Ever wondered what the pets of Healthy Spot eat? Have they always eaten healthy? Did their owners know about the concerns of commercial pet food before working at Healthy Spot? We’re highlighting 4 team members and the journey their pets have gone through since their humans started working with us.
Christine and August
1. Please introduce yourself and your pup.
My name is Christine Munoz and I am the Assistant Retail Manager at Marina del Rey. I met August when Pacific Pup Rescue was hosting their monthly adoption event at our Marina del Rey location. August had just been surrendered moments before I inquired more about him and his history to discover he was house trained, good with kids and CATS! I have two kitties at home so this was definitely a plus. I just couldn't let him leave with anyone else but me!
2. What did August’s diet look like when you adopted him?
When I adopted August, his previous owners had been feeding him a combination of kibble and canned food. These foods can be heavily processed and full of fillers, starches and other ingredients that contribute very little to no nutrients. With all that I've learned at Healthy Spot, I knew I had to transition him into a healthier alternative. In addition to this, I needed to find a food and potentially supplements that would help combat his sensitivities and environmental allergies.
3. While training during your first weeks at Healthy Spot, what was one interesting fact about pet nutrition you learned that got you thinking about August’s health?
During my first weeks of training at Healthy Spot I learned that starches in kibble contribute to plaque and tartar buildup in a dog’s mouth. The science behind this is a dog’s lack of amylase, an enzyme that helps break down starches. Without this, starches turn into sugar and builds up into that yucky brown stuff we often find on our pet’s teeth.
4. You mentioned you have cats. Did you change their diets too based on what you learned at Healthy Spot?
Before I started working at Healthy Spot, I was feeding my cats a popular brand carried by big retail chain stores. It wasn’t until I started doing research on my own that I learned that the brand I was feeding had several issues, such as numerous recalls that occurred while I was giving it to my cats. When I started at Healthy Spot, I finally had the resources to transition them to eating raw food.
5. What do you feed August and your cats now and why?
August eats a combination of Smallbatch, The Honest Kitchen, and K9 Natural. I chose Smallbatch raw food because they include natural supplements such as bee pollen. Bee pollen is known to alleviate allergy symptoms and is something I have used in the past in my own diet. The Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated human grade dog food that must be rehydrated. I use K9 Natural’s Lamb green tripe as a treat and topper to help support his digestive system.
I feed my cats Primal Pronto, an easy-to-serve raw food my pets love! It is small enough for them to bite into and thaws out in minutes, making it a breeze to feed and leave for work. Cats do not realize when they’re thirsty which can be a serious problem that can cause extreme dehydration. Raw food is very high in moisture and helps my cats stay hydrated and healthy.
6. Has your concern with August’s diet changed?
With the knowledge I gained at Healthy Spot, I have grown confident in the decisions I have made to August’s diet. I am reassured that his little body is now more equipped to combat his allergies, support his digestive system, and provide him with high energy!
Reva and Chewie
1. Tell us about yourself and how you met Chewie.
Hi, I’m Reva and I am the Director of Brand Marketing at Healthy Spot. Chewie and I met over the internet about 7 years ago. I lived in a tiny apartment by the beach and was looking for an equally tiny best friend. My friend knew of a family in Ohio that was looking for a home for a runt in their litter of Yorkie Pomeranians, so we Skype’d and I knew he would be part of my forever family.
2. Before starting at Healthy Spot, what was your biggest concern with Chewie’s diet?
I was concerned because Chewie would barely eat. He showed little to no interest in his dry food, no matter how many types I tried. I figured he was just grazer.
3. While training during your first weeks at Healthy Spot, what was one interesting fact about pet nutrition you learned that got you thinking about Chewie’s health?
I was surprised to learn that raw food can actually help with dental health! Teacup dogs tend to have really bad teeth which can turn into a kidney infection if left untreated. Chewie already had to get 4 of his bottom teeth pulled out due to decay and infection. I thought only dry food helped scrape off the plaque, but that isn’t correct! The enzymes in raw food help break down the plaque and tartar, which Chewie needs help with.
4. When you changed Chewie’s diet to food that Healthy Spot carries, did you see a difference in his health
One of the immediate changes was that he was so excited to eat! Not only that, his fur was noticeably softer and shinier. His teeth also have less build up, but there is some plaque that lingers, so it is important for me to brush his teeth and use Plaque Off as well.
5. What do you feed Chewie now and why?
Now I feed him a blend of Primal Pronto Chicken and Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried beef toppers. He goes crazy for it!
Yulia and Doug
1. Who are you and how did you meet Doug?
Hi, my name is Yulia and I am the Accounting Manager Healthy Spot. I met Doug at a pet store I was passing by and I decided to stop by and check it out. And there he was – the most adorable Cavalier puppy, just sleeping on his back, and nothing in the world bothered him. He came home with me that day – he was 4 months old. He is now 5 years old and has been my best friend since that first day I brought him home.
2. Does Doug suffer from any health issues?
At one point he started gaining weight, and no matter how I tried to get the weigh off of him, it didn’t work. I fed him less, walked him more, but he w as still overweight. And with Cavaliers and their known heart problems, I was beginning to really worry about his weight.
3. While training during your first weeks at Healthy Spot, what was one interesting fact about pet nutrition you learned that got you thinking about Doug’s health?
As I joined Healthy Spot, I started learning about benefits of raw feeding. Then we tried Primal. Doug has never in his life been so excited about food! I now feed him Primal and The Honest Kitchen, and at the time of feeding he literally dances around impatiently to get his food. Such a big difference from the kibble! And I am happy that he lost the weight – he looks a lot healthier now. Plus, everybody always comments on how soft his coat is. I couldn’t be happier.
4. What’s one thing you love about Healthy Spot?
Even before I started working at Healthy Spot, I learned a lot just as a customer. After my interview at Healthy Spot, I went to the Costa Mesa store to check the company out for myself. I was blown away by the store itself, but most of all by the customer service. The employee there really talked to me about Doug, and wanted to hear what she can help me with. I told her that Doug suffers from arthritis and she recommended I give him a joint supplement. This has made an enormous difference in his life! I don’t have to keep him on his meds and he doesn’t seem to be in pain anymore. It was getting hard for him to go up the stairs, and now I can barely keep up with him!
Casandra, Minkowski, and Chomsky
1. Tell us about yourself and how you met Minkowski and Chomsky.
Hi! My name is Casandra Gutierrez and I’m the Community Marketing Coordinator. I met Minkowski 3 years ago when he was 3 months old. He was rescued by a vet and they shared a picture of him and I instantly fell in love! Chomsky came a year after that. I was working at our Marina del Rey location and one of my co-workers brought in a 5-month-old pup that had been abandoned at a park. He was so cute! First, I offered to foster him but couldn’t get over the idea of giving him up and that’s how he became part of our family.
2. What’s one cool fact you learned while training at Healthy Spot?
I think the most impactful thing I learned was the importance of reading labels and ingredients, just the way I do for my own food. Knowing about the quality, sourcing, and processing of the food is super important to me because I know my pets are getting the most out of their food.
3. Have you changed Minkowski and Chomsky’s food since starting at Healthy Spot?
The first change I noticed was their excitement! Their breath odor also got better, their coat feels softer and healthy, and they’re always playful and energetic.
4. If you had to choose one food brand from Healthy Spot, what would it be?
They would choose frozen raw Smallbatch! I love this brand because they only use free-range, pasture-raised meat and 100% certified organic ingredients. It’s also easy to serve!
If your pet can relate to any of the stories above and suffers from allergies or any other issues, maybe it’s time to re-look at what’s in their bowl! Visit your local Healthy Spot where our team members, who are also nutrition experts, take the time to learn more about your pet and provide you with personalized food suggestions for your pet to try. It’s never too late to start thinking about making a change, especially when it comes to your pet’s health.