A high school teacher and Bijon Frise breeder has partnered with a preventative care doctor to form a company that focuses on nutritional products for dogs.
Michelle Brosdal and Dr. Hillel Trope are the founders of Unconditional Luv LLC, a business dedicated to reimagining pet food.
The entrepreneurs have just come out with their first brand of treats called Shmush! Breakfast and Bedtime Health Biscuits for dogs with ingredients geared for the day and for the night.
First made from scratch in Brosdal’s kitchen in Miller Place, the biscuits are unique because they are designed to specifically boost properties that help dogs in their active and inactive states. She calls the product “biscuits with benefits,” because they work as meal supplements, not just as treats.
The breakfast biscuits contain ingredients you might find in a smoothie, such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and mangoes, as well as eggs and oats and superfoods like moringa leaves and astaxanthin, which supply vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that aim to help overall health and boost daytime energy.
Brosdal crafted the nighttime treats to assist with rest and recovery. The bedtime biscuits include ingredients like colostrum, chicken and eggs, barley grass, carrots, echinacea root, turmeric, and more, all selected with the sleep cycle in mind.
“Our approach to pet food speaks to people and families who make their own health a priority, and who are seeking the same type of preventative benefits gained from healthy living and whole-food-eating for their pets,” says Brosdal. “Our natural ingredients were selected because of their commonly known health benefits.”
Indeed, the first company that Brosdal and Trope approached to make the biscuits on a large scale wanted them to change the recipe because the ingredients were so expensive and difficult to source. But the pair refused to compromise their creation and found a Chicago-based co-packer that also makes products for other pet food companies to take them on.
“Michelle and I were told by many manufacturers that the recipes for these biscuits were impossible, and nothing like anyone has ever seen before,” said Trope, a 22-year medical professional who operates preventative care offices in Miller Place and Patchogue. “That’s how we knew we had a one-of-a-kind product that needed to be brought to market and to pet parents.”
The biscuits are sold direct to the consumer through the company’s website. A trial box with seven daytime and seven nighttime servings are offered for $19.95. A special edition Shmush! tin, which helps preserve the freshness of the biscuits and holds a 28-day supply is priced at $59.95. A 28-day supply refill box is priced at $49.95.
Brosdal, a social studies teacher at Newfield High School in Selden, is also an American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit of Bichon Frise dogs. Trope, who is trained as an emergency room and trauma surgeon, now focuses on preventative care, combining nutrition, exercise, and mental well-being for whole-person health, something the new business partners are applying to dogs through their products. They are currently developing a line of anytime dog snacks and a brand of all-natural dog food is also in the pipeline.
“We would eventually like to be every dog owner’s nutrition provider,” Brosdal said.