March 9, 2016 by Dana Catron, NMSU News Center
Ruby, Shannon Murray and Vic Villalobos’ golden retriever, was having ongoing issues with reflux and inflammatory bowel disease when Murray decided to take matters into her own hands. She created the Power Fruit dog smoothie after Ruby had a seizure thought to be a reaction to one of her antibiotics.
“We immediately took her off the drugs and started researching what we could give Ruby’s sensitive belly so she could eat and keep her food in on both ends long enough to get the nutrients she needed,” said Murray. “The Bow Wow Blends Power Fruit dog smoothie was born. We drizzle it over her food and her sisters’ food, and sometimes freeze it for a frozen treat. It supports digestion and their urinary tract with pumpkin, blueberries, bananas, carrots and cranberry.”
Working with Rachel Schneider at Ol’Gringo Chile Products and Willis Fedio at the New Mexico State University Food Science Laboratory, Murray was able to create a shelf stable product that was developed at home and taste-tested using her own dogs. Murray and Villalobos’ company, Bow Wow Blends, is one of four participating in this year’s CrucesKick, a partnership between Arrowhead Center and MVEDA. CrucesKick is a fast-moving crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise funds and awareness of local companies’ products and offerings
“We would take off days from work (my husband and I both have full time jobs) to go over to Ol’Gringo and we would make test batches, contact bottle companies looking for USA-made and BPA-free bottles, and discussed the right size, packaging and lid,” Murray said.
While the initial plan was to make a product that worked for Murray’s dogs, a visit to Ol’Gringo after Schneider took over operations led her to consider the commercial opportunity.
“I happened to be visiting her one day to see her processing plant and that’s when we decided hey why not make this for others to try,” said Murray. “A lot of pet food is unfortunately made in China or with ingredients from China and have caused animals to get sick, and I know there’s a big push from a lot of industry pet food manufacturers to move towards products made in the USA.”
Bow Wow Blends only uses ingredients sourced in the U.S. other than bananas, and they take pride that the manufacturing and materials, down to the easy-pour-lid and bottle, are U.S.-based. The Power Fruit Dog Smoothie is currently being sold in specialty pet food stores throughout New Mexico.
After being invited to participate in CrucesKick by the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA), Murray expressed her excitement to be involved because “it’s such a wonderful opportunity and we are so excited to see where this will take our small business.”
To follow Bow Wow Blends’ campaign, please visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dog-fruit-smoothie#/