First off, Welcome to See Spot Snack!
Now a little about me and my vision.
I love animals. That’s why this dream to open a dog bakery and boutique has been swimming around in my head for many years. I grew up with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, fish, and eventually rats. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I said rats!
I am also a homemaker. I am married and I own two rescue Dachshunds through All Texas Dachshund Rescue. Once things are figured out, I will be donating some of the proceeds to All Texas Dachshund rescue.
I also love to bake, create things, do things around my house, and take care of my husband/puppies. My puppies will be making appearances through out this journey as well. After all, it was my passion for my rescue dogs and my love of baking that led me down this path!
I have a 5 year old Black and Tan Dachshund named Decker. He has been with us for 2 1/2 years. During the time that he has been with us we have discovered that he has a whole host of food allergies. Mainly to Chicken and Wheat. This lead me to develop treats that are healthy for him and ones that won’t upset his delicate tummy. Decker has a very hard time digesting new things. We now have him on a limited ingredient kibble by Natural Balance and he only gets treats that are either homemade or dog approved fresh fruits and veggies. Anything outside of his normal diet, makes him sick.
Decker’s story is a special one because of how sick he had gotten before we changed his diet up. He had gotten to the point were he chewed off all of his fur on his paws, had rashes on his chest, and wasn’t a very happy dog. He wasn’t very friendly with strangers either. We eventually chalked this up to how terrible he must have felt. We tried allergy medications, bathing his feet in itch reducing shampoo’s and watched him like a hawk.
5 months ago we moved our family to Tucson, Arizona–from Dallas, Texas. For the last 7 months I have been playing around with fruits and veggies and I have succeeded in getting Decker to see those as treats and no commercial treats entered our house. But then I thought, every dog deserves a cookie! Decker loved his cookies before his diet problems. He knew the word so well that he could hear it two rooms over. So then I started to experiment with making dog treats and cookies!
I don’t bake with wheat flours. I also don’t bake with meats aside from maybe Salmon. He seems to do well with Salmon and the heart healthy fats in the fish are terrific for his skin and coat. I do bake some treats with some sort of dairy. Usually with a little cheese, a little yogurt, or some cottage cheese. But these are labeled and baked separately and I don’t bake them often for him. It’s an occasional treat and he can handle them quite fine.
I prefer to bake with all natural fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. All of the fruits and veggies I use are dog approved and safe. I try to keep the skin on in the process for added nutrients. I like to play with fruit and veggie juices as my coloring in some of my treats. Some of the fruits and veggies that I use are: Apples, Carrots, Some Squash, Green Beans, Peas, Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Banana, Parsley, Mint, Cinnamon, Sweet Potato, and the list grows bigger and bigger!
I like to use ingredients that are going to help with secondary health issues in dogs. Such as, bad breath, digestive issues, and weight problems. By using less allergy prone flours, herbs to help with breath, herbs that help in digestion, and ingredients that are healthy and not fattening, these ingredients can possible help those issues. Even if they don’t help all that much, at least they are tasty and nutritious!
I know a thing or two about those health concerns I listed above because I have two Dachshunds that suffer from those aliments. Luckily, through strict diet, my two boys are at the perfect healthy weight and have beautiful muscular builds. Every single person that meets my boys rave about their weight, uber shiny fur, and beautiful teeth.
The treats and foods available to animals are not healthy enough in my opinion and I am sure many would agree. There has been this miss-communication throughout the years that “people food is bad!” This isn’t the case at all. Yes, friend chicken and pizza are bad. Added fats, sugars, and unhealthy ingredients are bad. Think about the foods that are considered healthy and full of antioxidants for us humans. Those foods are good for your animals! Well, don’t go all crazy, some fruits/veggies/spices can be harmful to your pets. Such as grapes, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, and certain pantry spices. Never feed your dog those foods. Also, you should check with your vet about any of the ingredients in my treats if there are any concerns that you might have pertaining to your dog. I am not a vet by any means. These are things that I have learned from books, the internet, and my personal vets. And all natural treats without preservatives should be refrigerated for the best quality in the long run. But for the most part, the healthy food we eat, can be given to your animals. Brown rice? Check! Some green beans? Check! Peas? Yes, please! (My boys like to fetch their pees if I toss them across the kitchen!)
My allergy prone dog, Decker, is a different dog. You can speak to friends and family members and they will sing the praises of my dogs diet and well being. Decker now has such a glossy coat that taking pictures with the flash can be blinding. His fur is soft and velvety. His eyes twinkle brightly. He is always happy! And just a joy to be around. All of his fur grew back on his feet and you won’t find him chewing on himself anymore. He has lots of energy and is becoming more of a people dog. The change is outstanding. Beautiful.
So during this journey in creating, baking, and promoting my homemade dog treats, you will get a glimpse into the life of my two dogs. The little one, Caster, loves to dress up and even has his own chef’s hat. You will get to see them try treats after I bake them. You will get to see them play and be absolute goof balls.
I hope everyone reading this stays for the journey ahead! I promise to be full of ideas! I love to share cooking ideas, household ideas, and lots of crafts. I love what I do and I want to pass that onto everyone else!
Thank You and happy snacking!
(An important friendly reminder: Since our treats are made without any additives or preservatives, they should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Commercial dog treats are shelf stable for a long time because of extra preservatives/additives. Since each bag contains 8oz’s of cookies (It’s a lot of cookies! Especially for one or two dogs!), I would recommend freezing half of your treats and keeping the other half, or less, in the refrigerator. They can last in the freezer for up to 8 months and in the fridge for a month or two. All of the cookies are handmade with human grade ingredients because of this, you will sometimes see flour residue on the outside of the cookie or oats that are white under the surface. )