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Seven Days Canines and Their Humans Rate Doggie Treats 

Here in Vermont, we like to know where our food is coming from. As locavore lingo found its way onto labels and restaurant menus alike, foodie entrepreneurs salivated for a slice of the hyperlocal pie, and small businesses sprang up throughout the state.

Gradually, the trend began to wag the dog, too.

According to Travis Germain, store manager at Pet Food Warehouse on Williston Road, Vermont-made products are now so plentiful that management recently reorganized displays to showcase Green Mountain kibbles and treats. "It's been much more of a draw; more and more clients have been asking for local treats and foods recently," he says. "It's much more about where the ingredients are sourced from than it used to be."

At Seven Days, staffers' canine companions' eating habits span the gamut, with diets ranging from raw to homemade to grain free. But it didn't take much convincing to get everyone on board for a tail-wagging taste test of the local fare, aka an office-dog party. Here are the tasting notes, straight from the owners — and the dogs themselves, if we may anthropomorphize.

The Judges

Slideshow
Fido Feast: The Judges
Trixie Lipenski Edna Eggert Obi Coava Dea Sasha Peters Lilly Rufus

Fido Feast: The Judges

Click to View 12 slides


The Treats

Andy's Dandys, Richmond

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Sample: Cinnamon Peanut and Honey Oat Biscuits

Ingredients: (varied by flavor, but all contain) rye flour, oat flour, rolled oats, rice flour, fresh eggs, baking powder

Tasting notes:

  • YUM. More. Please. Crunchy! —Coava
  • Frosting! Looks and smells like gingerbread. —Lilly
  • I'm only eating this because other dogs are here. —Dea
  • Scout took it into the other room to enjoy it without threat from her sister (and then came back for more). —Kaitlin
  • Heaven. Heaven. Heaven. —Scout

Bongo & Blanket's Bakehouse, Montpelier

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Sample: Wheat-free Say Cheese biscuit

Ingredients: rolled oats, flaxseed meal, organic brown rice flour, cheddar cheese, olive oil, nonfat milk, egg

Label notes: "These biscuits are the perfect, guilt-free treat for spoiling — we mean rewarding —your BFFs (best furry friends)!"

Tasting notes:

  • Rufus loved this. He woofed it right down. —John
  • Looks healthy. —Michelle
  • Hippie shit good ... [Paul] is too cheap to feed me this ... I'm thirsty. —Gus
  • That biscuit was delicious. Another biscuit, please? —Sasha
  • Ho hum. —Dea
  • Crunchy, crumbly, yummy. —Obi

Good Dog Cookies (1), Milton

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Sample: Chicken-liver cookies

Ingredients: oat/rice flours, rolled oats, cooked chicken liver, dry milk, garlic, water

Label notes: "Really good treats for really good dogs!" Cute drawing of mommy and doggie

Tasting notes:

  • Smells a little gross. She'll love it. —Robyn
  • Looks like a weed cookie. —Kaitlin
  • Looks pretty. Obi wanted more. —Michelle
  • I like the crunch! Waiting for more... —Scout
  • Like a gourmet hippie frosting treat. —Don and Shawn
  • Happy. —Trixie

Good Dog Cookies (2), Milton

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Sample: K-9 skinny chicken

Ingredients: dehydrated chicken breast

Label notes: "Refrigerate after opening"; "40-ounce bag = 1-pound chicken"

Tasting notes:

  • Looks good, like bacon. Seems natural —Kaitlin
  • Rufus will eat this right up. He's killed two chickens. —John
  • I love meat! Crunchy. Leathery. Delicious. —Sasha
  • That's it? Please, can I have another? —Coava
  • Bacon?! Can't eat it all in one bite. Won't stop me from trying. —Gus
  • Dutch snarled at the cat for daring to encroach on the eating zone. —Ethan de Seife
  • Obi licked the floor for crumbs. —Michelle

Wagatha's Organic Little Bites, Manchester Center

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Sample: Tuscan pizza

Ingredients: whole oat flour, whole barley flour, canola oil, white cheddar cheese, extra virgin olive oil, cracked flax seed, dried tomatoes, tomato powder, oregano, garlic, thyme, basil, rosemary oil

Label notes: "Wagatha co-founder Norman Levits began baking dog biscuits for friends in the late '70s (while he waited for disco to die)."

Tasting notes:

  • These are small and perfect for Rufus' size. —John
  • Underwhelmed. —Coava
  • Why won't he let me play with Sasha? —Gus
  • I love that it's organic. —Julia
  • Tastes like Pizza Combos. I could eat a whole bag. —Lilly
  • Ate it. —Robyn

Kelly's K9 Cookies (1), Colchester

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Sample: Puppermint Patties

Ingredients: whole wheat flour, corn meal, wheat germ, water, peanut butter, honey, eggs, canola oil, mint, brewer's yeast, vitamin E

Label notes: "Breath busters ... Natural dog treats! Cleans teeth."

Tasting notes:

  • Dutch ate it immediately. —Ethan
  • Bean loved it, pawing at me for another. —Kaitlin
  • Yummers! I love it! I want more! —Scout
  • Obi stood up, wagged tail. —Michelle
  • Edna wanted to like it, but it was a dud. —Don and Shawn
  • It's too hard. Yuck! —Edna

Kelly's K9 Cookies (2), Colchester

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Sample: Biscuits (Peanut Butter Kitties, Beef Bones, Bacon Pigs and Cheesy Hydrants)

Ingredients: (varied by flavor, but all contain) whole wheat flour, cornmeal, wheat germ, eggs, canola oil

Tasting notes:

  • Peanut butter? I'd eat this. —Paul
  • Rufus is an asshole. I wanna play with Sasha. —Gus
  • It was a little hard to chew, and large. Needed to break it up. —Lilly
  • Tasty, crunchy, flavorful. —Dea
  • I'm worried about Scout's old teeth. —Kaitlin
  • Dry; Obi's smacking his mouth. —Michelle
  • These biscuits were a true challenge. —Don and Shawn

Pronature Holistic, Boucherville, Québec

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Sample: Grain Free kibble, "Duck à l'Orange"

Ingredients: duck, chicken meal, dried potato products, chicken fat naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, dried orange pulp, herring meal, peas, dried egg product, natural chicken flavor, lecithin, ... and many more

Label Notes: "Simplement naturel!"

Tasting notes:

  • Give me more. —Rufus
  • This is the brand we feed Coava. —Cheryl
  • My farts are going to destroy you tonight. —Gus
  • Always looking for grain-free kibble. Pretty stoked. —Aaron
  • Smells mass produced and doggy. Dea will like it. —Robyn
  • I want more bacon. — Bean

Vermont Raw Pet Food, Huntington

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Sample: Chicken recipe

Ingredients: ground chicken bones, chicken meat, poultry heart, poultry liver

Label notes: "We use local Vermont poultry, which is not fed antibiotics or growth hormones."

Tasting notes:

  • It looks raw; I'm a bit nervous. —John
  • I feel like an animal. —Rufus
  • Absolutely not. No. Ick. —Coava
  • Looks like something Ira Glass would feed his dog. —Paul
  • I should like this ... Sorry, person. Not having it. —Sasha
  • I feel healthy and strong like a wolf! —Dutch
  • Obi licked it, then chewed it. —Michelle
  • Please. More. Now! —Bean
The original print version of this article was headlined "Fido Feast"
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About The Author

Hannah Palmer Egan

Hannah Palmer Egan

Bio:
Hannah Palmer Egan is a food and drink writer at Seven Days.

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