Interview with Dee Marie, owner of Yogi-Dog
By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D. • Photo By Kristen Kidd Photography
Harrisburg Magazine recently caught up with Dee Marie to find out more about Yogi–Dog, the first fresh yogurt food topper and treat for dogs. Here is what we found out about its origin and the product’s owner who resides in Mechanicsburg:
Dee Marie, please tell our readers about yourself.
Prior to launching Yogi-Dog, my first profession was a pilot with a degree in aeronautics from a New England college, beginning a flying career as a flight instructor in New Jersey. I went on to fly as a regional airline pilot based in central Pennsylvania. I have been flying since I was 17 years old. Though born and raised in New Jersey, I have been in central Pennsylvania. for many years now and after back surgery many years ago, I chose to move on to a career in sales as a commercial realtor. It was there where I first met the yogurt food scientist who was making fresh yogurt in Mechanicsburg, and at that point in 2017 Yogi-Dog was created as the first fresh yogurt food topper and treat for dogs. (though humans can eat it too!)
How did you get the idea for Yogi-Dog?
As a dog owner, it was a light bulb moment when one day I was working with a client as a commercial realtor and I noticed there was a missing product in the dog food industry. They were making high quality yogurt and I discussed with the owner about making a yogurt for dogs. I’ve always been a huge dog-lover, one that considers my pups part of the family and know most owners feel that way about their dogs. Creating Yogi-Dog was second nature as I am always looking to provide my dogs with healthy treats. And I’ve found that true for most dog owners who I’m meeting at all of our dog events that Yogi-Dog participates in, which are many. I see how dog owners are looking for healthy food options for their dogs as they are for themselves. So it makes perfect sense that Yogi-Dog is growing in popularity as we continue to get the word out about this great new daily food topper for dogs.
When did you decide to go into business?
In August of 2017 I took my first tour of the yogurt plant in Mechanicsburg. It was then we decided to become business partners to create Yogi-Dog, the original yogurt for dogs.
At the beginning did you make Yogi-Dog at home? Tell our readers about this.
Yogi-Dog was created and has always been made in the Mechanicsburg yogurt plant by the food scientist and experienced food experts. From the first cup of Yogi-Dog I started feeding as a daily food topper to my dog Lexi and her sister Bee. They couldn’t get enough. It was an immediate hit for them every day as a healthy treat off the spoon and on every meal. It was so nice to be able to give them something out of the normal dog food spectrum, especially knowing how high quality it is. I even eat it myself; it’s high quality and actually tastes good. It’s just fresh yogurt, with high quality milk from local family farms, no added sugar, low fat, lactose free and so many live and active cultures. I feel good when I am able to give such a tasty and healthy product to my dogs that was never available to them before.
Do you have dogs? Tell us about them.
Yes, I do! I have two lovable dogs, Lexi and Bree. Lexi is a 2-year-old Golden Retriever and her sister Bree is a 5-year-old German Shepherd. Lexi comes with us to many events for Yogi-Dog that we participate in on a regular basis. She’s always a big hit!
Tell our readers about Yogi-Dog. What are the benefits?
I wanted to be able to feed my dogs a daily treat that is not only tasty, but also provides additional health benefits as well. My goal was to create a delicious, fresh, healthy yogurt treat that dogs would truly enjoy. Each cup of our yogurt contains eight live and active-culture and probiotics. Not only is this fresh, its all-natural yogurt is beneficial for a dog’s digestion and is also human grade.
Where can our readers get Yogi-Dog in the Harrisburg area?
We always say for folks to check our website locations tab for the stores and location to find Yogi-Dog in central Pennsylvania. We are in most Karns’ stores in the yogurt dairy aisles. And, always just ask someone working in the store if you can’t find it. We are also in a couple smaller pet stores but just check our website locations tab for details on those locations. We are currently in the process of getting into larger pet stores and grocers across the country to become a national company. This is our big goal in the coming year.
What are the flavors?
Original, Peanut Butter Cream and Cheddar Cheese.
Congratulations on being named as Modern Dog Magazine’s 2019 Editors Choice. Why do you think Yogi-Dog received this award?
Yogi-Dog was recognized for its innovation. It’s the first fresh, human-grade dog yogurt on the market with outstanding health benefits and that’s something the magazine really admired. It is a huge honor to be acknowledged by such a prestigious publication in the pet space. There was also a deep appreciation for our creative social media feed and the positive relationship we have with our dedicated customers. We listen to their wants, needs and special requests and we deliver (but not to your house!). Our customers mean the world to us. We make sure they know how much we appreciate their love for their dogs and Yogi-Dog.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know about Yogi-Dog?
Our social media ambassador program has been such a wonder help for us spreading the word. Dog moms and dads from all over request to be a part of our program by sharing how much their pup means to them and why they would like to try Yogi-Dog. Then, we send them a special Yogi-Dog package via mail filled with our swag and yogurt. They receive it, leave us an honest review, and share photos of their dog’s taste testing Yogi-Dog for the first time. The pictures and words of positive affirmation are priceless!
Another program we’ve proudly launched is our Yogi-Dog rescue initiative. Through this initiative, we partner with local animal rescues by supplying them with cases of our Yogi-Dog yogurt free of charge. Why? because this is a luxury most rescues would otherwise not have access to. All dogs deserve a healthy treat. Any rescue can apply by emailing dee@Yogi-Dog.com and sharing why their rescue would like to be a part of our special program. We’re continuously looking for more organizations to partner with to help spread the word of Yogi-Dog to all dogs across the country.