12 years in the making! I decided it was time to start sharing some of my learnings, share some stories, and just share a little bit about me and what drives my business.

This is a happy story, and still a sad story. Most people who have dog-related businesses start them because they have dogs. They had a need, so they started creating to fit that need. I needed healthy treats for my dogs, especially for one that needed daily medication. And that one, who might not be with us anymore, is the reason Cheddar Dogs exist today.


Just over 12 years ago, Fez came into our lives. He was 9 weeks old, bug-eyed, floppy-eared, and was a whopping 4lbs. 

Our big dog Floyd ( who was about 80lbs) and our girl Jessie (45lbs) wanted nothing to do with him! He was more of a rat than a dog, and they had zero interest in him. They would leave the room when he entered. Fortunately, he was a stubborn Boston and he charmed his way into their hearts. Especially Floyds.

Fez, Jessie, and Floyd lived happy lives together for the first 2 years of Fez’s life. They were all buddies, played together, and slept together. 

Life was good.

Then something unexpected happened. We were heading to the park and Fez started running in circles. Not like the zoomies, but like he had no choice but to lean to his right side and couldn’t straighten out. It was kind of comical, we didn’t think it was anything serious. Probably just an ear infection. 

We made an appointment to see our neighbourhood vet, Dr. Sandhu from Copperfield Veterinary Hospital expecting to get some ear drops. We had been seeing our vet for a couple of years at that point, and he was so good with our dogs and also with us! 

He assessed Fez and asks us so many questions. Whatever was going on was not that common! He continued to ask more questions and continued to examine my little dude. I could see he was starting to figure out what might be going on, so he sent Fez for more tests to rule out some things.

We were referred to Dr. Diaz a vet neurologist ( CARE centre) . Yep..my dog had a neurologist. 

Unfortunately for us, his theory was correct. Dr. Diaz was able to confirm that Fez had viral Meningitis.

What is it??

Short answer: Virus in the brain

Long answer: Check out the VCA ( which is where Fez went) article on the disease 

Meningitis refers to inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. This outer membrane is known as the meninges; meningitis, therefore, is defined as inflammation of the meninges

We didn’t cause this disease, and exactly how Fez was exposed to it was nothing we were going to figure out. But after spending a lot of dough, and wishing we had thought of pet insurance later… we had a diagnosis.


Now, I grew up on a farm. I am very aware and respectful of the circle of life. However, at 28 I had never had to make decisions on my own for a sick animal before. I had always had my mom and dad there to make the right call. For the first time in my adult life, I had to decide what was best for my little buddy. So much has to be looked at, the most important thing is quality of life for the animal. After reviewing all the information available to us, we decided he could still have a wonderful quality of life.. even if just for a couple of years.

We began treatments for him immediately. My husband and I had decided, right then and there, that if the quality of life was good, we would do the treatments. Even though they were a very unexpected expense for us. And making this decision was the best thing we could do. It gave Fez three more loved years with us.

His spunk and personality never changed. The stubborn little ass was getting smart about his meds and knew we were trying to hide treats in the goodies we were giving him. We bought the expensive pill-hiding treats. 

Well, then he’d get the splats because they were too rich. 

Too much cheese gave him bad gas. 

Trying to find soft things to hide the meds in that didn’t upset his stomach seemed to be impossible. 

I started to do a lot of reading on what dogs can and cannot eat. Trying to come up with more creative ways to hide the pills, but still have Fez take the bait. I learned how good pumpkin can be, but not too much because it can calm an upset stomach but could also cause diarrhea. 

Learned that brown rice can help keep stool solid but too much could cause constipation. 


Then in the middle of trying to figure out what we could buy to medicate this stubborn dog, we found some old dog treats in a cupboard. My husband pulled out this chewy ‘steak’ treat. It was unnaturally red, shaped like a cartoon steak and it was still soft. Even though it didn’t have any packaging. We guessed it had been in the cupboard for at least a year. Nothing wrong with it but it had been sitting there for over a year!! 

What was in it??

 How is it not even spoiled a little??

That’s it! I am making my own treats! No wonder the dog’s digestive system is acting up. 

With the reading that I had done, I made a list of ingredients dogs could have. I grew up baking and making perogies, so I knew I could create some recipes to make basic dog treats my Fez could eat.

I started with the Cheddar Dog, the Fez Popper, and the Pink Floyd. The Cheddar Dog to figure out a base, simple cookie, two ingredients. Cheddar Cheese, Spelt ( and water).

And then from there, the recipes grew!

3 years after the diagnosis, Fez’s quality was deteriorating. We had 3 more years with him than expected. And 90% of those years Fez was living his best life. But as that changed, we knew we needed to do what was right for him. It was really, really, REALLY  hard, and it hurt like hell! It was time for him to have peace. We said goodbye to Fez on October 20th, 2012.

Fez inspired me to learn about dog nutrition, start a small business, and to even learn a bit about dog training. Fez opened the door for other 4-legged pups to join our family over the last 12 years (.. Ralphie, Ragley, Maua…) 

Even though we only had him for 5 years, I am so grateful for our time with him, what I learned because of him, and how it continues to push me to learn about dog nutrition and health.

I look forward to sharing more stories, ideas, and tips in upcoming blogs! Fez was the inspiration, but I can’t wait to share who was the ‘soul’ behind CDs. 

Thank you all for the support over the last 12 years! We have retired Fez Poppers but Cheddar Dogs and Pink Floyds are still available ( and our best sellers) to date!

6 Replies to “How Cheddar Dogs Came to Be!”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read! We are excited about this new adventure and hope to share more soon!

  2. Such a wonderful story and I am shedding a tear as I read it as I’m dealing with my dogs end of life journey as he has entered congestive heart failure 😞
    Your story and your passion touches me ❤️

  3. A heart-warming story Danielle. It is always hard to say good bye to a beloved pet.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that Laurie! Sending you hugs. I know your pup had had an amazing life, knowing you were his human.

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