Updated: Jun 1
Many of our customers at Pets Fayre know our big, goofy, lovable dog Zeus. He’s a 4 year old German Shepherd cross Rottweiler who has literally grown up with our business. He loves greeting our customers, playing seek games in the shop, chasing squirrels at Southborough common (always unsuccessfully) and playing fetch at the Ridgewaye fields. He also has his eye on a few of our four legged female customers ; )
In August last year, we rushed Zeus to the emergency vets after finding blood in his poop. He hadn’t been himself for a few days and was eating reluctantly. Since we hadn’t changed his diet from his usual raw food, the vets tested for Parvovirus, Giardiasis and liver issues. He was kept in on a drip overnight and after his initial tests all came back negative, he was diagnosed with a possible bacterial infection and given a course of anti-sickness medicine, probiotics and antibiotics. We put him on chicken and rice to try and get firmer stools with a view to slowly reintroduce him to his usual food. He would be fine for a few days, then sloppy stools again which continued for two weeks.
By the time the course of antibiotics had finished, we still hadn’t seen much improvement and we were getting really worried that something more sinister was the cause. He then started to go down hill quickly, had visibly lost weight, wasn’t interested in food, was dribbling from feeling sick, his coat was very dull and he was generally very lethargic. He then started to pass blood again but this time it was full of mucus and looked like the lining of his stomach, so he was rushed straight back to the vets. They were stumped as to why the antibiotics hadn’t worked and he was admitted for further tests and scans for acute illnesses that were causing his intestines to become irritated and inflamed.
Zeus was eventually diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). He was given medication for a month and put on a veterinary hydrolyzed diet which thankfully worked and we started to see him returning to health. The food is a hypoallergenic diet that breaks down the protein into very small components that are too small to cause an allergic reaction. Whilst we were pleased that he was gaining weight and passing solid poo, we were not overly happy to continue him on the veterinary recommended diet and he certainly agreed as he reluctantly ate his meals.
We started researching all about dogs with severe sensitivities and I was keen to get Zeus on to a more natural diet that he could digest easily. Unfortunately the pet industry is dominated by companies like Mars and Purina who focus more on the marketing and profit rather than quality ingredients and the nutrition of our pets. We decided to make our own to ensure that we knew exactly what was going into it.
Shortly after changing Zeus’s diet to our proposed duck recipe, he began gaining his strength back and soon after, his digestive issues were a thing of the past.
Although Zeus is back to his cheeky self, it got us thinking about all the other dogs that are regular visitors to Pets Fayre and as we always strive for the best for our customers, inspired by Zeus’ digestive problems and his journey back to health, the idea of our own brand of high quality, easily digestible dog food started to take shape. Our mission was to create an affordable food that was 100% natural, hypo-allergenic and contained quality UK sourced proteins.
Our recipes are packed with healthy, digestible carbohydrates such as potato and sweet potato, which are both ingredients that dogs digestive systems are more accustomed to. Each ingredient used in our hypoallergenic recipes combine to create a complete nutrient profile for dogs, and ensure they are always provided with all necessary nutrition to help keep them fit and healthy at any stage of life.
Currently available in four delicious recipes of Duck, Lamb, Salmon and Trout and Chicken, Turkey and Salmon with Beef launching shortly...there’s something for everyone!
As most of you know, at Pets Fayre we are keen to remove all single use plastic but whilst the pet trade catches up, we offer the Terracycle scheme (read more here).
I just couldn’t introduce Dogtor Zeus in the industry standard plastic that isn’t generally recyclable....why don’t most pet companies care more about the environment? I’m pleased to announce that Dogtor Zeus comes in 100% recyclable and compostable paper packaging and doesn’t he look handsome on them?! This is a massive step towards us becoming a zero waste pet shop and will continue as we launch our own branded treats, wet food and cat food...all coming in the next few months.
Eventually we found a manufacturer who shared our values and we set to work on creating a new brand. With the recipes all sorted and the food in production, we set to work on the aesthetics. Southborough is full of talented people and thankfully we know quite a few creative’s who helped us to develop the brand. Our wonderful customers all shared their suggestions for naming our new food. A favourite of ours was ‘The Dogs Bowl-Luxe’ ;) but finally we decided on Dogtor Zeus.
Our very talented groomer Maisie hand drew the image for the packaging and captured our pup perfectly. Check out that detail! You can see all of Maisie’s pet portraits on her instragram page @petportraitsbymaisie. Jo spellandtell.com designed the label and brought the whole product together and we couldn’t be prouder of it! Thank you so much guys! Zeus is one very happy boy!
Diarrhoea is common in dogs and often passes within 48 hours. To help settle your dogs stomach try our top tips:
24 hour fasting can help speed recovery. Never fast a puppy, mature dog or one that seems unwell.
Feed a bland diet of boiled chicken breast and rice. Canned pumpkin is also a great addition as a fibre rich food.
Feed smaller meals more often to help keep their guts moving.
Ensure your dog is kept hydrated to replace the extra water they’re loosing in their poop.
Let your dog rest and recover and avoid strenuous exercise.
Once your dog is passing solid poo, reintroduce their food slowly.