Canadian Dog Food Company Focuses on Local Ingredients

Lots of small businesses start out in the homes of entrepreneurs. Cheryl Foley started her company by rolling and cutting the dough for her homemade dog treats right in her own kitchen. That was four and half years ago, and since then her company has been steadily growing. Now she has seven employees and she runs the company as the manager/owner.

When asked about owning her own business Foley says that it isn’t easy. Her advice is that entrepreneurs need to be creative in the way that they do things in order for their business to stand out from the crowd. Located in Nanaimo, a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, makes it difficult to get the supplies that Foley needs. An island may not be an ideal location for a business, but Foley says it can be done and the Foley Dog Treat Company is proof.

Canadian Dog Food Company Focuses on Local Ingredients
Photo: Rachel Stern

The company ships its products across Canada and into the United States. Foley says that her goal is to make her company the largest in the country. She says there are about four or five other independent dog treat manufacturers in Canada. She knew going into this business venture that she was going to have to do something to make her dog treats stand out from the crowd.

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In order to create the recipes for her dog treats, Foley started with the basic baking principles, but she wanted to make her treats as healthy for dogs as possible. Instead of using eggs as a binder, she substitutes healthier options like pumpkin and peanut butter. She also uses pea flour in all of her recipes instead of grain flour because many pets have allergies to grains. These allergies can lead to itchy skin, unhealthy coats and watery eyes.

Foley says that the grain-free trend in dog food has really been taking off recently because more and more pet owners are interested in providing a healthier option for their canine companions. The treats are also corn, soy, preservative, salt and sugar free. They also do not use any artificial coloring. Not only was Foley concerned about making her products healthy, but she wanted to be sure that her ingredients were locally sourced as well. She says that 98 percent of the ingredients in her dog treats are sourced in Canada.

With all the issues that have been occurring with pet products made in China, it was important to Foley to make sure that all Foley Dog Treat Company products had nothing to do with any product or ingredient that was manufactured, made, produced, packaged or shipped from China. The grain free dog treats are made with antibiotic and hormone free meats, and they have antioxidants and nutrient dense formulas to provide the most nutritional benefits to dogs.

Canadian Dog Food Company Focuses on Local Ingredients

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The company’s first brand was called Dog’n It. It started as a mainly vegetarian brand, but now includes a line of treats made with exotic meats like elk, bison, turkey and lamb. These treats are a great choice for pets that have allergies to the more common proteins like beef and chicken. The company also offers Vitality Dog Treats and Bully Bites. Bully Bites are also a strictly vegetarian treat line, and Vitality Bites combine top quality protein sources with fruits and vegetables to create treats that are full of nutritional value.

Foley Dog Treat Company products can be found in most pet specialty stores in Canada, and they are beginning to become more popular in the United States. Interested pet parents can also check out the company’s selection and place their orders online. Foley is hoping to expand her company’s retail market in the near future.