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We were recently asked to author a piece for the January issue of ‘Westies and Besties’ magazine. It was a fabulous opportunity, especially as we know that many of our customers are owners of this fun-loving, cheerful and active breed.

Like many pedigree dogs, Westies can be pre-disposed to particular health problems, as well as those affecting general dog health and wellbeing. We believe that natural food, treats and supplements is key to preventing or minimising these conditions and we focused on some of the science around this within the article.

Alongside the theory, we demonstrated how this had been applied in practice. Westie owner Fiona Johnston, from London, kindly provided a case study. Her dogs Magnus, aged six and Lilly, two, have been enjoying Karnlea Bone Broth for the past six months – initially having used it to help them recover from a stomach bug.

A helping paw for Magnus and Lily

Hearing these examples of how our products have been used to help dogs recuperate or improve their overall health, is extremely heart-warming. It is what we set out to do when we founded Karnlea just a year ago – make life better for dogs and easier for owners.

Here we are reproducing the feature in full but urge you to buy a copy too – it is an excellent magazine, full of news, views, top tips and in-depth analysis. For more information visit: https://westiesandbestiesmagazine.com/

Karnlea Bone Broth is Simply Natural

‘Simply natural’ has become the mantra for many dog owners seeking to achieve an holistic approach to pet health, and Karnlea Bone Broth epitomises this. Made from all natural ingredients – with no preservatives or additives – it boasts ‘green credentials’ too.

From natural treats and supplements, to making the switch to raw or unprocessed foods, pet lovers are actively choosing to invest in the health and wellbeing of their four-legged friends.

Diet is vitally important to maintaining good health and helps prevent disease. Many nutritionists expound the virtues of ‘natural’ and believe that it may curb the onset of genetic conditions that pedigree dogs, including Westies, might inherit.

Natural foods and supplements reduce inflammation and provide essential vitamins and minerals needed to support joint, skin, coat and gut health.

Keeping it simply natural is an ethos on which Karnlea Bone Broth is based.

Its range – which now features beef, lamb and chicken varieties – uses just three ingredients: fresh meaty bones, apple cider vinegar (which helps extract all the goodness from the bones) and naturally filtered water.

It is packed full of collagen, amino acids and minerals, and can be used as a diet supplement, tasty treat or support recovery for sick or elderly dogs and cats – essential sustenance when they feel less inclined to eat a full meal.

It can also be used to encourage hydration – straight from the carton or diluted into water. It is suitable for all ages, breeds and sizes, including puppies. Adding it to moulds for a frozen treat or measured portions is also a great option.

Karnlea’s founder Lara McCullough first started making bone broth at home for her two dogs.

“The qualities of bone broth as a superfood have long been known. For many years, I would cook up a batch after every Sunday roast. The bones would go into a large pot and simmer away for many hours, requiring regular top ups of water, with the smell pervading the house for days,” she said.

She started looking for more convenient options but could only find frozen products that required time to thaw or powdered collagen supplements which had gone through a lot of processing, losing a lot of goodness and taste during manufacture.

Having worked in the pet industry for more than 15 years, she decided to develop a 100 per cent natural, ambient cupboard-friendly bone broth – convenient to store and use when needed.

She researched and identified production and packaging requirements, and put green credentials at the top of her list.

“I identified that the best method for locking in freshness would be a Tetrapak style heat-sealed carton. I wanted the packaging to be fully sustainable and recyclable and found suitable sources including a bio-plastic made from sugar cane for the spout and cap.  The brick shape of our cartons also makes for a lower carbon footprint – they fit neatly into boxes for dispatch,” added Lara.

These credentials are matched by the quality of the ingredients: meat produced from antibiotic and hormone-free, grass-fed animals  and free range birds, reared on cooperative farms and naturally filtered spring water. The result was the launch of Karnlea Bone Broth which hit the shelves at the start of 2022.

The brand has grown exponentially in a short time: within six months it was stocked by more than 100 independent retailers including Just for Pets. It was then approached by Pedigree Wholesale who now distributes it to shops across the UK, boosting its availability.

It has developed a loyal following of customers including many Westie owners including Fiona Johnston, from London. Her dogs Magnus, aged six and Lilly, two, have been enjoying Karnlea Bone Broth for the past six months.

Said Fiona: “It’s so good for digestion, skin, joints and helps them recover from illness. Magnus and Lilly both had a nasty stomach bug recently so I have been using Karnlea Bone Broth everyday to help them regain full health. They have a frozen paw-shaped cube with their raw food at dinner time.”

Raw feeders have also taken to Karnlea as a key diet supplement – supporting their holistic approach to feeding natural ingredients with beneficial properties. In recognition of this, Karnlea recently became a corporate affiliate of the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS).

Sadly Westies, like most pedigree dogs, can suffer from inherited genetic health problems but there is a school of thought around ‘epigenetics’ which has identified that food and environment can affect ‘gene expression’ – potentially ‘silencing’ them and curbing the onset of conditions such as dry eye, atopic dermatitis and bone and joint problems.

Of course, epigenetic effects are everywhere: where your dog lives, how frequently they exercise, the chemicals to which they may be exposed, but the benefit of natural foods is an essential factor on which all agree.

“Science indicates that a healthy diet and clean living is better for our dogs. By feeding the right things we can probably influence our dogs’ health more than we realise. Like most things in life, we can all benefit by keeping things simple,” Lara concluded.