We are undoubtedly a nation of animal lovers and pet owners. Hell, I love my two so much I’ve even named my blog after them! So it stands to follow that we want what’s best for our beloved non-human friends. But with so much choice on the market these days, how do we know that we’re really giving them top quality nutrition? To learn more about canine health (and have a bit of fun along the way), Maddie and I recently hung out with Bakers dog food to see if I really do know my girl as well as I think.
Firstly, there’s pretty much nothing better than relaxing at the equivalent of a doggy creche, if that’s possible with 10 dogs running amok. It was so fun to meet other bloggers and their pooches as we got to grips with learning more about what makes our dogs tick. I’ve grown up with Springer Spaniels so have a pretty good idea about their needs, including lots of exercise, mental stimulation and people time. Springers are incredibly smart (despite the reputation for being mad, that’s just their natural exuberance coming through) and can quickly become distressed if they don’t have the chance to wear off some physical and mental energy.
Of course hand in hand with that is making sure she gets the right food. And as much as we think we may know, it’s typically not on the same level as the real experts. Bakers to me is a well-known brand with fantastic advertising campaigns (as Maddie would go on to prove during the day, tricks are not her skillset!) but I had so much to learn. I didn’t know for example that they’ve been making dog food since 1922 and are now owned by Purina. What this means is that you can rest assured that the perfect combination of nutritionally-balanced meals are available for your pooch owing to the large scale team of nutritionists, scientists and vets who are all beavering away behind the scenes to ensure the end product is a 100% complete and balanced food.
So what does that even mean? We’re living in an increasingly conscious society these days when it comes to food, questioning what we ourselves eat on a regular basis and understanding more than ever before the importance of getting a nutritionally balanced diet. It’s exactly the same for dogs. They need a range of components within food including proteins, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates to keep them in tip-top condition. Not only do Bakers provide that, they also contain no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
There are other tell-tale signs to look out for when checking our furbabies overall health and we had the chance to learn from Purina’s in-house vets and vet nurses about key factors. It’s not a pleasant topic but just like parents, dog-owners know you have to get up close to that poo to be a responsible citizen and we all know what’s good and bad poo (lovely).
Body shape is also key and I’m absolutely on it when it comes to Maddie, identifying when she’s as little as a kilo overweight. Most dogs are meant to be sleek which is often mistaken by owners for being undernourished. What I didn’t know however is the importance of weighing their food. We use a tailor-made scoop with Maddie but a Bakers experiment showed that 4 owners “scooping” what we thought was the same amount of food varied wildly in weight from 33g up to 46g. Taking that into consideration, imagine how easy it is for a dog to creep into ‘overweight’ status.
After learning some all-important tips on canine well-being it was time to see if there was a talent hidden away just waiting to be unleashed. In the case of Maddie, well probably not. Led by Sandra Strong who has trained many dogs for film and TV, we all tried (and in my case failed) to get our pooches to use their paws to tap some of the Bakers products and then pop their paws on a skateboard. Oh dear. Maddie’s future definitely lies more with the police than on TV. As a Springer she’s totally nose-oriented so whilst she’s happy to sniff out treats in my hand with her nose, trying to get her to use her paw instead was a no-go despite using the click and reward system.
Despite her not having a glittering career ahead on the red carpet, we had a fantastic time with the Bakers team. It just goes to prove that whilst you might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, you can always teach an old owner a thing or two about their beloved best friends.
This is a paid partnership with Bakers who kindly invited me to participate in their #InsideBakers campaign. Thank you so much to the brand for a fabulous day for myself and Maddie.