How to find the best food for your dog by looking nose-to-toes

How to find the best food for your dog by looking nose-to-toes

Whether it’s for our dog’s longest life or a specific issue, we all ask the same question: what foods should I be giving my dog? We learned how to assess our dogs nose-to-toes thanks to Penny & Loosey of the @pigpenthepittie family who went LIVE with us to talk nutrition.

Our founder Marney Prince took the girls and their mom through a series of questions grounded in Eastern & Western medicine to assess who they are and match them to the right warming, cooling, or neutral foods for their individual best health. Watch our live chat with them & Dogly for Marney’s questions and recommendations for each, but here’s our quick breakdown.

It starts with us – we know our dogs better than anyone.

Our everyday observations of their tongues, eyes, personalities, and yes, their poop, are the essential guide to the right foods. Here’s the quick overview chart with what to look for. Or take the pet assessment to get a better understanding of exactly what your dog needs & WHY!

Penny & Loosey turned out to be opposites in their assessments – and good examples for the rest of us to understand our own dogs.

  1. A few of the telltale signs that Penny is best with warming foods: her love of sun (so much so her nickname is SunPig), separation anxiety and worry when her routine is upset, need for moisture to keep everything moving and good energy flowing. Because of this, warming foods would be best for Penny. Foods like chicken, lamb, chicken hearts for happy confident energy, and rabbit (a moisturizing protein).

  2. Loosey shows she runs hot and can benefit from cooling foods with her frequently gunky ears, redness around her eyes, outgoing/calm personality, and often looser/less regular poop. Marney recommended organic apple cider vinegar in her ears followed by coconut oil, as well as cider vinegar in her food, a gut health supplement to help reset her GI tract, cooling proteins like rabbit and pork, and fresh whole foods like leafy greens added to her bowl.

    Every dog is different

    ..but every dog benefits hugely from getting more whole, real foods.

    Whether your dog runs warm, cool, or neutral, Marney recommends whole, real foods. The great news for all of us is that just filling 25% of your dog’s bowl with fresh foods makes a stunning difference: studies have shown the addition of greens reduces the incidence of cancer by 90%, adding other veggies and fruits reduces cancer incidence by 70%. Just by sharing food in your fridge that’s good for your dog, you’ll see brighter eyes, more mobility, and your dog will process food within 12 hours (the healthy norm) vs the 24 hour cycle of an all kibble diet. You can learn more about the research and benefits of real food at and sign up to take the 30 Day Whole Food Challenge!

    Big thanks to Dogly & the PigPen Family for chatting with us & sharing a bit about their dogs!

    Our goal is to make it really easy when you’re assessing your dog to know which foods are a good match. Everything is on a color coding system, so since Penny needs warming foods like chicken the best things for her can be found in pink Side by Side bags. Since Loosey is the opposite and needs to cool down a bit through foods like duck & fish – she’s better off with things in blue bags.

    Penny & Loosey, we look forward to helping you both!!

    Not sure where to start? Take our online pet assessment now!

    Marney Prince

    Marney Prince is the founder of Side by Side. She utilizes her knowledge in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Western medicine, she learned as a vet tech, to help pets live a more balanced life through nutrition. On any given day she can be found doing 1-on-1 pet assessments, giving belly scratches to 10 different dogs or happily exploring the mountains around Telluride, CO with her two sons, Porter and Keaton, & new rescue pup Mavis.

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