Pet Trend Watch: Gourmet Dog Food Trucks and Treat Vending Machines

Tiki's Doggie Ice Cream Truck
The Doggie Ice Cream Truck will hit the road in Maryland as soon as the weather warms up.

We know dog owners do plenty of pampering. But now you might have a few new specialty treat options near you. A handful of new businesses are going after the pampered pet set with gourmet snacks, frozen desserts and even vending machines for dogs

Of course, remember that even a small amount of new food may upset your dog's stomach, so check with your vet to make sure these on-the-go treats are healthy for your pet.

Doggie "Ice Cream" Truck

Let’s start with dessert. (Most of us would.)

Humans have a near-Pavlovian response to the sound of an ice cream truck’s music. Now your dog can learn what it means too.

Tiki’s Doggie Ice Cream Truck, run by the owner of dog day care Tiki’s Playhouse, is hitting the streets in Maryland, just in time for warm weather.

Priced at $1 for a small cup, "ice cream" flavors such as peanut butter, blueberry and molasses are available for your pup. The "ice cream" has no dairy. "For the most part, it's a pureed fruit concoction," owner Kelvin Abrams told Vetstreet. And if your dog is on a diet (or just picky), the truck will also be selling fruit cups.

"Our van is set up more or less like a human ice cream van — it’s a doggie 'ice cream' van," said Abrams. 

"Like everyone else who has a dog business, my dogs are the taste testers," says Abrams, whose business also includes boarding, grooming and pet food delivery, among other services. "My dogs love it."

Fido to Go truck
A happy customer sits in front of the Fido to Go truck in Chicago.

Gourmet Food Trucks

For dogs with a refined palette, a number of areas have also seen canine food trucks hit the streets.

Dogs in Chicago might see Fido to Go pull up to parks and beaches that are popular canine hangouts in the warmer months. Launched last spring, the truck plans to roll out again this weekend, according to its Facebook page, serving up fresh-baked gluten-free cookies in flavors like beef, venison and pumpkin, cheese wedges and “puppizza.”

Meanwhile, canine foodies in central Florida can dine on snacks like “Poochi Sushi” from the Sit 'n Stay Pet Café food truck. (Don’t tell your dog, but it’s not really sushi — it just looks like it.)

With organic snacks on board, the Sit 'n Stay opened for business late last year, offering “Mutt-balls” (or meatballs) and muffins, along with many more treats.

Dog Treat Vending Machines

If you don’t have a dog food truck in your neck of the woods, perhaps you can find a vending machine to satisfy your dog’s hunger.

Last May, a Michigan woman got the go-ahead from her local city council to put coin-operated machines that dispense peanut butter–flavored dog treats in and around three parks in the city of Alpena, Mich.

And a Canadian company called Hey Buddy supplies vending machines stocked with everything from food and treats to Frisbees to pick-up bags — because you never know what you'll need when you're out with your pup.

Soon, your pampered pooch might have as many fast food options as you! But be careful, as overindulging can be harmful to your dog's health.

Always check with your vet to make sure that what you're feeding your pet is healthy for them to eat. 

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