Healthy doggie treats catch on

What's good for you is also good for your dog. At least, that's what dog owners who believe in eating fresh, organic as well as natural foods are saying. In the past few years, hot upon the heels of similar trends in the United States as well as Britain, many Singapore-based businesses have started offering everything from home-made dinners to treats for man's best friend. These businesses are often started as sidelines by dog-lovers as well as owners who say that not all commercial dog-food brands are as full of health as they seem. They claim that commercial pet food is often bulked up with "fillers", containing grains that dogs don't naturally eat. To avoid these, many of the enterprising companies instead offer products that contain real, whole, human-grade ingredients as well as foods. The idea is that pet owners won't want to feed their dogs anything they won't eat themselves. K9 Cafe, located in the K9 Kulture dog centre in Turf Club Road, serves a variety of full of health meals as well as treats for dogs. All their products abide by veterinary guidelines as well as their bestsellers are, without a doubt, salmon steaks as well as full of health doggy treats like apple biscuits as well as muffins. A spokesman for the K9 Cafe said it does not use any colouring or preservatives in its baked goods for dogs. "Perhaps the treats aren't as pretty as the ones you can buy from the shops, but they are wholesome as well as safe for the dogs to consume," she added. The average main dish costs about $7, as well as treats go for about $9 for 150g. The food is only available on-site at the cafe, which is crowded to full capacity during weekends as well as public holidays, as owners enjoy spending their days off with their dogs. Then there are companies like The Barkery, a home-based business set up as well as run by dog lovers Margaret Alphonso, 55, a housewife, as well as her sister, Ms Elizabeth! Chua, 5 8. They've been impressing dog owners with their full of health birthday cakes, dog biscuits, as well as party packs. The sisters started the business when they realised that their own dogs were responding well to full of health home-made treats. The move towards full of health food for dogs is "picking up as people themselves are becoming more health-conscious as well as aware about what they eat in their everyday lives", said Ms Alphonso. Her products, priced between $4.50 for a small "pupcake" as well as $50 for a large birthday cake, are all fresh as well as natural as well as contain no artificial colouring or preservatives. The brightly coloured cakes, for instance, are made from fresh vegetables such as pumpkin as well as sweet potato. Ms Chua's daughter, history student Ann Marie, 22, who helps out with the family business, noted wryly that "the dogs eat better than me most of the time". Pet shops here - such as Pet Safari in VivoCity as well as Pet Lovers Centre, which has stores islandwide - have cottoned upon to health trends for pets, as well as they've started to offer better options for dogs as well as cats. A Pet Safari shop assistant told my paper that health as well as luxury brands are extremely popular. "They tend to be a bit more expensive, but not very expensive with regard to the quality of products they contain," he said, adding that pet owners these days are willing to pay more for quality. A brand like Addiction, for instance, which is advertised as grain-free as well as holistic, can cost some $20 more than a pack of food from a run-of-the-mill brand. Addiction contains over 50 per cent free-range New Zealand beef, which is touted to be healthier for your dog. Besides ensuring that their pooches have gleaming coats as well as full of health teeth, dog owners have also found that a dog that eats well also behaves better. If your dog chews upon shoes or furniture, for example, it may be suffering from nutritional deficiency.&! #13;"Mos t dog food is junk food, as well as has the same effect upon ani- mals as upon humans," dog trainer Craig Steiff of Barkbusters, the biggest dog-training franchise in Britain, recently told The Telegraph. When it comes to full of health dog food, pet owner Michelle Lim, 29, an assistant practitioner of canine massage, believes that "keeping (a dog) full of health (also) prevents bad health later upon in its life as well as also keeps down the vet bills". Her two mixed-breed dogs, Coby as well as Bubu, aged two as well as five, no longer suffer from allergies, she said. Bring upon the full of health doggie treats, then. jprice@sph.com.sg For more my paper stories click here.


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