Four-legged friends are loyal and affectionate. They comfort us and provide companionship that can be stronger than our relationships with humans. In return, we spoil our dogs and treat them as members of the family. Some families even host celebrations when Fido has a birthday. Puppy pals are invited and dogs enjoy a game of Frisbee and few tasty treats. Because we want our pups to lead happy, healthy lives, we ensure their diet is full of nutritious meals and, of course, a cookie here and there.
Pam Miller is a dog lover who is passionate about feeding her canine companions healthy treats. She owns and operates BACB Unleashed, an ecommerce site that sells homemade, healthy dog treats and a few other quality dog products.
Her business began in 1999 when her dog, Boo, tragically passed away from leptospirosis. As a part of her healing process, Miller began baking healthy dog treats. Because the treats were so popular with many canine companions, her human friends encouraged her to continue baking. Miller says, “I took my healthy dog treats to the Rochester Kennel Club Dog Show and sold out in a couple of hours. It was then I knew people really liked feeding their dogs treats with quality ingredients.”
Miller says, “It was important to use ingredients that were safe and healthy.” When she started, Miller worked with a veterinarian to ensure the biscuits were safe for dogs. “I don’t use preservatives or ingredients I can’t pronounce. Some of the ingredients I use are flour, peanut butter, oatmeal, pumpkin and carob.” Her products are also approved by the Department of Agriculture.
She says the cookies have a shelf life of four to five months. Miller recommends storing them at room temperature. “The cookies are not designed to be frozen and kept for long periods of time. They’re meant to be enjoyed while they’re fresh but that doesn’t mean the dog should overindulge.” She says dog biscuits are not a supplement to dog food. “They should be consumed in moderation. About 10 percent of your pet’s diet should consist of treats.”
Miller offers the “Assort-MuTT” variety pack including cheddar cheese, peanut butter and oatmeal treats. These can also be purchased individually. Her “Rollover & Beg Bites” are small and perfect for smaller dogs or for training dogs. She also bakes “PUPcakes” and “BARKday Cakes” made from carob, which is a bean that grows on trees. Miller says, “Carob is ground into powder and used for baking. And, unlike chocolate, it’s healthy and delicious.”
Pumpkin is another favorite among dogs. Miller says, “I used to make pumpkin treats once a year in the fall but they were so popular, I now carry them year round. Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber for dogs and helps with diarrhea.”
Miller says she loves hearing stories from her clients. One of her customers purchased a “PUPcake” for a terminally ill dog. Before the dog passed away, the owners hosted a “Celebration of Life” party for the dog. She also has clients who request treats for puppy adoption parties and birthday parties. Whatever the occasion, Miller believes it’s her mission to provide dogs with safe and healthy treats. Visit Miller’s website to purchase pup treats: http://bacbunleashed.com/.
Nicole Czarnomski is a regular Radish contributor.
Do-It-Yourself Pup Treats
DogTreatKitchen.com has recipes to try if you want to bake your own. Although the following recipe sounds like a delicious human entrée, they’re perfect for your favorite pooch. These treats can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week and in the freezer for up to three months.
Organic Turkey Meatloaf
- 1 pound ground organic turkey
- 1 cup cooked organic brown rice
- 1/4 cup organic carrot, grated (or vegetable of choice)
- 1 teaspoon dried organic basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried organic oregano
- 1/8 cup dried organic parsley
- 1/2 cup organic tomato sauce, no salt added
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. You may want to use your hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Spoon the mixture into an 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pan. Lightly press mixture into the pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire rack completely before cutting or serving.
- Cut into bite size pieces for treats.