Ever have a late-night staredown with the pantry or refrigerator doors and wonder if poochie feels those same cravings? Unlike your own witching hour munchies, though, you can always control the food that fuels Fido.
And, with a little help from Meatloaf’s Kitchen, your hungry canine can stay ahead of the pack with vegan and vegetarian snacks that promote doggone good health. Since 2012, Melanie Stracko and her faithful sidekick, Meatloaf, have been generating a bounty of recipes whose hallmark is tasty nutrition. Never frozen, their rations eschew preservatives, and are made upon ordering. “We offer customizable treats and cakes that let owners pick each ingredient. This takes the guesswork out of what your companion is eating,” says Stracko.
While Meatloaf may now be cresting the wave of his eponymous Kitchen, the puppyhood stage of his life brimmed with uncertainty. Imagine a baby boxer mix, trembling and afraid, in the middle of a Pennsylvania highway. Upon seeing him, Stracko and her husband took young Meatloaf to a shelter, and hoped fate would intervene. “We fell instantly in love, but had to wait two days for him to be claimed,” Stracko remembers. “We called every hour to see if he was still at the shelter and to our joy, on the second day, he was ours.”
After Meatloaf became her newest family member, Stracko realized the mutt had several food allergies. So, she put her thinking cap on, and applied pastry skills learned at Johnson & Wales University to practical use. Before long, the doyenne was churning out baked items agreeable with Meatloaf’s tummy. And, by doing so, she became the de facto owner/maker/designer of a nifty little Pocono Mountain business, nestled in the hamlet of Canadensis.
For his part, Meatloaf oversees the company’s Research and Development Division and relishes his role as Quality Control Officer. “If he doesn’t like something I whip up, then it’s not for sale,” declares Stracko, whose batches of doggie deliciousness are fortified with human-grade ingredients. “We never prepare a bite we wouldn’t eat ourselves.”
To that end, Meatloaf’s Kitchen is fully licensed through the commonwealth’s Department of Agriculture, and all edibles are sent to a private lab for testing. But the plethora of oats, kelp, blueberries, turmeric, carrots, lavender, and other wholesome tidbits always ensure a passing grade. Assorted furbaby ailments – arthritis, cancer, and diabetes among them – may be alleviated via the Kitchen’s beneficial selections. While ginger, for example, possesses antioxidants that target motion sickness, dandelion, Stracko’s newest go-to, stimulates the appetite while serving as a mild diuretic.
Veterinary benefits aside, who can argue with the clever labeling of flavors like pea-mut butter, grrr-nola, cinnabone, and bark-b-que? For good measure, your persnickety pup can sample wheat-furrie morsels that steer clear of wheat, soy, and dairy. Local Pocono merchants stocked up on Stracko’s delectable fare include the Farmer’s Basket in Stroudsburg and the Barley Creek Brewing Company in Tannersville. By far, however, Stracko has seen her biggest retail boon delivered by Etsy, and its influence on the global market; here, you’ll find over 150 products homemade for your hound.
When he’s not fulfilling his duties as Chief Taste Tester, Meatloaf prizes the simple pleasures around him. “He enjoys long walks and lazy Sundays on the couch, watching television. At night, you will find him curled up in bed, snoring away under the covers,” Stracko enthuses. Always a good thing, letting sated sleeping dogs lie.