I’m James, and I love dogs.
It’s not hard to love dogs. When you have a dog – or in my case, six – by your side, the world can become a simpler place. Strangers come up, not to talk to you, but to say hi to your dogs! They have the ability to bring so much pleasure and ease to life. I personally don’t know what I would do without them.
After starting my business Boomf, in 2013, I spent a long year, struggling with depression and was unable to focus on my work and other aspects of my life. During this difficult time, my dogs saved me. They were my friends, companions, teachers and therapists.
Even though I cared deeply about my business, during that time I realised how important my dogs were to me and I was driven to see what I could give back to them. It became my mission to discover what I could do to repay even a small percentage of what they had been able to give to me. I spent my time researching and thinking about how I could make their lives as healthy and happy as possible.
This led me to consider what I was feeding my dogs and found that raw food was a much better and healthier alternative. As I learnt more about the kibble manufacturing process, I was horrified. I discovered that most commercially available dog food is heated until pretty much all the natural nutrients are lost. While dogs can survive on this type of kibble, they cannot thrive, which led me to switch my dogs to a raw based diet!
Did you know that no matter what breed they are, all dogs share 99% of their DNA with wolves? That means their digestive systems are perfectly optimised for a diet that is both raw and diverse. Safely switching my dogs to a raw diet led to immediate, visible effects. They very quickly had brighter eyes, reduced stomach issues, and shinier coats.
My only problem was that maintaining a raw diet for dogs was a huge hassle. For one, I didn’t have nearly enough freezer space, and travelling with food became near-impossible. I found myself in a difficult position: choosing between the health of my dogs, and the convenience necessary to navigate my busy life.
As a result, earlier this year I made it my mission to find a solution that matches the convenience of a dry dog food, without sacrificing the rich nutritional profile of raw food. Luckily, we found a way, and the answer was surprisingly simple: freeze-dried raw dog food.
Using technology developed by NASA, the freeze-drying process works by removing water, rather than cooking ingredients. Nutritionally, the food remains microbiologically raw, but is now room-temperature stable. This preserves almost all of the vital natural nutrients, but also means it can be stored at room temperature, handled without the worry of contamination, and transported with ease.
It’s nearly impossible to fully calculate our pets’ value. While we wouldn’t think twice about the little things we do for ourselves – morning coffee, gym memberships, dinners out and spending money at the pub – we can forget about investing in our pets’ long- term health and wellbeing.
At Ella & Co, creating the most convenient, nutritionally-rich, ethical, and delicious freeze-dried raw dog food available in the UK is our first, small step towards a dog food revolution. I developed Ella & Co’s freeze-dried raw food with nutritionists and industry experts to create a complete and balanced meal, specially designed for the benefit of our dogs. I’m thrilled to be starting a journey of exploration to help myself and other pet parents to do the best we can by our beloved friends.
I hope you’ll join me.
Photography by Julian Victoria