With the rise in popularity of all-natural, all-organic food and treats for your pet, it comes as no surprise that businesses around San Diego County are doing their best to keep up with pet owners’ demands. This trend, however, goes far past just normal kibble and dog bones—you can now find bakeries that are 100-percent specialty animal treats! True to their owner’s desires, these tasty treats are also typically made with wholesome ingredients that even pet owners might enjoy! Not that I recommend eating dog treats, but consider these enticing ingredients: sweet potato, peanut butter, beef stock … these are some of the most popular ingredients in specialty pet treats today. With all the hype surrounding dog bakeries, I had to test them out for myself. I took my super adorable (yet sometimes picky) pit bull mix Iris around to numerous bakeries in the county, and here I count down our top three.
SPLASH AND DASH GROOMERIE AND BOUTIQUE
Going into Splash and Dash, I have to admit it wasn’t as much of a bakery as I was expecting (I guess I should’ve known by the name), but wow, did they have a great assortment of unique pet products and pet food! Scattered around the store front is everything you would need to fully pamper your pet, from collars and accessories to treats and all-natural pet food options. After spending a few minutes in the store and letting the staff know why I was there, they did direct me to their “raw bar” at the front counter that had such treats as turkey wings, salmon skin, and other all-natural “raw” options for your pets. They also had different decorated treats on some of the table tops. After returning home, I looked into this business on both Yelp and their website, and it revealed that they are one of the top- rated dog groomers in the San Diego area. Their customers had nothing but rave reviews for the owner and the services offered at the boutique. This may not be an exclusive dog bakery, but for any grooming needs, I highly recommend checking them out!
THE ORIGINAL PAW PLEASERS
This dog and cat bakery prides itself on being the first dog and cat bakery in San Diego. They were established in 1992 and are centrally located in North Park, just minutes from the downtown area and Balboa Park. Upon walking into Paw Pleasers, you can see the colorful array of delicious-looking treats at the counter. The front staff was so friendly, happily describing the different ingredients to us—they even gave a sample for my dog while we were deciding what to purchase! Another thing we learned was that they are also known for their lactose-free ice cream in either peanut butter or bacon flavor … yum! Paw Pleasers also takes orders and can make custom celebration cakes for dog birthdays, obedience graduations, and more! pawpleasers.com
DEXTER’S DELI DEL MAR
Dexter’s Deli is so much more than just treats—they really are Del Mar’s one-stop shop for all your pet’s needs. Situated on Camino Del Mar in downtown Del Mar, Dexter’s Deli prides itself on being the “original” pet health food store. They are not a national chain but simply a small local business that prides itself on quality and customer service. Dexter’s Deli has one product that really sets them apart and that’s their Dexter’s Naturals treats. These fresh-baked biscuits come in two flavors, are raw food, and are all locally made. I purchased a bag of the coconut flavor while I was there, and they are dog tested and approved! Their latest recipes are all gluten-free and they offer options for every dog.
Dexter’s Deli has two other San Diego area locations, so check out their stores in North Park and Carlsbad, too, if you are in the area. dextersdeli.com
There are still so many more places to explore that offer a variety of healthy and all-natural dog and cat treats—this is just the beginning! If you’re in the San Diego area, I highly recommend visiting any of the businesses listed above, as well as jumping online to see if you can find something new! All in all, each place we visited was extremely friendly and very open to talking about what they use to make their products and where they source their ingredients. As an animal lover and owner myself, it’s refreshing and fun to see the pet food industry taking off, and San Diego being in the forefront of keeping our animals happy and healthy!