The Oxford Dog Blog aims to promote the best dog-related businesses and services Oxfordshire has to offer. In our interviews, we speak to the amazing and talented dog-lovers behind the local businesses.
It’s not difficult to see the love that Yasmin McGoldrick puts into every packet of hypoallergic dog treats she makes in her kitchen in Didcot. Three years of research and experimentation have led to Yazzy’s Yummies’ range of wag-inducing treats for dogs who suffer with allergies.*
*although they are loved by all dogs (unsurprisingly).
Yasmin made her first treat, Banana Bones, for her Cockapoo called Poppy around Christmas 2017. Word of her treats quickly spread and when a few people mentioned that their dogs also had allergies and that they wanted to buy some ‘Yazzy’s Yummies’ was born. Officially trading since September, the business has gone from strength to strength.
I spoke to Yasmin about how Yazzy’s Yummies started and what she loves about being a dog owner in Oxfordshire.
Tell me more about Yazzy’s Yummies?
We got our first dog three years ago, a beautiful little Cockapoo called Poppy. She stole our hearts but it wasn’t long before we realised she was poorly. She suffered from a bad stomach every few days and we were constantly at the vets getting medications and tests. We tried so many different types of food (including hypoallergenic) but nothing worked. She was cuddly and wasn’t bouncing off the walls as you would expect of a dog of two working breeds.
Our vet eventually suggested we cut out all foods and treats and try trialling minimal ingredients. Immediately her tummy got better, but she didn’t like the food and wasn’t allowed treats. This didn’t sit well with us.
We hunted around and eventually found a hydrolysed hypoallergenic dry food that she loves and I started investing time in creating a spreadsheet of things she can and can’t eat. It was then that I started to see common triggers and researched making her treats myself. We experimented with a few of her favourites (carrots and bananas). This is when our Banana Bones were born.
I had been making the Banana Bones and a few others for about 6-9 months when a few people mentioned that their dogs also had allergies and that they would like to buy some. It was around then that we looked into setting up a company to sell them.
What makes Yazzy’s Yummies different?
All of our products are free from wheat, meat, eggs, dairy, soya, additives and preservatives. This makes them perfect for dogs with allergies (although all dogs will love them).
We also care deeply about our impact on the environment. As a family we have made various switches over the years to cut down our environmental impact, so it made sense for this to be at the core of our company’s ethos too. The packaging for the treats is made from cellulose and is both compostable and recyclable. The boxes we send our treats out in are reused boxes (cleaned, of course) meaning no more have to be made. We try to only use paper and cardboard packaging where possible too. At the moment, we are in talks with some zero-waste shops so we can sell with zero packaging.
Tell me about Poppy and Rossi (or should I say Tasters-in-Chief)?
Poppy the Cockapoo is our angel. When my heart condition flared up last Christmas, Poppy didn’t leave my side. When I was discharged from hospital she sat by me for three days only leaving me to pop outside and to eat. She has always been such a sweet loving dog and now she has a new diet she has bundles of energy and loves nothing more than to work in the field (by work I mean ball launching!).
Rossi is our new rescue, we adopted him at the beginning of July and wow he is crazy. Unfortunately he came from an abusive home but he has learnt to love and trust again which has been an amazing transformation. He’s still scared of people but he is starting to warm up to our friends and family after only 5-10 mins now which is amazing. He has just turned one and is very much a teenager, getting into mischief and being naughty.
What is your best-seller?
Our Banana Bones! They are made with banana, carrot, and chia seeds and dogs love them!
What is your favourite thing about being a dog owner?
The greeting you get when you come home from work – or when you’ve been out of the house for 2 mins and it’s like you’ve been gone hours. Or when you are curled-up on the sofa and they decided they would like a cuddle and plonk themselves on you. Nothing melts my heart more!
What is your favourite thing to do with your dog in Oxfordshire?
Sometimes in life it’s the little things. We’re lucky to live next to a park and to be able to enjoy daily walks in the open space.
What is your number one dog friendly place in Oxfordshire?
We love The Maybush in Standlake. They are very dog friendly, the food is lovely and there is a fab walk by the river. From here you can watch the birds on the water and wildflowers being visited by butterflies and dragonflies.
If you would like to be featured in our interviews or know of a great local dog business that you think needs a shout-out, please get in touch!