The dynamic duo behind Chefs & Dogs

Daniel Tomas and Courtney Willcox are two simply beautiful human beings – both inside and out.

They foster fail, they support rescue and welfare groups and they have dedicated their lives to spreading awareness about the benefits nutrition and fresh food can have on our dogs health and quality of life. They also work full time in the business servicing the ACT area with fresh raw food and nationally for healthy dog treats.

From humble beginnings in mid 2019, today Chefs and Dogs has a TikTok following of 2.5 million followers and achieved over 450 million video views last year.

We adore what they do and who they are and are so thrilled to see them continue to gain worldwide attention for their innovative creations and how they inspire.

And we are beyond proud they choose to use Antinol.

This is their story.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, certifications and how long you have been a chef for?

Dan fell in love with cooking before he could even walk. Even as a kid, he loved to help his mum and Starka (grandma) in the kitchen, learning some of their amazing recipes. Out of college he headed straight into commercial kitchens, working at some of the best restaurants in Canberra, Australia. At the same time, he continued his other passion to become a certified personal trainer, helping clients meet their fitness and nutrition goals. After gaining enough experience, he ran his own café for 6 years before starting Chefs & Dogs with Courtney.

How did Chefs & Dogs start?

Chefs & Dogs started when our dog Joey got really sick with Lupus and it was eating away at his nose. He barely had a nose left and would hide from light. All the standard steroid creams and treatments were only masking his illness before it came back more aggressive.

We got onto an amazing Holistic Vet named Kate Millhouse here in Canberra who helped us with Joey’s journey from fresh feeding, titre testing and other holistic approaches along with herbs and acupuncture.

What inspired you to pursue a career making awesome, easy to follow videos for pet parents?

We also do raw meals which we deliver locally in Canberra and supply a great range of treats Australia wide. Daniel being a chef has always loved the presentation that comes along with human cooking, so he thought why not do the same for our pets (they deserve it).

Did you expect to go totally viral on TikTok?

Haha definitely not, after playing around in the kitchen making fun recipes we didn’t realise it would grasp such a following of pet parents wanting to do the same for their pets. With over 450 million video views last year it’s great to see so many pet parents getting onboard and trying our fresh recipes for their pets.

What has life been like for you since you became animal chef extraordinaire? What are you most passionate about when it comes to fresh food feeding for animals?

We are both passionate in our own ways with Dan being a human chef and Courtney being a dog trainer we have put both passions together. We both believe nutrition for humans and pets starts in the gut especially for brain health which is a big factor in dog training.

Loving your pet inside and out is what we all need to start doing!

Tell us about your amazing Border Collie taste tester? What is his name, age, best traits and favourite dish?

Caelan was a ‘foster’ during a fostering break haha. He is a very friendly, exuberant boy. He loves his toys and he will do this stupid thing where he does a front roll nearly snaps his neck then flings the rest of his body over in a thump. It’s a sight to see!

Caelans did just mention he would like to bring back ramen noodles as he loves slurping those noodles up on these cold days.

We also have our first Kelpie Joey and our other foster fail who is a kelpie also called Alkai. You may have seen a small fluffy man appear on the screens too who has moved in named Milo. He is 13 and a spring chicken.

How long have you used Antinol for?

We have been using Antinol for 3 years for Dans mum’s dog and thought we would give our 3 dogs a try (2 kelpies & border collie) not thinking they needed it at all and boy did we notice a difference we didn’t even think was needed.

We are now Antinol ravers!

We have even seen a change in their coat condition, being raw fed on all their glamorous tiktok meals we didn’t think their coats could get much better.

What is the weirdest animal you have made a meal for?

We get so many strange request from angel fish to stick insects and heaps of animals that we don’t have hear in Australia which our followers are always shocked about.

We have made a feast for meal worms which is a little weird haha.

How long does a video take to create?

A tik tok video can take up to six hours while the youtube videos can take up to a few days to even a week.

People always think they are so quick and easy but by the time you edit and fiddle around time has flown by.

What are your goals for the future?

Our goals for the future of Chefs & Dogs is to continue spreading awareness about the benefits of fresh food feeding for all animals all over the world. We believe even adding small amounts of fresh food into our pets bowls is hugely beneficial for the long run.

Written by Tamara Johansen

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