Meet Charlie: An Old, Happy Dog Who Overcame Digestive Issues

Meet Charlie, a 9-year-old Poodle-Bichon mix who lives in Arlington, Washington.

His owner Ashley loves to tell the story of how The Honest Kitchen has helped Charlie and his canine brother, a 100-pound Golden Retriever named Moose.

Digestive Issues Developed

“Charlie had irritable bowel syndrome,” Ashley recounts. Charlie was eating a high-quality kibble diet, but still struggled with gastrointestinal symptoms and signs of digestive distress. When she took him in for an x-ray, the vet noticed thickening of Charlie’s intestinal walls. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that’s common in dogs, and symptoms can include constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, and nausea.

Diets Had to Change

At first, Ashley cooked turkey and sweet potatoes to alleviate Charlie’s symptoms but was concerned that he wasn’t getting a complete diet with all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that he needed. She considered putting both Charlie and Moose on a raw diet but decided against it due to some recent health concerns. “Raw food can be great for some dogs,” she says. “But our dogs lick faces, sleep in bed with us, and love to snuggle. I was nervous about having that much opportunity for spreading bacteria in our home. The Honest Kitchen is a great alternative.” Now both dogs eat The Honest Kitchen’s Veggie, Nut & Seed Base Mix. Ashley adds turkey for both dogs.

This Old Pup’s Still Got It

Since they’ve switched from kibble to dehydrated food, both dogs are healthier, happier, and more vibrant. Charlie has lost six pounds and skips around the dog park with ease. “They grew up in San Diego,” says Ashley, “and they both love the beach. Both dogs love to explore, sniff things, play with sticks, and romp around. Charlie likes to dig, and Moose just wants to swim and swim and swim. Last time we took them to the coast, Charlie had so much energy that we were worn out before he was!”

Both Charlie and Moose get occasional raw beef bones as a special treat. “They love the marrow,” she says, “and chewing natural bones keeps their teeth and gums healthy, too.”

Ashley got Charlie when she lived in San Diego. He was a jet-black puppy with wavy fur who weighed less than six pounds. As he’s aged, his coat has turned grey, white, and curly—but he’s still the same spunky pup.

Sharing The Goodness

In the years since Charlie was a puppy, Ashley and her husband have moved from California to Washington. Her husband works at Boeing, and Ashley did a stint at an animal rescue nonprofit. “It was incredibly rewarding,” she recounts. “We rescued dogs from high-kill shelters, so we were giving every single animal a second chance. It was a nonprofit, so I put in long days, but it was an incredibly inspiring place to work.”

Now Ashley works at Julz Animal House in Marysville, Washington, where she sells natural dog and cat food, toys, and supplements. Charlie and Moose both occasionally get to go to work with their mom, though Charlie likes to keep Ashley in view. “I tell all my customers about The Honest Kitchen,” she says. “Local vets will often point their patients toward us for help figuring out the right diet for their dogs. And after seeing how much this food helped Charlie, I love sharing our story with other dog owners.”

Want to discover more True Stories and how diet has played a positive role in the health of over 1,400 pets? Click here

Meet the Author: Charlotte Austin

Charlotte Austin is a Seattle-based writer and mountain guide. She has climbed, explored, and led expeditions in North and South America, Nepal, Europe, Alaska, and Patagonia. Her writing has been featured in Women's Adventure, Alpinist, Stay Wild, and other national and international publications. When she's not guiding in the Himalayas, she's exploring her hometown (Seattle, Washington), trying new recipes, and hanging out with Huckleberry, her giant black Great Dane-Lab mix. Read more about their adventures at

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