Sit up and beg
Jeanette Warner believes dog-friendly Chico is ready for Bone Appetit, the dog “barkery” she started several months ago. She hopes to soon move out of her garage workspace—Dexter, her lab mix, is the official taste-tester—and into a retail storefront in downtown Chico. The biscuits are shaped like bones and little round cookies, and the flavors range from double carob chip to shortbread and garlic chicken. They’re sold by the “barker’s dozen” ($2.50 for a quarter-pound) and come in different sizes for small, medium or large dogs. With all natural ingredients and no sugar or salt, they’re much more healthful than the rendering-plant remnants and ash found in many commercial dog treats. Warner is also putting together doggie-themed stockings for the holidays. Her day job is at-home medical transcription, and she can be reached at email@example.com.
How did you become interested in the canine culinary arts?
When I was little, my grandparents had a big ranch up in Vina. Whenever I would turn up missing all they had to do was look in the pantry and I’d be up to my shoulders in the Kibble 5 bag eating the dog food. The green ones were my favorite. … Then, a few years ago I was at a pet specialty store and found a cutter with a recipe. I made the biscuits and they were awful. I thought I could probably do better. For years, I’ve done it just for fun, for Christmas gifts.
At [one event], the first reaction was, “Ew, dog biscuits.” Then they’d buy some. One guy said his dog doesn’t like any brand of treats, but he took some samples. The next week, he said, “I have to apologize. My dog ate everything I brought home.” At that point his dog tried to come over my table—this huge boxer was staring me down with all this drool.
Where do you go from here?
I’m going to expand and do pupcakes and dog ice cream. I just can’t wait.
So, how do they taste?
I confess—we eat the garlic chicken [regularly]. But I’ve tried them all. Some people [get turned off] by the dog bone shape, but there’s absolutely nothing in them you wouldn’t find in your own kitchen.
Which variety do the dogs prefer?
They like the carob and the peanut butter carob chip swirl. I think it’s because somewhere deep down they know they’re not really supposed to have chocolate.