Hansel Harlan began experimenting with new recipes when his dogs developed allergies, and he says he heard about the benefits of nutria meat and destruction the animals were causing to the wetlands of Louisiana.
"We knew that they were spending a lot of money down there to kill them," Harlan said. "So, we were wondering if we could make them out of petfood or pet treats. And thus the idea was born."
Harlan's "Marsh Dog" treats are made from nutria meat, brown rice, oats and molasses. The treats have now been sold at select retailers in southern Louisiana for nearly a year, along with a nutria jerky product.
"To be quite honest, we weren't sure whether it was going to work or not," said Harlan. "But the response has been literally overwhelming."