Yummy Chummy Dog Treats
This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Dogs flip for salmon treats. More after this…

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What started out as an idea to turn pink salmon scraps into dog food is now the well known dog product Yummy Chummies. The Anchorage based business Arctic Paws, owned and operated  by the Gibson Family, has been making these wild Alaska salmon  treats since1997.

“Over the years the formula has changed a little bit here and there, but for the most part the base formulation that we came up with is what it is today. Although we have many different products today that we didn’t in the beginning.”

Since the original Yummy Chummies product they have introduced variations of the treats by  adding grains and berries.

“We use rice, and we brought out a salmon and potato treat. And then in the last four years we have launched a completely  grain-free line which is doing very well.”

Gibson says that marketing is probably the hardest part of his job.

“I get the equipment. I get the machines. I can tell you how to do it. But the marketing component is the most challenging.”

When pitching the idea that dogs liked salmon and that dogs could benefit from it, Gibson said it was a hard sell due to the fact that with animal products  “cats liked fish,  and  dogs didn’t.”

“When I started the notion of feeding salmon to dogs, If you spoke to anybody that wasn’t an Alaskan, it was alien to them. I think that it is safe to say that we were one of the first companies in the US to legitimately present salmon based dog treats to the market place.”

Yummy Chummies  opened the door for many more fish based dog products.

“And now if you look at the market place we are not the only game in town. I actually think that it’ s pretty cool, that in many respects we have done a lot to help create a market for salmon based dog treats or fish for that matter.”  

Arctic Paws also make cod and halibut treats along with the ever popular salmon oil. The omega 3 fatty acids from salmon have proven to be vary beneficial.

“Salmon is an excellent source. It helps with heart, skin, coat, and joint maintenance. Basically the same types of things it does for us as people, I think it does for dogs.”

Pet owners are starting to pass healthy eating habits on to their animals, some eating better then their human.

“There is a growing population that wants to cook for their dogs. So we are toying with presenting a product that will be  frozen and sold to consumers so they can make home cooked meals for their dogs. It will be a small pre- packaged salmon filet.”

Find all the Yummy Chummies products at  www.yummychummies.com.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com  In Kodiak I’m Stephanie Mangini.