Cakes for pups: Harlingen vet student bakes goods for dogs

Samantha Mendoza took a break from veterinarian school. Now, she bakes specialty treats for dogs made with the healthiest ingredients possible. (Courtesy photo)

HARLINGEN — Samantha Mendoza, 25, has always loved animals. Mendoza was going to school to become a veterinarian but moved back home during the pandemic. Because she could not find a job, she looked into creating her own business. Paw Paw Bakery was started upon this idea.

So far, she has been baking for dogs for a year, her anniversary will be next Tuesday. Mendoza gets inspired from other pet bakers to create unique recipes, but her vet school experience has allowed her to know what ingredients to use and what not to use. Currently, she only does treats for dogs but Mendoza is planning to create some for cats upon clients requests.

“I ask my customers if their pets have any allergies or specialty diets, I have to see what would be healthy for cats because I don’t really just put anything in them,” she said.

“I am very careful,” Mendoza said.

She can do almost any flavors but her most asked for is peanut butter and pumpkin flavor. She has also done savory options with chicken or sweet potato.

“I also use grain free options for them,” she said.

“I didn’t expect to make these many cakes in a whole year, the cakes have gotten better. I guess the more you practice the better you get,” Mendoza said.

The Ruff House located on 311 W Van Buren, a grooming and dog store with a playground, offers Mendoza’s creations daily.

“I talked to the owner and we figured out everything, she already had a display for me. She told me multiple times the majority of people come for the bakery treats,” she said.

Because she works from home, Mendoza said she would one day want to have her own building or space to create her baked goods and grow.

“I want to thank everybody for supporting my business and Angie, the owner, for giving me the opportunity to sell my treats and do the birthday cakes they do for the birthday parties here,” Mendoza said.

Baking for dogs comes from her own dog family. Mendoza has a German shorthaired pointer named Brady and a blue nose pitbull named Memphis.

Mendoza is located on Facebook as Paw Paw Bakery and will soon help at the doggie day care at the Ruff House.

“I just love dogs and being around them, especially other people’s dogs,” she said.