As part of our Indiegogo campaign to rebuild the dog training studio we lost in a fire three months ago, we’re offering certain “perks.” One of the perks is our favorite treat pouch. My School For The Dogs training partner Kate discovered these on Etsy last year, and since then, I’m rarely seen without mine.
Treat pouches are, generally speaking, not super sexy. I have tried using American Apparel fanny packs, and these are a bit less hideous looking than the basic ones that you see at Petco. But Mimi Reid,whose Etsy shop is called Give A Dog A Home, has found a way to meld form and function with her handmade hinged belted bait bags. In addition to making these treat pouches, she also custom makes word-emblazoned jackets for service dogs and for dogs who are looking for forever families. I asked her to tell me a little about how these bags came to be.
Mimi Reid, of the Etsy shop Give A Dog A Home, and her happy dog, Cabana.
What is the basis of your company’s name, Give A Dog A Home?
This business came about because my younger daughter Stephanie was taking an entrepreneurship class in high school, so she and I started Give A Dog A Home. Stephanie came up with the name, and I felt it was very fitting. She subsequently dropped the class, but this wonderful business was born and has been going full-tilt ever since.
What prompted you to start making treat bags? Were there just not enough good ones on the market?
Our dog, Cabana, was a guide dog puppy we were raising to become a service dog. Our puppy group leader gave us a French hinge training pouch, and I thought it was a great concept. But it broke after about 6 months. I decided to try to make a new one for myself because I wanted to improve on the design. I felt it needed more pockets, and I didn’t like the way the old one flopped around when I ran with my dog. I made about 5 different versions of the training pouch before I finally got it right. I use my training pouch every single day, and I really don’t know what I’d do without it!
What do you normally carry in your treat bag?
Several different kinds of treats of varying values, and a few peanuts, which are Cabana’s highest value treats. Poop bags, of course, a whistle because Cabana is trained to come with one, business cards, lip balm, car keys, and a carabiner which I sometimes use to clip Cabana’s leash to or hang my camera from.
Do you use a treat bag regularly? For what kind of training and/or treats?
Every single day, without fail, because I firmly believe that dogs should be exercised, played with, and worked with every day!