September Success Stories: Ditto (Cocker Spaniel)

23rd September 2022 10 min read

Guest Blog: Lucy Haynes

' We went to our local pet store asking if there were any options we hadn't exhausted, she popped up and questioned if we had ever heard about raw feeding. We had heard a little about it but never done our full research on it.'

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Ditto's Story

Ditto was born on the 16th of June 2018, we collected him just a few days after our 2nd wedding anniversary, this felt like utter fate as we weren't allowed dogs at our current accommodation but our landlord at the time agreed that we could add four little paws to the family!

So we began research on which dog would best fit our family and we came to the choice of a cocker spaniel, because of the adaptability of apartment living and how they were the best breed of dog for a young family! It was going to be so weird having a smaller dog as both myself and my husband grew up with much larger dogs, I grew up with German Shepherds and he had grown up with Boxers!

It was just by chance that someone messaged me on an ad I had posted a few months before, saying her family dog had just given birth to a litter of cocker pups, I had almost given up searching as Cocker Spaniels being sold around summertime were being snatched up like wildfire.

We literally jumped at the opportunity as she said we could have first pick, the next week we went to visit the two males in the litter, I had said to my husband that I won't pick the pup as I want to see which one would come to us first, we had a choice of a black and blue roan pup and a lemon roan, the black blue roan was the first one to go straight to my daughter!

We couldn't believe we had just placed a deposit down on a pup and it all still seemed so unreal the fact that in less than 3 weeks we would be a family of 4!

We hadn't told any of our family/friends until the day when we collected Ditto, of course there were many of them who told us we would have our hands full with a working cocker spaniel and we shouldn't have gone for a Cocker as a first dog. But we had done months of research and we definitely made the right choice for our family.

Unfortunately the puppy honeymoon period passed very quickly when we bought him home, but not from what you'd expect. What we were made to believe to have was a healthy, looked after pup was quite the opposite, He was riddled with worms, fleas, dry flaky skin and liquid stools. We thought his little round belly must have meant exactly what his breeder said and that he was just a 'fatty' turns out yes he was in fact riddled with worms and very underweight, he had little to no energy and was always sleeping.

We had then found out later that night of bringing him home he had only been fed on chum meat, no biscuit and no mothers milk from 4 weeks old, We felt like total fools for being so oblivious to all these signs and had we not asked enough questions the first time we went to go view him, nevertheless though we both knew regardless of the situation we weren't the type of people to leave a pup in a bad environment if we had known from the get go.

We booked a vet appointment for the earliest appointment they had, it was from there that the journey started of getting him to a healthy state and to gain weight. We started off with vet prescribed wet dog food and with Wagg puppy kibble, this still didn't agree with him after 2 weeks so we were told to put him on boiled chicken and rice just to try and get his stool at a somewhat healthy consistency. That did help, but it was obvious he couldn't stay on a bland diet of chicken and rice his whole life, so we found tails.com tailored pet food. This was the food that started to help him gain a little bit of weight and his stools were looking a little better, finally a turn in the right direction we thought! This poor pup had been through so much and missed vital socialisation and puppy play.

Then came this little bump in the road when we took him to his last jab appointment. We found out some upsetting news, that our beautiful 16 week old puppy actually in fact has cataracts and a scratch across his pupil. They didn't know if the cataracts were connected from the scratch across his pupil or whether they would fade as he got older. I left the appointment in bits, my world had fallen apart, I was trying to connect all the dots and suddenly realised why he wouldn't chase a ball.. it all started to make sense.

We were determined to get this food issue sorted after all the things poor, little baby Ditto had been through. But then came another issue, he was bored of his food after 6 months of being on tails. He couldn't touch wet food as it was just too rich and went straight through him so we started head scratching trying to get food into this dog.

We went to our local pet store asking if there were any options that we hadn't exhausted. A lady popped up and questioned if we had ever heard about raw feeding, We had heard a little about it but never done our full research on it.

She kindly started gathering what he would need to start out on a full raw diet and emailed me all the information, including benefits of raw feeding. She had suggested Paleoridge and to start with 3kg to see how he got on with it. She also advised to start the transfer from kibble to raw straight away, using the method 90% kibble 10% raw and so on over the period of one week.

We were very sceptical that this would even work for a fussy eater like Ditto and if he'd go straight back to liquid stools. But, to our amazement this fussy eater was lapping it up, raw first kibble last!! No loose stools, no nose turning!

Within the week we had fully transitioned from kibble to raw! He was loving mealtimes; this was in fact the first time we had seen him start dancing for his meals with a wagging tail, every time he would chow down! Success at long last! It wasn't too long after him being on a full raw diet that we in fact started to see all the benefits I had read about. A full coat of glossy, silky fur was the first one, brighter eyed, losing and maintaining weight (previously Ditto gained so much weight on tails he was a whopping 16kg, he is now a steady 14.5kg and is so lean!) he no longer had zero energy!

We are just so thankful for having our eyes opened to the benefits of raw & discovering the Paleo Ridge brand. You've given our dog life!

Further Reading

23rd May 2024

Guest Blog: Anna Webb

It’s interesting that there are many flea ‘species’, including dog fleas, hedgehog fleas, human fleas, but 90% of the world’s flea population is the very well adapted ‘cat flea’ otherwise known as 'Ctenocephalides Felix’.

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