*AD: This is a paid partnership with True Instinct*
So here we are. Tentatively, with baby steps, starting to emerge from the last three months and wondering what the future is going to look like. Whilst I think it’s elicited a whole range of emotions for us, there’s probably no denying that our furry friends have been quite happy to have their owners around a lot more of the time (albeit perhaps may want a rest, too!)
Maddie definitely falls into the camp of living her best life for the last few months. Pete and I have been home full-time since the week before lockdown and since Springer Spaniels are very people-focused dogs (they like people more than other dogs for sure), she really has been loving all the extra attention.
Whereas I think some of us have struggled to come out of lockdown healthier (hello biscuit cupboard….!), she is looking GREAT. We’ve always been committed to ensuring we take the best care of our two and although I don’t have a pet-focused Instagram it’s probably fairly easy for anyone who follows me to see how cherished and happy they are. That said, with Maddie being 6 and Boo being 4, we’re always learning and wanting to know if there’s anything more we can do for them to make sure they’re in tip-top condition.
Back in March (I’ll call it the olden days), I had a very exciting visit to Crufts as a guest of the True Instinct brand, part of the Natures Menu portfolio. We’d already used their wet food for Boo but were quite established feeding Maddie a dry food that was very good at ridding her of previous gut-related issues. I was keen to learn though if there was any other food that she’d enjoy AND would keep her tummy settled – whilst us dog owners joke about those ahem, distinctly doggy smells, the truth is that if they’re on the right food, then doggy smells and nasty poos become a thing of the past. Dogs are very much like people – a healthy/unhealthy gut is very obvious to determine and can be rectified with easy dietary changes, it just takes a bit of trial and error.
Now, I do find that people lurrrrvvveeee to throw their hat into the ring when it comes to discussing dog food. And ever since Maddie was a puppy we’ve had anyone and everyone telling us what to feed our dog – dog owners love an opinion even though they may have a teeny Chihuhua or a huge Rhodesian Ridgeback. This has come from a variety of sources: fellow local dog owners so we see their dogs and I’m not joking but I don’t want Maddie to be overweight or lame, or people online who don’t know us, our dog, or our lifestyle and can’t seem to share any educational information around why feeding what they do is better, just some very unhelpful, unsolicited opinions. It’s not exactly encouraging I’ll be honest!
Thankfully, True Instinct have really helped me to understand a different type of food that I can give Maddie that works for both her and us. They’ve launched a UK first with their revolutionary new Freeze-Dried range for dogs. Completely British-focused and made at True Instinct’s Norfolk factory, the innovative new products offer our four-legged friends the highest quality, deliciously filling food that will help keep them happy and healthy.
If you’re someone who is committed to raw feeding, the True Instinct Freeze-Dried range is ideal to try. It combines the flavour and goodness of raw ingredients with the ease and convenience of dry food. As they say “just store, pour and serve”. We’re a family that love to take Maddie on a doggie holiday each year in the UK and it would be super convenient to pack up and take with us, simply keeping in a cupboard or on a work surface. No mess, no fuss!
The process of freeze-drying locks in all the natural goodness of the quality ingredients by simply removing water content, meaning the range is not only extremely nutritional, but offers an intense taste too. Judging by how NUTS Maddie goes at meal-times, I think that taste is everything.
We’ve been trialling her on the Freeze-Dried complete chicken dinner for the last two months and yes, I was a little reluctant for fear of upsetting her tummy but we had excellent advice from the veterinary team at True Instinct on how to transition her from one food to another. It comes in resealable pouches to keep the freshness in and doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge or freezer. We give Maddie a portion at breakfast time and then again at dinner time which is how she’s always been fed since she was little and we were both working full time and out of the house all day.
And just listen to the ingredients list: chicken (80%), carrots (5%), apples (5%), pea fibre, butternut squash, sweet potato, dicalcium phosphate, beet pulp, cranberries, blackberries, flaxseed, kelp, chicory root, kale, coconut oil, peppermint, green tea, yucca, rosemary, parsley, dandelion root, hawthorn leaf. There are SUPERMODELS who don’t eat as well as this!
Whilst it’s ideal that it fits seamlessly into our lifestyle, most importantly having been trialling it every day over the past two months it’s really give us all the time we need to see just how good it is for Maddie. There’s been no negative impact on her gut health, she’s still full of boundless Springer Spaniel energy and fully alert, the perfect weight and fitness for a six year old and looking just beautiful. Not just that, but I now really feel like I finally understand the benefits of a healthy diet featuring all the benefits of raw food, in a way that’s very best for my dog and our lifestyle.
Disclaimer: Thank you so much to True Instinct for inviting me to be part of this campaign. I have been paid for my attendance at Crufts and subsequent coverage, and gifted a two month trial of dog food for Maddie. There is an entire range of food under the True Instinct for both cats and dogs, featuring both wet and dry food. You can find the whole range here. As always, I share my honest thoughts and will only work with brands who are relevant to my content and lifestyle.