Pooches’ meals get a healthy twist with Bone Appetite
Shruti Saha and Priya Kulkarni are happy bakers and partners in the doggy-centric enterprise, Bone Appetite, which creates a range of healthy doggy cakes, cookies, muffins and pupcakes (puppy cupcakes) named Goldie Blocks, Pampered Pooch, Chicken Little – you get the drift. It’s four years old now and many doggy parents across India have it on speed dial. What sets them apart are the happy stories that come free with the cookies.
The two are neighbours, and Shruti’s dog, Aioli is Priya’s Masti’s baby. Both were baking healthy eats for their pets and friends’ pets — so turning professional seemed the next logical step. A business plan was formulated in a jiffy over a glass of wine and Bone Appetite was born. “We designed our logo (a bone!), menus, tags and accessories in-house,” says Saha. A Q&A was compiled seeking health and dietary advice from top vets and these inputs proved vital: “Dogs should not eat maida, chocolates, sugar, salt, raisins, and cream. So, our menu features oats, ragi, and whole wheat, combining veggies with the necessary protein (chicken, meat, fish) and carbs.” No dehydrated stuff or preservatives, not even human-friendly biscuits. “We’ve helped owners identify allergies, so we also make gluten-free, egg-free stuff,” says Kulkarni. (Your pet has allergies if it’s constantly scratching.) They ask me to guess what the icing on their cakes consists of. I can’t. Turns out it’s creamy potatoes sans cream, and carob — a chocolate substitute!
That’s not all. The duo’s birthday and celebratory packages including personalised accessories are couriered around the country from Chandigarh to Chennai, even Abu Dhabi and the US. Some of their happy client images are BuzzFeed-cute: a pug mommy and her bone-shaped birthday cake surrounded by her babies, each with individual pawprint mini cakes; a souful Lab waiting longingly outside the fridge for his pupcake treat; a tiny joyous pug airborne at the sight of a ragi cookie, and more. The duo also throws an annual doggy pool party where four-legged invitees sport personalised bandanas, eat doggy cakes and get ‘doggy’ bags. Puppy parties are the new in-thing, says Saha. Agrees Kulkarni, “Much of it is really for the ‘parents’. But it’s heartening to see people love and care for their dogs. Pets are part of their families, so much revolves around them.”
Dog-counselling comes with the job. Saha recounts how an elderly gentleman from Chennai called them to identify allergy-free treats for his Lab. ‘Find him something he can eat. He’s is my life,’ he wept. They started eliminating allergens and couriered samples to him. “There’s always a value add,” explains Kulkarni, “It helps that we’re dog parents ourselves.” So what’s next? “Opening a kennel where dogs are treated with the love and care they deserve,” says Kulkarni. And dog trends? “Desi doggy names are in nowadays.” Goodbye Buster, Buddy and Rover, hello Jaan, Mishti and Doi.
Did someone say it’s a dog’s life?