Happy Birthday Poppy x

And happy 1st birthday to us too 😊
Poppy with her birthday cake

Happy birthday little Poppy. You’ve changed my life in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Unconditional love, companionship, six little puppies…and through you I’ve met so many wonderful people who care for their dogs.

I launched Poppy’s Picnic on her birthday last year — and what a year it’s been! We were the first raw dog food to be scored 5 out of 5 across our entire range by Allaboutdogfood, we started shipping to four legged friends in Hong Kong & China and released a world first with our Poppy’s Picnic Complete Meatballs (check them out here). Phew!

And how did this journey start?

I had a bit of a muffin top/Victoria sponge (I do love a bit of cake) and was on a much needed health kick. Gone were the bread, pasta and sugary junk and in came fresh and tasty foods. Mornings were a pleasure of making mouth-watering breakfasts…and then there was Poppy. Digging my hand into a colourful bag of dry brown pellets, dropped into a bowl with a much needed splash of water. Then I did something I used to do as a kid, sitting eating my cereals at the dining table having my breakfast…I read the ingredients. Flipping heck. Have you ever looked at what’s in your dog’s food? I did that day and discovered it was just junk!

Day in, day out, Poppy had gulped down this dry concoction of questionable ingredients (have you ever wondered what a meat derivative is? And most pet food contains an average of just 4% ‘meat’ — check out the latest Pet’s at Home Advert ‘What’s in your dog’s dinner?’ featuring Jimmy Doherty for some truths). It hit me. Hard. Very hard. What the hell was I feeding her?

I stopped in my tracks. That day was one of those tingling moments that changed Poppy's life and mine. How could I take time on my own diet and put so little thought into hers. She counted on me to give her the best and I was letting her down.

I researched dry food and was horrified. Dry food has only been on the market shelves for the last 60 years and dogs ate far better before it came along – biologically appropriate diet was the obvious choice. I ordered nearly every book Amazon did on dogs diets and raw. I researched blogs, facebook pages, raw company’s, raw feeders…everything.

And then I took the plunge. My boyfriend (vegetarian) went away for a long weekend to see his mum. This was my chance to get Poppy healthy! Apron on, sleeves rolled up and a work-surface covered with fresh and exciting ingredients, I hit the kitchen and used (nearly) every kitchen utensil I could find. My first recipe (chicken and bone) was born. One batch in the freezer and a couple of containers in the fridge.

This first meal she sniffed, looked up, sniffed again…and gulped. SHE HOOVERED IT UP! Poppy has always been a foodie and this must have been a dream come true for her. Slipper was a little more hesitant and really wasn’t impressed, but she soon came around when she saw Poppy coming near her bowl! (Katie didn’t live with us at this time — she was converted a couple of years later).

I’ve never looked back, and nor has Poppy. Her coat changed, her poop changed (small pickup-able poops) and her energy levels and all round wellness improved dramatically.

When we moved to the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, I met my wonderful neighbour Patrizia, who wanted the same food for her (rather large) Rottweilers. It’s one thing making food for Poppy and her daughters, it’s another for 60 kilo Rotties!

She introduced me to the local village butcher and he made my first recipe for all our dogs. It was a complete failure. I made errors on upscaling and we had a few squitty bottoms. Oops! However, the next batch was spot on and turned into very happy Rotties …and when my builder wanted the same food for his dogs, I recognised there was a big shift with people (not just me) seeing the benefits of feeding their dogs raw food.

I was in the shower, having a scrub and the name ‘Poppy’s Picnic’ came into my head. Poppy’s Picnic was born.

Putting the finishing touches to this post, she’s between my knees looking up as I type with both thumbs. I’ve had tingles, wet eyes and loads of memories writing this. However, birthday or not… she just wants her breakfast!

Have a lovely day x

Dylan and Poppy

WOOF and xx


Real dog food for Real dogs