Entrepreneurs Kayla Thomas and Sara Buie introduced their four Alaska Ruff canine treats, with recommended dosage on the packaging, at Alaska outdoor markets in Anchorage and the Matanuska Valley earlier this spring. The products are also available online at www.alaskaruff.com.
Their Alaskan Fish Oil + Peanut Butter, Alaskan Fish Oil + Hemp Seed Hearts, Carrot-Peanut Butter and Apple-Peanut Butter flavors also contain spent barley, plus a CBD isolate to provide relief for dogs dealing with neuropathic pain, anxiety and hyperkinesis. CBD isolate is crystalline powder that contains 99 percent pure CBD, with all other plant matter removed.
The only preservative is rosemary, a natural ingredient that dogs love the flavor of, noted Thomas, who created the recipes labels for the products, with help from an Oregon friend who also manufactures dog food.
The two women, good friends and dog lovers, had discussed going into business together and came up with the idea of dog treats, which they currently produce at home, but they are already looking into commercial kitchen options for expansion.
“We wanted to make a product we would give to our own dogs,” said Buie, who has a degree in business management and accounting, while Thomas’ forte is quality control assessments.
“A lot of customers have told us ‘we just want something from Alaska’,” Thomas said. “We are pretty determined women. We are paying attention and doing the research.”
A lot of customers are more drawn to the CBD infusion and minimal number of ingredients too, Buie said. The Alaskan Fish Oil + Peanut Butter treats, for example, include spent barley, oat flour, pure Alaskan fish oil, peanut powder, local co-op eggs, whole ground flaxseed meal, ground rosemary and CBD isolate. Spent barley offers fiber, proteins, amino acids and minerals.
While the CBD isolate is recommended for relief from neuropathic pain, anxiety and hyperkinesis, the product label also warns that the product is not intended to treat any disease.
As they expand their business through the first year of production, Thomas and Buie are also having their canine treats tested by a licensed food inspection laboratory in the Matanuska Valley. The lab uses a mass spectrometer–a machine that produces charged particles from the substances being analyzed and records the relative abundance of each particle type. This is a way to check for any impurities and inform the producers of the percentage of every ingredient in the product.