Haute Dogs! Gourmet Cuisine for K-9s at Dishes for Dogs

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Dishes For Dogs (3)_photo credit Marietta Losada

We know you want your pooch to eat as well as you do, but you don’t have a pocket dog you can furtively bring to Zuma, Upland or Mr. Chow in a designer carrier. So what’s a wealthy dog-owner to do? Take your dog to his very own restaurant, or just pick him up something delicious and healthy to go at Dishes For Dogs in Wynwood.

The family-owned business has been around for three years, operating out of a home kitchen and selling at farmer’s markets and special events until now.

Dishes for Dogs dedicated to preparing fresh, whole food and nutritionally balanced meals for dogs. Owner Michael O’Rourke came up with the concept when his Pomeranian had health issues.  He decided to change Ripley’s diet from commercial dog food to home-prepared meals. Within a month, The dog’s coat and eyes were completely back in tip-top condition, and her breath even improved. Amazed at the results, O’Rourke began cooking for his friends and family who had dogs with similar issues. After achieving equally successful results, he decided to turn his labor of love into a business.

He approached Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a board-certified veterinarian specializing in small animal clinical nutrition who is on staff at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, to seek his involvement. Dr. Shmalberg helps to develop and formulate recipes, ensuring that Dishes For Dogs meals offer the highest nutritional benefits possible.

“There are less than one hundred veterinary nutritionists in the country, many of whom provide advice to the big commercial manufacturers of extruded, or kibble-based, dog foods,” said Shmalberg. “I was drawn to Michael’s passion and am proud to be part of one of the nation’s very few small businesses creating fresh, nutritionally-balanced meals for dogs with innovative ingredients.”

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Destined to become a premier destination for haute dogs and the owners that love them,  the modern, sleek 1,300 square foot location features an open kitchen where patrons can observe the small batch production process and interact directly with the Dishes For Dogs team to tailor a diet to best suit their dog’s needs.

“We encourage owners to bring in their dogs so we can assess their needs and work one-on-one to recommend the best options possible,” adds Oklin. “We also have the guidance and support of Dr. Shmalberg for more extreme cases.”

Dishes For Dogs meals feature a balanced (and delicious) blend of protein, minerals, vitamins, fat and complex carbohydrates with ingredients certified by the USDA for human consumption and void of preservatives, additives, artificial flavors, fillers or animal by-product.

Dishes – which are made in small batches to preserve their nutritional value and maintain a consistent level of quality – are available in four sizes: 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz. and 5 lbs. Current offerings include Basil Beef with peas, pearls and pears; Herb Roasted Turkey with sweet potato; Lamb with mint vegetables and millet; Salmon & Satsumaimo Bento Bowl; and Wild Venison with squash and scrambled eggs. Meals can be catered to a dog’s specific needs with gluten free and grain free options.

Dishes For Dogs has also introduced a line of treats – drool-worthy Beef Liver Brittle, Chicken Breast Strips and Grass-Fed Steak Strips, as well as Vitamineral Kits complete with vitamineral packets and detailed recipe cards for those who want to try out Dished For Dogs’ recipes at home. All products are now available in store and online. Local delivery is currently available, shipping options are in the works. In addition, the flagship location boasts refrigerators with grab-and-go options and a wall full of treats and toys. Of course, all dogs are welcome.

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2561 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 7PM; and Sunday from 10AM to 6PM. (305) 505-5712.

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