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Ordering cakes for Donna has become a fun thing for me. I’m at the age where there hasn’t been a cake for my own birthday for a number of years. So I guess I am enjoying the cakes vicariously through Donna, without incurring extra calories for myself. Hahaha.

This is why I tend to order “trendy” cakes inspired by real human cakes. Typically what happens is, I browse human cakes. Something catches my eye that I like. I send it to the dog bakery to see if they think it is doable.

This year for Donna’s Gotcha Day, I decided to hire Barking Good to bake her cake for her because I knew I wanted a cake with a marbling effect. Barking Good is the only dog bakery I have seen so far with the marbling effect. They have also done gorgeous, detailed flower pupcakes.

To give them an idea of what I wanted, this is the photo of a human cake that I sent to them as reference.

Original photo from hintofvanillablog.com

The result they delivered is this:

Strawberry & Cherry Blossom Drip Cake for Donna’s Gotcha Day 2018

Happy Gotcha Day, Donna! A sweet strawberries and cherry blossom cake for you!

A refreshing and cheery cake that makes me think – Ah! Strawberries and sakura! The next thing that hits you is the strong and sweet scent of cut strawberries!

Seriously, this is the best smelling cake I have every received for Donna! OMG!!

Donna is the happiest girl whenever there is cake :P although the waiting part is … painful… and torture… :P

When can I eat my cake please? How long do I have to wait and take picture…?

Typically, dog cakes don’t really have any strong smell since they are covered with mashed potato as “frosting”. In the place of buttercream flowers or real flowers on human cakes, dog bakers typically craft flowers from sculpting or forming mash potato into the shapes they require.

Donna can’t wait any longer, haha. I love that the cut strawberries gave the cake a fresh vibe!

Chomp! Chomp! Donna couldn’t care less about being dainty :P

The inside is a dense meatloaf made of pork and vegetables. The dog bakeries I buy from tend to use naturally-derived colouring for their potato frosting. Beet for the pink colour and carob for the brown words in this case. No artificial colouring.

Strawberry Blossoms Drip Cake (1.2kg)

Ingredients list
Cake – Pork, Carrot, Broccoli, Rosemary
Icing and other exterior decoration – Potato, Beet, Sweet potato, Carob, Strawberry

Since it was a small cake for 16 dogs, each of the dogs got to take only a tiny portion of the cake home. Perhaps an individual pupcake would be a better idea for next time. :P

Here’s a video summary of the day’s celebration for Donna’s adoption anniversary. You can also see more photos from the morning here and the afternoon here.

Happy Gotcha Day 2018, Donna! - YouTube

Many thanks to Barking Good for patiently working with me to decide on the final design of the cake. Many thanks to Pawsible Playschool for hosting us that day, and also helping to portion out the cake for the furkids!

Cake by Barking Good
Venue and props Pawsible Playschool
Donna’s collar Avaloncrafts

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We adopted Donna 12 January 2013, so I usually try to give her a little celebration around that day. This year we decided to send her to dog daycare so she can have a day of fun with her friends.

This post records the second part of her Gotcha day at dog daycare in the afternoon. You can read about her a walk with her daycare friends at Pasir Ris Park in the morning here.

An Afternoon at Dog Daycare

Rolling around is one of Donna’s attention-seeking behaviour when she wants to play.

Donna wants to play but everyone is tired and wanting to rest in the indoor area. 

Come on Kosmo! Play with me!

Donna can be quite pushy or assertive (lol… depending on perspective), poking Kosmo to play with her.

And apparently Donna loves to hump Kosmo, and Kosmo lets her… If I remember correctly, she is the only one that Kosmo allows to hump him. (I hope I remember correctly lol)

Donna, Kosmo and cocker spaniels Bailey and Marshall @baileysmoments (I can’t tell them apart by the way :P)

Outside in the yard, we have lots of fun!

Donna and Kosmo continue to play.

Donna looks pleased with herself :P

Donna’s friends at daycare come in all shapes and sizes

But some dogs like Gracey seem just content to lie there and chill in the cool, rainy weather. I took this picture because of that cute little furry smile.

Then I thought I better take one with eyes lol. :P

Kosmo, Donna, Skylar @skylarthepug

Little Skylar the Pug peeking from behind the wall is so cute. Inside the daycare, Skylar was a quiet little fellow, not at all like his howling self here. :P

And this gorgeous Singapore Special. Isn’t she just beautiful?

Meanwhile, my muscular clown of a dog is still pulling the same stunt on Kosmo. She really does have quite a strong grip.

Awfully pleased with herself…

Do I stop Donna from humping other dogs?

It depends. You see humping can be a common play behaviour.

mounting is common play behavior in puppies, and is even normal in the play of older dogs if it’s not taken to extremes.

“You’ll often see one dog mount another, then a few minutes later they’ll switch off and the other dog will mount the first dog,” says Gary Landsberg, DVM, a veterinary behaviorist in Ontario, Canada,. “It’s a common play gesture.”Why does my dog hump or mount other people and dogs

So if both dogs are enjoying themselves, why should I stop their fun?

But if the other dog is sending out stress signals and Donna still doesn’t give that dog space, that is bullying and I will call Donna off to give that poor dog the space he needs.

In the case of Kosmo, you can see they get into each other’s space a lot, they have a lot of body contact and they do a lot of play growling but that’s just that – Play.

I jump on you.

You jump on me. We are so happy.

Many thanks to Pawsible Playschool for helping to arrange for Kosmo and Donna to attend daycare on the same day so they get to play!

Donna’s daycare @whatispawsible
Donna’s collar @avaloncrafts

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Pasir Ris Park is a park that we’ve been to only about a handful of times. It actually didn’t leave an impression on me, but Mr. P tells me we visited on weekends when it was very busy. AND I was NOT impressed by the crowd.

I have to say now…

Pasir Ris Park on a weekday is quite beautiful.


Pasir Ris Park weather when we were there

We were there near the start of what was later reported as Singapore’s longest cold spell (all of 5 days lol) for at least a decade. And by cold we meant minimum temperatures of 21°C to 22°C. It is rare for our hot and humid tropical weather!

Perhaps its was the cool, slightly rainy weather. Perhaps because we were right by the sea. Perhaps it was the green open space that was not bespoiled by the weekend horde.

Perhaps it was everything together, but I suddenly felt like I was on holiday and not in Singapore anymore. HAHA!

Pasir Ris Park Scenery and Dogs!

We weren’t here to take photos… even though the evidence indicated otherwise.



We were here to take a walk with the dogs from Donna’s daycare!


Although Donna’s sudden appearance proved to be rather distracting for the dogs! Oops!

Since it was a wet morning, the dogs were all muddy and wet from the puddles. You’d think it might be all fun and games being a dogwalker, but these guys actually had to spend time to clean up the whole pack of more than 10 dogs after walks before they return the dogs home.

Yup! Very distracting! :P

Rest stop at one of the shelters at Pasir Ris Park

The pack takes a break, before the higher energy dogs continue with the walk. The lower energy ones will just rest and relax under the shelter until the whole pack is ready to leave.

I try to distract Donna from approaching the other dogs, and then I noticed these two figures standing behind Donna.

Top left – Bailey and Marshall, two cocker spaniels @baileysmoments

It seems Donna wasn’t the only one distracted by my treats! ( But I didn’t know what they could/couldn’t eat, so I couldn’t give them.)

And then it was time for these big boys and girls to continue with their walk.

Kosmo (middle) is the most popular boy in school

The little ones stayed behind.

Skylar @skylarthepug (left) Gracey @gracey.goldendoodle (right)

Although this little one seems to think she is a big dog. :P I mean, I heard huskies and malamutes like to howl but pugs?

A Howling Pug and other Dogs at Pasir Ris Park - YouTube

Seriously, I didn’t know Howling Pugs were a thing until I searched “howling pug” on Youtube. There were 89k results. I scrolled down and every single video has at least 1 howling pug. OMG!

Getting to and exploring Pasir Ris Park

This time round we parked at Pasir Ris Park Carpark D, we headed right and crossed the bridge in the direction of D’Resort Downtown East. We actually only explored a small part of this big park so I’m definitely looking forward to visiting again for more photos of the park and the beach!

Map for Pasir Ris Park, carpark and landmarks. Cafes within the park include 5 Drunken Rabbits and Georges @ The Cove. They might be dog-friendly but I have not verified it yet. :P

Many thanks to Pawsible Playschool for letting us join their morning dogwalk and playschool for a day.

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It’s time to shake up Donna dog’s diet with new cooked food recipes!

SPONSORED This review includes a giveaway for 1-week’s worth of cooked food from The Grateful Dog, so be sure to scroll down to the end to find it and enter!

Donna gets two meals a day. Dry food for breakfast and cooked food that is meat combined with a commercial pre-mix for dinner.

We feed dry food or kibble especially if we are rushing in the morning. But dry food is also highly processed, and like any other person who loves their dog, I still want Donna to be able to enjoy quality, nutritious food. 

What is quality food? Perhaps you will answer – Fresh. Human-grade. Whole ingredients.

The same principles that applies to humans can be applied to dogs.

However, there is no way I can say for certain whether a home-made diet for dog is definitely balanced. Not without consultation with an expert – like a canine nutritionist.

Researching homemade dog food  is also time-consuming and I haven’t found the time to do that as completely as I’d like to yet. This is why I feed a pre-mix that allows me to incorporate fresh cooked meat into Donna’s diet for dinner. My only problem is… Amazon stopped shipping the pre-mix to Singapore suddenly! *tsk*

So when The Grateful Dog contacted me to let Donna try out their fresh cooked dog food recipes, Donna and I were happy to check them out.

The Grateful Dog is an online dog food subscription and delivery service. They offer  single animal protein dog food recipes conveniently packed according to your dog’s weight for daily feeding.

You may like to know!
The Grateful Dog’s human-grade cooked food recipes were reviewed by vets from The Visiting Vets Clinic. You can learn more about them here.

Getting Human-Grade Cooked Food on Subscription from The Grateful Dog
Ordering, Unboxing & Trying out The Grateful Dog - Food Review - YouTube
SPONSORED This review includes a giveaway for 1-week’s worth of cooked food from The Grateful Dog,  Click here to enter! Selecting a meal plan

First, we had to select the meal plan for Donna. We did this online on The Grateful Dog website


The Grateful Dog team told me the 12-week plan can help save up to 11% each month compared to the 4-week meal plan. I’m getting the 4-week plan for now just to make sure Donna is set for the month. You can also choose the 2-week sampler plan if your dog has issues with food and you would like to be cautious. :)

Selecting the recipes

I also got a choice of 2 or 3 recipes for the meal plan. I chose 3 recipes since I would like to experience and review as many of the recipes they have as possible.

There are four choices of proteins – (1) cage-free chicken, (2) grass-fed lean beef, (3) lean pork, and (4) duck breast. All the ingredients are listed and they look pretty wholesome.

The Grateful Dog cooked dog food recipes offers the nutritional benefits of fresh cooked food. And at the same time, it spared us the hassle of taking time out of our busy lives to make home cooked food on our own.

For my order, I’m picking beef, pork and duck.

We don’t usually buy duck and grass-fed beef for cooking at home. So yes, Donna is in fact getting an upgrade over her current cooked meat diet!

We usually buy her chicken, pork and beef from the nearby wet market. Human-grade but not necessarily cage-free or grass-fed. Haha.

(Note: Donna also gets other protein like lamb, turkey and various fish from dry and/or canned food and dehydrated treats. I don’t feed Donna exotic meat.)

Personalising the amount of food

Now I need to select my dog’s weight. Donna’s ideal weight is 13.5kg, but there’s only options for 13kg and 14kg. So I’m going to choose 13kg. Since I also feed her some treats, the treats will probably make up the balance calories that she needs.

The fresh cooked dog food recipe is packed into daily portions according to the weight of your dog.

How much does it cost to feed a 13kg dog?

The final cost works out to $11.29 per day or about $5.64 per meal.

That’s actually comparable or in some cases cheaper than the cost of commercial freeze-dried dog food brands in our market. (*Commercial freeze-dried dog food brands I have written about previously cost around $5.80 per meal on average for Donna)

You may like to know!
10% of The Grateful Dog’s profit goes to support the local charity – Causes for Animals.

So now I am at the checkout page, which asks for more information about Donna besides the payment and delivery details.

And that’s it! No more thinking about how much of what meat to buy. And no need to plan time for cooking and packing the meat for storage! The final step is to wait for my free door-step delivery!

Less time in the kitchen, more time out with dog!

Unboxing – The Grateful Dog Fresh Cooked Food Subscription

The nice thing about online reviews is… you don’t need to wait to see what the actual thing looks like! I’ve got it covered right below. ;) HAHA.

So Donna’s cooked food subscription from The Grateful Dog came like this in thermal packaging to keep it frozen during transport.

Depending on the weight of the food packed for your dog, it may be delivered in a bag or in a box with the same thermal packaging.

There’s also a checklist of the recipes I ordered, the ingredient lists and a booklet on feeding. Basically handy references so I don’t need to go online again to look up anything.

I ordered the Duck, Pork and Beef recipes and this is how they look like.

All vacuum-packed to preserve freshness.

These plastic pouches are BPA-free. That’s definitely something I am pleased with. It’s easy to warm up the food by submerging the package in hot water without worrying about BPA.

You may like to know!
The Grateful Dog is AVA-certified. What does it mean? It means that AVA has pre-approved all their recipes. Also AVA inspects their kitchen every time their license is renewed.

Here’s the duck recipe when thawed.

I read on The Grateful Dog’s instagram that all their recipes comprise more than 40% meat. I could see clearly the clumps of meat as well as the strips of cooked carrot throughout. It’s an orangey-yellow color, probably because of the chickpea, carrot, turmeric and pumpkin in the recipe.

The food is delivered in daily portions. One pouch is one day’s worth of food for Donna. But since I feed her two meals a day, I’m happy that The Grateful Dog does have the option for the food to be split into 1/2 day portions upon request.

1/2 day portion vs 1 day portion size

Although truthfully, it is not a hardship to just serve 1/2 of a full day’s pouch and pour the remaining food into a food container to store in the fridge until dinner time. That may be more environmentally-friendly too. ;)

Preparing the pre-packed cooked food for dog

Preparing the food is as simple as putting it into the fridge to thaw it out over night.

Beef & Sweet Potato recipe: Grass-fed lean beef, sweet potato, bell pepper, spinach, olive oil, super nutrient blend, rosemary – from The Grateful Dog’s cooked food menu.

Here, I’ve warmed up the beef recipe a bit. Besides the grass-fed beef, I can also see strips of spinach. These red bits are probably bell-peppers. Since the food is human grade, I tried it too. The beef recipe tastes of beef and bell-peppers. It is a little on the bland side, which I guess is what to expect from food with no added salt and other flavorings that grace a human’s table. :P

Anyway, Donna looks ready for her beef dinner too!

This face makes me smile :)

Try it for yourself!
Stand to win one week’s worth of The Grateful Dog’s vet-reviewed, human-grade fresh cooked diets when you enter this giveaway! Click here.

Conclusion: Our Review of The Grateful Dog’s Pre-packed Cooked Food Recipes & Service Donna’s palatability review

Donna definitely finds the food palatable and worth working for. In fact, throughout the process of reviewing The Grateful Dog’s subscription cooked food, the very same food was used to reward her for posing for photos and videos. And she has been very enthusiastic about it.

Human’s overall review

I think most working pet owners in Singapore would appreciate the convenience and quality in The Grateful Dog’s products. If you’re one of those with hectic, fast-paced jobs, this service can be a time-saver and enable you to supply fresh cooked food to your dog’s bowl in a consistent manner.

Food Quality & Safety evaluated by 2 external parties
The Grateful Dog recipes comprise human-grade ingredients, including cage-free chicken and grass-fed beef.

Drawing inspiration from current food trends as well as our Asian roots, The Grateful Dog also incorporates healthful ingredients such as coconut oil, chia seeds and Chinese herbs like the wolfberry in their recipes. Ingredients in each recipe are detailed on The Grateful Dog website. This includes what is in their organic and natural super nutrient blend supplement that’s in each recipe to make it complete.

It’s also good to know that The Grateful Dog’s recipes were evaluated by at least 2 external parties to ensure they are safe and provide the balanced nutrition that dogs need. The recipes are approved by AVA and also reviewed by The Visiting Vets Clinic. AVA also inspects The Grateful Dog’s kitchen every time they renew their license, so you have peace of mind where food safety and hygiene is concerned.

Very Convenient Packaging & Recipe Design
The BPA-free personalised packaging is an especially big draw for me. Getting it pre-packed into one meal per packet specifically for Donna’s weight means there’s no need to measure or split nuggets or pack and store excess food for later use. In a hurry in the morning, just open and pour into the bowl! :P

Also I have received food packed in small little plastic tubs before but I much prefer The Grateful Dog’s vacuum packaging which keeps food fresh.

Each recipe comprise just one single animal protein. Some dry food may advertise for example, Salmon recipe, but actually also include chicken meal, turkey meal in the ingredients. Unlike those, The Grateful Dog’s single animal protein recipes  is as advertised. That makes it easy for pet parents who worry about possible allergies in their dogs to easily order recipes that really work for them.

How it Fits into our Lifestyle and Practical Use
I rotate the type of meat in Donna’s diet every 1-2 weeks. So having a choice of 2 recipes with different animal protein works very well for me when buying the 4-week plan. I can then choose to buy the other 2 recipes in the next four weeks and so on and so forth. If your dog is picky, then it may make sense to go with rotating 3 recipes so it doesn’t get boring for your dog.

I’ve also been seeking an alternative to canned food since most cans are not BPA-free. The Grateful Dog’s fresh cooked food with better quality ingredients and less processing can be a better option.

I can definitely see practical use for it in frozen Kongs that I give to Donna during thunderstorms or for “hunting” games around the sleeping areas. This was the original use I needed canned food for.

Cost Analysis with other Dog Food
If you’re used to feeding an affordable 4-5lb dry food in the range of $30-$40, then you would likely find The Grateful Dog somewhat costly. But if you want to transition your dog to something that’s human-grade and less processed, then I guess that’s the price for quality, freshness AND convenience that you don’t get with highly processed dry food.

The cost of Donna’s cooked food from The Grateful Dog was comparable to commercial freeze dried food. And when compared to particular freeze-dried dog food brands I reviewed before, I found The Grateful Dog can be cheaper.

The 12-week plan will allow you to save even more compared to the 4-week plan. Both plans include 1 free delivery to your doorstep every 2 weeks. This means the food, fresh from the kitchen, never gets older than 2 weeks in your freezer. That is, unless you choose to store for longer. Since I only have to stock 2-weeks worth of food at a time, that actually helps a lot to free up my limited freezer space for both dog and human food!

What I would like to see in The Grateful Dog subscription food in terms of future improvements
I usually compare the dry matter analysis of the food with other brands and formats of food to get an understanding of their relative levels of protein, fats, etc.

But while testing and reviewing the food, I found that there is no consistent way of comparing The Grateful Dog with other commercially available food. This is because the method of calculation for guaranteed analysis used by US brands differs from the format used by The Grateful Dog. It is neither good nor bad, just different.

What I can share is that The Grateful Dog reports that their recipes contain between more than 40% meat to up to 73% meat. It depends on the recipe and the weight of the dog. Protein levels range from 40%-60%. Carbohydrate levels range between 14%-26%. It’s above average to exceptional values that they report if we evaluate the product on its own.

But for my own comparison with other brand and food formats, I hope they will be able to publish guaranteed analysis consistent with US brands in future. :P

I also hope that the packaging gets even more convenient than it is now by providing the option to tear open for feeding. This is so that the exceptionally lazy me can escape from washing the scissors every time I cut open a packet to feed my dog. :P

Of course, you and I understand that nothing is perfect in the world. And perhaps I am just really good at nit-picking. But I do think there are more pros than cons when reviewing The Grateful Dog’s cooked food subscription and delivery service.

Try it for yourself!
Experience the convenience of fresh cooked food packed specially for your dog’s weight! Stand to win one week’s worth of The Grateful Dog’s daily meals when you enter this giveaway! Click here.

Disclosure:  This review of The Grateful Dog online fresh cooked food subscription service in Singapore is kindly sponsored by The Grateful Dog. Recipes and services featured are available for purchase on their site.

All the content in this post is researched, consolidated and finally written independently by weliveinaflat. News articles as well as direct email replies with The Grateful Dog were referenced at various points in the writing.

You can check out The Grateful Dog here.

References
– About BPA – The dangers in your dog’s canned food on Time.com
Comparison price with freeze dried food

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Since dogs are usually not allowed in air-conditioned malls, we grabbed the chance to visit i12 Katong Mall with Donna for the three days it was dog-friendly over the weekend of the Paw Fest 2017 event.

I actually almost didn’t go because it was not clear to me what program they have planned at what time on which day. And also because I already had a busy weekend.

However, I was tempted to go mainly after seeing photos posted by others. HAHA.

The following photos were the results.

Halloween-themed Paw Fest 2017 at i12 Katong Mall

We were there mainly for the opportunity to photograph Donna with the Halloween set-up at i12 Katong Mall’s Paw Fest.

Can we bring these boney dogs home please?

Donna is distracted by barking dogs at the other end of the event space :P

A dress for Halloween :P

This cafe has a “Dogs are ok” sign which is why we stopped here.

An electric chair that is obviously NOT designed for dogs :P

Donna is tired and lazily raises one paw when asked to sit pretty like the boney rat :P :P :P

Happy Halloween!

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