PUPPY LOVE: Ice cream for dogs a winner for Toronto biz

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We all scream for ice cream but when it comes to Toronto online business In Dogs We Trust, it’s more of a bark.

Owner Samantha Mok’s small-batch gourmet ice cream, made from natural and local ingredients including Ontario produce and goat milk and no sugar or salt, is made for canines along with her dog desserts and treats.

It all started last August after Mok did a branding and packaging design project at Centennial College using the idea as mock business and Walter, her finicky her two-and-a-half-year-old Pom-Shih Tzu, as her customer.

“The funniest thing is that Walter is the pickiest dog that I’ve ever met in my life,” said Mok, 29. “He hates everything. So when I was doing the design project I got interested in making homemade dog treats ‘cause this dog literally will not eat anything. So I was like, ‘Okay, well, I have to make a bunch of dog treats anyway, might as well see if he’ll eat some of it.’ And, of course, I went totally overboard and made 500 treats. And that was pretty much going to be the end of it.”


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But then Mok’s designs won some national awards including prize money so she started an online business given she was newly graduated without a job in the middle of a pandemic.

“It really just snowballed from there,” said Mok, who also has two stores — Leslieville’s The Bone House and The Junction’s Dog Lounge — that also take In Dogs We Trust products.

She also delivers everything that is ordered online.

“We did our first comeback menu May 9, like a month ago, and the response has just been like really insane,” said Mok.

“It’s definitely a novelty item with ice cream but I think people just really like the idea of doing something fun.”

Prices are $5-6 per eight-ounce pup cup, which is about four to five servings, and Walter’s favourite ice cream is the best-selling strawberries and cream.


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Walter waits for his serving of ice cream. SAMANTHA MOK PHOTO
Walter waits for his serving of ice cream. SAMANTHA MOK PHOTO

Mok knew he would be partial to it.

“Walter — for everything he hates, will stare at you jealously if you’re eating an ice cream,” said Mok. “He will inhale it. But I was like, ‘Obviously, I can’t be buying him like a pint of Ben and Jerry’s for himself, right?”

Turns out goat milk is easier for dogs to digest than cow milk.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

There’s a rotating menu — at idwt.ca — of about six ice cream flavours monthly with three diary-based ones, and three fruit-based ones plus the high-quality dog treats (oven-baked biscuits with flavours like carrot cake or strawberry shortcake and semi-soft biscuits consisting of protein with potato and pumpkin).

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“With a lot of mainstream treats, and the commercially popular ones, I won’t drag anyone under the bus, but a lot of it is really subpar by-product,” said Mok. “Animal meal, wheat, and corn. And that’s stuff is fine, it’s not going to kill your dog. But it’s like the equivalent of eating McDonald’s every day.”


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