Pandemic pushed up pet ownership numbers and Duluth dog bakery is creating new ways to feed them

Matilda's Dog Bakery gives local options to pet owners
Matilda's Dog Bakery gives local options to pet owners(kbjr)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 12:26 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The ASPCA says one in five Americans got a new dog or cat to pass the time during the pandemic. And, people are getting more picky in feeding those pets. That’s where Matilda’s Dog Bakery comes in.

Home baked biscuits make up a portion of the goodies made by Matilda's Dog Bakery
Home baked biscuits make up a portion of the goodies made by Matilda's Dog Bakery(kbjr)

Whether it’s a four-pound Chihuahua, a 14-pound calico cat, or a 140-pound Great Dane, a pet has to eat. Joanne Elliott of Matilda’s Dog Bakery in Duluth has been helping critters get kibble since leaving a job as a Chicago golf pro about 15 years ago.

“Obviously with our golf season being 30 seconds long up here, that wasn’t going to be an option,” said Elliott.

The dog bakery, which is named after Elliott’s 14-year-old lab-husky mix, will soon start its 12th year. The business has survived several moves before ending up on the 4500 block of east Superior Street.

“Then you throw covid in on top which really didn’t affect us that much then it affected other businesses because pet ownership is up about 35 percent,” said Elliott.

That boost in the pet population follows an increase in interest in animal nutrition. Matilda’s offers locally made animal treats along with several brands of pet food, toys, and accessories. Supplements are also becoming wildly popular.

“We do a lot of CBD now, a lot, for anxiety and hip and joint,” said Elliott.

Other popular products include chews made from more easily digestible material than rawhide. Easy digestibility is one reason Bonnie Beste buys things at Matilda’s for her Shitzu and Australian Shepherd.

“Yes, they carry good products that are good for my dogs and most stuff I get from here doesn’t upset their tummies,” said Beste.

As the store enters a dozen years in service, its namesake Matilda is recovering from cancer but Joanne tells us the elderly pooch is healing nicely from a recent surgery. She says after 14 years, the dog still has only two speeds.

“She’s either sleeping or she’s running even with the surgery, 14, and 89 feet of snow,” said Elliott.

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