Meet Felix! I found Felix through a pug rescue in Los Angeles shortly after moving away from home for college. I had day dreamed about having a pug since Milo & Otis & that want was only made stronger by the snarky little pug in the Men in Black movies. I thought they were funny & unique, with just a dash of a rebellious streak which was perfectly in-line with the new found freedom of a recent high school grad, embarking on the world alone.
Felix came home with me just a few months old, with a case of pancreatitis the rescue was confident would clear up after a round of antibiotics & some TLC. A couple weeks later, a few desperate phone calls to my parents, hundreds of dollars later, and a round of second & even third opinions, the last vet finally discovered that Felix in fact had Diabetes. The vet was unsure if he was born with it & it simply hadn’t been caught, or if the pancreatitis had never fully been treated & caused the diabetes.
Either way, Felix was going to need to start on insulin right away, along the recommended prescription diet. Being young & completely overwhelmed & bought a large bag of the prescription kibble & took my little pug home to rest. I was so confused & saddened that my little guy would most likely always need insulin, twice a day, along with this special food that was going to cost me more than my wallet could afford.
Over the coming weeks I researched until the late hours in the night about canine diabetes, if he really was going to be sick for the rest of his life & what if anything I could do to make him as happy as possible while living with diabetes. Just like with human diabetes, the problem arises when the pancreas does not make enough or any insulin to breakdown sugars in the blood system, causing blood sugar to spike & releasing ketones in the blood. After lots of research I found that people could control their diabetes with no or little insulin by eating a strict diet of healthy, whole foods, while eliminating sugars.
I saw this connection between blood sugar & diet & started my nightly research again. If people could regulate their sugars with a healthy diet why couldn’t my little pug? At this point I started my research on the prescription diet that had been recommended by our vet. When I realized that the first three ingredients were corn, powdered cellulose & chicken by-product, I knew I was onto something. Corn could not be good for a diabetic. Diabetics need foods that do not spike the blood sugar, corn, being a simple carbohydrate does just that. I researched further & was in shock of all the terrible ingredients that were in my dogs prescription food, as well as most of the kibbles we had been feeding our family dogs their whole lives. Dried beet pulp, by-products that could mean all the leftover parts of an animal (feet, feathers, hooves) and fillers that carried no nutritional value. I was livid that my vet could prescribe this literal ‘crap’ to my poor, sick, puppy!
After a call to my vet, with no further answers or help, I deceived to take matters into my own hands. After even more research on alternative diets for diabetics, I started homecooking. Boiled chicken, eggs & veggies, along with brown rice. I’d spend my Sundays cooking a large pot that would last me the week. Felix improved quickly. He was more lively & his coat started to become shinier & his eyes brighter. I continued to research alternative dog foods, as the home cooking, along with school & a part time job was quite a workload for college freshman. That’s when I found something that set both felix & I’s life on a different path.
Through my part time job at the local humane society I came across The Honest Kitchen being sold in the non-profit pet store through the society. The ingredients were things I could actually read & recognize. The nutrient levels of The Honest Kitchen Embark dog food fit into what I decided were the needs for Felix, higher protein, low-carb. I had never seen a dehydrated food before, but it already looked much easier than homecooking so I gave it a try.
Felix loved it & licked his bowl clean, but the real test was how his blood sugar levels were after a few days of being on the new food. He was doing fantastically. His sugar levels were starting to regulate, he was loving the food & I was loving the convenience. Through the grapevine at The humane Society, I found that The Honest Kitchen was a local san diego company,& few months after starting Felix on the food, I heard they we’re hiring - and I ultimately got a job there!
That was 5 years ago & Felix still eats his Honest Kitchen Embark with gusto. He is regulated with his diabetes, needing a small amount of insulin after each meal. Other than him getting a shot, you would never know he was suffering from Diabetes! He’s the spunky, funny & unique pug I’d always wanted.
He’s the office brat & has on multiple occasion snuck onto the office kitchen table & eaten things he should not (one time it was 14 cupcakes & a large box of French fries. He was fine after a trip to the emergency vet & the ‘most pink vomit’ they’d ever seen) He’s now the boss of his two ‘little brothers’ Padfoot a pointer mix & Beetlejuice a rescue kitten, all of whom are Thriving on their Honest Kitchen.