Eric Shannon

Founder of Big Barker

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, one positive outcome is the soaring numbers of dog adoptions from people in need of comfort and companionship.

Growing up, I was absolutely petrified of dogs both big and small. I would never have guessed that as an adult, my life would be dedicated to improving the quality of life for the biggest furry friends. But an energetic, 92-pound dog named Hank changed everything.

Nearly one year after bringing Hank home, I got the devastating diagnosis that my buddy had an early case of hip dysplasia - a common and painful condition that plagues big dogs. I had two options: get Hank an extremely painful and complex hip replacement or do everything in my power to keep stress off his hips. I chose the latter.

After spending hours shopping and researching supportive dog beds, I came up short. Desperate to protect Hank, I set out to solve the problem myself.

Now an Inc. 5000 company based in Philadelphia, Big Barker is home to the leading American-made dog bed made to serve the special support needs of big dogs across the country. In a clinical study conducted by University of Pennsylvania, owners reported significant reductions in pain & joint stiffness, and significant improvements in their dog’s joint function, gait, and quality of life after using the Big Barker bed for 28 days. These results underscore that our product is a clinically validated wellness device that has a positive long-term impact on a big dog’s quality of life.

A substantial percentage of our profits also go toward providing our therapeutic mattresses to military service dogs, police K-9 units, animal shelters, and vet hospitals.

It’s an honor to be part of this year’s Virtual Spotlight Shop to reach dog lovers across M&T Bank’s footprint and join the ranks of the incredible local businesses making a difference in their communities and beyond.

Find out more about how to make the dog in your life happier and more comfortable: