Nourish Natural Dog Products, a small business enterprise, offers a line of premium dog chews and treats made of four simple ingredients – yak, cow milk, lime and salt. These chews and treats are made using centuries old Tibetan recipe which people in the Himalayas use to preserve and store milk for later consumption of protein in the leaner winter seasons in the high-altitude regions. Using an organic production process, Nourish produces chews that have a hardened smoked cheese like appearance and taste. Unlike many other pet chews and treats in the industry, their products are not made from the byproducts of other foods or from animal waste products like bully sticks and raw hides.
A common belief among pet owners is that milk products are harmful for their dogs, and this is not without reason. Typically, milk has high lactose contents which makes it unsuitable to lactose intolerant dogs. This is where the Nourish advantage comes in. Their products are not any common milk-based chews and treats. The process of separation of solid components of milk first removes the fatty butters from the milk. Then lime is added to the remaining milk which separates the milk in protein-rich curds and whey containing liquids. It is the fat-free and whey-free curd that is then wrapped tightly in burlap sacks to further remove any remaining moisture content. The solid curd which now looks like big clay bricks are cut into pieces and smoked for about 3 months. The chews are now hard and ready to be consumed but before packing each chew is processed and checked to ensure there are so sharp edges or over-smoked pieces. The result is a fantastic product that is not only nutritious, but also highly digestible for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Providing premium product via socially and environmentally responsible operations, Nourish strives to maintain the highest standards of product quality and integrity while sourcing from local, organic Nepali producers. These natural chews have no preservatives, additive flavors or colors or binding agents. They are completely grain-free, soy-free and gluten-free. In comparison to traditional chews available in the market (raw hides and other big brand chews), Nourish chews have high protein content and offer numerous other health benefits. They are also odorless and long lasting!
People often question if dog foods can be eaten by humans. Almost all brands advertise that their products are not suitable for human consumption, precisely because they use byproduct type of materials. Nourish on the other hand, carry no such warning. In fact, this is the exact product people in the Himalayas consume as a source of protein. They do warn that people with no experience eating these might find it difficult to chew on. After all, not everyone has as strong teeth as those that command the mountains every day. Nourish believes that pets deserve the same treatment like humans and should be fed quality food that we like to eat ourselves.
In the United States, per data from 2016, there are an estimated 70-80 million pet dogs. In fact, every 4 out of 10 households have a dog, and 1 out of 10 households have multiple dogs. The pet food industry in the United States had sales worth 25 billion dollars in 2015-2016 and is rapidly growing each year. Sixty-eight percent of the pet specialty dog consumables segment is natural, and it is also the segment with highest growth – 8 percent from the previous year. The demand for natural foods for dogs is increasing rapidly. Eight out of 10 new brand launch natural foods as pet-owners are becoming increasingly conscious and looking products that contain natural ingredients, no preservatives or additives.
Nourish aims to fill this exact niche but growing market. It has positioned itself as a premium natural dog chews and treats producer in the natural pet chews sector. The product line includes (a) Nourish natural chews, (b) nuggets (which is also the treat) and (c) supplementary protein powder. Nourish natural chews come in 4 sizes; small, medium, large and extra-large for dogs weighing 5lbs to those weighting over 90 lbs. A variety of pack sizes are available – smaller packs in 4oz, 8oz and bulk packs in 1lb and 2lbs. After steady growth in their sales online, Nourish is now present in specialty stores in Texas, Washington and Michigan. Their future strategy is to tap the larger multi-brand pet stores across the United States.
Nourish’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility is embedded in the company’s strategy, operations and value chain. Through their campaign “Our karma is your karma” they donate a part of their revenues to shelter, feed and provide medication to homeless dogs in Nepal. When you purchase their products, you can learn about your karma points at the back of their environmental friendly and attractive Kraft paper packaging and reusable cotton pouches. Their entire manufacturing is done by a cooperative of 6,000 dairy farmers living in altitudes over 4000ft. Many of these farmers live on daily wages below $1.25 and Nourish is striving to create demand for their dog chews in markets abroad, which would raise the farmers’ annual incomes by $1,500 on average.