Marsh Dog Treats

August 19, 2013

Healthy Dog Treats from NutriaJust when I think I’ve seen it all comes news that a company in Louisiana is making a new type of dog treat from the nutria.

Marsh Dog Treats have been sold at retailers in Southern Louisiana for a few years.  The company advertises on their website that nutria meat is good for dogs, saying it has less fat and cholesterol than chicken or turkey.

Other positives are that nutria meat contains no artificial hormones and unlike sheep and cattle, nutria are vegetarians and eat a wide variety of grains, including rice and sugarcane.  The company also states that dogs love the fresh, wild taste of nutria.  All ingredients are sourced in their Baton Rouge commercial kitchen.

Nutria are considered an invasive species.  They are not actually rats but are otter-like mammals closely related to porcupines.  Nutria are destroying massive acres of marsh habitat in Louisiana.

Nutria reproduce prolifically and cause so much damage to the marsh that Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries began offering a bounty on them.  In 2011, Marsh Dog received a grant from the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, because the company makes use of a natural resource and brings awareness to the effect that invasive species have on Louisiana wetlands.

A year later, Marsh Dog was awarded “Conservation Business of the Year” by the LA Wildlife Federation.

The website doesn’t provide the usual ingredients list that we find on most websites.  Their press release says, “The biscuits are prepared, baked and packaged in Baton Rouge.  Marsh Dog supports local farmers by using Louisiana products, such as brown rice and sweet potatoes in its biscuits.  The biscuits contain no corn, wheat, soy, chemicals, artificial colorings or preservatives or other additives and are packaged in recyclable bags.”

Owners, Hansel Harlan, and his sister, Veni Harlan, are committed dog owners and believe they have created a product that is superior to common grain-free-based treats.  “It is a minimally-processed, fresh, all-natural product using local ingredients,” said Hansel Harlan.

The Harlans want to be part of the solution to the major wetlands problem in Louisiana and if this product takes off nationally, they will certainly have succeeded.  If you would like to try these treats, you can order them from their website,

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