Guilford woman cooks healthy Derpy Dog treats in her kitchen; the business is a family affair

GUILFORD – The mere mention of dog treats excites everyone in the Pan household – humans and furry family members alike.

In fact, these dog treats have invaded their home. The kitchen island is nearly overflowing with 4-quart containers filled with ingredients to create handmade “simple, clean and crunchy” dog treats.

The business is a family affair. Banu Pan, along with her husband, Jeff Pan, is the co-founder of Derpy Doggy and their two children, Noah, 12, and Lila, 10, work alongside them.

The family’s two Icelandic Sheepdogs, Bonny and Sadie, are the tasters.

The Pan family started cooking for their canine babies during the pandemic. It was during a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, “a town that loves dogs”, that the idea of ​​offering these homemade treats outside of their home came to fruition.

“The idea of ​​a clean treat, a clean diet, like we think for humans, isn’t really there for dogs yet,” Pan said. “So it’s important.”

The company logo, created by Lila Pan, shows the face of a dog that strongly resembles pets.

Noah Pan “helps me do the spreadsheets in terms of calculations, predictions,” Pan about her husband’s role.

In July, Bonny will be 2 years old and Sadie will be 1 year old. They are the company’s biggest fans.

“They’re going crazy,” Pan said. “They then become model citizens. They sit down, they wag their tails. Then once they get their treats they start chewing and then climbing on top of me for more.

“They just sit here while I cook,” Pan said, pointing to the outskirts of the family kitchen. “Sometimes when I pick them up, a few fall out. They ate it all.

The antics of these two pups led to the creation of the company name, Derpy Doggy.

Pan’s children introduced her to the idea that dogs are “derpy,” she said, “which is when your dog does something silly or wacky and has just look really stupid.”

Looking at her two “derpy doggies,” sitting nearby, Pan said that described them perfectly.

“They roll over on their stomachs and their tongue sticks out,” she said. “Sadie just has this smile which, it’s ridiculous. She has a little overbite, so…”

To obtain the small manufacturing license, Pan had to submit all recipes to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.

By mid-March, Derpy Doggy was registered with the state and ready to do business.

Last month, the product found a place on the shelves of Niantic’s Paw Print Pantry.

“I love that they’re locally made, supporting other women-owned businesses, and limited ingredients,” Jennifer Mohr, owner of the independent pet store, wrote in an email.

“I’m always happy to be able to provide better quality products with fewer ingredients,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of locally made treats, which makes them more special.”

She said her two dogs, Kensi, a 3-year-old Catahoula and Lily, a 13-year-old Chihuahua, “like all of them so far.”

Peanut Butter Nums have become a staple at Murphy’s Paw Rescue.

These tasty treats are donated to the Branford Dog Rescue Operation, for dogs waiting for their forever home.

“They love them,” said Nicole Gallagher, owner of Murphy’s Paw Rescue. “The treats are very low in calories, perfect for training, rewarding and building confidence.”

Peanut Butter Nums are made with gram flour and powdered peanut butter and come in a smaller 0.79 ounce size and a larger 3 ounce size per treat.

“You have to keep dealing with them,” Pan said. “We wanted something healthy, low calorie, because we want to give them a lot, because we like to give treats”.

Derpy Doggy treats are sold online at 4-ounce packages are $12.

Dog trainer Jade Giuggio uses them in her dog training business and also with her three dogs – Keira, an 8-year-old German Shepherd; Timber, a 7-year-old Husky; and Hunter, an 11-year-old Shiba Inu.

“I tend to go through a lot of treats,” the Guilford resident said. “They definitely gobble them up. They are a good size so I use them on our walks.

She said when she first bought Derpy Doggy treats, they were for Hunter, who has orthopedic issues, “so I really have to watch his weight.”

“Many of her treats are 1 calorie or just about 1 calorie per treat which is perfect because they are nice small and healthy,” she added. “I can use a bunch of that with him, but I don’t feel like I’m potentially making him gain weight as well.”

In addition to Peanut Butter Num Nums, Derpy Doggy offers Sadie’s Snacks, vegan cheesecake treats made with nutritional yeast, with 1.5 calories; Bonny’s Bites, which are liver based and 10 calories each and Blueberry Blitz, blueberry and yogurt bites, 1 calorie each.

Blueberry Blitzes are shaped into tiny dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, and Triceratops.

The difference between all these delicacies is that they are made with unique flours, including teff, an Ethiopian cereal rich in fibre, protein and minerals; amaranth, a gluten-free flour with an earthy and nutty taste; sorghum, a gluten-free flour with a mild and sweet taste, quinoa and chickpeas.

Pan said using these flours sets his company apart.

“They are considered premium, gluten-free and non-GMO flours,” she said. “They also have really interesting and deep flavor profiles and they’re also incredibly low in calories, so most things I make have four ingredients or less, a few only have two.”

The finished product, from start to finish, takes almost four hours, although most of that time is passive work, Pan said.

After the ingredients are mixed together, silicone molds are filled with batter and the treats are baked for 90 minutes.

After cooling, the treats are placed in a dehydrator for two hours.

“To make sure there’s a very low moisture content,” Pan said.

“All dogs love crunch because it’s good for their teeth, there’s no residue, there’s no big bits left on (the teeth),” the Guilford resident added. , 46 years old. “It’s not messy. It just goes in their mouth. We don’t really have any crumbs.

When she’s not in the kitchen creating Derpy Doggy treats, Pan is a professor at Brown University where she teaches entrepreneurship.

“I feel like it’s upside down,” Pan said. “I learned about it, I teach it and now I do.”

Her husband, Jeff Pan, is an anesthetist at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Connie Scialabba, co-owner of Bonafide Pets in Clinton, is thrilled to have them in her store. It was the natural ingredients that caught his attention and seduced his customers.

“Once you tell them (the dog owners) and talk to them, they’re very, very interested in finding out more things that you can give your dog to make their life better,” she said. “So that’s why I’m oriented towards natural products, the best brands, without any by-products.”

Guilford resident Liza Petra bought these treats for her 7-year-old rescue pug, Ozzie, who has been diagnosed with a skin condition.

“I have to take care of my little princess,” Petra said.

Buying from Derpy Doggy was a perfect choice.

“The idea that someone was making these treats at home and it was just natural foods and no fillers, it felt like it fit right in,” she said.

The bonus for Petra is that Ozzie loves Bonny’s Bites and Peanut Butter Nums.

“We just like to give her little treats when she goes in or comes back from a walk, but we don’t want her filling up on that food,” Petra said.

“She’s a really good dog and she really needs some positive reinforcement to say she’s a good girl,” she added.

Pan is already working on his new flavor, Cosmic Carrot, made with chickpea flour, carrot powder and ube, “which are purple sweet potatoes,” which are cooked in the shape of purple stars, he said. she declared.

She plans to expand the business and move from the home kitchen to a commercial kitchen and sees no end to creating healthy dog ​​treats.

“I think there’s a lot more interest right now in giving your dog clean treats, clean food that hasn’t been processed,” Pan said.

“There’s a real push, I think, to live by values ​​that create a good environment for us, that leave the earth in a better place than where we found it,” she said.

“So I think it’s really, especially for millennials, they see their dogs as their fur babies, so they’re really part of the family,” she added. “You don’t treat your family badly; you treat them well. It means giving them the best food.

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