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This is a sponsored post by Darwin's Natural Pet Products. I received food in exchange for writing and promoting a post about my dogs. Don't judge, I got five dogs to feed so if someone wants to give me food to write about how much I love them, then WINNING!!!!!
The other day, I walked up to a new employee to introduce myself.
- Me, holding out my hand: Hi, I don't think we've met. I'm Kimberly.
- New Employee: We were in a budget meeting together a few years ago (my bad). I remember that you have a lot of dogs and you make their food.
At my day job, I'm known as the person who has a lot of dogs and makes dog food. If a new employee has a dog, someone will tell them to come speak with me. It's not bad advice because dog people tend to congregate.
Sometimes I just come across as a Crazy Dog Lady with conspiracy theories about commercial dog food and who thinks her dogs are her kids.
Ummmm, but they are! And they deserve it.
Benefits of Living with Dogs
A recent study by the American Heart Association (AHA) concluded that “Dog ownership is associated with [a] lower risk of death over the long term, which is possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality.”
But that's not all! Living with dogs also comes with these benefits:
- my anxiety is kept in check thanks to the distraction of dogs
- I have a reason to exercise (walking the dogs)
- I've become agile as avoid toys scattered everywhere
- I have a cleaning schedule, inside and out
- I no longer pretend that my car is for humans
- I'm learning to sleep in the shape of a pretzel
- I've tuned out the sound of squeaker toys
- I've become an excellent negotiator and peacemaker
- I laugh every day at the antics of my dogs
So, as you can see, my dogs deserve all the love in the world, which is why I treat them like royalty.
But what does that look like?
9 Ways I Treat My Dogs Like Royalty
I'm a huge fan of English royal history. I've watched the Showtime series Tudors more times than I can count. I watched Princess Diana's wedding as a child and I watched Princess Megan's wedding as an adult. And, now, I'm obsessed with the Philippa Gregory series: The White Queen, The White Princess, and The Spanish Queen.
In fact, I'm watching The White Queen (for the 5th time) as I type.
So, using these fictional accounts on how the Tudor Dynasty came about, I've come up with a list of how I can treat my dogs like royalty.
1 – We Designed Our Home Around Our Dogs
Our home is Court and our dogs don't appear to have jobs; instead, they play, party, dine and relax day after day. We live in five acres and we've turned our property into our very own private dog park. My boyfriend refers to it as his golf course, but he's mistaken. It's a dog park.
2 – Our Dogs Have Furniture Privileges
Our dogs sit on the throne (aka, the sofa, loveseat, and sectional) in our home. My boyfriend refers to the sectional as the most expensive dog bed on the planet. I'm sure we can find something that costs more. He's so dramatic.
The dogs also sleep in bed with us. Bedtime is a challenge some nights as I figure out a way to sleep on the bed with four or five dogs. Thankfully, as the night progresses, the dogs move on to their own beds, one of the sofas, and a favorite chair.
3 – Our Dogs Have Servants (Okay, It's Us)
Raising five dogs requires daily housecleaning, bi-weekly laundry, and weekly meal prep. There are occasional seamstress duties should a beloved toy be ripped to shreds before the dogs are ready for it to retire. And landscaping and fitness trainer duties a required as well. There have been times when we've had to solicit additional assistance in the form of a dog trainer, dog walker, and pet sitter.
4 – There Are Occasional Battles for the Throne.
At the moment, Sydney is on top with Rodrigo and Apollo battling for second in command – lots of lip curls, low growls, and hackles have been raised, however, training is keeping the battle from our door.
With the age differences (Apollo is almost 10 months old), we've found that peace reigns when we take our young Prince to other Courts – aka, doggy daycare – or to the neighboring kingdom to play with Princess Elsa.
5 – Pack Walks Are a Regular Royal Activity
As a family, we go on great hunts in our 5-acre kingdom. Zoey continually rousts out rabbits from their hiding places, however, none of our subjects have managed to kill a rabbit in a few years. However, several robins and bluejays have been victim to Zoey's sharp skills.
Then she rolls in her kill. Not very royal-like.
6 – Occasional Beheadings Do Occur
Sadly, we do have many executions. Our community of stuffed toys has had squeakers taken out, limbs ripped off, and they've had to suffer the indignity of being soaked in dog drool after one of our pups has a chew at them.
Thankfully, our citizens are repopulated several times a year after a trip to the local pet store.
7 – Royal Fashions Are a Must
Soon, the winter wears will be revealed as Rodrigo, our Crown Prince, dons sweaters and jackets to keep the winter chill at bay. Our pack prefers to go without sweaters and coats, but they look so cute so I make them bundle up anyway on snowy days.
8 – As With Most Royal Families, Our Dogs are in the Spotlight
People are always watching my dogs, mesmerized by their royal flair and lineage. Okay, so it's me watching them through security cameras I purchased at Best Buy. Same difference. It's not weird or obsessive at all.
9 – Our Dogs Eat a Diet of Fresh Food
Our dogs eat a raw food diet because I think it's healthier, the nutrients are more bioavailable, and I don't worry about mystery ingredients or sourcing. As children, humans learned that we are what we eat – that goes for dogs too. A steady diet of processed food will lead to a steady stream of health issues. Adding fresh food to the bowl will support a healthier gut, immune system, and, ultimately, a healthier dog.
Bow Down to Better Food
Often, I get messages asking me how to get started on a fresh food diet and I tell everyone the same thing:
- Educate Yourself About Raw Feeding
- Join an Online Raw Feeding Community
- Start with a Commercial Raw Brand
In 2013, I transitioned my dogs from kibble to a raw food diet formulated, prepared, and shipped by Darwin's Natural Pet Products. This allowed me to feed my dogs a healthy, balanced diet, while I took the time to learn more about ingredients, sourcing, and my dogs' nutritional needs.
It wasn't easy. There is a tremendous amount of information out there and a lot of different ways to feed my dogs. After years of feeding raw and learning what I can, I finally figured it out for my dogs. Someone, I don't remember who it was, gave me some great advice recently…
“Feed the dog in front of you.”~ Facebook
Every since I got that advice, I stopped worry about so many things. I focus on my dogs. Raw feeding doesn't need to be complicated – don't allow strangers to get in your head.
Darwin's Natural Pet Food
I still remember the day that I signed up for Darwin's Pet. Rodrigo developed another skin rash, the worst yet, and I was fed up. The veterinarian we had at the time couldn't figure out what was going on and the antibiotics he kept prescribing were obviously not helping. I had already begun researching raw feeding and I called Darwin's Pet to get started on their introductory plan.
Within two weeks, most of Rodrigo's health issues were gone. His rash? It was gone in a few days.
I've been convinced that fresh food is the best food for my dogs ever since.
Today, we have five dogs.
Let me say that a little more loudly because I can't believe it myself.
WE HAVE FIVE DOGS!!!
And they are all raw fed.
Are You Considering Raw Food for Your Dog?
If you are considering raw food and wondering where to start, I want to let you know that there are many ways to start:
- You can transition your dog to raw slowly, starting with one cut of meat and building to a complete meal.
- You can transition your dog to raw through a hybrid diet, which is what I did and it worked very well for two of our dogs.
And if you're still not sure, you can always add fresh food to your dog's current diet while you take the time to learn.
- Did you know that you can cook Darwin's Pet food and feed it as a cooked meal instead of raw? Or a meal topper?
- Did you know that you can feed a hybrid diet exclusively if you don't want to transition to 100% raw?
When I transitioned to raw, I was concerned about sourcing, balance, storage, and budget. The customer service team took the time to explain everything to me and set me up on a service that met all of my needs without breaking the bank.
Whether you switch to raw dog food, begin incorporating fresh food into your dog's diet, or simply begin to make healthier choices for your dog (Darwin's offers healthy treats too), you can treat your dog like royalty too by starting with their dog dish.
What do you do to treat your dog like royalty?