I have two Yorkies, with two very different eating personalities. My fat man, Orfeo, is known as 'the shark' because he hovers around food and strikes when the time is right. I've torn countless Brooklyn sidewalk chicken bones out of his mouth and chased him around the house as he chomped on a half of a bagel I mistakenly thought was safe from his strategic ways. That kid is my fatty, and his appetite knows no bounds. Fanny G however is a whole other story.
Fanny is my little one. I've tried to feed her all different kinds of food combinations out of desperation. She'll take a treat one day and turn her nose at it the next. For months she will barely tolerate her pricey canned food, then start eating it enthusiastically before she gives up on it altogether. There's never any telling how she'll react to her food bowl, which makes dinner time at my house ridiculous as I have to stand guard between a desperate Orfeo and a finicky Fanny.
When I first heard about Barklyn Organics, I liked the idea of it. I've always fed my pups high quality food, but as I poured the 'Catch of the Day' blend, I knew it was different. I could identify every ingredient. It smelled fresh and like something I'd eat. I placed their bowls on the floor, and my monkeys took a couple of sniffs before diving in. Orfeo actually seemed to be taking his time instead of mindlessly inhaling it and Fanny was all in from her first bite. My biggest surprise came at the end of the meal when Fanny kicked the inside of her bowl and cried till I gave her an extra spoonful. Their reactions to any Barklyn concoction I give them is the same. They love this food and I love the mission of the company so I sent a few questions for the co-founders Dyana and Danielle Winkler. Their answers were as interesting as their product.
1. What inspired you to create Barklyn Organics?
DYANA: It all started when we welcomed Baci, a little rescue pup, into our home. She had been picked up off the streets and brought to a shelter in pretty bad shape. Suffering from so many health issues, she had been left to the side to be put down. When we saw the shaking rat terrier mix, our hearts melted. We decided to take her home and see if a little TLC could save her. Invested in healthy cooking, Danielle wondered if there was something in Baci's diet that was causing her ailments and decided to give this little dog some love in the kitchen.
DANIELLE: Everything I prepared for Baci was free range and locally sourced. I found the equivalents to human 'superfoods' and natural cancer fighters for dogs, only feeding her ingredients that I would eat myself.
DYANA: Within a week, Baci's ailments began to subside. Her coat grew thicker and shinier, she was no longer lethargic, and most importantly, she seemed happier. We discovered that Baci had been allergic to multiple ingredients used as 'fillers' in nearly all commercial dog food. Imagine eating fast food every day of your life. That's basically what we're doing to our animals by feeding them commercial dog food..
DANIELLE: After consulting with veterinarians and animal nutritionists, it became clear that dogs, just like humans, can live longer, healthier lives when they eat clean, fresh and organic. Witnessing Baci's miraculous recovery, our friends began seeking advice about their own dog's health concerns. Bosco was having skin allergies, Dodger was gassy, Telly was too young to be having joint pains... and the calls kept coming. I recognized the need and headed back into the kitchen. Thus began the birth of our company, Barklyn Organics.
2. What's your method for creating a healthy dog diet?
DANIELLE: All of our food is homemade in our kitchen with fresh and organic produce from local farms. Our goal is to create a human grade, farm to table experience for pets. Continuously incorporating new food concepts based on ever evolving nutritional breakthroughs in canine health, we include ingredients such as turmeric, which kills parasites and aids in digestion, as well as coconut oil which has numerous benefits including lowering a dog's chances of cancer by up to 90%, as well as prevents infection and aids in nutrient absorption. We are proud of the fact that our products don't have a long enough shelf life to be sold in stores. They are fresh, and only last as long as a freshly cooked meal would last in your home refrigerator. Because of this, we deliver all our food fresh from our kitchen to our client's doorstep.
3. How would you like to see Barklyn Organics grow? DYANA: As we are a young company, our first goal is just to serve Manhattan's 5 boroughs, however we have big dreams of expanding in the future. Ultimately, our goal is to give every dog the opportunity of a farm fresh diet and a longer, healthier life. We are proud of forward thinking owners, who understand what we are about, but we also want to reach dogs in shelters like Baci who often need a healthy meal most of all. Because of this goal, this holiday season we've decided to offer a One for One program, where we donate a warm meal to NYC's Animal Haven No Kill Shelter for every jar of food purchased through the end of the year.
In support of Small Business Saturday through cyber Monday, Barklyn will be offering 15% off with the coupon code: HUFFPO. You had your thanksgiving, give your pup theirs! You will both be happy you did.