Hello Pet Business Owner!
I recently ran a workshop for new dog groomers, who are studying for their City & Guilds qualification at Dogs Delight Grooming Courses in London, and while rambling on I told them about my old Canine Cookie Company and the treats we made back then. I was explaining how offering clients homemade treats for their pet is a way to enhance their experience of your business and, of course, the dog will love them and will want to come back for more.
This works for groomers, dog walkers, or pet sitters and as long as you are careful with how you prepare and store your treats it is can be an easy, low-cost way to generate some extra income. I would suggest to start just have one flavour of treat out in a natural, rustic basket. Use a pair of tongs to pick up the treats and pop them in a plain paper bakery bag to add that freshly baked feel. Just give 2 or 3 for the client to take home. No need for expensive logo printing on the bags, you can add a sticker if you want, but the client knows where they bought them from – they are already there – so it isn’t really necessary.
If you plan to sell your treats at a show or online then ingredients labelling etc becomes important, (I can help you set this up if you decide you would like to take this route), but just giving away some homemade treats in your grooming van, or leaving them in the home of the client you are pet sitting for with a “thank you for choosing [your business name]” note is just like buying homemade jam from the Church Fete, or a currant bun from a bakers. You don’t need to pay for expensive ingredient testing and labelling.
Of course you do need to know what you can and can’t include in your treats. From my book Pupcakes (Hamlyn 2007) below is a guide to toxic food for dogs which you must avoid at all costs. I also attach a recipe for Liver Fudge, a firm favourite with my Canine Cookie clients to get you started. Its a shame these recipes don’t get used these days so hopefully you will try them out and enjoy baking for your clients. I will post a series of these recipes here in the coming weeks.
Although you can still buy my recipe books on Amazon – just search for Stephanie Mehanna or click here to see these – you can grab free recipes by just typing in “homemade dog treats” as I have here in Google.
So have fun baking, don’t forget to check the guide to toxic food list before you start and make sure you follow the storage guidelines.
I will post more treat recipes soon,
The Pet Business Academy
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 – 35 minutes
400g (13 oz) chickens’ or lambs’ liver
300ml (½ pint) of cold water
400g (13oz) plain flour
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
4 turkey bacon rashers, grilled and chopped
65 ml (2½ fl oz) olive oil
- Liquidise the liver and measured water in a food processor or blender.
Transfer to a large bowl, add the flour, garlic, turkey bacon, egg and olive oil, and mix with a spoon until it forms a smooth paste.
- Pour the ingredients into a 18 x 28 cm (7 x 11-inch) shallow backing tin lined with greased greaseproof paper. Cook in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F) Gas mark 4, for 30 – 35 minutes. Prick with a fork halfway through cooking to release the air. Check it is cooked through by inserting a knife. If the knife comes out clean, it is ready. Otherwise, return to the oven for 2 – 3 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Cut into 2.5 (1-inch) cubes using a sharp knife. Place the liver bait cubes into small resealable freezer bags and freeze until required. Defrost a bag in the refrigerator as and when you need them.
Tips ‘n’ Tails: Liver bait fudge should be consumed on the day of defrosting. It will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. Don’t refreeze once defrosted.