Pathway’s Bow-Wow Bits A Success

By Benjamin Cox on January 15, 2024 at 9:05am

Jacksonville has a new dog treat maker, providing jobs and funds for services to those with disabilities in the community.

Pathway Services Program Services Director Michael Elmore says that there were some hoops to jump through before they got the Bow-Wow Bits venture off the ground: “The executive director, Ryan Dowd, actually gave me the idea. He kind of nudged me in the direction to pursue it as a viable work source for our clients. One of our biggest goals at Pathway is to provide paid work for them. I did some research about it. I found out that you have to run it through the Illinois Department of Agriculture to sell dog biscuits. It was a little tedious of a process, which anything with the government is a little tedious. Once I figured out which hoops to jump through and which lab to send biscuits to for testing in order to be approved for production, we are able to start producing and selling them. I also got it cleared through the Illinois Department of Labor, and I had to go through a few hoops there, too. After a few months, we finally got it going, but it took awhile.”

Currently, the only place the dog biscuits are available for purchase are at The Attic Thrift Store in the Pathway Services Plaza, at 1903 West Morton Avenue. Elmore says that they are attempting to expand the availability to retailers in the area, especially as word-of-mouth has spread about their availability.

Elmore says the ingredients are simple and good for your dog: “It’s all fairly natural ingredients. It’s whole wheat flour, peanut butter, honey, eggs, and that’s it. Dogs operate primarily by smell more than by taste. The peanut butter and honey have a real strong smell to them, and the dogs love it.”

Elmore says the reason for the simple ingredients is to stay away from artificial sweeteners and sugars found in popular dog biscuit brands, which are not good for any dog’s long-term health. He says the simple ingredients also allows Pathway’s workers to make several batches at a time to keep up with the demand.

A package of 15 biscuits costs $9.