Give a dawg a bone

by Bethany Otten
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Staff photo by Bethany Otten

The owner of My Porch Dawg, Alan Murphy, vends his all-natural homemade dog treats at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market to John Muzzey for his anxiously awaiting dogs Happy and Hanamauy.

This past May, Alan Murphy’s company My Porch Dawg celebrated its one-year anniversary. For the second summer at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market, both Murphy and his business partner A.J. Lebret sell their homemade dog treats. Dogs love these all-natural delicacies, made with 100 percent human-grade ingredients containing no preservatives.

Before cooking up his specialty treats, Murphy left the real estate business looking for something new. He decided to enter Cape Fear Community College’s culinary program.

Inspired to bake dog cookies at home for his rescued black lab Abby, Murphy then decided to start a company after seeing how much she loved them.

"Abby became my official tester, end result putting on a few extra pounds!" Murphy explained. "In the beginning I gave out lots of free treats to my friends’ dogs. They were so well-liked that, by word of mouth, My Porch Dawg grew in popularity. The farmers’ market was also an excellent way to help start up a new business."

Murphy is impressed with the friendly spirit of the farmers’ market and loves the sense of community formed among both the venders and buyers.

"My fondest memory thus far while vending at the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market was the first day it opened," he said.

Murphey explained that the vendors learned as they went, working together to help each other in need. While vending at the farmers’ market, Murphy met Chef Skip Laskody, as their booths are located side by side. The two formed a friendship, supporting each other’s business. Chef Skip often comes to Murphy’s store, which is located in the Old City Market of downtown Wilmington, to show his support. Dogs are also welcome to visit the Old City Market to test out the treats. Most often, the favorite is the Peanut Butter Cookie and more recently, the seasonal Blueberry Cookie. Murphy even buys the fruit fresh from the other venders.

One may think there is an easy way to create a dog treat, but the process is far from it. A lot of hard work and time go into the creation of each kind of cookie. Before any of Murphy’s treats can be sold, each type is sent to a lab and approved by the Department of Agriculture. This meticulous process ensures that all of Murphy’s products are safe, containing nothing harmful to animals.

Not only does the company sell treats, but My Porch Dawg is also involved with the rescue efforts of dogs within the community. Many hours are spent volunteering throughout Leland and Wilmington to help place animals that are in need of homes. While the company loves providing healthy treats for dogs, each worker is also dedicated to offering their time and care to needy animals.

Most recently, My Porch Dawg is offering dog-edible birthday cakes. Always trying new recipes, this company keeps dogs’ taste buds satisfied. All customers are appreciated and Murphy enjoys seeing both new and familiar faces.

My Porch Dawg can be found at its downtown shop in Wilmington, at local pet stores, and the farmers’ markets in Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and the Riverfront downtown. For additional information, please visit

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