Dog Health Problems - Why We Started Enzo’s Pet Pantry

Posted by Laura Greenland on

Hi, I’m Vaneeta and I belong to Enzo. He’s my grumpy but adorable 4-year-old German Shepherd. Together we own and run Enzo’s Pet Pantry, one crazy dog mum and her overly serious and bossy boy who’s had his fair share (and more) of dog health problems. 😂

I thought maybe it’s about time to give you guys a bit more info as to how and why Enzo’s Pet Pantry came about…

Four years ago, I would never have envisaged owning my own business but here we are! 

Enzo made me do it 😋

If you’ve already checked out our website you’ll know from our story on the website that from the very beginning of our journey with Enzo, he was a very sick puppy. After 6 months of hospital stays, tests, scans and a couple of death sentences (this isn’t even a joke); it turned out that Enzo was suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and later we would discover that he had chronic pancreatitis all along too (which was masked in the beginning by the IBD symptoms 🤯). We only found out about the pancreatitis when he had an acute episode in Jan 2019 which resulted in a major surgery to remove abscesses from his pancreas. 🥺 

All of the above understandably fed into his behaviour. To say Enzo was distrustful of new humans is putting it mildly. He also wasn’t keen on new surroundings but you couldn’t really blame him as he was constantly being shaved, poked, prodded, kept overnight by vets, having test after test to figure out what was up with him but then it was a bit of a double-edged sword! He was instinctively a nervous and anxious dog but had to have the tests, which we later learned accelerated his reactivity journey. 😬

I’m not making excuses; a reactive dog can happen to anyone despite all of your best efforts. Unsurprisingly, because Enzo’s early months were so well documented and with the help of a couple of exceptional behaviourists and trainers (I’ve kissed a few of the froggy kind too before finding the right ones), we were able to pinpoint exactly where Enzo’s ‘stranger danger’ issues began. 😳

One of the added challenges we came across was that Enzo wasn’t food orientated or motivated. Which may be down to the fact that he was/is allergic to everything and that’s kind of where everything kinda began. 

I started researching foods, treats, understanding how to read the labels (which isn’t easy), etc. That’s when I began to realise that what Enzo was eating was also impacting his behaviour and his reaction in what I would usually consider ‘normal circumstances’ – you know the kind, when you’re walking your dog in the park, he spots a jogger, a man with a bag or a lady walking briskly that gets that little bit too close to you and your dog decides for no reason at all that they look or are acting like muggers and charge at them barking, lunging, frothing at the mouth whilst you’re hanging on to the end of their lead for dear life; praying to the old gods and new, that this isn’t the one that gets you slapped with a leash & muzzle order…and that would be the best case scenario. 🥺 

So anyhoo, I began to put into practice everything I had learned. Working with Enzo, our long-suffering vet and trainers; to figure out what worked nutritionally. I researched and sourced everything he ate and then eventually, like magic, Enzo started to chill out a bit (thankfully). He was gradually getting calmer, noticeably calmer, he could hold his nerve that little bit longer so that I could get him out of situations that made him feel uncomfortable without a meltdown. We were obviously still working intensively with our trainers but by knowing what he was eating, I could visibly see what worked for him and what didn’t, both in terms of his gut health and his moods. 

Low and behold, just by accident, I was treating Enzo’s people reactivity, training and health issues holistically. And I am happy to report, Enzo is no longer reliably reactive or trying to impersonate a hairy version of the incredible hulk. 🤣

I still continue to warn people that Enzo has the potential to be people reactive, as do all dogs. If you’re walking past my car when my back is turned you may encounter a stroppy Enzo, because he’s still very big on personal space. 😬 Although the meltdowns are few and far between these days, we do still have to be vigilant around those pesky joggers because you don’t cure reactivity, you learn to manage it. 🤷🏽‍♀️ 

Amazingly, believe it or not, I began to get complimented on how well behaved and lovely Enzo was (if only they knew what a w****r he could be 😂). Even policemen and women have been known to comment on how well behaved Enzo is 🙃🤯

But then, the pandemic happened…cue the dreaded dum, dum, dum music! I was unemployed and needing to do something. Like every other genius during this period in time I decided that starting my own business would be a good idea. With a lot of encouragement from Brian, Enzo’s human dad, we launched Enzo’s Pet Pantry. Ta-da!!! 🤗

Our offering is pretty simple. We only source and stock dehydrated, air-dried, natural treats and supplements – most of which I have, do or would use on Enzo if he wasn’t allergic to them. And our ethos is also simple – if it’s not good enough for Enzo, then it’s not good enough for your dog! 😊

I am currently studying for a diploma in Canine Health & Nutrition and Holistic Health for Dogs with the BCCS. After what we’ve been through as a family, I wanted to use our experiences to help take the pain out of the process for you guys on your journeys.

Enzo is the centre of my world. Everything I do and have done since we brought him home in 2018 (when big dogs weren’t as common in London as they are today) has been about making sure he lives a full and happy life. 

Enzo and I work as a team, especially when he’s pulling me up hills when we’re out running together (which also helps with reactivity because he’s too busy focusing on me and moving my fat ass)! 🤪

We’ve had some extremely heartbreaking, difficult and overwhelming times but watching our business begin to grow when just twelve months ago it was a dream is mindblowing. And we couldn’t have done it without you guys - so thank you. 🙏🏼

I hope our journey can help you on yours, and that we can be a part of it.

Paws out 🐾

Vaneeta & Enzo 🥰💜

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