MaQ's New Fave – Nature's Recipe Grain Free Salmon Dog Food

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nature’s Recipe®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Some of you may have read up on MaQ, my German Shepherd dog's diet a while back. For many years it's strictly been raw red meat (sometimes chicken or salmon), sushi rice, cooked green beans with a dollop of cottage cheese and olive oil. And glucosamine pills to keep those hips in check.(Whoa.) While I haven't fed him purely kibble food since he was a puppy, the vet has recommended putting a little bit of it into MaQ's meals. What is the reasoning behind this? There are just some ingredients dogs cannot get in other food categories like in dog food. Which is why lately, I've been giving my fur baby Nature's Recipe Grain Free Salmon Dog Food, a healthy & nutritious easy-to-digest dry food MaQ has become completely addicted to! Look how adoringly patient he is waiting to eat his breakfast! Awe!

It's no surprise that salmon is healthy. And while it's the number-one ingredient in Nature's Recipe grain free easy to digest salmon, sweet potato & Pumpkin recipe, it's also part of an all-star lineup including nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources to help your dog stay on the move. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin round out this mix, giving your dog a nutritious, easy-to-digest food that doesn't get in the way of all that delicious salmon. The best part? It is new at Walmart, it has no corn or wheat, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and no poultry-by-poultry meal. Which is why for many years I didn't feel confident including dry dog food into his diet. German Shepherds are prone to extremely sensitive digestive systems and I'm always a little weary giving him something new since it throws his tummy off. 

But with Nature's Recipe's real chicken or fish being the #1 ingredients in their dry recipes, made with premium protein sources and fiber to help support digestion, energy and satisfy natural cravings for every stage of a dog's life, it is the perfect form of dry kibble for MaQ. And he goes absolutely nuts over the smell of the kibble alone! You should have seen his face when I first introduced the bag, I thought his eyeballs were going to pop right out he was so excited! In today's post, I mixed the kibble in with raw salmon, (like a total grizzly bear, he is a savage when it comes to this specific fish) shredded carrots with lettuce, white rice, and olive oil. We even feed him handheld treats out of the kibble as an in-between snack! It's his grandpa's (YES, he has a grandpa!) favorite way to give him a treat. Can you tell he's lovingly spoiled?! :) 

If you're a pet owner, I strongly recommend Nature's Recipe Dog (and cat) Food for your beloved babies. They have a variety of other flavors besides salmon such as chicken, lamb and more! There is also a line of wet dog food too if that's your pooches' thing! The best part, is you can find Nature's Recipe at your local Walmart. This makes the switch to kibble easy and convenient. For more info on this amazing dog food line, click here






5 Tips on Dog Walking Etiquette in a Big City


Happy Thursday, everyone! I'm delighted about the short work week! We are looking forward to the weekend, where we spend most of our time outside walking MaQ and having fun. But, having a massive German Shepherd in a city such as New York, does have its setbacks and challenges. But I'm all for being resourceful, so with that, today I'm sharing with you my 5 tips on dog walking etiquette in a big city, like the New York metropolitan area!  


Knowing your dog's strengths and flaws along with what and who your dog's likes and dislikes are, will bring more awareness when you're out and about. They also say dogs are mirror images to their owners, so be mindful of who you are. If you're an anxious person, you're pet will more than likely be as well. This is also the time to put away the phones! Stop scrolling and pay attention to your surroundings and your dog. But don't forget to enjoy your time together and the little moments that really matter the most. 


When it comes to leadership, you want to do this as soon as possible with your dog. As the Alpha pack leader, you must always be the first to enter or exit out of any passageway, may that be a door, elevator, etc. Not only does this demonstrate who is the leader, but this is also demonstrates self-control. Having your dog sprint outside can cause many behavioral issues such as over-excitement, anxiety and other bad manners. Not everyone, dogs included, like to see a ginormous wolf-like hound bursting out of a door first. When it comes to your daily walks, which is approximately 1.5 - 2 hours a day with MaQ in the city, you also lead the way. Remember, you're walking the dog not the other way around. Training your dog to hell is very important and an essential tool for you on your walks. Forging isn't as bad - this is when your dog is walking slightly past your feet. It's actually a great preventative for dogs who ten to go looking for scraps on the streets of a bigger city. This way, you have a better chance of catching them before they consume it. Overall, leading on walks puts you, in your dog's mind, as the pack leader. This makes them much more trainable because they will be aiming to please you non-stop, and they will also be more obedient - making walks a pleasure rather than a nightmare.  


Regardless how much you love dogs, and trust me on this, as I'm a total dog lover myself, you should always ask permission if you'd like to approach someone's pet. The same should go with your dog meeting other dogs. You can never know, at first glance, if a dog is friendly, aggressive or even a service dog of some kind, especially on some of those harnesses that clearly label, 'DO NOT PET', some still may miss it while overdosing on cuteness overload. :)


Walking the streets of New York, I can tell you I've had my fair share of experiences when it comes to seeing many owners walk their dogs unleashed! This frightens people, especially with certain larger breeds that people are opted to be more scared of. In a city like ours, it is best to keep your dog on a leash as a protector from all the street and people traffic. Of course, dog parks and other places like this are an exception. But being out in public with hundreds of people walking around all the time, it's just better for everybody. 


Lastly... ever see that Sex & the City episode when Carrie steps in a knee-deep pile of poo-poo while in Paris? Yeah, no one wants that! I too have had my fair share with these encounters and if it's not too much to ask (literally takes 30 seconds of your life), please pick up after your dog!  

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out the full video for this post on our YouTube channel! Got some questions after reading this article? Leave them down below in the comment box! Hope you all have a great rest of the week! 

Sponsored post in collaboration with LASSO & Animal Hearted

photos + videography by Gilles Decamps | director, editing, & styling by Suzanne Spiegoski

Greetings from the Big Apple! A {NEW VIDEO} is now up on our channel! We're sharing 5 Tips on Dog Walking Etiquette in a big city, such as the New York metropolitan area! 





MaQ's Raw Diet

Since MaQ turned 1, I've been giving him a primal eating plan. I put in a combination of protein, calcium, fiber, carbs, glucosamine, vitamin C, and olive oil all to provide longevity, optimal health, and even some beauty treatment! Yes, you read that right! Let me explain further.

Here is a list of what's in MaQ's daily meals. I serve this twice a day, for breakfast and dinner, the raw meat being the staple part of his meals. From left to right; clockwise (above):

  • Kokuho Rose Sushi Rice: This superior Japanese style rice is the only rice I ever use (been eating this since I was little) and is hands down the best quality rice I've ever eaten. I use this as a substitute for commercial kibble. Most kibbles and canned food use feed grade rice, which is basically the scraps of rice that are leftover when actual rice is made for human consumption! Which means the likelihood of toxins being absorbed during a multiple processing stage is very high. So, of course, I naturally transitioned to this. As a puppy, Maq was on Royal Canin kibble because as a baby, there are certain nutrients that are vital to their immune system and since they are not full grown, the breeders where we got MaQ strongly recommended he be on this diet up until he's 1 - 1.5 years of age. Doggy's thrive off carbs, and in my opinion, rice is terrific for our beloved pets. So long as the rice is of premium quality.
  • NuJoint Plus®: I give these glucosamine pills to MaQ daily. 4 pills to be exact due to his larger size. Another suggestion from our fantastic breeders, the pills help prevent all sorts of common problems that are prone in the German shepherd breed. Hip & elbow dysplasia, arthiritis, osteoporosis, and joint inflammation are just a few that can occur with GSDs. These pills are a natural anti-inflammatory hip and joint therapy supplement and are treats to MaQ. He's loved them since he was a baby and never go low on these! 
  • Cento EVOO: First of all, it tastes great. Trust me when I say this, your dog will love you for it! The monounsaturated fats in olive oil actually encourage weight loss by breaking down the fatty cells, getting rid of a couple of pounds. It is also contains high levels of antioxidants, proving to arm your dog's immune system. It is also a brain food and has been shown to boost energy. And like I mentioned earlier, olive oil gives your pooch the ultimate beauty treatment! Just like how we put oils in our hair to repair with moisture, you can do the same with you pet! 
  • Raw Meat: This can be basically anything! His everyday meat is usually beef, but when I want to switch it up, I'll go with salmon, chicken, ground turkey or sometimes lamb. With beef, I usually go with stew meat since it's easier to cut and prepare. There have been hundreds of articles written about the raw diet, each side debating different views. One, it's actually healthy and provides your dog a longer, healthier life, and two, it's just bad because there's too much bacteria, germs, etc. for the dog and they get sick. It does take a couple of weeks for a dog to adjust to a different diet, but once they do, not only do I think they're enjoying their food much more, but the benefits are far better than any commercial kibble! Think about the wolves, you don't see them running around looking for dried up bullshit. I know, they're not domesticated animals but they are the wild ancestors of dogs and have been living long enough in their habitat to survive and thrive. So if their ancestors can do it, dogs can as well. But, I'm not one to dispute what you feed your dog. This is up to you.
  • Green Beans: One word. Fiber! And MaQ really enjoys these little veggies. And I always cook the green beans to give a softer texture because ewe, raw green beans don't taste very good! They are also heavy with antioxidants, ranging from vitamin K to manganese, and also can be an anti-inflammatory benefit. Green beans bring cardiovascular benefits as well! From the omega-3 fatty acid in the beans, it's a heart-protective nutrient.
  • Friendship Cottage Cheese: I give this to MaQ very often for calcium intake. I like, from time to time, to switch it up with plain Greek yogurt, since he really likes both. I actually really love green beans with cottage cheese. Together it's delicious! I'll even have a small portion of it for breakfast!

Here's MaQ's complete meal! Dang, doesn't it look delicious? I love spoiling my pup. Why? Because I love him. It's such a pleasure to hear from strangers complement how beautiful he is. Aesthetics always come first, then once they look into his soulful eyes they are immediately enamored with my boy. When someone says, "I can see he is very well taken care of." Or, "what a gorgeous German shepherd!" Because for me, I take pride in giving MaQ the best of everything. Why? Because he does the same for me with his undying love and devotion. And if the roles were reversed, I know he'd feed me just as well!

I've got a cardinal rule when it comes to feeding MaQ. And this applies with pretty much everything else. He's not allowed to eat until I tell him it's okay to. This goes for getting out of a car, going through a door, waiting to cross the street or be invited up on the couch, even throwing a ball I'll make him stay in his position for a couple of minutes before releasing him to fetch it. Without any impulse control, MaQ would be a wild wreck! Sometimes before he eats we'll play the 'color' game to mentally challenge him. For example, I'll say some colors out loud like, 'red', or 'blue' before actually saying the word, 'okay'. He drools incessantly while waiting and I'm sure his food is that much more rewarding, plus let's be real. You ever had to wait to eat? Did it taste better than what you imagined? It's that anticipation! :)

Bon Appétit! (Yes, my dog knows what this means.) Can't blame him for having a French papa! ;)

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz