Food is Medicine: Ma & Paws Bakery’s Holistic Approach to Pet Food
Food: Interviews & Features
Recently, my partner and I adopted a two-year-old labrador mix named Bailey. As a first time pet parent, I was eager to educate myself on the best options for maintaining a healthy dog. I immediately searched online for information on vitamins, supplements, oils, broths, the best treats to purchase and the ones to avoid. I knew this animal under my care deserved to eat as well as I could afford to feed her. Ma & Paws Bakery carries a similar attitude—they believe food is medicine, and the right ingredients can actively affect your pet’s lifestyle for the better.
Ma & Paws Bakery was founded in June of 1998 by Diane Sanders after she recognized her dog Asta was experiencing allergies alongside other health issues. Sanders noticed the problems persisted when she fed Asta the “commercially prepared pet food” found at traditional grocery stores. Sanders took to addressing the problem on her own, educating herself about pet nourishment, the best ingredients and how to address special dietary needs for Asta and, eventually, her own clients’ dogs. After her retirement, Megan Kilpatrick, who learned the trade and worked under Sanders for six years, purchased Ma & Paws Bakery in 2014 and continues to uphold this mantra of sourcing holistic and organic pet ingredients.
“To us at Ma & Paws Bakery, holistic [means] taking the entirety of the creature into consideration—mind, body and soul.”
“To us at Ma & Paws Bakery, holistic [means] taking the entirety of the creature into consideration—mind, body and soul—[while] factoring in the impacts of the environment, seasons, activity and interaction,” says Kilpatrick about the bakery’s approach to natural pet food (primarily for dogs and cats). When customers visit the store with pet concerns, a “game plan” of holistic food alternatives is developed while still regarding special dietary restrictions and preferences. She says, “[The bakery’s] knowledge of how to use food as medicine is one of our top services. Our clients come in for information and experience.”
With a dedication to the approach of food-as-medicine, Ma & Paws Bakery believes in sourcing the most nutritiously enriching ingredients for pets. Their homemade treats are GMO-free and include ingredients such as antibiotic-free, grass-fed and sustainably sourced animal proteins. “Everything we include is human grade. Seriously, if you were stuck in traffic or waiting for rescue in the mountains, you could nosh on our treats,” Kilpatrick says.
“Seriously, if you were stuck in traffic or waiting for rescue in the mountains, you could nosh on our treats.”
Alongside sourcing pet food with incredibly healthy and fresh ingredients, the bakers are making new batches of treats throughout the day—oat and peanut butter doughnuts, personalized pizzas and giant parmesan sticks with extra cheese among them. Other customer favorites include freeze-dried duck heads, elk horn, beef tendons and their Raw Bar (which includes a combination of frozen and freeze-dried animal bits). You can also browse their range of dietary supplements, CBD and calming aids, toys, feeding equipment, grooming products and a small selection of collars, harnesses and leashes. Pets are of course allowed into the store (leashed) with the option to have your animal sample out different foods and treats.
My advice for first time pet owners like myself seeking out quality ingredients is to look to Ma & Paws’ website for educational articles or to come in and chat with the team. “We focus on education and can point you in the direction of reliable sources of information,” says Kilpatrick. “In the years that I have been helping pet parents, I have found no one way works for all. We are here to help the pet parent navigate this big world of companion animals.”
Currently, Ma & Paws Bakery has two locations—their original location in Millcreek and a new storefront in American Fork, which also offers three unique, self-serving dog wash stations for you to clean your pup while you’re there! Check out the bakery at their website maandpawsbakeryinc.com and Instagram @maandpawsbakery for more information.