Pet indulgence

A new deli in Grunewald offers all kinds of gourmet, organic delights... for dogs?! Some bleeding-heart types complain it's over the top, but since Berliners spoil their pets anyway, why should food be any different?

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If you’ve ever run home from the UBahn after a fast-food meal, genuinely afraid of soiling your vintage jeans, then you can sympathise with Lily, a Labrador suffering from digestive problems with supermarket chow. Her owner, David Spanier, found few healthy alternatives and many others in the same pickle.

That’s why he opened Pets Deli, a shop in Grunewald offering human-grade grub for dogs and cats. Sparky can sample some seriously epicurean eats here, but this isn’t a restaurant. Everything is take-away, fresh or frozen (250g/€3, 500g/€6). The partly-bio culinary selections include Australian kangaroo meat and tropical fruit mix.

Spanier says these gourmet doggie bags are not just for high-maintenance pets. “Our standard is food you’d eat yourself… Supermarket pet food is junk. Imagine if you sent people to eat at McDonald’s every day?”

One might question whether a human diet is an acceptable standard of what’s healthy for another species – the German media certainly did, even going so far as to accuse the shop of prioritising posh dogs over starving children.

But, after all, Pets Deli’s food is no more extravagant than anything else pet-indulging people throw money at, including the overpriced treats at vegan or bio supermarkets – and if, as Germany’s plummeting birth rate might suggest, more Berliners are opting for pups than children anyway, they may as well be healthy ones. Lily is living proof, glossy fur and upchuck-free.