Every dog has its day for dinner

Updated: 2013-01-02 01:31

(China Daily)

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Serving their pets with specially made food is an increasingly popular trend among young owners, Yu Ran reports from Shanghai.

Humans no longer have the exclusive right to dress up in fancy clothes and share birthday cakes with their nearest and dearest.

Every dog has its day for dinner

It has been an annual ritual for Guo Lili, a pet nutritionist from Fujian province, to celebrate the birthday of her 7-year-old dog Rocky with a specially made cake. Provided to China Daily 

Now dogs are getting their share of festive fun, with an array of cakes, cookies and other personalized products available to mark special occasions.

Treating dogs like humans by holding parties to celebrate their birthdays and festivals with specially made food is becoming an increasingly popular trend among growing numbers of young owners, while birthdays and other themed parties for their four-legged family members are equally extravagant affairs.

The sales volume of pet-related products and services in China was around 4 billion yuan ($640 million) at the end of last year.

It comes as no surprise, then, that bakery services for pets are in high demand.

Song Yu, the owner of Paopao Pet Bakery in Beijing, reportedly the first pet cake maker in China, said: "I was inspired by making food for my two dogs, who enjoy eating all the meals I prepare for them."

She added that homemade cakes and cookies without sugar, salt or preservatives are much healthier treats for canine friends.

The cookies cost 4.8 yuan (77 cents) per 50 grams, while cakes are priced from 100 to 200 yuan. Song added that she and her team have to constantly innovate and come up with new products.

Owners are always eager to try something new and unique, while dogs quickly lose their appetite if they are always fed the same old flavors.

Healthy food

In Song's online store, dog food containing purple sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, sesame seeds and spinach have become bestsellers, as they are regarded as good for dogs' health.

"Owners are willing to pay more for the sake of their dogs' health," said Song, sounding very optimistic about her business, given that one in 10 Chinese in urban areas raise a dog.

Every dog has its day for dinner
More pet owners are willing to treat their pets with food like cakes and cookies. Provided to China Daily

Guo Lili, 28, from Fujian province, decided to quit her job last year and train to become a pet nutritionist.

"I was keen to provide nutritious and tasty food for all pets so I spent a long time studying how to make cakes, cookies and other dry pet food to keep them healthy and happy," said Guo, who runs an online store selling dog food.

She added that it was essential to obtain certain knowledge to produce healthy food at reasonable prices.

In order to let her dogs enjoy their lives, Guo celebrates their birthdays by making delicious and healthy cakes.

In addition, she makes mooncakes, glutinous dumplings and rice dumplings during Chinese festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Lantern Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival.

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