Rick Woodford

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A few years ago my best friend, Jackson, was diagnosed with lymphoma. Even before the diagnosis was made it was obvious that my dog was quickly going downhill and his days were numbered. Jackson refused to eat or even leave his bed most days. I lured him back to the bowl with a mixture of food that I just threw together—mostly turkey legs, carrots and green vegetables. Once again Jackson started to enjoy eating and having enough energy to go for walks. Soon he was even chasing my puppy around the backyard.

Unfortunately, Jackson also gained a lot of weight because I was overfeeding him. I decided to learn more about canine nutrition and started reading every book on the subject, including veterinary textbooks and manuals. The oncologist had given Jackson a year to live, and that was stretching hope out quite a bit. After 18 months he was still energetic and happy and back to a realistic weight. At the urging of friends, families, and neighbors I started my own dog food business, Dog Stew. I made and delivered custom nutrition for dogs with a focus on helping very sick dogs. I didn’t just make the dogs happy, I made their owners happy too. It’s then that my customers started calling me “The Dog Food Dude.”

Eventually I closed the business to focus on reaching a wider audience. I decided to simplify my recipes and make it easy for anybody with just basic kitchen skills to feed their dog wholesome food. I took five years to write Feed Your Best Friend Better, much of it researching nutrition and testing recipes. I’ve read over 50 books on dog nutrition and analyzed most of their recipes using my research and data analysis skills (my full time job at adidas.) The recipes and feeding guidelines in Feed Your Best Friend Better take out the guesswork about how much to feed and make cooking a few days worth of food quick and easy.

Jackson didn’t live for one year—he lived four! Powered by thousands of meals and just as many walks I was given an extra three years with my best friend, all cancer-free. My happiest moment was when the oncologist said, “I never get to tell people this—but you don’t need to bring him back.” She couldn’t explain how he made such a dramatic turnaround, but I could—simple, wholesome food.

I hope you will join me and Feed Your Best Friend Better.

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