Little Isabella Goes Raw

Isabella sitting

Little Isabella Goes Raw

Friends who are “once-removed” (dear friends of a very dear friend of mine in East Hampton) took my advice about the breed of puppy that might be the best fit for them, and they were graced with a gorgeous black Cocker Spaniel [from a “Bred with Heart” AKC breeder who interviewed me, and then them, for an hour each!]  The new puppy parents named her Isabella, and asked my opinion about feeding raw food to their little girl. I was excited to be able to steer them to MeatMe, a supremely ethical raw pet food company that I am so proud to have as one of my sponsors.



I feel humbled when people ask my advice about their dogs — about what kind of dog might suit them best, how to handle behavior issues, and especially about what to feed them. I immersed myself in studying pet nutrition when I wrote The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible, but while basic facts are a bedrock, there is always an evolving culture in both human and pet nutrition. I love keeping abreast of new information and products, discovering companies doing things at the highest level of technology and also mindfulness about the how/when/where of their ingredients.

Isabella at beach

I have always strived to keep judgment and personal “opinion” out of any nutrition advice I give on the air or in writing because there is no one “best” food or “right” way to feed all dogs. Each pet owner is best off making informed, practical and flexible decisions about what type(s) of food they will feed. It’s really a matter of understanding facts about basic nutrition [without giving credibility to emotionally charged negative messaging about commercial pet food that, sadly, is sprinkled across the internet, as well as in the sales pitches made by many emerging pet food brands] and then using that information to make personal choices based on your finances and your own ideology about what is “healthy eating,” even for yourself.



My recommendation about dog feeding has always been to include a wide variety of types of food. Think of each meal being divided by three: about one-third of the meal being the highest quality dry food you can afford, along with one-third of less-processed, protein-rich, professionally-formulated complete foods like canned, and/or frozen-fresh-cooked, and/or dehydrated/freeze-dried, and/or raw frozen, and finally a third that you add yourself like low fat cottage cheese, and/or cooked eggs, and/or homemade (including non-fatty leftovers) protein and vegetables.

Isabella at beach

When Isabella’s parents asked about feeding her raw dog food, I gave them two paws up and said it was a beautiful way to nourish a dog, especially when incorporating it into a varied diet. I was pleased as punch to be able to tell them that my highest recommendation goes to MeatMe, because their raw frozen foods are made under the strictest guidelines for food safety, but also because the company is a shining beacon of (third-party certified) organic farming in the industry, leading the way by raising all their farm animals (also third party certified) humanely themselves, which includes their own (certified) humane slaughter facility.

Isabella is a shiny ball of joy and love — in the pink of health and growing into puberty (with delayed spaying—thank goodness!—at my recommendation and that of the breeder) thanks to great nutrition.

—Tracie Hotchner

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