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Kamloops dog lover starts up a tasty new venture for pets

A Jack Russell named Hank having a treat from House of Dog Bakery in Kamloops.
A Jack Russell named Hank having a treat from House of Dog Bakery in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ House of Dog Bakery

Dog owners in Kamloops can look forward to giving their best furry friends high quality treats made from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients. 

Denise Miller, who grew up in Kamloops, returned from Vancouver last year to care for her aging parents. The graphic design artist has an education in the science of dog training and dog handling, and operated a rescue in the past.

“I have a love for dogs,” Miller said. “In Vancouver I was immersed in dog rescues and dog abuse cases. I wanted to do something canine-related that was less traumatic.”

While the business is currently operating out of a kitchen, the talented team behind the venture has a big business vision for the future. At the heart of it is the passion to support their local businesses, connect with the community and create healthy, delicious nutritional cookies for dogs.

“We have a small team that brings a lot of marketing, business and social media talent,” Miller said. “Some of us have been friends for years. My forte is business development and health and nutrition with dogs.”

The first scent of the dog bakery business idea started when Miller was making her own healthy bone broth for her dogs. People started taking interest and buying it.

“I realized bone broth was not enough to support a business,” she said. “I thought as a trainer I needed a cookie that is easy to use and doesn’t crumble into dust. I’d seen the health benefits in my own dogs of being on a raw nutritional diet. You don’t know what you get in commercial dog food.”

The kitchen started heating up in December 2021, as the team started working on three signature cookies, including one for dogs with food sensitivities.

“We source all of our ingredients locally,” she said. “The only ingredients that are not organic are the Liver Bites and eggs. The cookie base is always a hand-milled organic flour. We are working on perfecting the recipes and getting feedback on what is working well.”

Miller said the meat ingredients are sourced from a local, humane farm and it is important to her to help decommercialize the food industry.

READ MORE: Dog safe after falling through Thompson River ice in Kamloops

The home kitchen is equipped with a double oven, dehydrator and lots of freezers.

The team is currently getting their costs together, structuring the business and writing out product information. They are choosing packaging, branding and deciding on a slogan.

They are looking at renting kitchen space at the Food Hub and hiring local labour. The big dream is to build a plant here.

“I’m happy and glad to be back in Kamloops,” Miller said. “I really enjoy working with my team and my community.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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