The menu reads like something from your favorite diner.
Chicken Noodle Soup. Beef and Sweet Potatoes. Mutt-Loaf.
This is no ordinary restaurant menu. It’s the bill of fare from Dog-Delicious, a doggie deli and bakery located downtown on East Sprague Avenue.
Owners Lonny and Jeanne Kelp opened the business in November. It isn’t their first foray into pet care. They also own Jeanne’s Doggie Daycare.
“It was the first dog hotel in Spokane,” said Jeanne Kelp. “We have suites with orthopedic mattresses – no cages or kennels.”
It was their experience with the day care that prompted their latest venture.
“We found a lot of dogs had allergies,” Lonny Kelp said. “Almost half the dogs that would come into the day care were on medication. Jeanne started researching what was in dog food.”
Many brands of dog food contain a product called bone meal or meat meal. Jeanne Kelp said bone meal comes from rendering plants and can contain euthanized animals.
In addition, she said she found commercial dog food often contains fillers or preservatives. As a dog-lover she felt she could make a better product – one she would feel good about feeding her own six dogs.
“I started with fresh, wholesome food with no additives, preservatives or seasonings,” she said. “The first thing I made was the paw-Burger.”
Featuring a hamburger patty in the middle of a paw-shaped bun, the paw-Burger has become the business’s best-seller. The beef and sweet potatoes have also proved popular, and Jeanne Kelp continues to expand the menu.
An array of food and treats are displayed in a glass-fronted case at Dog-Delicious. The food is prepared locally in a commercial kitchen and can be purchased at the store or from their website.
There’s even something for pets of the feline persuasion. “Cats love the Liver Soup,” Lonny Kelp said. Plans are in the works to develop a full line of cat food.
Jeanne Kelp has been zealous in her commitment to use only the freshest, natural ingredients. In fact, some might say over-zealous. She pointed to the case. “Everything you see in there we’ve both eaten.”
Her husband laughed. “Except the Liver Soup!”
Dog-Delicious also offers gourmet cookies, snacks and pupcakes. A carrot muffin topped with pink and white icing sat on a silver platter inside the display case. Next to it a frosted pupcake sprinkled with bacon pieces looked like it would fit right in at a boutique cupcake bakery.
The couple said the most rewarding part of their business has been seeing the improved health of dogs whose owners have chosen to feed them Dog-Delicious products. Lonny Kelp told of a golden Lab that had problems with shedding and itchy patches on his skin. His owner took him off commercially prepared food and fed the Lab a Dog-Delicious diet. Kelp said, “The dog was on steroids but after two months, the shedding stopped and the itchy spots healed.”
Even if pet owners don’t buy their products, Kelp said he hopes people will become more aware of what is in the food they are feeding the family dog. He said, “Owners should analyze each ingredient.”