The times have changed for pets and pet owners. We no longer just celebrate the pet's birthdays by giving them some extra treats. When we host a party we no longer not invite the pets or our friends. It is a serious event now that it is our pet's birthday. We want to throw parties and celebrate birthdays like no other event. For most families, pets are not just animals, they occupy the position of an important family members. Every now and then, the internet churns out instances of people going the extra mile to make their pets' day extra special. Now, a family from Ahmedabad has gone viral on social media platforms for arranging a lavish birthday party for their dog named Abby. Wait, that's not all. Abby's family spent around 7 lakh on celebrating the birthday party!

Do you think these birthdays and parties would offer just any kind of pet food? Absolutely no! These parties offer food keeping in mind the diet of each puppy guest, their breed, their allergies, and of course their personal preferences. Now, it is not the job of the pet owner to cook all this food, they just have to arrange for a person who can do this. So who finally does all this? A pet baker or a pet caterer does all this. This is one of the fastest-growing jobs in India. People are going nuts to invite celebrity pets to parties and for sure they are not leaving the venue with an empty stomach. How are we planning to feed them just the right food? Through a pet caterer. 

These barkeries, as they call themselves, specialize in wholesome, all-natural, oven-baked gourmet biscuits and treats, muttkins, pup cakes, and birthday cakes that all dogs will drool over and are yet good for them. Pet lovers swear by the sweet and savory items sold in such bakeries. And the fact that they take care not to go overboard with ingredients that may add to your dog’s weight or cause any trouble, makes such places all the more trustworthy. 

If you are planning to start a business in pet bakeries this is just the right time. It does not require a lot of investment as you can start from the kitchen of your own house. You just need to invest in supplies and a good oven. Baking courses can be done online as well. Upfront costs that all pet bakeries have included insurance premiums, licensing fees, initial ingredient costs, and packaging costs. Licensing fees vary, but they usually cost a few thousand rupees, at most. Pet bakery owners who want to keep their startup expenses minimal can sell through a website and established retailers, rather than through their own physical store. They also can purchase small amounts of ingredients and packaging materials to start with, increasing their order amounts as their business grows and generates revenue. You need to understand the nutrition of pets before starting this business for sure. 

The target market is easily identified when you own a pet bakery. Your own friends and family can be your buyers. Other than that if you live in a society it is easier to sell your products as the families that live in societies tend to have pets and it would reduce your delivery cost as well. If you are planning to make it big you can start going to pet competitions and maybe start handing out your business cards the next time you take your pet to the vet. Dog boarding in the electronic city says that they get a lot of customers who ask them about pet-related services, and a dog grooming in Bangalore tells me that they even let their regular customers put up fliers for their business. If you can reach out to customers at such places, very soon you would be booked with orders. 

I visited a pet bakery in Mumbai once to understand how they work. Gourmutt is a bakery where you get a range of products from freshly baked doggie treats and biscuits to special doggie birthday cakes, cupcakes, and other bakery delicacies. Here, the priority lies in taking care of the ingredients used to make these special products, and they say they use the finest and purest branded ingredients such as 100 percent whole wheat flour and oats for the cakes. All the ingredients used are completely dog-friendly and safe. Interestingly, they also take doggie party orders for snacks and ready-to-serve meals. None of their products contain any artificial preservatives and your pet can look forward to some delights like mutton and brown rice meal box, chicken and oats, peanut butter biscuits, etc. they make a profit of about 2 lakhs per month. If you are aiming large and you already have a lot of customers, you can apply for a franchisee of your bakery and you can start up your bakery at different locations in the same city. 

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that make the lives of small business owners much simpler. You can reach out to your customers easily through a website and convert them to permanent buyers. A pet bakery business can set itself apart from similar businesses by building trust with customers. Signing on a board-certified veterinarian is one way to build trust. Another is to hold demos at retailer’s stores, which provide opportunities to educate customers. 

Anyone who is passionate about pets and nutrition may be interested in opening a pet bakery business. Pet bakeries usually start out selling through other retailers or online, rather than their own brick-and-mortar stores. Because business owners don’t need to keep specific retail hours for customers, it’s possible to start this business while maintaining another job. So what are you waiting for? Start planning for your bakery already.