March 31, 2020
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Haute Dog!

Canines are catching up on (and wolfing down) gourmet trends

Haute Dog!
Haute Dog!

Food Basics

  • Easy food like Pedigree is an option too, but the preference is for natural food
  • Full of taste, ­nutrients and a short shelf life, canine gourmet is the new craze


After bringing home a stray pup from a construction site in Mumbai, chef duo Ishmeet and Nicola lavished all their love on it. But this was a fussy baby, never excited about his meals, only nibbling on Ishm­eet’s leftovers. So, they began cooking special meals for him, trying new combinations. This heuristic cuisine took on a life of its own—and Harley’s Corner, a dog shop delivering gourmet canine  meals, was born. A full-fledged dog shop that delivers customised gourmet canine meals, including bakery produ­cts like cookies, muffins and cakes, to homes in Mumbai. All you need to do is give them the ­specifics of your dog, its nutrition details. The next thing you see are goodies knocking at the door, waiting to be consumed by your tail-wagger.

In Delhi, Jotvinder Singh started his ­venture Woof Yums two years ago. His love for dogs makes him start his day at dawn when he supervises the cooking which goes on in a commercial kitchen in Mahipalpur. Packed in boxes, the food is later dispatched to various houses where it is gobbled up with appro­val. “This idea resonates with people who care for their pet like their own child,” says Jotvinder. Priced at Rs 55 per 350 grams of a ‘meal’, they sell 250 boxes on a daily basis. Variations of chicken stock, unpolished rice along with pumpkin, beans, carrot and dal are the ingredients used by Woof Yums.

Apart from everyday food, you could also treat your pet to the occasional delic­acy. “I treat my dog just like another family member,” gushes Bhavini Bangera, a beagle and pug owner. She started Gourmutt in Mumbai, seven years ago. She offers a range of items like birthday cakes, dog muffins and other treats, all of which are dehydrated baked dishes made especially for the pet. Starting at a minimum price of Rs 750 for half a kilogram of cake, Bangera’s Gourmutt also ­offers dog pizza, biriyani rice and veg/chicken puffs for pet dogs on special orders. “At a dog party in my house, hosted a couple of months back, we gave away dog cupcakes and dog muffins as return gifts”, says Bangera. Having done a course in food technology and a specialisation in baking, she feels that market food contains preservatives which are unhealthy for dogs. “All these products are grain-free and gluten-free—in the dog pizza, we use whole wheat flour and oats for the base. Then there is chic­ken and pro-can­ine ­vegetables that go into it. The use of tomato is limited and there is no onion and garlic,” says Bangera.

Taking into account the nutritional and health requirements, it has now become easier to feed your dog with treats like these packed with a few grams of love and joy. Nylo’s Pawfect Delitez in Bangalore is another pet bakery which delivers special homemade bonne bouches. Their chicken liver canapes (hard biscuit base with a twist of chicken liver topping) and honey ­apple cupcakes are among the bestsellers. Michelle, the owner of Nylo’s, was always uncertain of the quality of food products she bought for her dog. Eventually, the idea of selling homemade treats for pet dogs came to her. “The trend is gradually picking up because the products are absolutely fresh. A shelf-life of only two months and the fact that they are home-delivered top it all” says Michelle.

Bella Delivers in Delhi is another shop that specialises in customised bakery products for the canine. Established two years ago, their prices range from Rs 1,800 to Rs 9,000 for cakes. “The shop was named after my first pet labrador—Bella—and we have served over 2,500 dogs in two years,” says Akanksha Dass, the owner.

Dog owners who have ordered from Bella Delivers, are very ­thankful. “My labrador and German Shepherd are my life and doing something unique for them gives me ­immense joy. The first time I ordered a birthday cake for my labrador, he just gorged on it. I had to drag him away from the cake to stop him from overeating,” laughs Srijita. While we’ve always indulged ourselves with lavish meals, embroideries and travel plans, the time seems to have come to spread the arc of luxury. Jughead’s dog may have been born too soon.

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