Today’s 7 Questions is with chief tester, Huxley at Huxley Hound’s “Better than Raw” dog treats. He is a very busy daschund, but has taken some time out from his tasting schedule to chat to Newsnibbles about Better than Raw.
1.Tell us a bit about your product and what inspired you to create it.
Well Rolo and I are raw fed boys and Mum is a bit careful about our food and our treats – so she started making her own. She played around with lots of different ingredients, made a bit of a (huge) mess in the kitchen and we got to try everything she made. Rolo will eat anything but I am a bit more selective – so it became clear what worked – and what didn’t. Mum wanted to make sure the treats were low fat and healthy – nothing hidden or added. The preference was also to be organic and British. As lowriding sausage dogs we really need to keep our waist lines in check so with this in mind, along with the industry figures that show that over 3.5 million dogs out of the 8 million or so dogs in the UK are now considered overweight – it seemed that there would be a place for our veggie treats. Mum took to the kitchen with little shop-bought dehydrator and it wasn’t long before “our” treats were being handed out to friends left right and centre and it seemed that was the start of our story.
2.If, hypothetically speaking. you were to open a “Better Than Raw Dog Restaurant”, what would be the dress code?
Well we wouldn’t really want to be too exclusive but we do love a tastefully dressed dog. Nice bow tie for the lads, nice colour and lead for the girls?? However we would like our restaurant to be organic, ethical etc so we would probably aim for the au naturel for the four-legs! We have been known to dress up – sorry – I mean be dressed up!! Mum doesn’t have the same taste as us so we usually sit and wait patiently for our treats while she humiliates us! We do have a nice line in lumberjack shirts and red tees from our friends @animalattire who cater for the longer bodied hound – which are much better than the various Halloween (Halloweiner!) and Christmas outfits!!
3.How do you feel about pet couture, and has this influenced your answer to question 2?
I guess we are slightly governed by the family and their need to dress us up occasionally. However – we feel each to their own and if the cap fits – literally!
4.What has been the general response to vegetable based dog treats?
It is has been a learning curve – for us and our growing customer base. Overall – it has been very positive. You will always have some who think that dogs do not need vegetables through to those that take time out to write to us to thank us for making our new range of organic veggie treats – either as an alternative to meat or grain treats or indeed some for medical reasons such as low protein diets. It seems like the growing trend to incorporate vegetables into dog food is growing as a whole which is great. So, the response has been great and at our launch to trade in March we were overrun both days and our stockist list is growing every week.
5.Does Rolo feel a bit left out that Huxley got to be brand name?
We don’t think so. Our little Rolo is slightly afraid of the world so I think he is happy to take back step from the limelight – happy in his home environment being a funny little thing – entertaining the family and friends. Occasionally he will venture out for the organised Dachshund Walks. Rolo obviously gets to share the Chief Tasting Responsibilities with me but whereas I am always happy to take centre stage – we don’t think the world is ready for level of noise from such a little fella!
6.Describe your ideal sandwich.
Well call me an old softy with tones of cheesy pick-up lines … if Rolo and I pin Mum down on either side – where we get fuss and treats – that seems like the best kind of sandwich a small sausage loves!
7.What’s next on the agenda?
Well … there is some rather exciting stuff in the pipeline all going on behind the scenes at the moment. All a bit secret squirrel. So perhaps we can talk later in the summer when all will be revealed…
And you can find out more about “Better than Raw” on Huxley’s Website.