The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Dogs go mutts for Gemma’ s snacks
One day during lockdown, dog walker Gemma Edwards wondered why humans got all the tasty foods and not dogs – and Mucky Pup Dog Treats was born.
Mucky Pup Dog Treats is the brainchild of Arbroath woman Gemma Edwards who is slowly building the popular dog snack business.
In common with many start-ups in the last year, Gemma’s enterprise was forged as a result of the coronavirus lockdown and a need to find something to ease the strains of the Covid-19 outbreak.
She explained: “I’m a self-employed dog walker, that’s my main job, and I am obviously out and about with the dogs, spending a fortune on dog treats to keep them happy.
“I have my own dog, and my family have dogs, too.
“During lockdown with being off, and having children, I started making them as it was something to take my mind of home schooling, the stresses and the worries. I found out that I actually really enjoyed doing it, so I thought to myself ‘let’s make a go of this’.”
After starting out as a pastime, mum to Chloe, 12, and Cameron, six, Gemma began to take things a little more seriously when the second lockdown hit.
“I started off doing it as a bit of fun and then during second lockdown I started pushing it a little more, using family and friends as a guide.
“I have been getting quite a lot of good feedback. My mum has three dogs and her dogs absolutely love them. My dog loves them, too, but he will eat anything so I can’t use him as a critic!”
The 40-year-old began by making dog treats featuring peanut butter, such as brownies and biscuits. She then introduced fresh fruit, using local suppliers where it is possible, as the range grew.
“I start mainly using peanut butter because dogs absolutely love peanut butter,” she continued.
“Taking my dog as an example, when he is taking medication like his worming tablets and things, trying to get him to take them is a no-no, even hiding it in his foods – no chance.
“So I tried with the treats and he would take it that way. My parents’ dogs love the peanut butter as well.”
And ensuring the very best ingredients are used is key to making sure that, as well as being a treat for the dogs, Gemma’s snacks are also benefiting them nutritionally.
“As well as looking good, they are good for the dogs as well. When you think about blueberries and strawberries, to humans they are superfoods, they are also superfoods for dogs as well,” she added.
“It is great for their skin, for their fur keeping it shiny.
“There are lots of health benefits for them as well.
“The thing with dogs is that although they can eat a lot of human food, a lot of it can be quite toxic and dangerous for them so a lot of research goes into what they can have and what they can’t have.
“It is extremely interesting that side of things, too, as I am doing a nutrition course as well so I am always learning.”
While she is selling the treats through her Facebook and Instagram pages just now, Gemma is hopeful that as lockdown eases there will be opportunities to branch out further. And an offering for our feline friends might be introduced.
“Hopefully I can get involved in some markets after lockdown and the restrictions have been lifted, that would be ideal.
“I make everything at home at the moment – the dream of having my own dog treat bakery is a wee bit away just now.
“At the moment it is just for dogs, but I am looking to create some for cats down the line, but cats can be quite fussy eaters.
“With dogs you know they are doing to eat them.
“That’s one of the good things is dogs don’t care how they look, as long as they smell and taste good.”