From sugar-free banana donuts to customised pup cakes, now you can pamper your pets with a variety of treats

Pet bakeries in India are now coming out with customised, pet-healthy treats for its customers who want to indulge their four-legged friends on special occasions.

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Improved health and well-being of pets have led to quality and affordable pet care products.

It’s your precious one’s birthday and you owe him or her a treat. How about a healthy peanut butter carrot cake made in rainbow shades from turmeric (yellow), beetroot (pink), carob (brown) and spinach (green)? Certainly, this is one kind of pampering that goes beyond healthy treats, made not for humans but pets.

Pet bakeries in India are now coming out with customised, pet-healthy treats for its customers who want to indulge their four-legged friends on special occasions. From a scrumptious and healthy celebration for your dog or cat with carrots, whole wheat / rice flour, honey (in small quantities) and carob, a chocolate substitute safe to ingest, to even a chicken cake made with whole wheat, chicken, carrots and eggs, there’s plenty on offer.

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“Cakes, pup cakes or banana donuts that are free from maida or sugar come under the category of bakery items but calling them cakes will be a misnomer. The idea is to make pet meals in chicken, veggies, eggs and other delicious nutritious fillers so that the food that humans eat can also be relished by our companions,” says Mumbai-based Zeeshan Mohamed, who started Happy Puppy Cakes about a year ago to cater to the increasing demand for specialised pet cakes and donuts.

“It’s a customised healthy treat in whole wheat protein with no sugar or icing and completely safe for pets, especially dogs. We have consulted veterinary doctors to take the best safety measures and provide cakes which do not have salt or sugar, and are maida-free,” adds Mohamed, who has till date delivered over 7,000 cake orders. The brand has presence across India including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Haryana and other cities and has tied up with delivery partners like Swiggy Genie and WeFast.

Similarly, Delhi-based Paw Petisserie makes treats for pet dogs and cats using premium pet-friendly ingredients that are hand-made. The products are gluten-free, salt-free, sugar-free and even preservative-free.

“Healthy means it should be tasty as well as digestible. Hence, we avoid using white flour, wheat and milk, which can sometimes be harsh on the pet’s stomach. The cakes, cupcakes, ice creams and other treats in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are free from gluten, sugar, salt, preservatives, artificial flavours and artificial colours. Chicken and cheese chips and mutton chips are our special treats along with some ice creams (chicken, mutton, salmon, etc),” says Delhi-based pet baker Yashika Arora, who feels her venture is not just a bakery as she has to be creative every day. “Sometimes in terms of recipes and sometimes in terms of designs,” says the founder-CEO of Paw Petisserie, a home-run brand started in 2017.

Similarly, Bengaluru-based The Doggy Bakery (TDB) offers vet-certified chemical-free treats for dogs with every food nutrient available on the product. “We started this to help pet parents celebrate their pets,” says Aditya Sikand, its founder.

While a pet enjoys the taste of a treat, TDB promotes health and wellbeing to create special occasions in the lives of pets, just as pets bring moments of joy to the homes that they live in.

“TDB treats are made to make pets feel special. But beyond that, they are also made to make a pet healthy,” adds Sikand, whose 10% of sales go to the ‘Streats’ programme that focuses on feeding street dogs. From baked food for dogs, entrees for dogs, holiday assortments and treats for everyday use, all-natural, zero-preservative and healthy treat ready, TDB uses ingredients that are human grade. “I decided to venture into creating baked goods for dogs to ensure my pooch Cristo enjoys only the best treats, which escalated into making sure these quality goodies are enjoyed by as many pooches as possible. Pet parents are conscious about what to feed their pets. Sometimes we also customise the cakes according to the pet’s dietary restrictions,” says Arora.

Improved health and well-being of pets have led to quality and affordable pet care products. Even the recipes are made keeping allergies in mind. “We look at ingredients to keep allergies at bay. When your pet is allergic to almost everything and we have to make a cake using only two or three ingredients that they can eat, it can be a challenge like flourless cakes, cakes without eggs, etc. In cases like these, we have to change the entire recipe and come up with a customised recipe that will suit the dog’s dietary restrictions,” says Arora.

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The manufacturing process cannot be anything but human quality. “Meeting the same safety standards as those of any human food is important. When it comes to dog food in particular, there should be no difference between ‘human-grade’ and ‘animal-grade’,” says Sikand.

For Mohamed, the pet bakery and food industry is a market to tap. “The next step is to become a Swiggy for pet treats including cats and start an exclusive platform for pet treats where pan-India brands can register. At the same time, help and adopt more pets which work like therapy for people who are distressed,” says the 28-year-old entrepreneur.

Moreover, the pet food business is gaining momentum as more brands are entering the space. Zigly, a tech-enabled omni-channel pet-care platform, offers healthy and sustainable meals for pets. The diet chart is specially curated for pets post evaluating the kind of breed, age, and other factors.

“Though many options are available in the market for pet meals, Royal Canin is in demand as it contains balanced nutrition for each dog requiring a good range of B vitamins, such as niacin, biotin, and riboflavin. Ingredients that are healthy for pets are pumpkin, chicken, spinach for active body functioning, hydration, good immune system, and healthy reproduction and to boost energy levels,” says Ambarish Sikarwar, the business head of Zigly.

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First published on: 26-03-2023 at 02:45 IST