8 May 2024

Meet the Eurobodalla business helping our furry friends eat right

| Claire Sams
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Two people standing and holding a dog in front of a table of dog treats

This Eurobodalla-based company is making sure our furry friends have a good diet – and helping more dogs find loving homes. Photo: Kerry Dawson.

Natisha Field knew she had found a very special companion in Banjo. After all, it was love at first sight.

“I fell in love with those eyes online, so I rung up and said I’d like to save him [from the rescue],” she said.

“They said they were going to euthanise him if he wasn’t saved in seven days, so my brother and I quickly drove to Sydney to get him.”

The lifelong dog lover started fostering Banjo, and went on to adopt him, but something soon caught her eye: his diet.

“Lo and behold, he was the fussiest eater and had terrible skin allergies,” Ms Field said.

“I started looking into all the toxins and nasties that go into [some] dog food and also dog treats.”

The result was Woofalicious Dog Treats Down Under, a dog nutritional brand that offers clean products for pooches.

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“Consumers are a lot more aware now of what goes into their dog food or dog treats [than in the past],” she said.

“They want their dogs to live longer – and live a healthier lifestyle – rather than giving them something that is less healthy for them.”

While the official launch is this month, Woofalicious had been Ms Field’s long-held dream.

“We did a few trade shows, and then everything happened – the fires, the floods, the COVID lockdowns – and we had to switch manufacturers,” she said.

“There were many, many challenges, but we are finally ready for our launch this year!”

Four bags of dog treats products in a line

Ms Field wants to create a line of dog products without any “toxins and nasties”. Photo: Kerry Dawson.

Woofalicious’ products are made from strips of kangaroo, wild boar, crocodile or emu, which are dehydrated and then infused.

“They are preservative-free, made from the leanest meat, with fruit and herbs,” Ms Field said.

“[To develop the products] I reached out to vets all around the country and asked about the nutritional value of dog food.

“That was when I got a lot of feedback about the toxins and preservatives – I just thought that it wasn’t acceptable.

“I was appalled at the high number of recalls from companies and all the cancers and sickness that dogs were actually developing.”

The product packaging was designed by Western Arrernte Desert artist Merryn Apma, who lived on the South Coast for a time.

“She used her own culture and stories in the design,” Ms Field said.

“We didn’t just want a grass patch with a dog – the design really stands out and has a feeling of warmth.”

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Ms Field said Woofalicious Dog Treats Down Under also donated $1 from every bag sold to South Coast Animal Rescue.

“Lynne [Thurston, the founder] has spent over 30 years saving thousands and thousands of animals,” Ms Field said.

“I want to help her save as many dogs as we can.”

Despite the process taking six years, the Eurobodalla resident wasn’t deterred from her goal.

“I’m very passionate about this; I stuck to my guns. I’m still going to continue on,” Ms Field said.

“You’ve got to go through the tough times to get to the good times.”

Woofalicious Dog Treats Down Under products are available online.

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