Before we had kids, we had our first ‘baby’, the dog. Having grown up with dogs, our home felt empty without one; so it was no real surprise to anyone that a couple of months after moving in together we brought home a pup. A beautiful, snuggly bundle of a chocolate lab known as Bella. Suddenly we felt like we’d changed from a couple to a little family of three. We got fitter together; taking up long walks and evening runs, we filled our phones with endless photos of her and then snuggled up on the sofa each night, just us three.
Since the moment we drove home with her on my lap, she’s been a part of our family. She was there when we bought our first house (and got herself ‘involved’ in the renovations by regularly lying against painted surfaces!), there when we got engaged… I even contemplated bringing her down the aisle. She refused to leave my side during my first pregnancy, kept me company through endless days of bouncing a baby and let the baby climb all over her. A second pregnancy, more bouncing and far too many attempts at the kids using her as a climbing frame she’s still here. Patient beyond belief.
With the kids around, work and general home life, it’s easy to take her for granted. We’re guilty of using her a little like a dustbin thanks to her natural tendency to want to eat all the food. I arrived home to clear signs of an upset stomach. As the night progressed, she got rapidly worse until she could barely stand. We rang the vets and in we went as an emergency – I genuinely thought that was it! With Dave at the vets and the kids in bed, I sat there and cried! then again later when they rang to say the medication was having a positive effect (and once more when I heard the cost!). Put simply, it made us realise what she’s worth.
Which is why when we were given the opportunity to trial her on the Hill’s Science Plan Sensitive Stomach and Skin food, it felt like the perfect fit. Since that illness, her stomach has been decidedly sensitive. She’ll still happily sit next to you and stare longingly at your food whilst you eat but she can’t handle it. Regular dog food can be hit and miss and her coat will get small white flecks in where her skin is dry from dietary issues. That’s where the Sensitive Stomach and Skin food is perfectly matched to her. With high quality ingredients and the right nutrients, Hill’s Science Plan is precisely created to help give Bella the nutrients she needs to be healthy and happy for life.
First up, there’s the higher levels of omega 3 and 6 which help her skin and coat healthy and nourished. In such a dark haired dog, it’s always really noticeable when her coat and skin look a little under the weather; she gets flakes of white skin in her coat and loses her glossiness. When she’s looked after like this? Glossy, shiny, smooth coat that gets plenty of appreciative comments from fellow walkers! We also love that it helps replenish her natural oils; she much prefers a roll in the mud and a dive in the river than any form of grooming so anything we can do to help her coat naturally take care of itself is a real benefit. As for her intestinal health, the Sensitive Stomach and Skin range contains a special fibre blend as well as no added artificial colours, preservatives or flavours making it as kind as possible to her stomach.
As owners, we’ve been hugely impressed with the Hill’s Science Plan food, even down to little details like the bag being velcro resealable making it easy to store between feeds. Changing dog foods is always tricky, especially if your dog has a sensitive tum so it was great to see they’ve got advice on how to blend your previous food with their food when you switch over (basically, you slowly phase it in!). Added on top is their 100% satisfaction guarantee for quality, consistency and taste which just adds to the reassurance. It feels like they really care about your dog’s health and just get what it’s like to have a pet as a family member!
Since making the swap we’ve noticed a real shine to Bella’s coat and she’s certainly had no stomach upsets – something we’re all grateful for with two small children around! Best of all she’s a real fan… there’s not the slightest chance of her leaving even a morsel for later, and if that isn’t a seal of approval, I don’t know what else is!