When I adopted my two little Shih Tzus, Bandit and Izzy, from a local foster group, they’d each been recently rescued: Bandit was found alone in an abandoned apartment complex and Izzy had been living in a box in a local park. These two sad, skinny little pups had bonded in their foster home and came as a package deal. So instead of the one dog I’d planned on, I got two sweet munchkins—and, maybe to make up for their tough early lives, I’ve never hesitated to give them the best of everything.
At 5 and 6 years old, both dogs are still fairly young and active—although Izzy will often go outside for a walk and then lie down and refuse to budge after about 10 feet. They’ve also both recently had dental surgery, losing a whopping 29 teeth between them. And both have been prone to runny stools on occasion, which has always worried me a bit.
I’d typically fed them basic dry food, but after the dental surgery and with the stool issue, I planned a switch to a softer, and hopefully better all-around food option. The problem was, every time I brought home a few cans of traditional wet dog food, I found it really gross (don’t look up how they make the stuff, trust me) and my research also showed it wasn’t particularly healthy. I’m picky about what I give my kids, which is what led me to try Ollie.
By day two of adopting Ollie—as the pups happily chowed down on their dinner—I realized my dogs were now eating better than I was. There was me, a hastily made PB&J sandwich in one hand, diet soda in the other. And here were the pups wiggling happily at my feet, enjoying their nutritious, high-quality food, delivered fresh just yesterday, chock full of veggies and vitamins—and, clearly, much more tasty than my soggy peanut butter sandwich. This made it official: Between the pile of toys and the belly rubs and especially this new food, my dogs now have a better-quality life than I do.
It isn’t just that Bandit and Izzy took to Ollie’s taste immediately—though they’ve quickly come to recognize the signature orange food scoop and start dancing around me impatiently while I measure out their twice-daily portions. I was really pleased to see some positive benefits pretty quickly after I started feeding it to them. First, let’s talk poop—both had been prone to runny, messy stools, but after a week or so on Ollie, things firmed up and stayed that way.
With the dental work, they both were now chewing much easier. And, perhaps most surprisingly, Izzy’s low energy during walks completely reversed. She stopped digging in her heels after 10 feet and was now trotting around the block. Turns out with the right food, she had the energy to keep up with her brother instead of plopping down on the sidewalk after a few minutes.
But mostly, Ollie made me feel like I was giving my beloved little pups the best health. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for those furry little munchkins, including making sure they have the most nutritious food that gives them good energy and keeps them at a steady, ideal weight—because I want them to live forever and ever, and it won’t be long before they hit their senior years. Addressing their health proactively before we even start to deal with aging is one thing that helps me rest easier. Research has shown that a healthy diet—coupled with exercise and other good habits—can extend a dog’s life.
Ollie makes them happy—as evidenced by the excited doggie dancing that happens at my feet every mealtime—and that makes me happy. Even if I’m the one stuck with the PB&J.