Daily Doggie Delicacies
Story by Nicodemus Kee | Photos by The Barkery
How far would love for your pet take you? For the folks at The Barkery, love for their Golden Retriever, Toby (pictured below), became a full fledged business. What started as home-cooked meals for their sickly family member became a way of life, sharing their passion and expertise to the world through their recipes.
“It was just an idea, sparked by Toby, that maybe we could turn it into a business,” Ann Marie Chua, co-founder and manager of the family business, says.
They are not alone. Most of us love our furry friends as family. After all, this is likely how the term “fur kids” was coined. It has gotten to the point that many have started cooking rather than buying commercial food for them. The Barkery takes things a step further though, focusing on healthy food that they themselves would eat.
What is wrong with commercial food you ask? Everything.
“There are some great brands, but many brands and products are not great,” says Ann Marie.
Imagine yourself eating junk food everyday, for all your meals. Sooner or later you are bound to fall sick, and suddenly meals do not seem all that appealing anymore. That is exactly what commercial food mostly does to dogs, a sentiment that Ann Marie shares.
“Many people still subscribe to the idea that dogs can eat anything,” she says.
When was the last time you ate the same thing everyday anyway? Dog lovers loving their family member shouldn’t do that, and The Barkery hopes to change that.
“We do our best to try and overcome it by reading as much as we can and spreading whatever information we have,” she says.
Proper care (and love) inspires everything The Barkery does. They insist on using natural ingredients for its nutritional benefits, and even avoid flavouring their food with sugar or cream, which apparently hurts the dog’s health.
“The most important thing to us is nutritional value and quality,” says Ann Marie.
The Barkery’s products are hand-made from scratch every day to provide it fresh for customers. Even us humans eat heavily processed food (which is not much good for us either), yet they insist on the finest hand-made food for dogs! That means no artificial flavourings, preservatives or colouring too.
“We figured to ensure that the products we make meet our standards of quality, we have to make most things from scratch and by hand,” she says. It is the sort of attention to detail and standards for the sake of the dogs’ wellbeing that really sets them apart.
And there is something for every dog in their range. The cakes, dehydrated treats and biscuits cater to many allergies and restrictions faced by dogs, developed from customers’ feedback. Combined with the opportunity to customise, it gives every owner multiple choices for their dog, even if it has certain illnesses that limit its food selection.
They look very appealing too. Appealing enough for a dog with the final stages of cancer that wouldn’t eat anything else anyway, according to Ann Marie.
“They ended up carrying him to our shop so we could feed him there. It was so heartbreaking to see him so ill, and his owners so sad, but everyone felt such joy whenever he ate something,” she says.