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Pamper your pet with gourmet dog treats, and even make your own
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Veggie wafers available at the Pet Pleasers Bakery in Oakwood come in a variety of flavors, such as these carrot-flavored ones. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

OAKWOOD - Many pet owners love giving their doggy or kitty a little treat every once in a while.

And some owners now are going to specialty stores to purchase all-natural treats for their pet - some are even making homemade pet goodies.

"You have to be very, very careful with the ingredients because if you are not, it's not going to be a natural treat," said Ina Griffin, owner of Pet Pleasers Bakery in Oakwood. "We use no salt, no preservatives. People care more about their dog's diet than their own diet; it's incredible but they do."

Griffin said she has heard of people making their own dog treats but "they usually decide it's too much trouble or smells too bad; if they are making liver treats or something, they say it smells terrible."

But if you want to try your hand at homemade treats, there are many Web sites that have the recipes, like Bullwrinkle.com. The Web site is dedicated to bulldog products and information.

The Everyday Biscuits uses dry yeast, water, parsley, garlic, chicken broth, honey, an egg and whole-wheat flour to create the goodies.

The treats are baked for 30 minutes and then flipped and baked for another 15 minutes. Any cookie cutters could make cute treats but Bullwrinkle.com suggests a dog bone shape.

To make crispy and crunchy biscuits, leave the treats in the oven to cool overnight, according to the Web site.

At Pet Pleasers Bakery there are many varieties of treats like the Bark-B-Q Ribs, Honey Bears that are flavored with real honey, Oatmeal Soft Bites, Cheese Wedges, Pizza Men and Veggie Wafers in a variety of vegetable flavors.

The store also specializes in dog birthday cakes, which come in six different flavors including dog favorites like liver lover as well as slightly more traditional tastes like apple blueberry and peanut. Pet Pleasers even created a dog wedding cake last week for two furry friends tying the knot.

"One of the most popular treats is the doggie brownies," Griffin said. "They are liver brownies. We get our liver fresh delivered and we make them that day."

All the treats are made in different shapes so customers need only to remember the treat's shape when shopping.

Shelia Williams heads to Pet Pleasers each time her Dachshund named Zoe has to visit the veterinarian.

"When she has to go to the vet we always come by and get her treats ... and at Christmas she gets special treats," said Williams, a Gainesville resident. "And these are much better for her."

Since the treats are all natural, any of the ones at the store can be eaten by humans.

"It is human consumable and they will tell you that it is not FDA approved, but there is no problem with eating any of the treats," said owner David Griffin.

Williams added that her and her daughter once tried the dog muffins from Pet Pleasers.

To make sure the treats are healthy for pet and human consumption there are a couple things to keep in mind.

"You need to study up on your pet nutrition ... every treat that we have we list everything that is in it," Ina Griffin said. "If you have a dog that is allergic to a particular item, you certainly are not going to buy that treat. And we can create treats here avoiding whatever your dog is allergic to."

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