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Podcast Episode #14 – Food To Help Your Dog Live Longer | Carol Bramson – Side By Side Pet

podcast-episode-#14-–-food-to-help-your-dog-live-longer-|-carol-bramson-–-side-by-side-pet
Podcast Episode #14 – Food To Help Your Dog Live Longer | Carol Bramson – Side By Side Pet

We’re thrilled to present the latest addition to Afluencer’s content lineup – our podcast series featuring insightful conversations with influential brand owners. In this inaugural article, we have the privilege of introducing Carol Bramson, the visionary founder of Side by Side Pet, as our esteemed guest.

Carol Bramson, the innovative mind driving Side by Side Pet, takes center stage in the Afluencer podcast series. With a wealth of experience in the world of influencer marketing, Carol shares captivating insights, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped her brand’s journey.

Podcast Premiere: Delving into the Side by Side Pet Universe

Join us in exploring the enchanting world of Side by Side Pet through the eyes of Carol Bramson herself. We’ve embedded the riveting YouTube podcast video below, offering an exclusive glimpse into the transformative power of influencer marketing.

Also, listen to the Afluencer Podcast on:

Transcription Insight: A Peek into the Conversation

Gain an insider’s perspective as we burrow into the transcription of our engaging conversation with Carol Bramson. Discover the strategies, anecdotes, and wisdom that have fueled Side by Side Pet’ success, all captured in this in-depth transcription.

In Conversation with Carol Bramson, Founder of Side by Side Pet:

Brett:

All right. Welcome to our influencer podcast. This is the first episode where my wine around busy has booked our guest by special requests. We have Carol Branson from side-by-side pet, talking about whole foods that nourish balance, right food for every temperature of our dogs, who are our best friends. So Carol, welcome. And we’re going to get into side by side and this cool QR code that ties in with our dog tongues in a moment. But can you start us off by talking a little bit about yourself and what was your life before Side-by-side pet?

Carol:

All right. Welcome to our influencer podcast. This is the first episode where my wine around busy has booked our guest by special requests. We have Carol Branson from side-by-side pet, talking about whole foods that nourish balance, right food for every temperature of our dogs, who are our best friends. So Carol, welcome. And we’re going to get into side by side and this cool QR code that ties in with our dog tongues in a moment. But can you start us off by talking a little bit about yourself and what was your life before Side-by-side pet?

Brett:

First time. Okay. Yeah. Tell us about that. I know. When did the dog come into your life here?

Carol:

He came into our lives in, I think it was August of 2015. And I wish somebody had told me back years ago what it did for your life to have a pet in your life. I grew up in a fairly big family, and so we had lots of kids, but we didn’t have any pets. And I can’t say how much this, that Wrigley has become a part of our family. He’s definitely, my son’s jokingly referred to him as my new favorite son. And I actually have him right here with me. So I’d love to introduce you.

Brett:

Carol:

Brett:

Carol:

Brett:

Sure. Yeah. Dog size. Wiley. What kind of dog are you?

Carol:

Brett:

Labradoodle. Very pretty. Yeah.

Carol:

And he just turned eight this year?

Brett:

Carol:

And we pretty much go to the vet once a year. So everybody who sees him, they say, wow, I can’t believe he’s eight years old. I thought he was a puppy.

Brett:

Carol:

I think a big reason for that is he eats healthy foods. Same is true for us of course, but often some of the testimonials we get from people is, it’s nice. I’ve got my puppy back.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Hey, busy. Come here. You want meet Wrigley? Come here. Wants to jump? You want to jump up after training or not to jump For Jump? You want to come up? You want to come up? See? See we get busy on camera. Oh, she’s just under. There’s busy dog. Beautiful. You train me not to jump and now I’m here. Yeah, busy is four.

Carol:

One of the things we’re going to need to do is see that tongue at some point or you’re going to need to send us a picture of your dog. Yeah,

Brett:

Yeah, yeah. We’ll get her tongue out here. Some pet just rousse her from her nap. She’s being a good girl. She knows. Get the camera going. She knows to go lay down. She never gets called. So tell us about side-by-side pet then Carol. So Wrigley first and then side-by-side pet.

Carol:

Yeah. So first time pet owner I asked was asking around what should I feed my pet and was told to feed a form of kibble and I looked at this brown chunk of something and it didn’t look like food to me. And I was like, I’m not feeding my dog this brown chunk. There has to be better options out there. So I started searching, and this was around 20 16, 20 17, and I came into Whole Food Nutrition. That’s how we eat. And I also stumbled upon a documentary film called Pet Fooled. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen it. Not sure I’d always recommend it. It is hard to watch. And basically what Pet Fooled this gentleman, Cole Harrington, who put that documentary together, really kind of unveiled the inferior ingredients that were found in a lot of pet foods and basically the industrialization of pet food and how this highly processed food was affecting the health and wellbeing of our pets, to the point of which there is statistical information suggesting that their lifespan was cut significantly as a result of all the health issues. They were suffering from eating processed foods. And I remember working with one vet early on and she said, would you feed your child chicken nuggets and Cheetos every day for every meal? And think about what that does to their body and what that does to their health and wellbeing. And the cancer rates are astronomical in the pet sector and the types of food they’re eating has had an impact on that. Obesity rates in both dogs and cats are well over 50%.

Brett:

Carol:

So I knew it could be done better because as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been working in a food ingredient project and there’s so many great ingredients and I understand the convenience of kibble and side by side we have this human grade stew product. You open it up, it’s all whole food ingredients that you and I would make for our own food in a stew format, and you just kind of open it and serve. So there’s a lot of things. I mean, we have a freeze dried, so this is shelf stable for over two years, and basically we recommend you add water or broth to it, but it’s a dry food. We just took the water out of Whole Foods, which is having it highly processed. And one of the things I learned about some kibble production was that it would go through sometimes four times cook process. And what does that do to food? Well takes the natural nutrients out of it or degrades them substantially so that pet food companies would literally spray nutrient supplements on the food at the end of the process just so that they could pass the regulatory requirements. Our bodies, their bodies aren’t meant to be nourished by sprayed on synthetic vitamins at the end of a process. It’s just not getting absorbed into their system.

Brett:

Right. Yeah, no, it’s the equivalent of people even getting their nutrition through supplements. Right, right. All supplements versus the actual food itself. Do you notice comparisons on the studies? We mentioned the lifespan behavior also, and then I guess generally quality of life. Obviously cancer is not a good outcome if that’s due to nutrition, but do you notice that or is there evidence in the studies in terms of quality of life difference, eating the whole food diet?

Carol:

Yeah, there’s actually, there are two big kind of triple blind studies that have been done in recent, well over a number of years. One was done by Purdue University in Indiana and another was done by Helsinki University. And in both of those cases, the conclusion was if you can change out even just 20 to 25% of your pet’s diet with Whole Foods, so whatever you’re feeding them, pull out 25%, replace it with some real that’s made with Whole Foods, like a freeze dried diet, a stew or home cooking. And you can have a significant impact on your pet’s wellbeing, on their longevity, on their quality of life. As you know, we utilize Eastern Food Therapy as part of our foundation and how we formulate our foods. And Eastern Food Therapy takes a holistic approach. So if you were to do the health assessment questionnaire on our website today, we will ask you questions about behavior and temperament because food should be used for healing purposes. And by using Eastern Food Therapy, we take into consideration some temperament and behavior patterns and try and address those with food as

Brett:

Well. That’s interesting. Does that go into the dosha types? Do they have the specific, was it Ayurvedic or you’ve got the three different Yeah,

Carol:

I’ve had a number of people who are familiar with Ayurveda. I’m actually a yogi, so I practice and teach. So it is similar. Basically Eastern Food Therapy is a branch off of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine and basically food energetic. So all foods were assigned in energetic quality, be it warming, cooling or neutral. It’s not something that we came up with. It’s something that’s been around for thousands of years. You can buy publications. You can go online and Google certain foods and say, is Rabbit a neutral food? Rabbit is actually a cooling food. And part of the reason for that is that it’s 70% water. It has really high moisture content and it’s soothing to the system. So these classifications were based on how they affect your internal organs and in starting side by side in this manner, my goal was to try and broaden the market of those who understand this type of feeding.

You can take it to another degree and work with a holistic vet. We encourage that. We love working with holistic vets. Our goal is to expand the knowledge of this type of feeding because it really works. And it’s getting back to basics. I mean, let’s face it, pharmaceuticals, where did they come from? It came from food, it came from plants. So by introducing this method, we’re hoping that more people and we get testimonials on the one side, we’ve had testimonials which said, the cancer shrunk. You saved my dog’s life. I have my puppy back. He used to run with me 10 miles a day. He hasn’t done that for the last five years. Now he’s doing it again.

Brett:

That’s great because it’s sad as they get older and have been through this a couple of times now, and you just want them to have that long healthy life for as long as they can and then the quick inevitable end. But you always want that to be as long the health span to be as long and healthy as well.

Carol:

And it’s sad that in some respects we’ve been conditioned to think well. So my dog, Wrigley, I just introduced him, he looks like a puppy. He acts like a puppy. He just turned eight. That eight years old is considered a senior dog. I’d love to see that change because I think that unfortunately the population has been conditioned to believe that there will be that decline and it doesn’t need to happen. I think the oldest living dog is 30.

Brett:

Carol:

Yeah, I saw And where does he live? He lives on a farm. He eats whatever they give him and he runs around the farm all day. So yeah, nutrition activity levels. I mean, does it sound familiar? It sound like the stuff that our doctors tell us too. Yeah, you got to eat right and you got to move

Brett:

Moving. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.

Carol:

And one of the other things that I found surprised me, quite frankly when I first entered this industry was, oh no, I’m not supposed to give my dog real food. They’re supposed to eat these little brown things. And that’s unfortunate. And I actually found through research, some marketing campaigns done years ago to convince pet owners that that was the way you should feed them. We love home food cooking and we love the opportunity to add a nutrient boost. It’s hard as a home cook to get to complete and balanced. Part of the reason is you really need to incorporate organ meats into your pet’s food and people don’t necessarily know where to get it and heart or liver or those are actually really carry really important nutrients, particularly heart. And so by adding a whole food diet that’s like this diet here, this is a freeze dried raw diet. Raw diet, we assemble all of the ingredients, including all the meats in their raw format. We blend them and then we put it in a freeze dryer to take the water out. So it’s actually, it’s raw cooking, it’s raw feeding in a way that is user-friendly.

Brett:

A challenge as you’re cooking and some of busy’s finest moments is when somehow she knows when she’s got the upset tummy and I’m doing the boiled chicken, the cottage cheese and the rice. So the soft diet, and that’s a temporary thing. Of course, we’re just trying to get her back and going. But again, it’s always a hesitation for me as well. I know this is not a fully balanced diet. It’s like a human right where you have an upset stomach and you’re just trying to get ’em back to baseline. But she smells that boiled chicken go in the water. I mean, there’s nothing better than

Carol:

Brett:

Carol:

And we offer a topper that comes. It’s actually exactly this same recipe that’s ground into a scoopable powder that you can just sprinkle on top of their food and it’s got 22 ingredients in it. It’s a real nutrient boost. But for home cooks, it’s, it’s a great option. I also think that even if you’re a kibble feeder and you add the freeze dried or stirring some of the stew, it’s transformative. I hear from friends and customers that they’ll do that once or twice. They have a sample, we’ll send ’em a sample kit or something and then they’ll tell me, my dog is on a hunger strike because I ran out and now I don’t have any lost.

Brett:

Yeah, I’ve had the real thing for now. Yeah, that’s great. So let’s keep talking about the marketing. How do we reverse the marketing here in terms of bringing this type of food into the forefront? I know you’re looking at influencers, so what types of influencers, obviously I’m assuming dog owners, but what types of influencers are we looking to connect with here for your collab? Yeah,

Carol:

I mean this type of feeding, this type of food is best when somebody recommends it. And it could be a friend, it could family, it could be a vet, it could be just somebody who’s really into health and wellbeing and understands food. Those are some of the best influencers that we’ve had. And it’s a wonderful community. I’ve always felt that part of the name side-by-side is about living with your pet side by side, but it’s also, we call it our side-by-side family. We actually have a bulletin board in our office with all these pictures of the pet and their pet owner. We ask for stories about how you live with your pet. We’ve got paddle boarding and mountain biking. We’ve got sitting in the sun reading a book and going to the beach, whatever it is. I think that any dog lovers great, but anybody who’s interested in health and wellbeing is great. We had an influencer who might be a nutritionist, maybe human nutrition like me, that’s where they started and they get a pet and then they get really focused on what’s been going on in the pet food industry and how can we bring change to this community because like you said earlier, we all want our pets to live longer. I’m like, Wrigley’s, eat.

I can’t imagine. So everything we can do to help make that happen.

Brett:

Yeah, absolutely. I know we don’t want the birthdays to be a sad occasion, right? Pacinos, right. I know. Busy just turned four and you don’t want to be sad on their birthdays.

Carol:

Brett:

So for the influencer says, so it sounds like people who are willing to use the product, that’s what we’re looking for here. Are they paying for the product? Are they sending product? And then is there a paper post element or opportunity here as well?

Carol:

Yeah, I mean, we’d love, in addition to having the opportunity to meet their community, and they do make a commission, a 20% commission on any sales of individuals who come to us based on their recommendation. They also, we’ll send them samples and product to try. We’d love to get content to help us further the message, and we also provide a discount for their individual purchases. They become part of our friends and family.

Brett:

That’s excellent. So Carol, we’ll get the collab link below the show notes here so that people can easily see it apply and we’ll get those connections there for everyone watching this influences watching this, who want to work with side by side, let’s talk about other ways then to connect with you, and I’ll get you out of here on this one you mentioned as we’re getting ready to hop on the call, doing a show out here in Northern California, barking the park on September 16th in San Jose. So we’ve got opportunity for local people, at least in our neck of the woods to come see side by side. What else do you have going on and how can people connect with you online in terms of social as your website and all this good stuff?

Carol:

Yeah, so just to add a little bit more, the Barking, the Park event is projected to have a lot of really fun activities. They have agility tests, they have costume contests. Check it out online. It’s going to be a big event and we’re excited to be a part of it. We’re actually one of the sponsors around Dr. Judy Morgan who has written books about whole food nutrition. She is a holistic vet. She utilizes Eastern Food Therapy in her practice. She’s very active online. She’s going to be speaking at that event and she only allows pet food brands around her and she is pre-approved. So we’re excited to be included in that and working with her there.

We are active on social intending to do more. I actually just hired an agency out of Southern California. They start on Friday and they’re going to be doing PR, social and really focused on the influencer opportunity. We see that as a really wonderful way to build our side-by-side family and community. But one of the things we’re most known for is our pet recommendation tool. And today we’ve had a QR code that’s included on our packaging. And you’ll see, you see this box here with the three dogs, and then there’s a QR code and it says, all of our food is Whole Foods. So you can’t make the wrong choice. If your dog likes chicken, pick our chicken because it’s clean and whole foods and appropriately raised. But if your dog happens to be challenged with some sort of health issue, maybe they have frequent allergies or they’re getting a hotspot that you can’t seem to go away with all of the stuff that your vet has recommended.

We have a pet health assessment, which you can go online, answer a few questions at the end of it. It’ll say, based on the information you’ve provided, it appears your dog might be running warm because they have allergies, they have a bright red tongue. We would recommend you feed cooling products. So pick anything that’s packaged in blue, also labeled cooling, and that’ll help heal their system. And one of the exciting things that we’ve done just recently is launched another application, and we had this at our show in Las Vegas two weeks ago now. You’ll be able to, and the influencers, this will help them a great deal. They can put out the QR code to their community. The pet owner simply takes a picture of their dog with his time hanging out, or they upload a picture they already had in their album with the tongue hanging out. And within seconds, we will tell you, make a recommendation on what food to buy based on the tongue, how it looks, the color that it is in Eastern Medicine. The tongue is one of the most important diagnostic tools, and we’re utilizing it this way so that people don’t need to be intimidated by what’s going on. Just simply upload the picture. We’ll make a recommendation. You can’t make a wrong choice. It’s all Whole Foods, but you can make a right choice.

Brett:

That’s excellent. That’s a very cool tool. I know I’ve got about a hundred pictures on my phone, see with the tie hanging out. So that’s an easy one. That’s a very cool tool. Thank you, Carol. Thank you Wrigley for popping on as well. Side-by-side pet.com is the U R L here. Again, we’ll get a link to the collab in the show notes. Lots going on with influencers, so let’s all support side. Thanks again, Carol and Wrigley. Thank.

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Reflecting on a Journey of Innovation and Influence

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