As The Valley Reporter goes to the dogs, it’s important to think about what we give our dogs to eat or, more importantly to them, what they get for treats!
Vermont Dog Eats is a local business that has a variety of tasty treats for pups to try out. The Waitsfield business started when owners Elisa and Vance Kiviranna wanted to make their own local treats in their kitchen where they could ensure quality and taste for their own dogs.
From there the business took off and many of their treats can be found in other local stores such as Mehuron’s, Mad River Taste Place, Kenyon’s, Village Market in Waterbury and the Burlington and Waitsfield farmers’ markets.
“It’s been great here. Everyone here is receptive and Waitsfield is our best-selling town,” said co owner Elisa Kiviranna. She runs the business from home while raising her two sons. Her husband works in Waterbury at Keurig Green Mountain.
Vermont Dog Eats offers five different flavors: Baron’s Bites, Dixie’s Delights, Tico’s Tasties, Napoleon’s Nibbles and Ginger’s Snaps. The business also offers gift cards and tote bags on their site to purchase with the motto “Vermont Dogs Eats, Beggars Wanted” with “Farm to Dog Bowl” on the back.
The couple started making the products in their home and then started giving their products to friends before taking them to the Burlington Farmers’ Market to sell. Now the couple has 50 wholesale accounts in Vermont and online while also still selling at both farmers’ markets.
They get their ingredients mainly from Vermont. They get their meats from farms in Enosburg and Shelburne and salmon from Burlington, and they also use Pete’s Greens in Waterbury. “Most of what we source is from Vermont and if not it’s from the U.S. We try and source as much as we can from Vermont,” said Elisa Kiviranna.
Asked if the couple plans to expand, they said, “We are looking at more variety; we just launched a jerky line, 100 percent dried chicken liver and lamb liver sourced in Vermont, and adding new varieties of cookies,” said Kiviranna.
Picky Vermont Puppy!
Fayston resident Jennifer Harrison, owner and maker for her own brand line of dog treats, said Picky Vermont Puppy is gearing up for a relaunch of her product.
Harrison started making her product for her own dog, Teddy, an apricot poodle, when she noticed he wasn’t eating. After making her own and then after testing them out and seeing how much Teddy enjoyed them, she started handing them out to friends.
Her products were sold at The Warren Store and in some stores in New York. Harrison took a hiatus from the Picky Vermont Puppy business when Teddy passed away. Recently she was approached and asked if she would be willing to pick up her treat business again.
The manager of Shaw’s in Waitsfield came to Harrison with an idea to sell her cookies in that store. “I’ve got my little bags already to go out in the mail,” said Harrison, excitedly.
Harrison gets ingredients locally. “It’s all organic, with oatmeal and local maple syrup, a little touch of sweetness for the sweet little puppies of the world,” said Harrison.
Picky Vermont Puppy has different flavors of treats. Harrison even tried making gluten-free treats that she shipped to Connecticut. Harrison’s flavors consist of pizza bites, peanut butter, gluten free, whole wheat, peanut butter oatmeal, and oatmeal.
“I love all dogs; these treats are for all dogs,” said Harrison. Harrison’s Picky Vermont Puppy treats will be sold at Shaw’s in Waitsfield and The Warren Store.