This post was sponsored by Side By Side as part of a Two-Post Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Hey friends! I wanted to give you a quick update on how Rawlings is doing. Obviously, we have our two ridiculous cats, but it’s a whole new ballgame with a dog. We’ve had our baby girl (Honey Bunches of Oats is her nickname) for almost two months and we’ve slowly found a new normal. Of course, it hasn’t been a smooth road and we’re still figuring things out. Full disclosure, I’m talking a lot about her gastrointestinal issues today so I would implore you to finish eating before continuing.
As an ex-race dog, Rawlings spent her whole life on the racetrack in Florida surrounded by other Greyhounds. She came to us as many dogs in Florida do, with hookworms and Giardia. When she arrived, she was also in the process of changing foods. Between the stress of moving from Florida, the parasite, worms, and new food, she was a bit of a mess. And she made a mess every time she went potty. The Giardia has since cleared up but the stomach issues still persist.
In early April, I attended the launch party of Side by Side pet food. It was an extremely small, intimate dinner with Marney Prince, the founder and nutritionist behind Side by Side. Marney and I hit it off talking about rescue dogs and our jobs in veterinary offices. As someone who was just about to get a dog, I was asking hundreds of questions. She was kind and patient and I learned a lot from our brief chat.
Flash forward to today and I’m still overwhelmed with all the information out there. With a dog that’s having stomach issues, I sent a note to Side by Side asking if I could speak with Marney. Luck was on my side because they were just about to do a campaign with a few influencers and I fit the bill. Unfortunately, I ultimately decided it was too soon to be switching over Rawlings’ food and declined to be a part of the campaign. When Marney heard this, she still wanted to speak with me about her health and food and offer insight.
Before I spoke with Marney, she had me take the online assessment so she could get a baseline of information about Rawlings. Her age, her weight, her activity level, etc., all basic stuff at first. Then it asked some interesting questions, where does your dog eat? Where does she sleep? Does she prefer sun or shade? The assessment asked a plethora of medical questions as well from diarrhea to cancer and everything in between. Her tongue, her eyes, her ears, her sleeping habits, no detail was left out of the comprehensive assessment. The questions intrigued me and I was super interested in learning what the questions meant. After completing the assessment, Marney and I arranged a time to chat.
During our conversation, we talked about everything. Rescue life, pet nutrition, my blog, Side by Side, and of course Rawlings’ diet. Marney’s combination of Eastern and Western medicine is what makes her unique. One of the first things we talked about was how she did on car rides. I explained she was very quiet in the car but would pant almost the entire time. She asked if the panting was accompanied by any drooling to which I responded yes. Her thought? Little Rawlings was getting car sick while on drives. She suggested I use a mix of lavender and peppermint essential oils in the car to reduce stress and nausea.
Marney didn’t come at me from a sales-minded approach, she was genuinely interested in helping me get Rawlings feeling tip-top. We talked about her diet and I explained that while I’d love to put her on a raw diet or Side by Side, it’s simply too expensive for us right now. Plus Marney agreed it was too soon to try to change her diet again. Instead, she recommended switching her from Zignature turkey to Zignature duck. When I asked why she explained that I noted that Rawlings tends to pant a lot and is warm to the touch. She explained that turkey is a “warming” protein, meaning that it heats the body and causes the dog to be warm and anxious. Duck, on the other hand, is a cooling meat which helps cool a dog and keep them cool, calm, and relaxed. Other cooling proteins include fish, bison, and beef.
Cool stuff huh? I had never heard of cooling vs warming foods but to me it makes sense. Plus, by simply changing her protein, it wouldn’t be a hard change to make to her diet. It was a simple step I could take to try to balance out her diet. She also recommended using Belly Balance, a probiotic from Side by Side that she was happy to send along to try. The supplement is supposed to help balance the flora in her GI tract. This will hopefully firm her up and reduce the amount of flatulence she’s been displaying.
While I’d love to do a full raw or whole-food diet, it’s simply not time to try it. I am so appreciative of Marney and Side by Side taking the time to learn about Rawlings and help get her feeling her best. Their motto “Feed Love. Feed Life” rang true throughout the entire process.
For more information about Side by Side, visit www.sidebysidepet.com. Even just taking their pet assessment can help you find ways to help your pup feel their best. You can use the code “STYLE” for 25% off your order.
Have you ever heard of warming or cooling foods? Are you curious about changing your pet’s food? Let me know in the comments below!