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Why My Golden Retriever Needs a High Quality Diet for Adventure

Aspen’s love of exploring necessitates a diet to keep up with our lifestyle.

By Kelsey StrausPublished about a month ago 4 min read

Supported byOllie

This is Aspen, my beautiful, goofy and lovable dog.

Aspen’s transformation from adoption to today is something I love to look back on. I adopted Aspen when he was just six months old, as a rescue puppy from China, through Golden Bond Rescue. Initially he was a little nervous, insecure, and always wanted to be snuggled. Nearly six years later, he loves to adventure, run, and camp. We’ve traveled a lot together: I’ve taken him to Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Canada. Still, our favorite place to be is home in the Pacific Northwest. The environment itself is his backyard, his playground. Whether it’s walking the lush trails of the Columbia River Gorge, exploring the expansive beaches of the Oregon Coast, or playing in the crisp, powdery snow, Aspen is always ready to go. One of my favorite things about him is that he is always so happy. Even after hours of long walks, he's still stoked to find a cool stick to carry, or just be walking by my side.

He is such a patient good boy.

He is particularly fond of water, and no body of water is too cold or too intimidating for him. On one of our road trips to Utah, I rented a kayak and paddled with him and our other dog, Ava, to Antelope Canyon, which is one of the most famous slot canyons in the country. It was a stunning, perfect day, and I just remember feeling so lucky to live alongside him. Just one of many amazing memories I have with my dogs.

Given his energy levels, meals and rest time are high on my radar. On the calmer days when we have a quieter pace, Aspen will lie next to my desk while I work. His adaptability between being able to be active and calm is one of his greatest traits, reflecting how well he fits into my life, regardless of our schedule. Our dogs are very used to constant changes in activity levels and this is something I am super grateful for! Because of our generally higher energy requirement for him, his nutrition is imperative and is a reason I decided to bring Ollie into his regime.

In terms of mealtime, while I don’t always feed him on a schedule, he could always eat. He’s very food motivated. When he knows it’s time to eat, he spins in circles non-stop when I'm filling his bowl and walking it over to where he eats. He's just so excited he has to twirl his energy out! Especially when I incorporate things like Ollie into mealtime the smells of fresh food make him extra stoked.

Our dogs have to sit and wait to be released to eat, we started the habit as part of training them. There was one time during one of his meals where I thought I’d let him begin, but he must not have heard me. I went about doing some chores without noticing, and a few minutes later, I looked over and he was just still sitting there staring intensely at his bowl! I felt so bad, but it really just showcases what a good boy he is!

Aspen munching down. I can see how he gets full, and stays full.

Once Ollie arrived, before I even opened the shipping box, Aspen was sniffing all over it. He couldn’t quite figure out what the box contained, but he knew it was something good. I opted for the Turkey, Beef, and Pork recipes from Ollie because I wanted to give him a diversity of options to choose from. Thankfully Aspen doesn't have any allergies so he can have any protein and is not picky at all. I rotate the recipes as I feed them to him, to make sure he gets the nutritional variety. We've found a perfect rhythm by mixing these Ollie meals with high-quality kibble. We do half kibble and half fresh so that it is easy for us to make adjustments when we are on the road! That said, with Ollie I love having a ready to go fresh food option with great ingredients.

He loved all the recipes equally.

When eating the mix, Aspen always goes for his Ollie fresh food first, finishing before starting on his kibble. One great thing has been that he’s been as excited on the road to eat as he is at home, and introducing Ollie hasn’t thrown him off his routine, even though our setting has changed. He’s always just so excited to eat, anytime, any place.

But that’s Aspen. He’s ready for anything, which mirrors my own spontaneous nature. It’s what makes us a good pair. While he has his chill days, he is far from a shy or lazy dog; he is completely full of energy all the time, and his attitude is contagious. I feel good about feeding him Ollie, knowing that those energy levels will be maintained and he’s getting the nutrition he needs to stay healthy. As we head into the summer, I feel confident that he’ll be nourished and ready for all the spins, games of catch, and swims that his heart desires. Together, we’re looking forward to making even more memories this season, from the beach to the mountains and everywhere in between.

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About the Creator

Kelsey Straus

My name is Kelsey and I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, two dogs, Ava (corgi), Aspen (golden retriever), and 2 cats. I love to travel, hike, camp and explore both our area as well as the world!

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    Kelsey StrausWritten by Kelsey Straus

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