Well, I'm back from Pennsylvania, totally jazzed to bring you information about my long-time friend, Johnathon's new enterprise of baking nutritious dog treats! Here's an interview with him and you can also read more on his website. Enjoy!
What inspired you to make your own dog treats?
I was tired of not being able to find treats that were either not made with food...or made with a lot of canola oil. So, I decided to start baking my own. I've been baking since I was little so it was super fun, and the dogs appreciated it.
How did you come up with your recipes?
I just used my knowledge of baking and combined that with extensive research into what foods, herbs, and spices are suitable for dogs. I always try the treats first to make sure they taste good, but more importantly smell good. A dogs olfactory system is much more superior to our own; they essentially taste with their nose.
How long did it take for you to get the recipes just right?
It took a long time to get the proportions right. I use a combination of oats and wheat flour and that can get tricky when you add your wet ingredients. But I wanted to keep the oats so that the treats maintained a nutritive level that I believe far reaches any other baked treat out there.
What was the most challenging part of the process for you?
Mold! The main reason some of the more popular dog treats last so long is because they don't use liquid: anything made with liquid will mold so they use canola oil. Canola oil is highly processed rapeseed and does not only taste gross but is not healthy for dogs either. So, instead of using a voluminous amount of canola oil and preservatives, I perfected a method of baking that dries most of the moisture out and, of course, I use the all too delicious extra virgin olive oil. Evoo it great for a dog's coat, helps with shedding, and just tastes fantastic. The treats can last up to three months...they just get harder and crunchier with time so they are not suitable for small puppies and elderly canines.
What has been the most rewarding part of making your own dog treats?
The most rewarding part is knowing that I can give the boys a treat that is delicious AND nutritious. Dogs know when something is special and that makes them feel...well...special. I love all animals and when an animal is happy, I'm happy.
What would you like your customers to know about you/the business?
I want them to know that I take food seriously. And they can definitely be reassured that my business of o.n.l.y. Food takes it's customers seriously. My wholesome canine snacks are a reflection of the transformation my husband/partner chris and I made to a healthy lifestyle two years ago. And it shows. Each recipe maintains four features: Organic Natural Local and Yummy. Only food.
Where can people find you online?
They can find me on my website: www.shoponlyfood.com. They can like my Facebook page from there too...which is a good way to get coupons. Also, I'm working on a new recipe to unleash in the spring. It's going to be delicious!
All images courtesy of o.n.l.y. Food
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