I used to be guilty of just picking up any old dog treats/ dog food for Bella. And I am still guilty of giving her “people food”. I cannot resist those big brown eyes that seem to say, “Wow Mom, that smells sooooo good. So much better than my dry dog kibble…. I wish I could get a taste….” And with Ruffio, he seems to demand that I give him a bite of WHATEVER I eat (we are still working on his manners…) But my thought was , “Well, if it weren’t safe for dogs, they couldn’t sell it, or they wouldn’t eat it, right?”
One day I was reading an article and I saw that there were chicken jerky treats coming out of China that were linked with dogs getting sick and dying. I was SHOCKED! How could chicken be bad enough to make a dog sick or worse, lead to their death?
So I researched further…
I didn’t know that dog treats aren’t monitored the same way human food is. Especially those made outside the country. I didn’t know that dogs can’t eat EVERYTHING I like to eat. (And I thought I ate pretty healthy too, which I was wrong about as well. I have since made some much needed changes and have lost and kept off 60 pounds for almost 2 years and feel SO MUCH BETTER!) I knew Chocolate wasn’t safe for dogs, but I learned that Potatoes, Corn, Onions, Garlic and Avocados are just as unsafe! AND DAIRY!!! and forget feeding them Grapes or Raisins!
Then I picked up a bag of dog treats I had just bought, and turned it over to look at the ingredients ( something I do with EVERYTHING I buy now, be it for dog or people) and they had GARLIC and ONIONS listed as ingredients! I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!!!
STORE BOUGHT NATIONAL BRAND TREATS!!!
How could they sell things that could harm our pets?
I then learned that the brand of food I had been feeding her every day was the nutritional equivalent of feeding myself fast food hamburgers for every meal. JUNK FOOD! No wonder poor Bella got the nick name Stinker-Bella! Her tummy was being upset by the awful food I fed her! I have since switched her (and subsequently Ruffy) to a much more nutritious (albeit pricier) brand of dog food. And the dogs have gotten much less gassy. And I never buy any store bought treats that aren’t made in the USA.
But I have always LOVED baking, but usually ended up making way more than I should. That’s why I decided to start baking for my dogs. Now I know EXACTLY what are in those treats and I can feel good about knowing that they are not only healthy for them, but yummy too! The Holiday season always put me in the mood to bake. So this past year (2013) I decided to make a couple extra boxes of the doggie biscuits and send them out to friends I knew had dogs, but had never tried the treats. The treats were such a hit, that I was told I should sell them. I laughed at the idea of selling dog cookies for a living. Then this Valentines day (2014) I ran a contest for dog cookies to see if they were really as good as my friends claimed. I sent out more boxes, and the same response! “My dogs loved the treats!” “You should sell these!” “When can I get more?” “People will pay money for these!” I couldn’t believe it! Maybe I could really do this. I could sell dog cookies.