Startup Story #40: Pet Feast – Delivering Fresh Food For Your Pet

 

The spread of obesity, cancer and kidney or liver related problems in pets have seen a multi-fold rise in the past few years. These health problems have often been arguably linked with the consumption of processed and packaged food being fed to our furry four-legged friends. Veterinary doctors suggest that pets should be given human grade food that is rich in protein and carbs. Preparing fresh and balanced meals for pets, Pet Feast has entered into a special space that caters to the nutrition of dogs.

Sonal Zalkikar, founder of Pet Feast

Started in July 2016 by Sonal Zalkikar, an IT professional with more than a decade’s experience, Pet Feast delves into the deeper dietary needs of pets. “I had a pet, Roxy, and he was never fond of packaged food. I did a lot of research to find out what kind of food is appropriate for dogs. We don’t know what goes inside packaged food, whether or not they use fresh produce. There was a lot of trial and error as the dietary needs depend upon the breed, health condition, age and size of the pet,” explains Zalkikar.

She further adds that just like humans, animals too need fresh food with protein, “The biggest challenge I face is to create awareness about pet’s health. They need human-grade food which is filled with fresh vegetables, chicken, eggs and meat. I consulted a veterinary surgeon in Pune and got my recipes approved from. There are no added preservatives or sugar and salt.” Initially, to create a buzz about this new venture, Zalkikar worked on increasing Pet Feast’s social media presence by conducting various promotional activities. She even organised a fashion show wherein pet owners could walk the ramp with their pooch. “I had to try and create a brand out of Pet Feast so that more people can understand what it’s about and learn about their pet’s needs.”

Every meal plan for a pet is different as per their requirements, “Labradors put on weight very easily so I replace rice with oats or millet flour. We have a monthly plan and we home deliver on all days except Sundays. All the food is cooked at 7 am and delivered by 10 am. Chicken, lamb and eggs is a part of the regular diet. During summer, I diversify and make some cold soups and add yoghurt to the meals. For vegetarian pets, the meals are full of vegetables and I use kidney bean powder or cottage cheese.” The meal plans are priced to make them affordable for all families.

Liver cookies

Making every meal exciting for pets, Zalkikar also prepares various treats and gourmet cakes. “For special occasions, the pets shouldn’t be deprived so as per orders, I make banana and peanut butter cake, apple cake and carrot cake. This is made keeping in mind their dietary requirements. The chicken cake is the most loved one by pets! There is also the option of liver jerkies and gluten-free treats. These are very useful, especially to train dogs.”

The future of Pet Feast sees itself creating further awareness about switching from packaged food to fresh food for pets. “The cycle of diseases that come from processed foods severely damages the kidney and liver. No vet would recommend a diet that comes out of a box. I would also like expand on the bakeries and gourmet section to have more birthday parties for pets, which I have organised in the past. I have a few ideas which include starting a recreational centre for pets where they can be a part of activities and just have a good time!” says Zalkikar as she signs off.

Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree. vijayta@pune365.com
Vijayta Lalwani

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