When Bronco came to us he was just over 5 years old, he was full of dandruff, had bouts of overly-rambunctious play followed by near collapse– he would tire in seconds. At 103 pounds, he’d lumber down the hallway, and put himself to bed early – he genuinely seemed to enjoy being with us, but he also seemed depressed, and if not sick, not well. He itched constantly and would play little. He was loveable yet listless.
In those first few months, while we did some things right, we had a learning curve ahead of them as well. Bronco was walked on a strict, five times daily schedule and even as Bronco slimmed, we had to learn to not “overdo” it with a middle-aged, overweight dog – running on the beach was not advisable due to Bronco’s size and age. Bronco arrived on cheap, highly-caloric and grain-filled, generic dog food. Initially thinking he “tolerated it well” due to the fact he didn’t have any tummy problems, Bronco’s family now knows that Bronco’s weight, itchiness, irritability and much of his behavior was attributed to his food.
Initially, after doing all the things responsible new fur parents do – consulting trusted friends and family, experienced dog owners – Bronco was switched to a big box store diet brand. Off the weight came! With regular walks and this new food, Bronco slimmed nearly 15 pounds in a few short months, but his other problems (mostly, scratching and itching his belly to the point of sores and infection) persisted.
Enter Brad Romero from Ben’s Barketplace. Brad was visiting his son in LA and made an extra trip down to Costa Mesa for a visit with Bronco. Immediately after seeing Bronco, Brad said we needed to get him on a raw diet! Brad had talked to Jimmy for the last several months about the need for Bronco to go “raw”.
Melissa was hesitant and doubtful but Jimmy was insistent, so she gave Jimmy 6 weeks to prove raw was worthwhile. Says Melissa: “Never have I been so happy to be wrong.”
Bronco thrived. His coat, once dull and listless, full of dandruff – now gleams. His stamina is four times what it once was, despite getting older. He’s still a highly loveable, affectionate and excitable lab, but he listens and follows directions much better now, his behavior is on a more even keel. He produces much less waste and his belly sores are all gone.
The proof was in every subtle, endearing characteristic Bronco possesses – he’s much more playful now – he always has one of his toys, he desires to play with his family and also self-entertains. He kangaroo-hops around the house and in the yard he’s joyful and healthy – you can see in his bright eyes, his slimmer body. “I owe his health and well being to Brad and Ben’s Barketplace for his nutritional expertise and insistence we do this for our boy,” says Jimmy.
We now have Brad & Sally on speed dial and they always steer us in the right direction. This is not just a business to them and they consider our Bronco one of their fur family!