GURUlicious!

Pop the kettle on and put your feet up as this is a lengthy one…..

As a veterinary nurse and diligent ‘dog mum’ I feel it is my responsibility to make sure Isla and Jelli (& Bracken) are all fed the healthiest, most nutritious food possible. I completed a Small Animal Nutrition Certificate after qualifying as a veterinary nurse so I knew what I should be feeding and why – the problem was finding the right food!

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Rewind several years and we have tried numerous foods, not one had the desired effect for the dogs. They lost coat condition or lost weight. Had a noticeable increase in excretions (yup, I mean poop!) or just didn’t want to eat it.

We tried expensive, super premium foods but found these had a tendency to make the dogs put on weight but lack coat condition, cheaper foods just made them poo more. Raw food was always going to be the best option, however that is not without certain risks and complications which I was not prepared to take – such as salmonella and pretty much needing a designated dog food freezer!

Now fast forward to June 2017! The pitter patter of tiny paws graced the household and we had 4 extra mouths to feed! Fast forward a further 10 weeks and due to some unforeseen circumstances it became apparent that one of these bundles was going to be staying put! Welcome to the family Jelli!!

As a super active working cocker spaniel with no fear or trepidation I knew I had to find a food that would support Jelli during the critical growth stages and one she actually liked – we tried several foods that she would be totally non-fussed about and then found Guru – since that point we have never looked back!

All three dogs are now fed Guru and I can honestly say that Guru is the best food for our spaniels (and no, i’m not being paid to say this either)!!

Jelli has reached a year old now and adores her food, the bowl is always licked clean, she has a fabulous coat and body condition and totally thrives on it. Isla and Bracken are also doing amazingly well on it. At the age of 8 Isla looks and acts like a puppy which I truly believe is down to being fed a great diet – Bracken on the other hand has always been a very lean dog and can sometimes look a bit ‘ribby’. Feeding more of his previous food just resulted in him bloating and then having an upset tummy. Since changing him to Guru he is fitter, has put on more muscle and weight and his coat condition has improved massively! It’s great that it will feed all the dogs regardless of their age too!

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So what makes Guru so great? Its cold pressed for a start which means it hasn’t been cooked at really high temperatures which destroys a lot of nutrients in foods. It also means it doesn’t need to be coated in fats and preservatives to make it taste nice! The pellets don’t swell up either like other kibbles do – this can lead to bloat and other very serious conditions in dogs – especially large or deep chested breeds – which can be fatal.

Have a look at the video here —> Cold Pressed Video to see how it works!

It contains natural ingredients (click here) including beef, sea fish, sweet potato and green lipped mussels. The food is pressed into a pellet form which is perfect for adding warm water and re-hydrating into a porridge  – perfect for weaning puppies or for the golden oldies who need something a bit softer! Guru comes in two flavours as well! Full on Feast (think roast dinner for dogs) and Surf and Turf (our favourite) which is a blend of beef and fish!

There are no additives, E numbers, artificial flavours or nasties hiding in the Guru food and this is extended to their treats too! Isla inspects each nag to make sure there are no little bits hiding!
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(Gosh – it really does just keep getting better doesn’t it!)

So what to treat the dog who will only eat the finest of foods? Venison Sausages perhaps, or maybe Reel Fish Skins (these are new and super yummy!) We use the Venison sausages (contain sweet potato & apple too) for our agility and obedience training. Both the cockers will work their socks off for these as they are soooo tasty!

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The Reel Fish Skins are a new addition to the Guru Family and are a ‘reel’ winner (see what I did there!) with all the dogs – a little crunchy they are super for dental health but can be soaked for a slightly softer treat! They come in a resealable packet too so great for keeping in the car for a treat or in your bag with no worries of people getting a meaty or fishy whiff!

 

BC40BB0D-5DFD-4B39-A1CE-D09EBC0C29CBFinally (yes I know i’m going on but it is a FURbulous food) for those nights away or long road trips it can be a bit of a faff to measure out and pack dog food! Introducing the Trip Bones! These can be a longer lasting treat or a meal substitute – still full of the same health benefits and absence of additives & nonsense but a chicken flavour instead of the normal Guru flavours!

 

So in conclusion (yes i’m finished now) I cannot rate Guru highly enough – it has transformed our dogs and I recommend it to friends, clients and anyone else who stands still long enough to talk about the dogs! We love being part of the Geekstar Crew and have our paws crossed we may get to be official Geekstars soon! Both Jelli and Isla would LOVE a Guru bandana to wear with pride and continue to spread the Guru Love!

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Check out their website here —-> www.gurupetfood.com/shop and change the way you feed your dog today (plus add some treats into the basket cause they are super Paw-some and your dog will love them!) Plus it’s usually next day delivery!

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(This blog is based entirely on my own experience with Guru, we have received no monetary or product incentive from Guru in return for this article)

DogFest West 2018

So we have just about recovered from DogFest West on Sunday! A jam packed day filled with LOADS of activities and things to do for your pooch! With lots of food stands (mainly for your dog) and stands selling everything from collars to clothes and beds to balls!

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It was scorching day  – 28 degrees! – so made sure we had packed travel bowls for water and the girls cooling coats and bandannas. Fortunately we had pre-booked tickets (Thanks Guru Pet Food!!) so we could bypass the queue and made a beeline for the Water stand and filled up our bottles and soaked the cooling coats.

Once settled and we got our bearings we started off having a look around to see who we knew and what lovely products there were for sale! We started off by visiting the team at Pet Drugs Online who made a huge fuss of Jelli and we finally got to see the advert she starred in for the first time on the big screen! They weighed both girls and gave them lots of fuss and treats before we set off to see what else was on offer!

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We were approached by LOTS of people asking if the girls wanted to sample their food and treats, we had to politely decline after the first few as I didn’t want to have two full up dogs with lots of different foods potentially upsetting their tummies!

We had to say hello to the lovely team at Bath Country Pets who had a stand there and just a few stalls up was the lovely Tracey from the Distinguished Dog Company! They sell the most fabulous tops for hoomans and gorgeous bowties and bandannas for dogs! We had to buy one of her lovely ‘Walkies’ T-Shirts which will feature in a blog post super soon!

By this point we had been walking for nearly an hour and it was getting hotter so we stopped off at the Fetch by Ocado rest area, the girls had a chill out on the deck chairs and I filled up our water bottles again – we then watched some of the Agility and Dog Diving which was very funny!!

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After another nice rest we made a beeline for the BEST stand there….

Once at the Guru stand both girls felt right at home! Relaxing on the comfy arm chairs they had their photos taken and made sure Lisa knew they were there!

 

Several handfuls of the delicious Guru Food later (they certainly wouldn’t need tea!) we said hello to  Megan, Woody and Wilma from the Cotswold Spaniels and had some more photos taken and chose what goodies they wanted to take home! Guru have some exciting new treats to accompany the venison sausages in the form of dried fish skins! These treats need a write up of their own so keep your eyes peeled!

After spending time here in the shade it was time to think about heading home! We couldn’t help but pass the George Barclay stand again and check out their stunning dog beds – we are even more excited that they are going to be working with us in the very near future!!

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We all had a lovely time and highly recommend the DogFest festival to anyone who loves dogs! There is one DogFest left this year at Hertfordshire in July so if your local pop along and have fun! Hopefully we will see some of you next year!

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Growing Old (Un)Gracefully!

It’s the one thing as pet owners we hate talking about. The taboo subject that we all ignore and avoid (both in humans and animals!) Aging. That one little word that fills us with dread. Now this blog will hopefully make dealing with your dogs (or any pet for that matter) a little easier and less daunting!

I only realised a few weeks ago that Isla is now technically ‘senior’ when I had to put her date of birth down on an entry form! That realisation prompted me to write this blog!

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Firstly, just because your dog has reached a certain age doesn’t mean they are old and should stop doing things they love. You’ll probably find it is doing those things that is keeping them young, fit and healthy. It just means they have reached a point in life where things may be not running as smoothly as they once were and a little support will help slow the signs of aging down.

There are lots of things you can do to support your dog, from supplements to brain games, lifestyle changes and veterinary monitoring.

Nutrition plays a huge part in supporting the older dog. Many diets have a senior range which may have increased levels of Glucosamine & Chondrotin which helps support joint health and delay signs of arthritis and stiffness, reduced phosphorus levels to help support the kidneys and special mixes of amino acids that can help brain function.

Jelli and Isla are both fed Guru and Forthglade and although Guru doesn’t have a ‘senior’ diet, it’s jam packed full of the good things to help support older dogs including that fabulous Glucosamine & Chondriton combo and the addition of some yummy green lipped mussels which have proven benefits to help reduce inflammation in the joints! We add forthglade wet food as a topper to the Guru, Jelli enjoys the Forthglade ‘Just’ wet food but Isla has moved to the Senior Trays which have double the Glucosamine & Condroiton than the 2 months + range and the same yummy blend of camomile, nettle, Rosemary and parsley. It also comes in two delicious flavours – Chicken or Turkey.

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Whilst thinking about the additional nutrients Isla needs, it’s hard to increase some things using food alone. This is why every day she gets an Animology Senior Capsule! Formulated to include important vitamins and amino acids that aging dogs need. For example the Amino Acid Taurine is included which can help maintain a healthy heart and Carnitine which can help stop fat deposits building around the heart and liver impairing how they work. They come in pots of 60 and dosed at one a day, priced at £12 they are cost effective at only 20p a day! There are lots of other important ingredients all contributing to the health of your dog!

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Lifestyle is a huge factor to consider too! A dog who is a bit of a couch potato may be more inclined to put on weight and find it harder to mobilise. So it’s super important to keep your dogs weight within a normal range as this will have less pressure on the joints and reduce fatty deposits around the heart and lungs. Isla is a very active dog and still enjoys 15 mile walks on Exmoor, agility lessons and swimming!

After any exercise it is important to make sure any pet is warm and dried off thoroughly afterwards. Older pets will particularly appreciate this as it will stop their joints seizing up and getting still, especially if they have a little bit of arthritis already. After a long walk or a swimming session, Isla is wrapped up nice and warm in her Ruff and Tumble drying coat. This keeps her warm, dries her quickly and also stops the car getting mucky!

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There are a few things you can do around the home to make your pet more comfortable. This may be more applicable to much older pets but worth bearing in mind.

As your pet ages, problems with sight may be more prevalent. Cataracts are very common and if left untreated will result in blindness. Keeping furniture in the same place will help your pet if they do lose their sight as they will be able to memories areas and navigate them safely.

If your pet does develop arthritis and they start finding it harder to jump on the sofa or in and out of the car, there are ramps and blocks you can buy to help them without the need for you to lift them which may cause discomfort for you if they are large dogs and also stops the risk of them being dropped if they are wriggly or heavy!

Dogs with arthritis may also find it harder to get comfortable when sleeping, or indeed chose to sleep more as they find it uncomfortable to get up and move. Investing in a memory foam style bed will provide much more comfort for your dog and support their bones and joints in a natural position! Isla has a rather large memory foam bed from Orvis which is big enough for Jelli and Bracken to all snuggly up on too!

Brain games are great for dogs with limited mobility too as it can mentally stimulate and tire them without the need for long walks and physical exercise. This could be something as simple as a KONG toy stuffed with food to a more complex game such as the Nina Ottosson puzzle games. Isla has one of the level two games which she loves!

Finally a trip to the vets every so often isn’t always a bad thing. Lots of veterinary practices offer free of charge clinics with their nurses to check things such as blood pressure, kidney function and general well being. Some things may be chargeable like blood tests but did you know that before you notice signs of kidney failure (thirsty, weight loss, vomiting, lethargy plus many more) 70% of the kidney function may be lost already! So having regular check ups will pick things up sooner so they can be managed and treated appropriately.

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So getting older isn’t all doom and gloom! It’s an excuse to treat your dog to some new treats and food and make sure you enjoy every day to the fullest!

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Thanks for reading our blog – all thoughts are our own and if you are worried about your dog then call your vet for advice!

No Nonsense & Natural!

After being super choosy and fussy deciding on the food to feed the girls, it would feel wrong buying artificial, processed treats that are full of additives.

So when we stumbled across JR Pet Products all our problems were solved! They have a huge range of tasty treats that are 100% natural, with no colourings, flavourings or anything else nasty!

There is an enormous range to chose from so we have selected a few of our favourites to tell you about!

Firstly rabbit 🐇 ears! These are a firm favourite with the dogs and us! Unlike some treats, they are totally odourless so perfect for having in the house as there is no smell and they are very clean to eat. No greasy residue on carpets or the dog bed and the ears are easy to eat so don’t turn into the soggy pulp that some of the mass produced raw hide chews do.

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If you want a treat that’s safe to leave with your dog when you go out or they just need something to concentrate on, then we can highly recommend the Pure Pate! It comes in three flavours and two sizes and for the indecisive among you, they come in a variety pack so your dog can try them all!

We found there is numerous ways to use the pate, slicing, cubing or stuffing! It slices and cubes really well which makes it perfect for training treats and it’s PERFECT for stuffing into a Kong toy or similar for hours of entertainment! With three flavours to choose from, chicken 🐓 , turkey 🦃  or salmon 🐟 you can give your dog a different flavour very few days!

Jelli’s favourite flavour is the salmon pate and she spends ages making sure every last morsel has been licked out of the kong! To make it last even longer once it’s been stuffed, we freeze the kong for a summery treat that lasts twice as long! The added benefits of Pure Pate is it is Grain and Gluten free! So even the pups with sensitive tummies or intolerances don’t miss out!

We have been on the hunt for a chew that lasts longer than 30 seconds, isn’t hideously processed rawhide and is completely natural. So discovering the JR Pet Products beef tails was a great find! Each pack contains 5 to 7 tails (ours had 6!) so plenty to share in multidog households or enough to last a couple of weeks if given every other day!

Jelli and Isla loved their tails! Both are usually very quick to gobble up treats but it took them AGES to finish these! Fortunately they are also low in fat, which is hugely beneficial for Isla since she has been spayed so does put on weight a bit easier! As an added benefit I’ve also noticed Isla’s teeth looking cleaner which has come from chewing against an harder surface! Similarly to the rabbit ears, the tails are odourless which makes them a great evening chew that is totally inoffensive!

The girls were lucky enough to also be sent some rolled venison sticks! Word of advice! These are VERY strong smelling so you may want to give these outside or in a ventilated room if you don’t like the smell! That aside they are again very long lasting and excellent for dogs that like to chew! The rolls take a while to soften up before ‘bits’ are able to be chewed off which means it keeps your dog occupied for longer!

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we HIGHLY recommend the natural treats from JR Pet Products and cannot wait to try more of their range! Head to their website here —-> https://www.jrpetproducts.com to shop online or find your local stockist!

Let us know what you think of the treats and what your favourites are!

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As with all chews we do not advise leaving your dog unattended whilst eating them as small bits can become lodged between the back teeth or even in the throat which could be very distressing for your pooch!