Column: Dogs’ treats to set their tails a-wagging
- Credit: Archant
Don’t the chocolate and honey muffins in the photo look delicious? They are hand-made with delicious, fresh ingredients by Blanche Daulton from Kimpton.
Well I’m very sorry, but you aren’t allowed any – they are for dogs only!
I first met Blanche at the Kimpton May fair last year when I was wandering around the recreation ground looking for cake. Blanche had a crowd around her ‘My Faithful Friend’ stall and was doing a brisk trade to dog lovers buying snacks for their pets.
I know there are a huge number of dog lovers locally and I thought our readers would love to read about Blanche and her products so I went over to Kimpton ahead of this year’s fair to find out more.
Blanche makes every dog treat herself in her lovely country kitchen using excellent quality ingredients and if you wanted to eat her dog biscuits, muffins and scones, then you could without coming to any harm.
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Fresh herbs, chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, cheese, oats, carob, peanut butter, carrots, olive oil, honey, banana, spinach – Blanche only uses ingredients she would eat herself, and she has tasted everything she bakes. I very much doubt the same could be said of the manufacturers of the bestselling commercial snacks...
Unlike many dog treats that you buy from large pet shops, Blanche’s treats do not contain any preservatives or weird ingredients. They are gluten-free and low-fat to make them suitable for dogs. As with food for people, you need to keep them in an air-tight container or a fridge, but they will last up to three weeks. You can freeze them if you want to buy plenty in one go.
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Blanche loves to experiment and create new combinations, and has a fantastic sense of humour too. When I visited, Blanche had made frog biscuits, made green with fresh spinach and shaped like a squashed frog. “Chocolate” Frog Biscuits made with carob (as dogs can’t eat real chocolate) would be very popular with Harry Potter fans. Easter Chicks were a golden yellow, coloured only by the carrot in them.
The bestsellers are bone-shaped (of course!), but rabbits and tiny hearts and stars are also very popular, particularly with smaller dogs. Liver fudge is also available, as are dog-friendly birthday cakes, which I can imagine would be hugely popular for the dog who has everything.
You can find My Faithful Friend at some local farmers’ and craft markets, such as Whitwell (fourth Friday of each month) and Sandon (third Saturday of each month). As these are indoors, they work well over the winter months, and Blanche has lots of customers who come each time to stock up.
As the weather improves Blanche plans to have lots of treats for sale at the Kimpton Horse Show at the end of July and at the May Fair. Blanche will also make anything to order including cakes, Christmas stockings and birthday bags, and you can contact her by texting her mobile, 07973 619570, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s Kimpton Fair is May 3-6 and the theme is toys. It is always a fab day out for the villagers and friends. Pop it in your diary now.
Prices are very reasonable; a bag of ten training treat-sized biscuits are just £1. It is the same price at the moment for four medium-sized biscuits or small muffins, or for two large biscuits, scones or muffins. Bags are tied with ribbon and make perfect presents. I think that is terrific for the quality of the ingredients – perfect for a birthday or Easter treat!
But the final word has to be to my willing dog testers. Frankie (labrador, age nearly three) particularly enjoyed an Easter Chick and a Chocolate (carob) Bunny, and was keen to hoover up any stray crumbs on the floor and to show that she would like another. Beau (Golden Retriver, age seven) enjoyed the Fishy biscuit and “gnawed happily away and definitely smiled between chews”.
So a definite hit.