When I started my dog walking and hiking business almost a year ago (I can’t believe it’s been almost a year!) I had no idea how many treats I would go through on a daily basis! Here’s a confession: one of the tricks of the trade of getting a group of dogs to follow you is to have a pocket-full of tasty treats so that they will always want to stick by you.
Here’s another confession: I’ve always loved to bake. I recall sitting at the kitchen counter with my mother while she worked in our kitchen. I would pour over her cookbooks as a child, asking, “Could we make this one? What about this? Do we have the stuff for this recipe?” And nine times out of ten, I would win out and we would end up baking some tasty treat. I loved baking with my mother in that kitchen, and I loved eating the treats afterwards. Here’s a fact: over 40 years later, I’ve never gotten sick from eating raw cookie dough.
When I started a low carb diet about 6 months ago, my love for baking took a back seat to weight loss. I realized that the more I ate bread, cookies, baked goods, the more I was gradually gaining weight. The stress of my previous job didn’t help things. I recall last December, one of my last days at my professional job, sitting in the break room, crying, and eating from a tin of Christmas ginger thin cookies. I was eating them like popcorn, just popping them into my mouth one after the other. Talk about stress eating! I must have eaten at least 30 cookies in one sitting.
I’ve always been really bad about that: not being able to stop at just one or two cookies. I baked some low-carb cookies last week (almond flour and coconut sugar) and ate all 30 within 3 days.
Yikes. I can’t keep doing that. Even if the cookies are low carb, they’re not low calorie, and I can’t afford to get on that train again! I’ve worked so hard this summer to lose the stress weight that I put on over the past several years working in the medical profession.
So, if I can’t bake for myself… what about baking for the dogs? Enter the All Good Dogs Bakery.
I’ve been pouring over dog treat recipes on the internet and experimenting with my own combinations. Some go over with the dogs a lot better than others. The first batch of treats that I made I thought turned out pretty great (I tasted one of them, and although a little bland, I thought it was pretty tasty). I gave one to Mocha, one to Charlie and they were like, “Yeah, I’ll crunch on that.” (They are pretty non-disriminatory eaters. They will both also eat dirt in the back yard.) And then I gave one to Charlotte the pup. She held it in her mouth for about 5 seconds and then dropped it on the floor. She looked at me with pleading eyes, “Must I?” I told her it was good, that she should give it a chance. She took it in her mouth, hid under the bed, and reluctantly crunched away.
“Well,” I thought. “Looks like I’ve got a little work to do.”
So I started experimenting with different recipes. Nut butters go over very well. Apples and blueberries are also accepted. Combine the three? Trifecta. The trick is to get these sticky, fresh ingredients to combine into a dough that is not so excessively sticky that you can actually make a treat out of it. So I’ve also been experimenting with different shapes and baking methods. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s got me back in the kitchen baking! I have to say, the house smells so good when there is something baking in the oven.
I’m dedicated to making all of my treats wheat, soy, corn, and egg-free to avoid most allergens. So far, they are also dairy-free, but I’d like to come up with a cheese flavored treat as well. And bacon… did someone say bacon? I would love to share some of my home baked treats with your dogs. If you are interested, let me know and we can do some product testing!
I’m planning on making some batches to give away as Christmas treats, and possibly branching out to pet stores and veterinary clinics. I see a new business plan forming…