Bark and bake

Bark and bake
Out of a sheer desire for wanting to feed her pets right, Chan Chui Shia, seen here with Miki, started baking homemade treats for her dogs.

Pumpkin-flavoured biscotti. Apple and spice muffins. Peanut butter crisps. These mouthwatering treats are anything but junk food, and they can be found at Barkery Oven (, which is to say, a bakery of a different kind.

Run by part-time baker Chan Chui Shia, the home-operated business is heaven for "parents" who want nothing but the best for their pampered pooches.

What the Barkery offers is simply a healthy range of wheat-free treats, using pet-friendly ingredients designed for the average pup.

Six years ago, Chan was on a quest to look for better food options for her two dogs, Mochi and Miki, when she stumbled upon the idea of homebaked treats for pets.

"I found a lot of websites that were in favour of homecooked food for dogs, due to the many pet food recalls that were happening then.

"I really enjoy baking, so I thought I'd whip up something for fun. I saw a potential in that and just turned my attention to baking for dogs. I started with cheese biscuits and my dogs loved them!" Chan, 35, recalls.

With Mochi and Miki as her star taste testers, Chan started experimenting, beginning with whole-wheat flour recipes (which caused skin allergies in her two dogs) before finally settling on wheat-free ingredients as a safer alternative.

A lot of dogs, it seems, are allergic to wheat, as well as a good many ingredients found in food meant for us, like grapes, raisins, onions and chocolate.

You may think it's icky, but Chan has no qualms about taste-testing her own products, though they are technically dog food. (After reluctantly trying one of her bite-sized cheese-infused biscuits, I'd say that they taste uncannily like a healthy sugar and salt-free whole-grain biscuit.)

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