Houndstone & Co.’s Freeze-Dried Treats Are Protein Powerhouses
Plus, when you support this company, you also support The Houndstone Foundation and their mission to find homes for abandoned dogs.
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We’ve now arrived at a point in time when I’m genuinely surprised if a new pet brand doesn’t, in some way, do something for animal advocacy. Houndstone & Co.’s freeze-dried treats are no exception. Advocacy was actually why Neda Torabi started the company.
“It has been a passion for me my whole life, and I hate seeing animals suffer or get abandoned. I knew I wanted to create pet products but didn’t really know where to start,” the Houndstone founder tells The Wildest. But one of her rescue pups, Arepa, gave her an idea. “Arepa is allergic to pretty much everything, so I had a hard time finding anything I could use on her. That inspired me to formulate a hypoallergenic dog shampoo which ultimately became our first Houndstone item,” she says.
The brand has since expanded to offer items from nearly every corner of pet care including beds, leashes, collars, and, of course, treats. Houndstone’s freeze-dried goodies were created for the same reason that the most, uh, involved parents coach little league — they really just want what’s best for their kid. See, like so many other pups, Arepa is sensitive to a slew of allergens. After learning her stomach couldn’t handle traditional meats like poultry or beef, a vet recommended a few nonconventional options. Novel protein sources, such as wild boar, antelope, and bison then became the basis for Houndstone’s treats, and Arepa gobbled them up.
Plus, that’s the only ingredient they include. Houndstone’s treats come in three variations, each being either 100 percent wild boar, antelope, or bison liver. They’re then freeze-dried to ensure the final product is as clean as possible.
“We came up with the idea to develop dog treats since most of what we saw on the market was extremely processed and contained tons of unnecessary ingredients to hold shape, improve shelf life, etc.,” Torabi says. “We knew of freeze-dried treats, which we thought would be a good choice for us as they can be made with just one ingredient and the process of freeze-drying gives them a substantial shelf life without the need for preservatives.”
All of the wild boar, antelope, and bison livers are human-grade, ethically sourced, and hypoallergenic. Torabi adds that these meats can help alleviate allergy-related symptoms, such as itching, digestive discomfort, and fur discoloration.
Now, personally, I never would have thought of animal livers as something I should feed my dog. But there’s a good reason why Houndstone highlights the protein source. “Liver, specifically, is an organ that is incredibly nutrient dense and beneficial for pets — and humans if you’re into that sort of thing. It is packed with essential nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, protein, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, D, and E,” Torabi explains.
But Torabi has never forgotten why Houndstone was created in the first place. “Houndstone basically started because I wanted to come up with ideas to raise money for rescue animals,” she says. With that in mind, 10 percent of all profits go towards helping animals in need. Torabi also created The Hounstone Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding loving homes for abandoned dogs across the globe. The group has partnered with shelters from Los Angeles to Iran to help rescue dogs in need.
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Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.