Barkin’ Biscuit owner offers dogs healthy treats

As any dog owner can tell you, you can only control so much of what your dog eats. When it comes time to reward good behavior, therefore, you want to know you’re giving your dog a treat that will keep him healthy as well as happy.

Karen Goldthwaite aims to provide a variety of such goodies through her business Barkin’ Biscuit, an all-natural dog bakery in Bedford.

Goldthwaite took some time to tell us what led her to start her business, who that cute puppy on her website (www.barkinbiscuitllc.com) is and why you don’t have to worry if one of your kids takes a bite out of Fido’s snack.

Here’s part of the conversation:

Q: How long has Barkin’ Biscuit been around? What inspired you to start this business?

A: Barkin’ Biscuit has been in business since 2004. The business was started as a means to raise money for surgery for a rescue dog from Puerto Rico.

Q: What kind of response have you had to your business so far? Is it filling a significant need for the canine community?

A: We have had a great response from dog owners. This is largely due to increased awareness on vegetarian and organic foods and the desire to provide healthy alternatives to their pets. We have a variety of flavors and a gourmet line, too.

Q: What kind of ingredients do you use? Are any of them local?

A: All Barkin’ Biscuit treats are made using only all-natural ingredients. No salt, corn, soy, artificial ingredients, by-products, fillers or preservatives. We buy from local stores and look for fresh produce from New England farms.

Q: What kind of special dietary needs do you cater to?

A: We understand that some of our customers’ dogs have wheat allergies. Therefore, we provide two flavors of wheat-free biscuits made with rye flour: carrot-molasses and Parmesan. These biscuits are very popular with natural food stores and farmers markets.

Q: According to your website, these treats appeal to horses, as well. Could you tell me more about that?

A: Barkin’ Biscuit markets two of our products to our equine neighbors. Their horses love our apple cinnamon biscuits and the carrot-molasses biscuits. The treats are packaged in larger containers for those bigger appetites.

Q: Since everything is made with natural ingredients, can people eat these treats, too?

A: Yes, all our treats are handmade from human-grade food. Our produce is fresh, and the Parmesan cheese is the same as you’d find in any fine restaurant. All other ingredients are also found in most of our kitchens: pure honey, parsley, virgin olive oil, cinnamon, pumpkin, flaxseed, etc.

Q: What are your most popular treats?

A: The most popular treat is our peanut butter biscuits, and in our gourmet line, it is definitely our Pumpkin Paws, which we can’t keep on any customer shelf!

Q: What are your most unusual treats?

A: Barkin’ Biscuit makes gourmet peanut butter pinwheels. These are made from our peanut butter recipe with a layer of peanut butter and rolled and cut into pinwheels. The other would be our Jumbo Bones, which are 8 ounces in weight and dipped in creamy white yogurt or melted carob.

Q: Do you do any special treats for the holidays or any custom orders?

A: Yes, we provide decorated holiday treats such snowmen dipped in yogurt or carob, Easter bunnies, Halloween jack-o’-lanterns and lobsters during the summer. We also provide customers such as the Radisson Hotel with special “guest treat” bags for their dog-friendly guests that are presented at check-in.

Q: How do you come up with new recipes? Do they undergo any type of taste testing?

A: We have not designed new recipes in a few years but focus on new ways of creating more specialized packaging to accommodate our customers.

Q: According to your website, Barkin’ Biscuit treats have all been quality tested by a professional forage laboratory. Could you tell me more about that and what it means?

A: Our treats have all been quality tested for guaranteed analysis by a professional forage laboratory. Barkin’ Biscuits are registered under the commercial feed law, RSA 435:17-31, by the state of New Hampshire Department of Agriculture.

Q: I noticed that on your website, there’s a picture of a dog named Dakota. Is Dakota your dog?

A: Yes, Dakota is our dog! Dakota is a mix-breed (husky/boxer/walker-hound) that we adopted from a shelter in Tennessee four years ago. She is a sweet dog with a great job as our test taster and a true appreciation of our business!