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Puslinch woman brings joy to dogs with allergen friendly treats

In December, Abby Branchaud from Puslinch launched Evelyn’s Barkery which offers dogs allergen-friendly pet treats
Abby Branchaud with her dog, Evelyn.

Everyone, especially our beloved pets, love a treat now and again.

As a dog-parent, Abby Branchaud always struggled to find healthy treats for her three-year-old dog, Evelyn.

But with allergies to animal proteins, options were limited for the border collie mix.  

“Evelyn has a lot of protein allergies, so we did an elimination diet. Our vet said she had to stay away from poultry including chicken, duck, beef, and lamb. We also have stay away from dairy and eggs,” Branchaud said.

While grains and gluten are often blamed for food allergies in pets, Branchaud soon learned that allergies to animal proteins are much more common than allergies to grains in dogs.

Visiting local vendor markets, Branchaud noticed that many dog biscuits still contain dairy and/or eggs.

“I was trying to find something that didn't, and so I began to do research. I came up with some recipes and tested them on a lot of dogs that I knew, including Evelyn,” Branchaud said.

“I wanted to eliminate the cheese, dairy, and eggs. I just wanted all dogs to be able to enjoy their treats,” Branchaud said.

In December, Branchaud launched Evelyn’s Barkery which offers dogs allergen-friendly pet treats.

“It’s all still very new, but it’s so great to be able to help all of these dogs whose owners are struggling because their dogs can’t have any treats," Branchaud said.

"We struggled too with Evelyn. So, to have other people in the same boat come to me, it has been so rewarding to be able to help them.”

Located in Puslinch, Evelyn’s Barkery offers an assortment of allergen friendly biscuits including grain free pumpkin treats.

“I bake them myself and then I dehydrate them, so they last longer. They can also be offered soft for older dogs or puppies,” Branchaud said.

She doesn’t just offer allergy friendly treats.

“I’ve also made treats for dogs with kidney and liver issues because they need low phosphorous and low protein treats. I do the research, find out what works, and I tweak my recipes to make these special treats," she said.

"If someone who comes to me with special food diets, I try to make treats that work for them,” Branchaud said.

Prior to this, Branchaud, 23, studied criminology and human rights at Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford.

“I was a student in school and then I had some health issues. It didn’t make sense for me to continue on in the school path but I knew that I really wanted to do something with animals,” she said.

Growing up with cats, Branchaud got her first dog, Evelyn, in 2020.

“I’ve always loved animals. When Evelyn came into my life, I just absolutely knew that I wanted to work with animals,” she said.

On April 20th, 2021, Branchaud’s life changed. She was diagnosed with a rare condition called superior mesenteric artery syndrome.

“I’m doing a lot better than I was a couple of years ago. That was a big reason why I decided that school just wasn’t making sense for me because of my health issues,” she said.

“Last year I had a feeding tube for awhile. But since Evelyn's Barkery, I’ve been doing really well. My health has actually improved because I’m not as stressed. This has not only made me happier, but it has benefited my health so much.”

Branchaud is grateful for the ongoing support from her parents and boyfriend.

“I do all of the baking myself as well as the packaging. I’ve had some friends help with labelling and branding. And that’s been really helpful. I have thankfully, had a very good support system. It has made this transition a lot easier,” Branchaud said.

As for future plans, Branchaud says she has a few new products in the works.

“People have reached out to me about offering sample packs so they can try the different flavours and see what works for their dogs. I’m also hoping to offer mini muffins, cakes, cupcakes, donuts and more biscuits flavours. It’s really popular now to have birthday parties for your animals. I had one for Evelyn. She’s very spoiled. I want to offer birthday cakes and loot bags full of treats too,” Branchaud said

For more information, visit Evelyn’s Barkery on Facebook, Instagram, [email protected] or at (519) 751-5356.

“As I come up with some new products, I will create a website so ordering is a lot easier,” Branchaud said.

Evelyn’s Barkery offers local pick-up in Brantford and free delivery to various locations including Wellington County, Puslinch, Guelph, Campbellville, Morriston, Burlington, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Hamilton.

“I am very thankful. I’ve had some great feedback from everyone who has tried my treats. One woman has a dog with the kidney and liver issues. She was so grateful because she had such a hard time trying to find dog treats," Branchaud said.

“I definitely enjoy the baking. I have so much fun. I think Evelyn has a great time being taste tester. She is definitely loving that."

But the biggest reward, Branchaud says, is having people thank her because their dogs were unable to enjoy a treat in so long.

“I’m even been getting pictures of these dogs getting their treats,” Branchaud said.

“It's so rewarding to see the outcome and the positive feedback in knowing that these dogs, who couldn’t have treats, are now able to enjoy actual treats again.”

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Barbara Latkowski

About the Author: Barbara Latkowski

Barbara graduated with a Masters degree in Journalism from Western University and has covered politics, arts and entertainment, health, education, sports, courts, social justice, and issues that matter to the community
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