Health meets quality at this Chattanooga-based producer of dog treats.
No dog parent wants to feed their furry friend subpar snacks, and the folks at EdenThistle Land Stewardship Co. know that better than most. Just ask their dogs.
EdenThistle — a pasture-raised farm in Chattanooga — produces beef, pork, chicken, sausage, eggs and more for human consumption. They also make and sell jerky treats and raw meaty bones for dogs, both of which are available at NoogaPaws in Chattanooga’s North Shore.
The farm drew inspiration for its wholesome jerky dog treats by watching pigs root through fields in search of worms and grubs on the farm, co-owner Marshall Teague said. The result? A “vertically-integrated” dog treat that considers every step in the food cycle from the ground, to the livestock to the treats.
Although EdenThistle Co.’s team didn’t set out to produce dog treats, the transition into pet care was obvious.
Teague, who co-owns the farm with his wife Katherine, says he was inspired to start making organ jerky treats after seeing what dogs on raw diets consume: “I was really captured by the idea that dogs could be eating from a diet that their DNA is designed for: nutrient rich material like organs that they’d consume in the wild.”
The farm began working to create its own raw dog food from the pork, chicken and quail, but it later pivoted to creating dog-friendly jerky from those ingredients. EdenThistle Co. went as far as to create its own type of dehydrator to improve the quality of its product.
In addition to producing a healthy treat, EdenThistle’s process also reduces waste by using organ meat from the farm’s own livestock. Furthermore, Teague said its animals are raised without antibiotics, synthetic hormones or preservatives.
“Our treats contain no preservatives or filler ingredients,” Teague said. “They’re simply an organ and sweet potato (which we love for its fiber). It’s also important to me that our brand and our treats are trustworthy.”
While jerky treats are a healthy reward for four-legged friends, EdenThistle also produces meaty raw bones for heavy-chewers.
According to PetMD, raw bones offer dogs mental stimulation, and they can help clean a dog’s teeth. Further, raw bones are less likely to splinter and cause health problems than cooked bones. Dogs should only be allowed to enjoy bones under supervision, however.
“We do all the work and rely on no other company or third party for production,” Teague says. “We get to have every ingredient run through our hands during prep, and every piece of jerky that goes into a bag passes right back through our hands at the end of the process.”