CLINTON: We all like an occasional treat. Your dog is likely no exception.
Patient & Kind Canine Cookies, a new locally owned company, offers high quality homemade dog snacks that are baked in small batches.
Kristi LaFleur is the creator of Patient & Child Canine Cookies.
“I’m originally from Clinton. I grew up in the same house my grandparents raised their children in. My grandmother’s parents and grandmother lived here too while they worked the mills in the early 20th century,” she said. Her parents moved to Lancaster when she was 5 years old, but when she got married they moved back to Clinton and back to her grandparents’ apartment building.
“I’ve worked with children my whole life. I’ve been a nanny, worked in daycare, was a class teacher, behavioral therapist for children with autism and most recently a teaching assistant at a therapeutic day school for children with social, emotional and behavioral problems,” said LaFleur.
“I started making homemade dog biscuits when our puppy Teddy got stomach problems and increased vomiting, especially after eating dog treats from the grocery store,” said LaFleur. “We weren’t sure what the problem was, so I tried restricting his diet so I could see if he had any food allergies.”
She decided to make him his own cookies.
“I’ve always loved baking since I was little, making chocolate chip cookies with my mother, and helping my father with his famous homemade chocolate cake,” she said. “I thought, ‘How hard can it be to make a dog biscuit?’ My husband and daughter (Chris and Katie) and I bake elaborately rolled and decorated sugar cookies for Christmas. It has to be easier. “
She knew she wanted to keep the cookie ingredients simple and natural.
“I spent hours researching websites like the AKC trying to find out what exactly dogs can and can’t have. “I had many willing dogs from colleagues and family to try my biscuit on.”
Meanwhile, Teddy has been diagnosed with a canine form of acid reflux.
“One pill a day and now he’s as healthy as can be, even though he really enjoys mom’s homemade goodies,” said LaFleur. “So did all of the other dogs that I gave a free sample to. Their owners asked if they could buy the cookies from me that a few free cookies weren’t enough. There have even been reports of dogs looking around the house for more and.” in one case almost eaten the empty bag out of the handbag. “
It was almost Valentine’s Day, so LaFleur was taking pre-orders for bags of bone and heart shaped peanut butter pumpkin biscuits from people she knew.
“I’ve received reorders and expanded to include other flavors. To this day, I have added 14 heart-shaped cookies to my peanut butter pumpkin bags in honor of that beginning, ”she said.
LaFleur was invited to the West Boylston Community Market and was able to share her goodies with people outside of her friends and family.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “I’ve met as many people and their dogs as they passed my booth. I have regular customers who come back to buy another bag and tell me their dog no longer wants to eat store-bought cookies.”
LaFleur wanted the ingredients in their biscuits to have nutritional value and contribute to a dog’s overall health.
“I started with oatmeal, which I grind myself from oats and brown rice flour. Some treats are made only from oatmeal and others with a combination. Dogs have fewer allergies to these two flours because they are gluten free,” she said. Brown Rice flour is high in fiber and provides calcium, zinc and folic acid, she said. Oatmeal is easy on a dog’s digestive system and is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and is heart healthy.
The low sugar content of this carbohydrate is a great choice for dogs with diabetes, she added.
“Once I figured out the base of the biscuit, I added popular fruits and vegetables that are dog-safe, like pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, apple, banana, blueberry, and pear. Of course, peanut butter is a favorite for most dogs. ”She said. “I opted for a natural peanut butter with no salt or sugar. It is essentially ground peanuts. By using natural ingredients such as spirulina algae, turmeric and beetroot powder in combination with fruits or vegetables, I think so Special biscuits give color without artificial coloring “
LaFleur added organic flaxseed to all of their biscuits to help bind the batter together. She found a chicken and beef bone broth for dogs that she uses for their hearty flavors.
“I started adapting recipes that I found online. But since I’ve been baking as a hobby for many years and understanding the science of baking, I was able to quickly create my own recipes, ”she said.
Her husband helps with pricing as he was a chef in a catering company for 25 years.
“It was a great resource for food costs,” she said.
And yes, LaFleur said she tried most of the cookies.
“They don’t have salt or sugar so they’re like a very boring baby cookie. My cookies are edible,” she said, adding that she didn’t try the savory ones.
“I think people become regular customers because they know they are giving their dog something natural, healthy and made with love. Your dog knows it tastes good, but dog owners like it for them too, ”she says.
“I love to bake and I love my dog. I love making other dogs happy with my treats, ”added LaFleur.
LaFleur said the name Patient & Kind Canine Cookies came to her mind immediately.
“When your pet is sick, you feel frustrated and helpless and it takes time to identify the problem,” she said. “You show your dog love when you are patient and kind to him or even to anyone who is going through an illness. Love is patient and love is kind. The name just came out of the situation.”
Currently, people can buy the cookies at the West Boylston Community Market in the parking lot of Next Level Church, 112 Crescent St., West Boylston, on Saturdays from 9am to 12pm and check out all the great vendors.
LaFleur will set up at the Friends of the Conant Public Library Art and Craft Fair in Sterling on November 20th, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patient & Child Canine Cookies to see where it will be and new cookies to appear for the holidays. A website is in progress ..
“At some point I’d like to make this my full-time career and have a dog bakery here in Clinton,” she said.