By The Farmer's Dog | April 11, 2018

At The Farmer’s Dog HQ, every day is National Pet Day. Our dogs sit in on meetings, join us on team outings, and provide daily inspiration and love. Our co-founder Brett Podolsky realized early on that pets were an incredibly special part of life and is passionate about making them healthy through the power of real, fresh food. We sat down with Brett to talk about how dogs have changed his life and why our pets deserve to be celebrated every day.

Tell us about the pets you’ve loved in your life.
My first dog was a Tibetan Terrier named Bandit. We got him when I was 10 and he was the first dog I ever loved. He was the friendliest, sweetest dog. As a kid I always loved animals and before we got Bandit, I used to go to my friends’ houses just because they had dogs.

When I was in my early twenties I got my dog, Jada, with my wife Michaela. Jada is my best friend and we were completely inseparable from the first day we met. I brought her everywhere I went when she was a puppy. I even brought her to class a few times! I wanted her to experience everything at a young age. She is the absolute best baby in the world. She’s so affectionate, smart, and loves to hold hands.

How did your pets change your perspective on life?
Having a dog taught me so much about unconditional love. The love I felt for my first dog, Bandit,  helped me understand why my parents loved my sister and me so deeply. The experience of protecting, loving, and watching my dog grow up made me appreciate how much my parents loved me.

Why do you think pets are so important?
I think having an animal in your life makes you become more responsible, compassionate, and understanding. Training a dog takes work and patience, and you have to develop a way of communicating with a sentient being that doesn’t always understand you. That experience really forces you to become more intuitive and patient. Think about it: dogs get taken away from their parents at such a young age and are then introduced to a completely new species. They’re probably thinking, “Who is this? And how is he so good at walking on his hind legs? That’s some killer balance!” You need to earn their trust and let them know they can always rely on you and that takes patience and time.

What do you think is the best thing somebody can do for their pet?
Feed them well and love them a lot. Give your pet the life you wish you had. A life filled with love, play, and good health.

What is the biggest lesson your pets have taught you?
Jada has taught me so much about what it means to love unconditionally. She has helped me grow and become more patient. She has taught me how effective a proper diet is on health and completely transformed the way I think about my own food choices. She has changed my life in every way.

We want to hear from you! How has having a pet changed your life? Send us your stories at [email protected] to be featured.