Like many Coloradans, I'm a little obsessed with my dog. He sleeps on my bed. He's attended concerts with me and even come on a vacation or two. And of course I'm obsessed with what he eats (or, rather, what I feed him). I won't bore you with the details, but it should suffice to say that my husband and I make his food ourselves rather than buy the high-quality kibble or even the raw-food options available at the store.
But I typically don't make his treats myself -- and I definitely don't have time to whip up frozen yogurt for the little dude. I might be obsessed, but my obsession only goes so far. That's where the Bear & the Rat comes in, a company run by a local husband-and-wife team who will go where obsessive dog-owners can only dream of going. Luckily for us, we can reap the fruits of their labors.
The company was featured on ABC's Shark Tank and is run by Matt and Meg Meyer. Matt says he thought up the concept behind the Bear & the Rat (which is appropriately named after the Meyer's two beloved pooches) when he was a kid around seven or eight years old; his family would go out for ice cream but there wasn't anything available that would be good for their dog to eat. (Many dog-owners have learned the hard way that dog stomachs and dairy don't always mix.)
Years later, when Matt and Meg were on their honeymoon, they decided they'd like to start their own business, and Matt threw his dog-ice-cream idea on the table. They decided to go with a frozen yogurt instead of ice cream -- it has less lactose than ice cream and contains live and active cultures, which are good for dogs. The Bear & the Rat treats also don't contain any wheat, corn, soy, high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, preservatives or colors. (So basically, this is very close to what I would make my dog for a treat if I had the time and inclination to do it.)
The Bear & the Rat currently offers three different flavors of frozen yogurt: froyo with bacon and peanut butter (which Marshall is enjoying above), froyo with banana and peanut butter and froyo with pumpkin. (Yes, your dogs can join the pumpkin spice craze, too -- but it's not a trend flavor; pumpkin is actually very good for upset doggie tummies.)
Marshall ended up taking that cup in the photo out of my hand and running away with it where he could lick it clean in peace, away from my camera. And he's a smart dog; now that he's ID'd the packaging and knows there are more treats in the freezer, he's taken up a post by the fridge, occasionally shooting his best "pathetic face" in my direction. So I think I can safely say that if your dog is anything like my dog, it will love the Bear & the Rat. (And there were no accidents or reported increase in dog smelliness after consumption, either.)
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You can find this frozen yogurt for dogs at local King Soopers stores, a handful of Whole Foods, and some natural-pet outlets in the metro area. Visit the Bear and the Rat's website to learn more or to get a full listing of available retail outlets.