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New Year, New Dog, Blah, Blah, Blah….

By Kate Bendix; broadcaster, journalist, founder of My Itchy Dog 9 months ago 3421 Views

Are you over it yet? The new year rush to be the better, brighter, fitter you (I’m sure the current you is just fabulous)? Has the biscuit tin been restored to its rightful place next to the kettle and tea bags? Is Davina’s (love Davina) new fitness DVD case being used as a coaster yet?

I don’t know why we think that just because we’ve marked time, seen off another year and swapped last year’s calendar for this year’s we’re suddenly going to be able to change our entire mind set about food and diet. It’s just not a sustainable prospect.So give yourself a break. Eat a little healthier, move a bit more. That’ll do for now.

It’s the same for our dogs, only that’s our job too! We want them to be the healthiest they can be, but working out what is best for them can seem like a mountain too steep to climb.

I have at least five conversations a week with customers needing a solution to their dog’s problem, up to their eyes in advice from well meaning dog owners, forums and Facebook pages. They come to me anxious, confused, guilty and stressed. Not the best shape to be in when you’re trying to make an informed decision.

Their dogs suffer any or all of the following – from front to back:

  • Sore gums and poor teeth
  • Bad breath
  • A dodgy gut
  • Overweight
  • A poor coat and dry skin
  • Lethargy
  • Or hyperactivity
  • Anxiety
  • Wind
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blocked anal glands

Often dog owners are coming to me for advice on which supplement will sort out whatever’s ailing their dog but the first question I always ask is:

What are you feeding your dog now, including treats?

And I’d say that 9 times out of 10 that’s where the problem lies. Even if a lovely customer needs help with an itchy dog whose main problem is incessant scratching, a runny nose and eyes because of a pollen allergy, diet is always, always worth a look.

It’s not the only answer of course but if you can get the fundamentals of diet right then you’re giving your dog the best chance it has of fighting it’s own health battles. A strong gut and a healthy immune system, coupled with good exercise will sort out many of the problems listed above.

The second question I then ask is:

Have you considered raw feeding?

Granted, it isn’t for everyone and the most common response is “I’d like to try it but….”

  • I don’t know how much to feed or what to feed
  • I don’t want to get it wrong
  • What if she doesn’t get a balanced diet
  • I don’t have the freezer space
  • Dogs aren’t supposed to eat bone though, are they?
  • It’s too expensive
  • I’m really nervous about feeding raw

To which I respond:

Try it ready made!

Feeding a tub of Natural Instinct puts paid to all the objections listed above because:

  • You don’t need to know how much or what to feed. Simply pick a meat your dog likes and give it to them. Chicken and Lamb? Try Natural Chicken & Lamb
  • You can’t get it wrong. All Natural Instinct recipes are stuffed to the gunnels with proper food and nutrition, and made with the freshest of ingredients (I’ve seen it for myself, the tripe was a bit whiffy, but good tripe does have quite the odour).
  • She will get a balanced diet. In fact she’ll be eating better than you probably are. Natural Instinct are keen supporters of British produce and use only 100% British meats and the freshest fruit and vegetables. With Natural Instinct your dog is going to have a healthier gut as a result and will absorb far more of the essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in raw food than she would in processed.
  • Unless you’ve got a giant breed, six dogs, or live far from civilisation (although you can get it delivered) I think you’ll be fine for freezer space. Natural Instinct have over 500 stockists located around the UK and each tub can keep in the fridge for up to four days, so if you’ve got room for three tubs (that’s not even two chickens worth) you’re good to go.
  • It’s fine for dogs to eat raw bone, and the bone you’ll find in Natural Instinct is raw and ground so no splinter hazards there.

I can understand your nervousness making any big change to your dog’s way of life takes guts. We like the status quo, it’s why we always order the same pizza topping, curry or bowl of noodles. We say we’d like to try something new but when it comes down to the wire, when someone’s waiting to take our order we invariably blurt out the same request we have done for years “Pepperoni and mushroom please” (don’t judge me).

It’s our ego talking, the part of our psyche that likes everything to be the same, that keeps us safe. It’s saying to you “this is how we always do things, why change now, something bad might happen”. So of course you’re nervous, but it really is just a natural response to change and it’s alright.

We all get stuck sometimes, especially when we’re super stressed and, when you stack that on top of everything else we have to do with our days making a decision to change our pet’s diet overwhelms us.

The solution

Don’t reach for the supplements yet, spend your hard earned cash on a tub of Natural Instinct raw first. Think of it as a date, you’re only going to the cinema you don’t have to marry the guy! If it doesn’t work out it’s no biggie, your dog isn’t going to starve, or get sick, and what’s more they’ll probably love it!

If you feed Natural Instinct raw for a month I can guarantee you’ll see a huge difference in your dog’s energy levels, their coat will gleam, they won’t smell as bad, they won’t fart like grandad and you’ll be picking up far less poo than you ever have.

Give it three months and their gut health should be restored, those pesky recurring ear infections could well be a thing of the past and their teeth will be far cleaner. Bad breath will be a distant memory and you should no longer spend your Saturday evenings squeezing blocked anal glands (because you know how to have a good time).

Whether you transition over a few days or dive straight in you’re just trying it, not making a wholesale, lifetime commitment. Minds can always be changed, decisions reversed, but if you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got. And nothing will change or improve.

Give it a try. Give it a week. Give yourself a break.

To find out more info about transitioning your dog or cat on to a raw diet please follow this link

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