MARQUETTE - Tim Hunt is known for his veterinary work and for participating in sled dog races, such as the U.P. 200 and the Iditarod.
But now his name is being recognized across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe, in the form of Dr. Tim's - a collection of three dry dog food formulas.
"I've been racing sled dogs for 15 years," Hunt said. "We decided to make a high quality kibble for racing sled dogs."
Timothy Hunt slaps hands of spectators as he drives his team along the trail of the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race March 7, 2009, in Anchorage, Alaska. Hunt, a local veterinarian and sled dog racer, has developed a line of dry dog food, shown at left, that is being sold in the United States, Canada and Europe. (AP file photo)
After becoming dissatisfied with dog foods that were commercially available, Hunt began creating his own formula for his dogs, which resulted in Momentum, the first of the all natural dog foods under the Dr. Tim's label.
While Momentum is designed for highly athletic dogs, such as sled dogs, Pursuit is more appropriate for active dogs and Kinesis for average dogs from puppies to adults.
The food, which is manufactured according to Hunt's formulas, is made in a plant in Ohio and is being shipped around the world.
"It took us six plants to find one that could make the food correctly," Hunt said.
Although Hunt began distributing his dog food through other mushers in areas like Alaska, it is now becoming commercially available. Locally, it can be purchased at Mares-Z-Doats in Marquette and Hunt's Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Harvey.
The specially-formulated food contains high quality protein, high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, a special vitamin mix and easily digestable fiber sources like rice, beet pulp, oatmeal and chicory root. The food does not use corn or soy products, which helps minimize the risk of allergic reaction.
"It's a lot less expensive to put corn in a food than an animal product," Hunt said. "I really think dogs are meant to eat foods that are low in carbohydrates."
Dr. Tim's is also being sent to Europe.
"Our first container is going to Norway. It should be there any day," Hunt said.
In addition to the three dog food formulas, Hunt will also be coming out with a cat food called Change in the next few months. It will also be designed to be a food closer to what cats eat naturally.
"They're true carnivores," Hunt said.
A percentage of the profits from Dr. Tim's is being donated to the Marquette County Humane Society.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.