Rikki Cargo is the owner of Pawsh Chops, beautifully handcrafted and dainty frozen raw dog treats that contain things Max cannot pronounce, such as cultured Sauerkraut and Roobios.
If you are wondering if a dog would actually like to eat these things, the answer is a resounding yes. How do I know this? Max tried to tackle me for one when I was holding his fave flavour Cheese Burgeroo and trying to take his photo.
I wanted to meet the lady who made these treats Max went nutso over and ask her some questions. And so I did.
But first, here’ a little background about how Rikki came up with the idea to make Pawsh Chops…
When Rikki first got her pug Pawsh 3 years ago and brought her to her new home, she wouldn’t eat the premium kibble brand Rikki had bought her. Rikki thought Pawsh was just adapting to a new home, but after a few days she grew worried.
She decided to try raw food as she knew a bit about the raw diet through a shaman friend of hers that had her dog on the diet plan. She brought home the raw food and Pawsh wolfed the food down so fast Rikki couldn’t believe it.
Rikki then went on to help a friend who was losing weight by making his meals with superfoods. After extensive research Rikki realized Pawsh could benefit from these ingredients as well which led to the creation of Pawsh Chops which contain superfoods such as bee pollen, coconut oil, hemp hearts, chia seeds, moringa oleifera, kelp, turmeric, and much, much more.
Now for our interview…
1) Rikki, what advice do you have for entrepreneurs who want to make a pet food product?
I’m a strong believer in value. When you bring true value to the market place, you set yourself up to win. Today’s intelligent consumer is averse to marketing ploys, trick and gimmicks. We have the power of the internet now to make better informed choices – to discover the truth and expose dirty business practises (see the Ag-Gag Whistleblower law in the USA for example).
Therefore, you really need to do your research and homework when pioneering a new pet product. Be transparent, “do what’s right when no one else is looking”, and don’t be afraid to be bold and take risks.
I really think people are looking for products that both fulfill a need, but are also exciting! This industry has a serious back end to the business, but we can still have fun doing it! I used this approach in most things that I do. If it’s not fun, and you don’t love it – why even bother?
Lastly, I would recommend entrepreneurs to find the flaws in the pet food industry and solve them. Don’t be afraid to venture where others won’t. This way you can be a game changer ahead of the crowd.
2) How are Pawsh Chops unique compared to other dog treats out there?
Pawsh Chops can be used for teething puppies, served as a “Pawshicle” on a hot day, or thawed and served as a gourmet treat. We market the phrase “a cool treat helps to beat the heat”.
We have had canine cancer patients whose owners would hide medicinal marijuana in the Pawsh Chops to extend the life of their pet. It’s a rewarding feeling when someone tells you that your dog treats were a key component in their pet living a little longer.
One of the most unique things about Pawsh Chops, is it’s one of the few treats that has its own “culture”. We call it “#chopculture”. Dogs all over social media, especially Instagram – have been photographed balancing Pawsh Chops on their heads, noses, and paws, enjoying them at the dinner table with a glass of wine (table set for a King of course), and even “planking” them across their hind quarters. “Angel The Balancing Dog” literally started the trend.
3) Who are your taste testers for Pawsh Chops?
Since our humble beginnings we have had back yard tasting parties and invited our loyal, furry followers to attend tribunal tastings. To guarantee the pleasure factor of our treats, we have visited dog daycares all over Vancouver to get the general consensus from the masses. The dogs that have been part of our tasting squad are splashed across our social media channels.
4) Our dog Max is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet – which flavour do you suggest for him? (His fave things to eat are beef, goose poop, dirt, and kale if that helps.)
Ha ha, you made us laugh. Sizing up the information you gave us, we’d recommend “Surf n’ Turf” (bison and salmon) as it’s our most traditional, classic treat; both rustic and earthy as his pallet suggests.
But the goose poop has us thinking he desires something rich in his diet at times. In that case, Cheese Burgeroo (kangaroo based) all the way.
To offer variety, we’d bark “Sardine Tartare!” Our Sardine Tartare contains diatomaceous earth (eliminates stomach bugs) – a great choice for those days Max feels like dirt – and craves eating it too. It’s also made with strawberry fraiche and blueberry “sorbet”. Yum!
5) If your dog could have any flavour Pawsh Chop in the world, what do you think it would be?
Well, Pawsh did such a great job on the first three flavors. We’ve given her all the freedom in the world where-as seasonal items are concerned.
She is currently working on something really special for Christmas! We can’t disclose her agenda – but it certainly represents the spirit of the holiday season! On any given day, Pawsh loves wild, gamey meats, baby tomatoes (without stalks) and red peppers (without stalks). She loves a little fiber in her diet.)