How do you know what diet is right for your dog? Wading through what can sometimes feel like a never-ending supply of information and advice about different diets available can be tough, especially if you're looking for something very specific from that food and want to make sure your dog has all of the vitamins and essentials they need to stay happy and healthy on the inside and out.
We were recently given the chance to put some of Natural Instinct's raw dog food to the test, including their Special Diet which is designed for dogs with special dietary needs including weight loss. Knowing friend of K9 Magazine and actress Sarah Jayne Dunn was eager to find a diet food suitable for her Pug, Ming Ming, we put it to her.
Here's Sarah to reveal how they got on.
Being a Pug, naturally, Ming Ming's world revolves around food, therefore she was especially delighted when she discovered she'd be trying out Natural Instinct's raw food range.
Ming Ming struggles with her weight, a common subject we can all relate to. To try and manage her weight we had previously bought specially formulated dry food as recommended by our vet. We chose to stick to dry food as it's all she's ever dined on and we also thought it would be more favourable for portion control.
After trying three different brands of 'diet' dry food Ming Ming's weight was still fluctuating and she never seemed very excited about meal times, she just ate out of necessity and hunger.
All was to change the day Natural instinct arrived at our door. I have to say, I was ever so slightly dubious about raw food, we had previously tried Ming Ming on a different brand of raw food when she was just a puppy and although she loved it, as her portion sizes were much smaller back then, the food would be defrosted and out of the freezer for a few days, longer than I was comfortable with, so I found we wasted a lot of food by throwing it away as a precaution.
Now she is an adult this isn't the case, the Natural Instinct packet sizes provide Ming with her two daily feeds exactly, meaning we can defrost the food the night before and keep it in the fridge the following day until it's used up.
After informing Natural Instinct of Ming Ming's requirements, including that she needed to lose weight, a couple of days later her first box of goodies arrived. Ming Ming loves a delivery, she'll wiggle around a parcel for hours, so imagine her delight to find that this parcel was not only for her but it was filled with food, treats and toys, not to mention a new food bowl. She took an instant like to the toy giraffe and this kept her occupied for some time.
I was particularly impressed with the quality of the toys and bowl and super impressed with the speed of delivery and quality of packaging. The food comes already frozen in a large polystyrene box meaning it's ready to be popped straight into your freezer. The treats are also frozen, we received Lamb lites and Liver treats which can be served frozen straight from the freezer.
Along with the food and treats is an information folder, this includes a guide for introducing your dog or cat to the raw diet and a booklet full of information on the products available and why a raw diet is good for your pet........good question.
Some of the benefits include, shiny coat, fresher breath, strong bones, teeth and joints, healthy skin - the list goes on, can they start making this stuff for humans?!!
I can confirm that all of these things and more apply to Ming Ming since she's been on this new healthy diet. Her coat is shiny and soft, she has lots of energy and her poo is of a better quality! This sounds disgusting I know, but I guarantee if you own a dog and have to pick up after them or if you have a baby, as I do as of four months ago, then at some point in your life you have discussed the quality, colour and consistency of such things. They're an indicator as to what's going on inside the body and I'd rate Ming Ming's poo a 'solid' (excuse the pun) 10/10 since transferring onto this food.
Ming Ming has also lost weight, finally! She seems completely satisfied at food times with two feeds, a treat in the morning and one before bed keeping her full throughout the day. It makes us happy to know we're feeding her healthy, nourishing food and not just bulking her tummy up with dry food.
As you can see from the video we took of her at meal time, she absolutely LOVES this food, the only other time she reacts like that to food is when we give her a little cheese treat and we all know how delicious cheese is!
The gang at Natural Instinct are on hand for help and advice Mon-Sat should you have any questions or concerns, this proves their dedication to providing your pet with the highest quality of food and customer satisfaction.
All the dog food is made with 100% British meat, poultry and fish with fresh vegetables and fruit. We discovered there are lots of different varieties to choose from. Ming Ming has tried a few and loves them all, I've even mixed a couple together to vary the flavours for her even more.
Included in the booklet there's a feeding guide so you are able to work out exactly how much you should be feeding your dog each day. We worked this out for Ming Ming taking into account that she needed to shed a few pounds and so far it's been spot on.
It was so easy to make the transition from dry food to raw food and we haven't looked back. I'm so happy we've finally found a diet that suits Ming Ming and helps keep her trim without taking away the pleasure and taste at meal times.
We are utterly converted and will be keeping her on this food forever, she's very happy which makes us very happy. Happy dog = happy home.