Barkwheats Dog Biscuits walks its talk by specializing in earth-friendly treats for dogs.
As any dog lover knows, there are treats and there are treats. If you have your companion’s good health at heart, you want products that are natural and nutritious as well as tasty. Chris Roberts is helping to fill that niche. He’s the owner of Barkwheats Dog Biscuits, a company that specializes in wholesome, high quality dog treats – with a difference.
“I’ve always loved to bake, so Barkwheats is just a natural extension of that,” he explains. “In 2007, after my partner Renée and I moved back to our home state of Maine, she encouraged me to bake biscuits for our dogs. We have two rescued Lab mixes, so I looked for ingredients I could source locally and would be beneficial to their health.”
When holiday season rolled around, Chris put his biscuits online. To his surprise, he began getting orders on a daily basis. “Then we started getting phone calls from pet supply retailers around the country.” Realizing they’d hit on something, Chris and Renée started their own company, Barkwheats Dog Biscuits.
Right from the start, good nutrition has been a key motivating factor. “We wanted a wholesome snack that actually helps treat common problems like bad breath, gas, anxiety, and more serious illnesses like cancer.” The biscuits are made from buckwheat (which isn’t a grain, but a berry, so it’s safe for dogs with grain allergies), as well as honey, free-range eggs and well water. There are currently two flavors – Ginger & Parsley and SeaVeg & Chamomile – although Chris is adding two more to the line this fall.
Barkwheats does more than bake biscuits. “We support small-scale agriculture by purchasing ingredients directly from farmers. We put a lot of stock in knowing where each ingredient comes from and who is responsible for producing it. We use ingredients from small scale, organic farmers because we know they will help sustain the land and soil structure. We use compostable packaging because it won’t add to the huge waste stream.” The company also uses renewable energy to power its operations.
Because of their sustainable approach, Barkwheats recently became the first Certified B Corporation in the pet industry. And this summer, their Ginger & Parsley biscuits are due to become the very first Fair Trade Certified canine products on the market. “We are working directly with farmers in Toledo District, Belize through the NGO Sustainable Harvest International to grow our ginger,” Chris says proudly. “In fact, Renée and I spent some time visiting their farms this past spring.”
It’s clear that Barkwheats is about much more than good nutrition for dogs. It’s also about caring for the future of the planet. “We believe everyone has a responsibility to be a good steward of this Earth,” says Chris. “As a business, we feel we have an even greater capacity to make a difference.”