We’ve partnered up with Purina ONE® to talk about their 28-Day Challenge and how we take care of our family pup Kraken.

Victorious German Shepherd

There were few things I was sure of as a small child growing up in Southern California. One, I loved dogs. I always knew I wanted one and after watching All Dogs Go To Heaven, I knew I had to have a German Shepherd when I grew up. I also knew I loved visiting my grandparents. We would travel from San Diego to Chino and somewhere along the way I would see one particular feature that reminded me I was about to see my grandparents. And dog food. Every single time.

German shepherd sitting on tires

Standing as a monolith amongst the golden landscape and rolling hills – typically near a military airfield – I would see a large red and white checkered water tower. It always made me feel happy inside to see them as we drove along. It reminded me of my future dog, as it stood as a close resemblance to one of the most recognizable brands of pet food on the market: Purina.

regal german shepherd laying in field

There’s something that feels right and at home about those red and white checkers. You see, Chelsea told me I could have a dog after we bought our first house. In early October 2012, we closed escrow on our home in the hills of San Diego and Chelsea left for Las Vegas to speak at a blogging conference.

She had been there just over an hour when I sent her pictures of my new German Shepherd Puppy, Kraken.

Hunting dog

My family has always considered our dogs to be part of, well, the family. They’re not just for looking at. They play a role and do their part, just like mom and dad and the kids. Kraken has done his fair share of deterring questionable passersby as well as squirrels and the occasional vulture. Those guys freak him out and he will have NONE of it on his property. He also does a good job of keeping coyotes away from the property and ensuring that our chickens, sheep, goats and cats stay safe.

Shepherding dog

As a family, we think it’s important to feed ourselves good food so that we all stay strong and healthy. And we really, really love our food. There’s no difference of opinion when it comes to feeding Kraken. He’s MY DOG and I want him to be taken care of just like the rest of the family. When Purina ONE® told us that their 28-Day Challenge could make him physically (and visibly) healthier, it was game on.

Man petting german shepherd

Kraken is a working class dog. This category of dog was built specifically to be part of the daily work that man had to do before everything got all suburbanized. Kraken is 120 pounds and can kiss me (six foot four inches) on the face when he stands up on two feet. He definitely improves our daily lives here on the family farm. He can hear, see, and especially smell things well before I can. The best part is that he can scare things away and he’s brave (unless I move the garden hose, he seriously hates the sight of the hose). Making sure that he has plenty of energy and his skin is in good health under all that fur is a very important part of making Kraken a happy family dog.

German shepherd eating

Purina ONE®’s 28-Day Challenge is part of their current promotion to demonstrate to good pet owners that their specially formulated dog (and cat) food will help promote brighter eyes, healthier skin, and healthier energy. Their food is made in the US and offers smart nutrition that's inspired by nature and advanced by research, with real meat as the first ingredient. Growing up predominantly in the more rural areas, I’ve learned to read ingredients lists, I was taught that the most important element is the very first ingredient. No fillers means quality food. And – trust me – growing up in a working class family, I learned to care that we get what we pay for. That's why I like Purina. We dropped by our local Walmart and picked up a 30+ pound bag of Lamb and Rice formula for Kraken.

Obviously we needed the big bag, he’s a huge dog.

Dog and owner with food

We've been sharing little notes here and there about Kraken's transition over on Instagram, and the change has been remarkable! He's perkier, his coat is shinier, his eyes are brighter and he smells better. Seriously, I never thought about how a dog's food directly impacts their digestion in such a…errr…tangible way.

Healthy family dog with dog food

If you have a dog (or cat, I mean, Chelsea has three) and you want their health and energy to be  at their best, take Purina’s 28-Day Challenge and see what Purina ONE® can do for your four legged family member.

You may not have goats, sheep, chickens, or a quarter dozen cats that need protecting, but you still probably want your pup feeling and acting their best. If you are interested in giving it a shot, you can get $3 off your first bag of Purina ONE® by clicking through our link and registering for the 28-Day Challenge.

How do you make sure your pets feel like they're part of the family?