America 20 Best Bakeries For Dogs

According to the American Humane Society, there are more than 78 million dogs in the United States, and 46 percent of American households have at least one Fido in residence. And let's face it: We love our pets. What's more, we love to spoil them. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimates that owners will spend $55.5 billion on their animal companions this year alone. So why not spoil them a little bit with some treats made in bakeries that cater especially to them? From a Virginia bakery specializing in "Peanut Butter Pootzers" to an Ohio bakery hand-making "Lollipups," we've found America's 20 best bakeries for dogs.

America 20 Best Bakeries for Dogs (Slideshow)

Somehow, the recession hasn't affected how much dough we dish out for our pets. The pet product industry continues to grow, year after year. Top-notch medical care, spa treatments, custom-made doghouses, organic diets... the luxuries once enjoyed strictly by humans are now literally going to the dogs.

Since most dog lovers consider their mutt a member of the family, it's easy to understand why they'd want to not only feed them well, but treat their treasured sidekick to everything they enjoy themselves. From pizza to pretzels, frosted cookies, peanut butter snacks, and macaroons, there's a fresh-baked canine-friendly version available out there somewhere.

Thanks to the Internet, most of the doggy delicacies we tracked down are available for order online. There are, however, a handful of dog bakeries across the nation that will hand them to you fresh from the oven!

Dog bakeries diverge from the human-oriented variety primarily through their advocacy efforts. Most of these pooch-approved hangouts not only whip up amazing edibles, they also organize adoptions, rally support for animal rights, and use their social media platforms for pet-related PSAs. Most dog bakeries, while seemingly bourgeois on the surface, double as true touchstones for the canine community.

We've scouted out the top 20 dog bakeries across the United States. Venues were chosen and ranked based on creativity, variety of treats, presentation, quality of ingredients, and the curb appeal of their store.

If the idea of buying pastries for your pup still sounds silly, consider all your pet has done for you: lowered stress, warded off loneliness, protected your home, and forced you to your feet for a long walk when you would've rather watched TV. Doggone it, they deserve a tasty thank you!

Click here to find out America's 20 best bakeries for dogs.