Caveat Emptor

Let the Buyer Beware! I keep harping on about legalities of the dog food industry but we are passionate about what we do and hate to see customers duped, misled or even lied to. I recently went into a local pet superstore and could not help but notice they have started selling what appear to be hand made healthy dog treats on the counter. A little digging and a look at the ingredients told me that they were not all they seemed to be, in fact they contained dextrose (sugar) and potassium sorbate (synthetic preservative), things that a maker of quality healthy  treats does not need to use. 

My advice is always read labels on items. If they are not labelled ask the seller what the ingredients are as they should always be on display, by law, somewhere on or near the product.  If they don't know or can't provide that info I'd advise walking away.

 

Kind regards

 

Mrs B

The Dog Treat Business

Every week without fail we are asked either by phone or email how to start a business making dog treats. |t never fails to make me angry. Why should we, an established business, built up from scratch with no help or advice, assist someone to start up as a rival? It took me years of hard work and research as well as heaps of money to get where I am today. So a few words to anyone wanting to start a business making dog treats.

For starters no matter how big or small you are, whether you make treats for charity, are a child making treats for pocket money or are a massive firm like Pedigree the same laws, regulations and rules apply, there are no exceptions. So failure to comply with any of the various laws could mean a £5000 fine and a possible criminal record.

You have to be registered with Trading Standards as a business operating in the animal feed sector or an R6 registration. If you use any part of an animal, even just eggs, you have to be an approved pet food plant which means having DEFRA involved. There are laboratory tests to be done on all products costing between £35 and £120 each product. There are laws involving packaging, weights and measures, distance selling (websites), HACCP plans, traceability etc etc.

So to anyone wanting to set up start doing research well in advance and make sure you have a large bank balance. There is more to it than making some treats in your kitchen to sell at the local church hall, in fact it could cost you £5000.

 

Till next time.

 

Crowdfunding

People may have noticed that we are running crowdfunding campaign in order to purchase a van. The campaign has rather flopped so far and I can't blame people not investing in us so I thought I'd write a few words about why we are doing this.

When we started the business in 2010 we had just a few hundred pounds to get it going. This money was my redundancy money from my old job at a college library. We didn't take out any loans and have got to where we are now, in a shop, without taking out any kind of funding at all. 

However we are at a standstill without taking out a loan. We would love to have staff and to expand our business that way. We can't get a loan though as the banks have no one to compare us to to see if we are worthy enough as we are fairly unique in a business sector that is dominated by huge pet food companies. We cannot ever compete with the big boys but we have a lot of mileage left in our business so we want to start selling around the country, hence the need for a corporate van to take us to events further afield.

We also want to give our customers something back for their faith in us and our products so decided to give crowdfunding a go. We can raise some cash for the business expansion as well as giving people some fabulous perks for their investment.

So if you can help find our campaign here and if not just share share share and you never know, we may have that van and then staff so we can at least try and compete with the big boys.

My Doggy Bloggy Gets off the Ground

Since the beginning of time, well 2010 when we started Mrs Bishop's Doggy Deli, I have been nagged about doing a blog. I have finally got round to it, I think. I was inspired to start it today mainly due to the fact that the first dogs with seasonal canine illness have been reported.

I suspect most dog owners know about this but in case you don't let me refresh your memories. Seasonal Canine Illness or SCI has been around since 2010 the same length of time we have been trading, but we aren't to blame, honest. In fact no one knows what the cause is, although it is suspected to be some kind of fungus.

The most common clinical signs are sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy typically experienced within 72 hours of walking in woodland. If you suspect your dog is showing signs of SCI then please contact your vet immediately.

At the moment it has only been reported in a few areas of woodland and monitoring is taking place  at the Sandringham Estate, Thetford Forest, Norfolk, Sherwood Forest  and Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire and Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk. There is alot of information about this study and about the illness here. Although it seems to be limited to these areas the first reports are from dogs walked at Rufford Abbey, Nottinghamshire so it may be spreading, whatever 'it' is.

I think the best advice is if your dog gets sick within 72 hours of walking in woodland go to your vet. Don't stop enjoying the woods especially as they are so beautiful at this time of year, just be vigilant and keep dogs on a lead so you know where they are and what they are eating/drinking.