Pet sitting business card

Dog Business Spotlight – Pet Nanny Erica

Make your dog business memorable! Offer homemade dog treats in addition to your pet services!

Pet Nanny Erica

Owner: Erica Harvey

Location: Edwards, Colorado

Erica’s dog business got an unexpected start. An adventurous spirit, she moved from North Carolina to Colorado in 2010 and started taking her doctor’s dog out for walks. People saw her, liked how she handled the dog, and asked her to walk their dogs. She was now in business. One client gave her twelve referrals!

Black pug

Her beloved black pug Miles, passed, and she found that the company of her clients’ petsBlack pug helped to heal her heart. She says, “I chose the name Pet Nanny Erica because not only am I a dog walker, but I am a “dog nanny” too. I spend many days and nights with my clients’ pets and have a large emotional investment in their well-being. They make me want to be a better human being. As pet owners, we are the voice for our animals!”

To further her focus of looking out for the animals, she now offers healthy homemade dog treats. “I have just finished bagging up my holiday doggie treats!” She uses K9Cakery’s cookie cutters and decorates with both Fido’s Frosting and Fido’s Royal Icing.

Christmas dog cookies
Christmas dog cookies

Giving out homemade dog treats to potential clients along with her business cards is a marketing strategy Erica employs. Not only is it a nice touch, but she knows it helps make her memorable.

Her peanut butter and pumpkin bone dog cookies are very popular. She puts a business card in with the dog treats and packages them in “doggie bags” with dog-themed ribbons.

All “for the love of dogs”, as Erica puts it. If you are in the Vail Valley, look for her walking her Pug Posse consisting of Beyonce, Oscar and Buster. Or the sisters, Hailey and Maddie, or malamute Yukon, GSP Caddis, and list goes on and on!


Be sure to look her up at PetNannyErica on Facebook and see the wonderful photo album dedicated to Miles.

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 Visit for dog bakery supplies and the award-winning Fido’s Frosting, the first all-natural, sugar-free, yogurt dog treat frosting and icing that does not melt!

Homemade dog biscuits

Grain free dog treats not for all dogs

If you bake dog treats and dog cakes, don’t toss out your wheat flour! Grain free dog products may be today’s trend, but there are downsides too.

I just saw an ad for “oven-baked” grain-free dog treats, which spurred this post. The fact that the treats were “oven-baked” apparently was the “unique” selling point. Really?

So…is grain free better? It is certainly the big trend.

I have nothing against grain free, but there is nothing wrong with wheat! Dog treats are not meant to replace meals or become a full diet. They are exactly what the name says they are: TREATS!

Yes, it’s true that dogs descended from the wild and were carnivorous. They did not sniff around for cakes and biscuits.

Yes, it’s true that to make dog food more economical and cost-effective, grains, especially corn, were added.

Yes, it’s true that 6-7 years ago, a certain toxin was introduced into pet foods to artificially boost the protein content and make the product seem to contribute to health and well-being.

But it’s also true that “grain-free” jerky treats from China are implicated as causing pet deaths.

Depends how you want to spin it.

If you are a small dog bakery, you may be feeling the pressure to jump on the grain free band wagon. Resist making radical changes! If your customers love your treats the way you make them, keep pleasing them.

Many dog treat businesses were born because the owners could not find healthy nutritional solutions for a dietary issue their own pet developed. So they created their own. If a wheat base is used, there’s probably a good reason, and it may not be a health-related one. Not every dog suffers from allergies.

Did you know that wheat promotes acidity in the urine, which helps to dissolve struvite crystals? There certainly are health advantages. Not every dog has allergies.

Pet food manufacturers began adding white potatoes into their products so they could promote them as “grain-free”. This has been reported to be a contributing reason behind the rise in pet diabetes (due to the high carbohydrate content of the potatoes). Many grain-free foods are also high in calories……something humans need to consider for themselves as well.

If you make wonderful wheat based dog treats, use these promotion points if you are challenged about the healthiness of your treats:

  • You know your customers’ names, and their dogs’ names as well. You are not going to offer unhealthy products to those you know! (That would be business suicide.)
  • You most likely bake in your own kitchen, or in one where you oversee the entire baking process. You know exactly what ingredients go into your treats. You know that the ingredients are fresh, human quality, and REAL FOOD.
  • Your pricing is attractive.
  • Most importantly, you give your treats to your own dog! (If you take your dog to markets, just make sure he looks healthy and well-kept.)
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to taste one of your own dog treats right in front of the customer. You do use human grade ingredients that are real food, right?

You will not please everyone, and your treats are not right for every dog either. That’s why there are choices. Share your passion for your product with your customers and always give great customer service – customers won’t get these from a large enterprise.

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 Visit for dog bakery supplies made in the USA and the award-winning         Fido’s Frosting, the first all-natural, sugar-free, yogurt dog treat frosting and icing that        does not melt!

dog treat business

Dog Bakery Spotlight – Coastal K9 Bakery

Want to get your dog treats into retail stores? The owner of Coastal K-9 Bakery offers some words of advice. Her dog was the inspiration behind this thriving dog bakery business because he suffered from food allergies.

Coastal K-9 Bakery

Owner: Jackie Oakes

Location: Wilmington, North Carolina

Poor Tippy! The English Springer Spaniel suffered from allergies. But from what? His owner, Jackie, decided to bake wheat free dog treats for him and…he got better! She knew she was on to something because there were other dogs who had undiagnosed food allergies who could benefit as well.

Wheat free dog treats
Wheat free dog treats

So Jackie opened Coastal K-9 Bakery in November 2004 and chose the name due to its location on the coast of North Carolina. Her dog treats are named Tippy’s Treats after the dog who started it all!

Beginning as a retail store, she advertised locally, donated to community-based animal causes and organizations, and became involved with two no-kill animal shelters.

The business does wholesale baking primarily. Jackie says, “I realized wholesale was becoming a large part of my sales. I began attending pet trade shows and marketing to pet shops, other bakeries, and businesses. By calling businesses and making personal visits my visibility has increased greatly.”

Her hard work paid off because Tippy’s Treats are now available in Whole Foods Markets and local grocery chains!  They come in eight flavors, and are mostly wheat, corn and soy free, the common allergy producing flours for dogs.

“Yappy Birthday” dog birthday cake decorated with Fido’s Frosting

“My Yappy Birthday cakes are a bit hit. I use Fido’s Frosting to create beautiful and fun-loving cakes and muffins in a small, medium and large size. We have an extensive inventory of birthday supplies to complement our cakes and muffins.”

We asked Jackie if she had any advice for dog treat businesses wanting to place their treats in retail stores.

Here is her advice:

  • First, you MUST be passionate about your product. If you aren’t sold on it, the retail store will not be sold.
  • Be selective of the retail stores where you want your product.
  • It is very helpful for your company to have a “track record” of acceptance in the community as it is very hard to have a store accept a product that has only been produced for a few months or a year.
  • Should the retail store not accept your product, ask the reason it was not accepted. If there are problems, address and correct any problems.
  • Don’t be afraid to contact the retail store more than once if your product was not accepted. Many times the retail store is in the process of rearranging a store section or waiting for some products to sell out before adding new products.
  • It is important to make a personal appearance to the store manager or buyer. Call ahead to make an appointment, be punctual, be knowledgeable of the store, and be ready to explain the benefits of the store having your product in their inventory.

Tippy lived a better life, and will never be forgotten. Jackie has two rescues living with her now. She says, “It is so rewarding to be a part of the pet industry. I have met so many wonderful people and have discovered so many products that are beneficial to our pets. You also create a bond with your customers as they know that you are doing something that is helping their pet and educates them as well.”

Be sure to look for Tippy’s Treats in your local market. Visit Coastal K-9 Bakery online!

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 Visit for dog bakery supplies and the award-winning Fido’s Frosting, the first all-natural, sugar-free, yogurt dog treat frosting and icing that does not melt!

dog bakery business

Dog Bakery Spotlight – Rosie’s Barkery

Turn your passion for helping dog rescues and shelters into a dog bakery business! That’s what
one new dog mom did! Her business is taking off while she lives her passion.



Owner: Christine Iverson


Location: North Hollywood, California


February 2011 brought the patter of little puppy feet into Christine’s life. Never having owned a
dog before, and not knowing what to do, she read articles and watched television shows to
learn as much as possible.
Decorated dog treats with Fido's Frosting
Decorated with Fido’s Frosting

The three-month old pit/pointer mix she and her husband adopted from the local shelter was a handful of energy, but changed their
lives for the best. Delving into the world of “homeless” pets brought the plight of these
animals forefront to her and she felt compelled to help.

She named the puppy Rosie, after Rosie the Riveter. Although the “famous” Rosie
was only an illustration, the character stood for strength and a “can-do” attitude,
which fit the puppy perfectly.

By now, fall was approaching and Christine began her yearly ritual of baking for family and
friends. Of course, she couldn’t leave the puppy out. But Rosie had been diagnosed with
allergies. Unfortunately, the exact etiology could not be pinpointed. To be on the safe side,
Christine baked gluten-free dog treats just in case there was an underlying wheat allergy.

Rosie gobbled up gluten-free peanut butter sweet potato treats. Christine says, “Then I thought, maybe I can sell these to raise money for shelters and rescues? Seemed like a good thing to try. I began selling at dog parks where they did pretty well. After a few months there I decided I would make a go at this and set-up shop at a Farmer’s Market. For the past 2 years I’ve sold Rosie’s Barkery dog treats at the market, at various events and now we’re branching out into wholesale.”

The business was aptly named after the new puppy, to keep the “spirit” of the fearless riveter alive! In addition to weekly farmers markets, they exhibit at industry trade shows and have an online presence. They stay very active in the local community, supporting and helping to raise funds for the local shelters and rescues for the benefit of the animals in need. Soon Rosie’s treats will be available in stores nationwide!

gluten free dog treats
Gluten free dog treats
“Our Hearts N’ Homes™ line of treats are not only
popular, but nutritious, easy to ship and the
packaging speaks the best to what we care about most.””Gluten-free is an up and coming trend not only for humans but also for dogs. We have always been gluten-free and many people appreciate the thought that goes into our ingredients. We specialize in hypoallergenic treats that most any dog can enjoy.””Not only are our treats gluten free and most are hypoallergenic but they also raise money for rescues. We make it a priority to push that aspect and to encourage our customers to adopt not shop. We have a lot of creative ideas on how to partner with rescues as part of our Indiegogo campaign.”
Go to Rosie’s Barkery to learn more about this wonderful business!

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 Visit for dog bakery supplies and the award-winning Fido’s Frosting, the first          all-natural, sugar-free, yogurt dog treat frosting and icing that does not melt!