Now, there’s a subscription meal programme for your dog

You have heard about subscription models for human diets: the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and everything else, planned, packed and tailored to your lifestyle and daily needs so you don’t have to think about it. But have you heard of a similar plan for your dog?

“Big dogs like German Shepherds need food that helps with their bone development. I suggest red meat for them, but only 10 meals a month, out of the total of 60. For small lap dogs, we stick largely to chicken and egg,” states Praveen M, founder of Oscar Daisy, that tailors subscription boxes of canine meal plans, delivered across Chennai.

Praveen’s startup stemmed from the nutritional needs of his own dog: he did not want to feed his furry friend preservative-laden kibbles, but was not sure how to cook the right mix of foods at home. His friends, he realised, faced the same dilemma — thus began months of research that culminated in Oscar Daisy in early 2018. Now, Praveen plans to take his offering to Bengaluru and Hyderabad as well.

“Primarily, dogs need animal-based proteins. So we have recipes of chicken, egg and beef,” he states, adding that the brand used to do lamb recipes as well, but have discontinued them for a while, because of concerns related to COVID-19. Besides the meat, liver and gizzards, other ingredients include “natural” vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, yellow pumpkin, beetroot, cucumber and even fruit.

“It has to be balanced, so the ratio of ingredients is decided according to the profile of the pet,” states Praveen, adding that the food plan varies from dog to dog based on age, size, breed, activity levels and particularly weight — “Whether the dog is too skinny or overweight factors into the plan and portions.” All this information is taken from questionnaires filled in by clients, he says, and once the meal is planned, all ingredients are steam cooked at low temperatures and delivered once a week.

“Since we use vacuum seal packaging, it will last for a while if you don’t open it, and if you store it in the fridge. The idea is to finish all the meals within the week, but it can stay longer — about as long as the average dosa batter stays,” he says by way of example. For puppies, the portion size keeps varying “because they’re in a growing phase”, while for adults dogs it is constant.

Do pet parents get a say in the plan? Yes, says Praveen, but the team will still give its pointers. He, however, refuses to divulge just how the final calculation takes place — “that’s the secret”.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 12:17:16 PM |

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