All about animals
Tammy Furmanski is an animal lover who hopes to see our cat and dog companions live to be 25 or 30 years old. Her contribution to the effort is all-natural treats meant to augment your pet’s regular diet. Her products are all wheat-, gluten- and milk-free and contain buckwheat flour as the base and fish and eggs for protein and amino acids. The 25-year-old Chico State grad is now selling her products at a stand by the El Paisa taco truck (at Eighth and Pine streets), but will soon be a unique presence at the Saturday farmers’ market. Her fiancé, Richard Holmes, likely will be by her side, as he’s helped in many aspects of the business—which she started in August—mainly the managerial side. Their products, which include raw treats and a gravy that can be put over dry food or medicine, run about $4 a pack. Visit www.chicopetcompany.com for more information.
How do you come up with the recipes?
Books: Food as Medicine. I like our pet food to be as good as human food. If you really know what byproducts are, like meat byproduct—they don’t tell you that the byproduct is from fallen-over cows and stuff. We don’t do any allergens or other garbage. It’s good enough for people.
What did you study at Chico State?
English. Now I’m looking into veterinary medicine, to become a homeopathic vet. The oldest cat we’ve come across … is 37 years old … at a homeopathic vet. So I really think their diet, what they eat, really adds years to their life.
What’s your response been? How do you choose your ingredients?
We did try one with avocado, and that one didn’t stick. We have some animals we test them on—our families’ and our own. We did a holiday one with chicken and pumpkin, and our little cat kept smelling it and running off with it. The other day one of his friends came by with his dog and I took a treat and said, “Roll over,” and he did. He went nuts for them. There’s a veterinary manual that has the toxins section—we stay away from everything in there that has side effects for dogs or cats.
Are most of your foods freezer-dried?
Yes. But they’re not foods—they’re basically meant to be supplements.
When will you be at the Saturday market?
We’ve been approved by the board, so just as soon as a spot opens up—probably in the next month.