DULUTH, Minn. -

“It all kind of started as a fluke acutally,” Joanne Elliott, Owner of Matilda’s Bake Shop said.

You could say it all began with a little pinch of love, sprinkled with a tinch of curiosity.

“The more I learned about our food, the more I learned about the pet food, the more it was just glaring, it was glaringly obvious,” Elliott said.

With the flick of a switch, Joanne cleared her plate, and fired up the old oven.

“Just like our food, you can’t go by what’s on the front cover, all natural all that business, you still have to look at what’s in it,” Elliott said.

It’s now been nearly six years in business, 40 years for our furry friends.

“We don’t look at habits today, or tomorrow, we look at them over the lifespan.”

One continuous meal of kibbles, eventually turning in to one entire lifespan.

“If we eat McDonalds today, it’s not going to make us sick but if we eat McDonalds for the next 20 years, we might have an issue here and there,” Elliott said.

It’s an unhealthy routine, for both man, and the best friend. There’s a list of bad ingredients.

“Corn, wheat, soy, any kind of poultry or bi-product, unidentified animal fat, beat pulp, wheat gluten, ground yellow corn. There are a lot of things to look for on that ingredients label.”

All packed together, eventually dished out, one meal at a time.

Elliott says, “You want to look at the first three to five ingredients just like with our food. That’s 90 percent of what’s in that food. Some companies are way more transparent than others but they are getting better.”

There’s little regulation in the pet food world. Altogether, Elliott says the pet food industry is pretty much self-regulated.

The Association of America Feed Control Officials, AAFCO, decide what’s best to put in your pets belly.

“Some of the food is so bad that if it wasn’t sprayed with chicken fat and salt, the dogs wouldn’t eat it,” Elliott said.

Increased attention about what’s in pet food, is a big reason why Matilda’s Dog Bakery is soaring in to multiple years of business in the Duluth Lakeside Community.

“As the consumer becomes more aware, they are holding the pet food industry way more accountable than it used to be,” Elliott said.

Educating one another, one tail at a time.

“We take a lot of time here with people, come in, spend maybe 45 minutes, ask a lot of questions, make them feel comfortable. The more education we can offer to our customers, the better.”

You can check out Matilda’s Dog Bakery at 4521 East Superior Street in Duluth, or give Joanne a call at (218) 525-3775.