~ by Emily Halaszynski
Last weekend, I traveled to Chicago to represent Biostar at a great meeting of the minds: the Raw & Natural Dog Summit hosted by Dogs Naturally Magazine. Dogs Naturally spreads the word about raw nutrition for dogs, and carries a selection of our canine products in their online market, so I was excited to attend the Summit to meet their team and talk to other attendees about our whole food approach to supplements for dogs.
The conference consisted of informative presentations by holistic healthcare professionals interspersed with time for networking and visiting booths. Several raw food companies like Primal and Answers were there with booths, as well as some other supplement companies like Adored Beast Apothecary and CocoTherapy. I was also impressed by Hand and Paw Studio, a Pennsylvania company that makes eco-friendly products such as hemp and bamboo collars/ leashes and dog toys made from repurposed fire hoses.
Maria Ringo, cofounder of both Sojourner Farms (now Sojo’s) and Carna4 Handcrafted Pet Food (a complete pet food that is completely synthetic-free), gave a presentation that agrees with Biostar’s mission. She expertly explained the differences between synthetic nutrient sources and those that come directly from food. I was excited to hear someone talk about how vitamins and minerals in their naturally occurring FOOD forms (like those in our Optimum K9) have superior bioavailability! I really appreciated her solidarity and enthusiasm in the whole food category.
The conference was a great opportunity to make connections with like-minded dog lovers: individuals and companies alike! It was the one place I’ve ever been where over-sharing about your dog was not only tolerated, but encouraged. There were all kinds of people there: some representing raw food or supplement companies, some owners of brick and mortar retail stores, several knowledgeable speakers and holistic vets, and many independent dog owners (some who traveled from as far away as Australia and South Africa) who just wanted to equip themselves with the tools to help their dogs live long, healthy lives.
I had the best assistance representing Biostar: long-time friend of the company, Lizzy Meyer of Whole Horse Consulting joined me all the way from Texas. Lizzy feeds her dogs a raw diet with Optimum K9 as their daily multi-vitamin, along with some of our other supplements as needed. I really can’t say enough good things about how helpful Lizzy was to me as a champion for Biostar, a wealth of knowledge about raw diets and holistic care, and a new friend.
Also in attendance were local Biostar friends Daniel Fitzgerald of the local retail store Crate & Marrow, and Karen Quillen of the doggy daycare and training center All Things Pawssible. You can find Biostar products at each of these Charlottesville locations and they are great resources about raw feeding and more… especially now that they’ve attended the conference!
By the end of the Summit, I was exhausted, but proud to have had the opportunity to represent Biostar somewhere that it fit right in: among dog lovers who will stop at nothing to provide the best nutrition for their four-legged family members. I hope to see you there next year!
Emily Halaszynski is BioStar’s canine brand ambassador