Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Dog Made Me Do It!

Article by EtsyOrganicTeam member Organidog

That’s what I tell people when they ask me how I came to the wonderful land of Etsy. Now granted, I wasn’t tied and held at paw point, but without my two canine companions, I wouldn’t be here.

In 2003, I had the wonderful experience of becoming a doggie mom to my Siberian Husky mix, Anakin. As a first time puppy parent, I wanted to make sure that not only would he have a loving and nurturing home, but a healthy, plentiful source of nutrition. With all of the kibble and treat options filling the grocery store shelves, I was confused and overwhelmed with what would be the most beneficial choice for my little guy’s diet. I took my query to the internet and what I saw was disturbing. The bags of commercially produced of kibble I inquired about promised “whole chunks of chicken and fresh garden vegetables.” Digging deeper into the translations of “chicken meal” and “lamb by-products,” I found synthetic vitamins, beaks, hooves, chemical preservatives and other not-so-appetizing ingredients littering my pup's choices for dinner. With no readily available alternatives to this problem, I began my quest to provide my dog with a healthy alternative to processed dog food and dog treats.

I researched the ins and outs of canine nutrition and found what ingredients were beneficial to the growth and overall wellness of my pup such as omega three fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamins D, E, and K, which are crucial for growth, appetite, gastrointestinal regulation, and skin and coat health. I also kept close eye on what ingredients I needed to steer clear from, such as theobromine, grapes, raisins, and onions.

As a wholehearted supporter of organic farming, I wanted to incorporate a mission for chemical free diet as well. Specifically, organic refers to the way food is grown, as well as the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to preserve the environment for years to come. Organic products such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that have not and will not be given antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Foods can be labeled organic only after a government-approved USDA inspector inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is compliant with each and every rule necessary to meet USDA organic standards.

In experimentation with ingredients, I conjured my own recipes, and before long, I had created a healthy and tasty diet that not only my own dog enjoyed, but the dogs of my neighbors and friends. I began to sell my dog treats in small volume, but after several years, I decided that it was time for me to share my wholesome healthy goodness with a larger market. I stumbled upon Etsy during the summer of 2007 and have been here spreading the good word since! Etsy has been key in my ongoing quest to reach and teach as many doggie parents as I can. I’m a proud member of the Dog Mafia Team, where a fabulous group of Etsians meet to discuss and promote all things dog.

I run my Etsy shop Organidog with the help of Anakin and the newest four-legged addition my household, my adopted Siberian Husky, Vader. Running shop can be quite tedious with eight paws in charge of quality control. They taste test a sample from each and every batch to ensure it is 100% deelish.

While what each doggie parent chooses to feed their pup is a personal decision — raw versus cooked diets, what is best for their breed, advice from their veterinarian, and personal convictions — all of these factors weigh heavily on what we feed our furry companions. Etsy has a multitude of dog treat sellers to satisfy the most persnickety of pup parents.

While I am all about the dogs, we can’t forget our other four-legged pals, the kitties. From freeze dried salmon treats to kitty collars and catnip lovies, our feline friends make their mark on Etsy as well with a plethora of shops offering fabulous items to choose from! My fellow Dog Mafia Team members LuckyFiona and BentleysBones have catered to this calling. While Lucky Fiona makes small-scale collars for our kitty companions, Bentleys Bones creates a catnip toy in the shape of fortune cookies. With over 6,200 pet items for sale here at Etsy, it is clear that we value our furry, scaly, fluffy, and slimy friends.