If you read our last blog post (and we hope you did), we talked about what many of the major companies that make dog foods and treats use as ingredients in their products. It doesn’t exactly fill you with a lot of trust, and in some cases it is downright disgusting. While some dogs are super picky about what they will eat, we all know those dogs that will eat anything that isn’t tied down (and some things that are!). Just because they will eat it, doesn’t mean they should. Caring for your dog’s health should be your top priority when it comes to what they are ingesting, but that is going to come with a little extra work and research on your part. We here at Mooch’s Munchies have done some of that research for you in this blog.
When we decided to start Mooch’s Munchies, we knew there was a lot of competition. I told my husband that unless we could come up with recipes that would raise us above the rest, then there was no reason to begin. I spent a lot of time in our kitchen working on recipes and sharing our prototype products with our friends and family and their more than willing dogs. We made notes of the results, then we would try again. We went in search of ingredients that we knew would be better for our canine companions than what was on the shelves in the grocery store. The research we did took us to clean ingredients that cut out the garbage. The first thing to go was the gluten.
Why gluten-free? Well for starters, wheat is known to be a hard to digest protein for many dogs. Did you know that wheat gluten is the protein of the wheat? Many manufacturers use wheat as a primary ingredient in their dog foods. It drives up the crude protein on the package, but doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog will thrive on it. The more wheat, the less actual meat they put in the food. Wheat protein is a lower quality because it lacks Lysine and other essential amino acids. If your dog doesn't process it well, they will have uncomfortable gas and you will have a stinker on your hands. So out went the traditional flour and in came Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 baking flour. We love the way it bakes and tastes and only use it for ourselves at home now. The dogs love it. It uses sweet white rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, potato starch, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour, Tapioca Flour and Xanthan gum. Please keep in mind it is still a flour and while we use this for our cookies, it should not be a major source of the dog’s nutrition, but it is a far more digestible flour.
The next thing was organics. Let’s face it, natural is always better. We wanted ingredients that came the way nature made them, not with extra hormones or antibiotics. While you can find research that supports both sides of the argument for organic or not, we just don’t like taking the chance. Just as in our own personal lives ( I am living with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis) I have found that going to organics and being gluten free has made my joint pain go from being crippling to being mildly annoying and we both just feel better overall. Our bodies are less bloated and inflamed, and we are less gassy. We started this with our own dogs and have found that they as well seem to move better, be more puppy-like and no longer can clear the room with a toot. Cooking their food is how I assure myself that they are getting the best. It isn’t cheap by any means, but as these are our kids, we want the best for them. That is why we use only organic eggs, which is a great protein source for the dogs. We use organic applesauce in our Cheesy Cluckers and organic nonfat Greek yogurt in our other cookies. People have been using yogurt to soothe tummies in sensitive dogs for a long time, however most people use a regular, flavored yogurt that has a lot more sugars in it than necessary. All of our cookies (with the exception of the Cheesy Cluckers, Cheese Trainers and Chicken Trainers) are sweetened with organic honey. Pumpkin is used for adding fiber to help dogs stay regular or to firm up a loose bowel and we have developed a cookie with pumpkin as well. Our Peas and Thank-you cookies are made with organic split peas which we grind into a powder and mix with ground parsley making it a great tummy soother as well as a breath freshener. The chicken we use is a freeze dried chicken breast. Everything is human grade and we have tasted them all. We have many customers with dogs that have tummy issues that are thrilled that their dogs can enjoy a treat now without the worry of a round of diarrhea or a trip to the vet. Our own vet is really excited about these treats.
What you won’t find in our cookies is artificial flavors or preservatives. We bake our cookies to a biscotti-style crunch so there is no chance of spoilage. You can smell the quality of the cookie when you open the bag, the aroma of the banana, carob or peanut butter is there. The dogs notice it and will beg for more. While we make them crunchy to give them a shelf life, dogs that are older with weak or failing teeth don’t have to go without! You can take the cookies that you will use in the next day or so and put them in a zippered bag with a slice of bread and it will soften them back up again. Only do this with the cookies that will be used soon as moist cookies will have the ability to mold. We actually have had customers tell us they had to hide the bags on upper shelves because the dogs have gotten into and onto the cabinets to get them. Don’t you want your dog to have the very best? We certainly do.
Our cookies aren’t fancy, and you won’t find any decorated or frosted birthday cakes or cookies, but what you will find with us is a treat that your dog can enjoy every day without worry. Please consider giving us a try. Every cookie is hand cut and baked with the love, health, and life of your dog in mind.
Mooch’s Munchies……..THEY’RE TOTALLY PAWSOME!