Shannon Suarez purchased a bag of Dishes For Dogs treats about a year and a half ago at a local farmer’s market but at the time hadn’t considered the store’s other food options.
Each week, she would cook chicken and turkey mixed with vegetables for her dog. But then Suarez had a baby and lacked the time to cook.
Additional research brought her back to Dishes For Dogs, the Wynwood-based dog food manufacturer that uses only USDA-certified ingredients to create dog food. The store was established to provide high-quality food options for owners such as Suarez.
“Through our own experience cooking for our own dogs, we found out it’s expensive, time consuming and difficult to do correctly,” Mason Fox, one of the store’s co-founders, said. “We saw a need for a business.”
With the guidance of Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a veterinary nutritionist, Fox and the staff create recipes for different dogs’ dietary needs. The store sells a basil beef mix with peas, pearls and pears and a chicken and rice mix, among other things.
The foods are available in 8 ounce, 16 ounce, 32 ounce and 5 pound servings. Prices range from $4 to about $44, depending on the size and type of food.
Suarez said her dogs eat the food every day as part of the store’s subscription service and that she doesn’t mind paying for the quality of food it provides.
“I am the biggest fan of Dishes for Dogs,” Suarez said. “I don’t give anything to my baby that’s processed. Why would you give your dog something processed? The convenience of it is amazing.”
Because each recipe uses USDA-approved ingredients, the staff tastes the food after it’s made. That’s how it adopted the slogan “Human Tested. Canine Approved.”
Fox said that the store’s food could be an ideal alternative for dogs who might not eat dry food. The food, which is also being sold at Calusa Veterinary Center in Boca Raton and the Miami Beach Animal Wellness Center, can improve digestion and help dogs maintain a healthy immune system.
Dishes for Dogs currently only offers food for dogs, but Fox said the store plans to begin selling cat food in the future.
But for now, the store has proved to be convenient for dog owners like Suarez.
“It saves me a ton of time and a lot of money,” Suarez said. “I love what they’re doing.”