Monthly Archives: September 2012

Two girls, two dogs, two bags = BOGO Bowl

They say things happen for a reason, and Sara Henderson and Susan Hollar believe that’s true. Something good has to come from the bad – why else would two dogs be horrifically abused in different ways, if not to bring about good in the world?

Sara knew she wanted to make the world a better place for animals – she even put that exact phrase on a vision board in 2008 – and she started the process in 2009 when she founded the Pet Project Midwest. Susan knew she wanted something different out of life, but wasn’t quite sure what that would be until she heard about a dog that had been shot and left to die at the river’s edge. The more she heard, the more her heart responded, and soon, she found herself mom to Duke, a handsome dog with bright, intelligent eyes and royal blue Walkin' Wheels to help him navigate his new world. Things fell into place.

In late spring 2011, Sara’s love of animals brought her into contact with Susan, whom she’d never met. Sara read about a dog in Topeka that was tied to a railroad track and left to die. Fortunately, Chance did not die, despite run-ins with two separate trains. His spirit and happy disposition got him through and put him into the Facebook universe where Sara found him. Unsure about the realities of caring for a special needs dog, Sara reached out to Duke (not yet knowing his person’s name) and quickly Susan and Sara became friends as Susan helped Chance and Sara find their new footing.

So when Sara came up with a crazy-sounding idea in fall 2011, one of the first people she shared it with was Susan. “What if there was a dog food company – a high quality dog food company – that gave away a bag of food for every bag that was purchased? And gave it locally?”  Susan thought the idea was brilliant and immediately announced her intention to be part of the company were it to come about.

Six months later, BOGO Bowl was born. Now these two women, and a crew of folks equally committed to the concept of healthy food for all dogs, are spreading happiness and dog food across the country. With fun titles like Food Fairy, Warehouse Goddess, Consumer Barkitect and Chief Foodie (“If you’re going to work long hours doing something you love, you need to have fun!”), the team at BOGO Bowl wants to put high-quality food in every dog bowl across America, whether the bowl is in a comfy home or a caring shelter.


If it says it on the bag, it must be true! (right?)

How fun is the dog food aisle at Walmart? Row after row of pretty colored bags featuring happy dogs and promises of keeping your pooch well-fed. “It says it on the bag, it must be true!” Sadly, it’s just not. Manufacturers of cheap dog food care more about convincing you it’s a good product than actually delivering a good product. Yeah, not so fun anymore. These dog foods might be easy on your wallet, but they are detrimental to the health of your pup. Hopefully you wouldn’t feed your daughter Suzy Fruit Roll-ups for her meals every day  - and you don’t want to feed your pup junk food for their meals, either.

My friend Dan learned about dog food the hard way. For several years he fed his sweet Boxer Oscar an inexpensive, low-quality dog food. As many of us dog owners do, we trust the manufacturers – “Oh, look, says right here that its good stuff, and way affordable – we’re good to go!” Dan didn’t realize what damage the fillers, by-products and artificial flavors were doing to Oscar’s digestive system.

His pooch started presenting worrisome symptoms:

  • nails split and bled
  • seizures
  • weird fatty tumors
  • constant diarrhea

Dan spent a truckload of money on vet bills as a result. He eventually began feeding Oscar higher quality food, but the intestinal damage had already been done.  Oscar continued with diarrhea and vomiting.  Had his pooch been eating a higher-quality, well-balanced diet throughout his life much of this would probably have been avoided. If not solely to blame, the food was a main factor.

Does every dog experience this high level of physical stress as a result of eating cheap food? No. But wow, who would want to take that chance??  Lots of us are like Dan – caring dog owners who love our pups and only want the best for them. So, how do we give them the best?  How do we educate ourselves about what dog foods are good and which ones aren’t? How do we decipher that crazy list of ingredients?

Luckily, there’s a guy with unbiased opinion out there doing it for us. Mike Sagman is considered an authority on reading and interpreting pet food labels. He created the Dog Food Advisor. In addition to educating us about dog food ingredients and how things are made, Sagman reviews dog foods of all kinds are rated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the poorest quality and 5 being the highest quality. These numbers are determined by study of the ingredients list and meat content.

BOGO Bowl is proud to share that we come Highly Recommended with the Advisor’s second highest rating of 4 Stars. Yay! (Our No Grain Formula even received 5 stars!) BOGO Bowl contains the right amounts of proteins, fruits, vegetables and vitamins to keep your pooch energetic and strong . We don’t try to attract buyers with fancy coloring or shapes your dog doesn’t care about anyway. BOGO Bowl cares about the health of your dog. And, just as importantly, we care about the health of the shelter dog that receives that free matching bag.

So next time you’re buying dog food, remember your dog can’t speak for himself. I doubt a life of malnutrition, low-energy, and pain is at the top of his list if he could.

And as to those Fruit Roll-Ups? Nah, I’ll pass.

BOGO Susan