. PickPockets is very proud to have won the Association of INTODogs recognition award for valuable contribution to the field of canine enrichment.