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Lifestyle & Wellness

Once Upon a Pumpkin Puppy: Pumpkin’s nutrition story with side by side pet food part II

This post was sponsored by Side By Side as part of a Two-Post Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

There’s almost nothing I enjoy more than making a meal, or dessert for someone else or to bring to a get together. Developing recipes and playing around with healthy ingredients truly makes me tick and when the end result is something that can bring joy to someone else’s day, that is truly the best part of my day.

Although a small task compared to making an entire recipe, I feel a similar sense of joy and satisfaction when I’m preparing Pumpkin’s Side by Side meal. I simply take the recommend Genial Freeze Dried variety out of the package and rehydrate it with a ½ of warm water and mix it with a fork until it’s smooth. Believe it or not is smells similar to pot roast with oven roasted veggies, which in my opinion, smells way better than typical dog food. Right now since Pumpkin is still very small we split one patty into three for his breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The pure joy that it written all over his face the moment he knows I’m preparing Side by Side is perhaps the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen! Pumpkin’s entire body shakes along with his oversized tail as he squeals with excitement when I put his bowl down. As you may have seen from my videos, the bowl often ends up way off of his mat as he noses into it to get every last bite! That was simply not the case with his old puppy food.

Now my boyfriend and I often joke that we wish we got as excited about anything as Pumpkin gets about eating. As a dietitian, I do get that excited about some foods, especially those that I know are nourishing my body and helping me to feel great. I can visibly see that the fresh, all-natural proteins like chicken, duck, beef, rabbit, and fish along with the vibrant greens, and other veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes found in Side by Side food are nourishing Pumpkin from the inside out. It’s prepared in small batches with no additives, no toxins, and no carcinogens. Something I feel is just as important for the canine population as it is for the human population.

Pumpkin’s puppy coat is as shiny as ever (some of  his fur is starting to turn a darker shade of orange!), and his breath truly does not stink. He loves to cuddle, so I would know! From a human perspective I know how important it is for a baby to receive proper nourishment in the early stages of life, and I trust that the nutrients from the real food packed into the Genial Freeze Dried variety is building the foundation for Pumpkin to have a healthy and happy long life!



Marney Prince, the founder of Side by Side, was incredibly knowledgeable on the topic of puppy nutrition and certain breed differences that are especially important to pay attention to in cavalier king charles spaniels. Our assessment and her food recommendations have been a great fit for Pumpkin. He’s becoming a social and active puppy who goes from an energy level of zero to one hundred in a matter of minutes, which has been so fun for us to watch as he gets bigger.

Another aspect of the food that is worth mentioning is how it affects his bathroom schedule. Yes, I said it…poop talk! Since we got Pumpkin in March (which may as well be considered the middle of winter in Chicago) it was really hard to get him used to going outside. Pair that with living on the 15th floor of an apartment building and puppy pads were a necessity. The good thing is that Pumpkin is nearly perfect when it comes to using the pads, and I know what to expect after a meal to make sure I’m nearby to clean it up. Oh the joys of having a new puppy!

Side by Side also has integrated product offerings including food diets, treats, supplements, toppers and soon to be released broths. Pumpkin is all about the freeze dried chicken hearts!

If you’re wondering how better nutrition could have a positive impact on your dog’s daily life and their overall health, I encourage you to book an assessment with Marney and learn more about what Side by Side can do for them. You can receive 25% off your first order and 15% the subscription service with code: PUMPKIN

Also be sure to check out my first post about my experiences with feeding Pumpkin Side by Side and check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more information.




Lifestyle & Wellness

Once Upon a Pumpkin Puppy: Pumpkin’s Nutrition Story with Side by Side Pet Food


This post was sponsored by Side By Side as part of a Two-Post Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

From the age of 10 I dreamed about having a brown and white cavalier King Charles spaniel. I begged and pleaded with parents for what felt like years about getting a dog, and always got the same sad answer of no. A dog just wasn’t in the cards for my parents, and as they knew I would be headed off to college, it wasn’t right for our family at the time.

Fast-forward to just a couple of months ago when Rob and I toyed with the idea of just going to see a breeder with a new litter for “fun”. Rob’s family has two cavaliers of their own, so together we had always talked about eventually having one, but never did I dream it would happen this fast (a true lesson that you don’t go to see cavalier King Charles spaniel puppies and not fall in love with one!).

The minute we saw our future little Pumpkin our fate was sealed. Those big brown eyes, those floppy ears, and that sweet demeanor that just makes you want to cuddle with them. We were sold!

With my thoughts preoccupied with puppy collars, toys, and pumpkin accessories, I admittedly failed to do my research what dogs eat and the types of dog food out there. As a registered dietitian who knows a thing or two about human food, I was truly so confused when it came to dog food! Walk down the aisles of Petco and you would be too!

And just as everyone has their two senses when it comes to a baby, everyone had their input on everything from food to puppy classes! While I greatly appreciated the knowledge of many other puppy parents, I remember feeling torn on what would be best for Pumpkin, the dog of my dreams, the little life that’s now in my hands, until I learned about SidebySide.



After attending an event with the brand here in Chicago, I was immediately drawn to their transparent packaging and whole foods based recipe of protein and vegetables that I myself would eat. As RD who practices a whole foods approach, I really liked knowing that Side by Side honors nutrition from sourcing to formulation with clean and ethically harvested ingredients to build a foundation of health that honors pets. Started by a holistic veterinarian credentialed in Eastern and Western medicine, Side by Sides recipes are personalized to the pet, based on their stage of life and what’s best for them–an approach that we all strive to take with our own diets, so why wouldn’t we take with our four legged members of the family?

The ingredients they use include, fresh, all-natural proteins like chicken, duck, beef, rabbit and fish, finely ground bones and organ meats such as hearts and liver. You can see actual vegetables including vibrant greens, carrots & sweet potato, fruits such as apples, and healthy fats, and herbs in the food. It’s prepared in small batches and rigorously tested to verify the best nutrition delivery, caloric intake, and food safety. Side by Side products are free from additives, toxins, carcinogens. As closely as I scrutinize my own food to be sure it’s free from similar additives, I want to make sure what I’m feeding Pumpkin is too, and with Side by Side I don’t have to worry.

I had a lot of questions going into the personalized Pet Assessment with founder Marney Prince, especially because I knew a puppies’ diet might differ from the diet of a full grown dog. It was so interesting to hear first hand from her about the vitamins and minerals growing puppies need, and some interesting parallels between facts I know from my studies of human nutrition that she confirmed are also true for dog nutrition.

We also had a fun time joking about the irony of Pumpkin’s name because pumpkin itself is in fact very healthy for dogs! Did you know that pumpkin could help remedy diarrhea and relieve constipation for them? According to traditional Chinese food therapy, pumpkin is a balancing, sweet, qi tonic that regulates blood circulation, and counteracts damp and phlegm. Signs of a qi deficiency can include tiredness, loose stool, reduced appetite, shortness of breath and more.

Marney’s guidance and knowledge of key nutrients that puppies and dogs need put me at ease as we transitioned Pumpkin off of his lack-luster kibbles and onto Side by Side. Pumpkin seamlessly switched over without any issues. It’s really fun to watch him at mealtimes because excitement radiates throughout his entire body. He wiggles from side to side and always looks up for more!  

Check out this video that is the definition of licking your plate clean! And follow along on his Instagram, @pumpkingcav for more cute moments like this!

Pumpkin Eating Side By Side Dog Food

It makes me so happy to see him enjoying his food and how good he looks and feels having been using the food for a couple of weeks now. Another major benefits of the food definitely worth mentioning is the fact that it’s nearly odorless and smells like real food! Pumpkin’s breath never smells either. He gives me lots of puppy kisses so I would know!

Marney took the time to explain which nutrients are crucial for Pumpkin as he matures and what certain signs meant that put my worried dog mom thoughts at ease. She was also extremely knowledgeable on the unique characteristics of cavalier King Charles spaniels, pointing out health conditions and personality traits of the breed that can all be affected by the food they eat. Marney recommended a product formulated perfectly for his needs, a level of personalized care that I never knew was available for dog food, and truly something I couldn’t be happier giving it to him everyday.


Click here to take the Side by Side Pet Assessment for your furry friend and to learn more about the difference real food can have on their quality of life.

For more information on Side-by-Side, and a complete list of all of their products, visit their website, and check them out on social media on Instagram! Side by Side is available online and will first be available in premier pet stores in Chicago in the coming months followed by a national rollout this year.

You can also get 25% off your first order and 15% the subscription service with code: PUMPKIN





Pin more info on Side-by-Side for other dog mammas to learn about!