City canines are more pampered than you think. With owners, or dog parents as they like to be called, eager to please their pooches, many have taken to splashing out big bucks on hosting the perfect birthday party. Yadika Sharma of the Spoilt Brat Barkery, who caters vegetarian goodies and cakes for dog birthdays, says her biggest order came from an owner who shelled out Rs. 15,000 on the occasion. “They invited about 35 dogs to the US Club in Navy Nagar and created personalised doggy bowls with treats for all the canine guests, which itself cost approximately Rs. 550 each.” Sharma’s cakes are priced between Rs. 250 - 1,000 and come in flavours including carrot and paneer. And these days business is booming, as February and April are big dog party months. “I catered about ten parties on just April 1. We customised return gifts for most of them,” she recalls.
Homemaker Monica Shah celebrates her dog Romeo’s birthday in the same way she does for her two daughters, and thinks nothing of spending Rs. 6,000 for her pooch. “We got his favourite carrot cake, which cost us Rs. 1,000 alone. People who are not dog lovers find it silly, but he’s like a son to me.” Doggie raincoat designer Soniya Vajifdar celebrates two separate birthdays for her canines, inviting their friends from the neighbourhood over to celebrate. “We bought a cake for Rs. 500, and also got return gifts for all the invitees,” she recalls.Pooja Sathe-Gawande, proprietor of Crazy K9 Campers, which organises weekend camps for pets, has had her share of doggie birthday parties. "If a dog parent tells us that they want to celebrate a birthday while at camp, we organise the cake and games," she says, adding, "Once, the owners spent about Rs. 10,000, including decorations, snacks and return gifts." Sathe-Gawande changes her game plan depending on the dog breeds. "If the party has more Labradors, we organise food-oriented games. Smaller dogs prefer fancy dress competitions while dogs like German Shepherds prefer search-and-retrieve games."