Alexandra Thurstan, co-founder together with her husband Charlie, of leading Shropshire based frozen fresh food pet manufacturing company, Different Dog recently appeared on the BBC Worldwide News programme, The Inside Track.
Alexandra said: “Different Dog was born out of the concern that dogs eating a processed diet weren’t as healthy as they should be. Back in 2015, Charlie worked in the dog food industry; he got to know manufacturers, visit factories and understand how dog food is made. The more we learned, the more concerned we became.
“We all know you are what you eat, yet we continue to feed our dogs the same food day in, day out. Often, the shelf life is measured in years and the food doesn’t even need to go in the fridge. What’s more, it doesn’t seem to have changed in years.
“When we got our new puppy, Crumble, it didn’t feel right to give her processed food. So, we started making food for her ourselves, as we do for our children. She loved it and thrived on it. We started making it for her friends as well and they all loved it, too. People told us their dogs had shinier coats, better digestion, and more bounce. So, we decided to help as many dogs as we could by setting up Different Dog.”
Alexandra further explained: “We use the same fresh ingredients and methods you would at home to cook your family meals. Look for the name on the label of every dish to see which chef prepared your dog’s food.
“Once defrosted, our food requires refrigeration and will only last for five days, much the same as if you had made a casserole yourself. We are regularly taking our food to the lab for testing and we use the results to improve the nutritional value of our food. We make over a hundred recipes a year and we learn from them all. No one else is doing this.
“We are the first to provide a truly varied diet, by cooking new recipes throughout the year. This enables us to use seasonal ingredients and strengthens your dog’s internal microbiome, an important factor in overall health.”
Each Different Dog customer has a tailor-made food plan for their dog and personal access to support from a trained nutritionist and vet. Different Dog recipes can also be bought from a number of retailers, mainly independents across the UK, from Aberdeen in Scotland to Teignmouth in Devon.
The team at Different Dog are as passionate about the environment as they are about dogs, which is why looking after the planet is part of every decision they make from their eco-friendly compostable pots, to sourcing fruit and veg, which isn’t pretty enough to go on supermarket shelves yet perfectly good to eat.