[WATCH] PUPstizzi’s and paw cakes: are dogs the new kids?

A bakery for dogs? Meet the chef who caters for fur babies and their sweet tooth

Bone appetit! A dog-friendly treat from Wendy’s, a patisserie for dogs housed inside an Iklin pet shop
Bone appetit! A dog-friendly treat from Wendy’s, a patisserie for dogs housed inside an Iklin pet shop
PUPstizzi’s and paw cakes- are dogs the new kids

Puppy love and ‘fur babies’: it’s not just the vacuous world of animal accessorising, but a growing generation of young (and old) animal owners today see pets being akin to having children, especially for those who realise the burden of raising a tiny human can be quite an expense.

And such is the love lavished on these furry creatures, that an industry is responding to the demand for accessories and dog services.

But a bakery just for dogs?

Koren Scicluna runs Wendy’s Petisserie, Malta’s first pet bakery, which provides healthy treats for dogs. Tucked away inside a pet shop in Iklin, Wendy’s Petisserie was the creation of Wendy Brincat, whom Scicluna met while attempting to rescue a dog on the street.

Wendy’s Petisserie started as nothing more than Brincat baking cakes out of her home and delivering them to clients across the island. But when Brincat’s health declined, arrangements were made to set up Wendy’s Petisserie at the pet shop where Scicluna worked.

“She made it clear to us that if we couldn’t take it on, she was going to have to completely stop – she wanted to leave it in the hands of people who love dogs. You know we’re the sort of people that when we open a pack of treats… we taste it, and to this day, it’s what we do. Every cake we bake, we taste.”

Koren Scicluna
Koren Scicluna

Tasting a doggy treat? That’s quite something. And what does exactly constitute a “dog-friendly cake”, the kind which Scicluna prepares for her furry clients?

Scicluna’s cakes contain no sugar, and are either dairy-free or have just small doses. “Dogs are lactose intolerant, however every dog has a different reaction. So if we have an owner who wants a dairy flavour, and the dog does not get a bad reaction to it, we usually try and accommodate such demands.”

Scicluna tries to find creative ways to get around the food restrictions dogs have, such as using carob instead of chocolate – which is commonly used as a healthy alternative. “As much as possible, we try to do everything from scratch; which includes importing the carob from Sicily ourselves… such special things make it a dog-friendly cake.”

Wendy’s Petisserie also makes other treats such as ‘PUPstizzi’(a doggy pastizz, of course…) and home-made dog treats in a variety of flavours including dog-safe peanut butter, and an assortment of other goodies that will have people parting with their money.

“We receive around 30 to 40 orders on average a month, but we do have specific times of the year which are more popular than others – for example, we do logs during Christmastime, and those are extremely popular. Or in Easter, we do dog-friendly figolli, and those sell out like crazy.”   

Scicluna herself admits that at times people tend to get carried away with their purchases “Often when people come into the shop, especially when they’ve just got a puppy, they’re so excited, they want all sorts of beds and expensive collars, and you sort of have to rein it in and remind them that the collar they are going to buy today won’t even last a year.”

And in recent years, even the phenomenon of throwing pets’ birthday parties has exploded in Malta. “It used to be just birthday cakes, but now when they come into the shop they get the cake, a bottle of dog champagne, they buy the hats, the banners as well as a T-shirt with ‘Happy Birthday’ on it.”

Do the dogs enjoy all the fuss? “They love it when it comes to the cake,” Scicluna says. “The party is usually out of the ordinary and a special treat. But of course the rest of it is for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the owner.”

Pawty time

Emma Tanti last month threw her dog Yuki one of the first ever public dog birthday parties, an event that took place at the Ta’ Qali dog park and attended by over 100 persons and their furry companions.

“Yuki is the absolute best friend anyone could ask for and deserved to be celebrated on her special day! I believe that dogs just want to make humans happy,” Tanti told MaltaToday.

“There are many benefits that people gain from having pets, such as providing comfort when it is needed the most. Why shouldn’t I throw a party, where for a few hours I can spoil my dog to no end? Yuki treats me like it’s my birthday every day; I wanted to make sure that her first birthday was just as memorable!”

Tanti said that all those who attended the party were passionate about animals, especially dogs, and that it was a good opportunity for them to gather all together as animal lovers.

“This helped set out the tone of the event to one of love and pure excitement. Yuki’s birthday party was the perfect place to be if you wanted to have a casual evening of lots of laughter, licks and cuddles from all types of dogs as well as free tasty treats for both humans and their four-legged friends.”

READ MORE: MaltaToday Survey: Malta, a nation of pet lovers

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