The dog who got the (ice) cream...

'Jasper' taste tests the new Dog Ice Cream at Frederick's Ice Cream parlour, Chorley
'Jasper' taste tests the new Dog Ice Cream at Frederick's Ice Cream parlour, Chorley

A successful ice cream firm has gone ‘barking mad’ with its latest invention.

But for pampered pooches, it’s certainly not to be sniffed at.

Frederick’s, which has been manufacturing ice cream in Chorley for more than 100 years, has launched its first ice cream for dogs.

And, the peanut butter flavour has certainly got tails wagging.

Donna Townson, a partner in the family-run business, said: “We have been creating ice creams for generations and we are always looking for the next big thing.

“We have an ice cream parlour in Menses Park, in the centre of Wigan, and we noticed that a lot of pet owners fed ice cream to their dogs.

“We all know it’s hard for dogs to digest dairy, so a couple of years ago we came up with the idea for an ice cream created especially for them.

“We really started looking into it last year and we realised it was a massive thing in America and yet there are only a few UK producers that are developing similar products.”

The new ice cream called Lucky Dog is made from dairy-free, fat-free sorbet and is served with a biscuit on top.

“We started by looking at similar products on the market,” Donna added. “We already have our own successful range of sorbets, and we realised that was the basis of the recipe for dogs as it is fat free and dairy free.

“We tweaked our own secret recipe and looked at popular flavours and invited dogs belonging to friends and family down to make sure we weren’t barking up the wrong tree.

“They were lapping the samples up and it turned out that peanut butter was the favourite.”

The new canine ice cream launched at the company’s four parlous, including the one in Bolton Road and Cunliffe Street, on Friday and it’s been a case of ‘give a dog a cone’ ever since.

“The response has been fantastic,” Donna said.

“Some people think we have gone mad, but it’s a novel idea and dog owners love it – especially as it means they don’t have to share their own ice cream any more.

“People have actually been amazed and we’ve had dogs whining and barking for more.

“We serve the ice cream in a standard 200ml tub and it costs £2.

“Some dog owners hold the tub for their pets to lick and others pop the ice cream on to a surface for them.

“It can even be taken home as we provide lids. The ice cream is actually fit for human consumption, but we serve it with a doggy biscuit on top, so we wouldn’t recommend it.”

The family business, which employs more than 60 staff, was launched in 1886 by Mattia Federici and his brothers when they arrived in England after having to leave Italy to find work.

“I think my great-great grandfather would love the idea,” Donna added.

“The fact we are still developing the business all these years later is brilliant.

“We are always looking for new flavours and are already thinking of new ideas for the dog ice cream.

“We always have queues of people outside the parlour in Bolton Road and that is a great compliment to us.”

The firm, which creates bespoke ice creams, certainly leads the way when it comes to developing new flavours.

It has a hot cross bun special for Easter and even created a Usain Bolt ice cream for the Olympics with a Red Bull base.

- To find out more about their parlours and products, visit www.fredericksicecream.co.uk.