Most commercial dog foods and dog treats on the market are full of unpronounceable ingredients, chemicals, and fillers. Not to mention the by-products and mystery meats that they are made from as well. That’s why Jessica Simons began making homemade treats for Callie, her golden retriever.
Simons says that she has been making her own dog treats for years. It started as a hobby and quickly grew into a passion. A passion for providing her dog with the healthiest treats possible while still making sure they were tasty and easily digestible. She has spent the last three years perfecting the recipe.
Now, Simons and her husband Chris sell the treats at their Sioux City Farmers Market booth, which they call Good Dog Diner. The couple says that they enjoy feeding their dog healthy treats and knowing exactly where the ingredients for those treats are coming from. They thought other pet owners would feel the same way.
Simons started her business with research, like all good entrepreneurs should. She read countless books on dog nutrition and researched recipes online. She also did online research about healthy ingredients for dogs and how they would benefit the canine’s body.
Some of the common ingredients that she uses in her dog biscuits and “barkscotti” are sweet potatoes, peanut butter, wheat, bananas, and oat flours. She doesn’t use any bleached or all-purpose flours because they aren’t healthy for dogs.
Simons also sells dried vegetable and fruit chips at the Good Dog Diner booth to add some variety to the treats. She provides egg and gluten-free alternatives as well. As homemade, healthier dog treats become more common and more pet owners are looking for these options for their dogs, Simons is thinking about how she can expand her business.
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She’s hoping to add muffins and cupcake treats in the near future, and with the growing popularity of doggy birthday cakes, she hopes to add cakes to her product line as well. She says the cakes will not be something that she keeps on hand, but rather a product that dog owners can custom order for their special occasions.
It is important to the Simons’ that their treats are affordable for dog owners who want to feed their pets quality treats without breaking the bank. Everything at their booth is priced under $10. Jessica Simons hopes to open her own pet-friendly shop someday soon where dog owners can bring their pets to try different treats.
Currently you can only find Good Dog Diner on Facebook, but Simons says potential customers can message her to place an order and even request treats for dogs with special diets.