The Raw Truth

Sidewalk Dog Partners with Solid Gold Northland

By Sidewalk Dog Staff

Tons of energy, a healthy weight, fewer allergies and just all-around better health and vitality—these are just a few of the reasons that raw foods are a great addition to dogs’ (and people’s!) diets. Yet you may have wondered how to work raw food into your dog’s routine, or thought it’s too expensive or inconvenient to feed raw. Fortunately, Sidewalk Dog has the inside line on a canine raw food expert—and she can help dispel some of the confusion and give you the real raw deal.

When it comes to knowing her kibble (and just about everything else there is to know about doggie nutrition), Dawn Peterson Cobb is the top dog. As founder and owner of Solid Gold Northland, a supplier of natural and holistic products for pets, Dawn is passionate about the power of the right diet to boost dogs’ health and wellness. Sidewalk Dog is proud to partner with Solid Gold Northland and share Dawn’s expertise with you.

“When we eat junky, we feel junky,” she says. “Dogs are the same way.” Dawn is a big advocate of educating pet owners on the ease and benefits of adding fresh, raw foods into pets’ diets.That’s why you might be surprised to learn that as a base, she recommends a high-quality kibble, like one of Solid Gold’s preservative-free, grain, gluten-free or grain-free dry dog foods. “Then, I make sure people are using Solid Gold SeaMeal, a daily vitamin supplement that’s actually made from whole foods, not chemical vitamins and minerals like you get in a commercial vitamin pill.” While giving your pup a vitamin supplement might sound about as fun as a visit to the vet, all you have to do is sprinkle a little of the seaweed-based powder over your dog’s food at each feeding. “They lick the bowl clean,” laughs Dawn. “Cats love it too, because it has a nice, fresh, grass-like flavor.”

Once you and your dog are happy with your kibble and SeaMeal, adding in some raw food for variety is the next step. “It’s just like in our own diets,” Dawn explains. “We like a variety of foods.” Contrary to what you might think, going raw isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Dawn recommends replacing some of the kibble with a raw food product a few times a week.

“In your local pet supply store, look for the freezers and get a five-pound bag of a quality raw food,” Dawn recommends. She is (of course!) a big fan of Solid Gold Northland’s raw food brands, all companies that she sourced herself. “Raw Bistro is Minnesota-made using local ingredients; Vital Essentials raw is a Wisconsin company whose raw food roots go back to the 1960s; and Steve’s Real Food is a raw pet food and eco-friendly pioneer, with environmentally friendly packing and production methods,” she says. “I couldn’t choose just one, because I like them all.”

Dawn recommends thawing out portions of the raw food as needed—keeping it frozen helps preserve the valuable vitamins and enzymes. While you can go 100% raw, to keep costs down you can also make that five-pound bag last two weeks, or a month. “Any amount of raw will help boost your pet’s health. We feel good when we eat well and incorporate fresh foods into our diets; this is all about wanting our dogs to be well fed—and be well,” she says.

Feeding Solid Gold kibble, the SeaMeal supplement and raw food for variety have certainly made a difference for Dawn’s own dog, a maltese-papllion from Underdog Rescue named Lily. “When she first came to me, she wasn’t very interested in food,” Dawn remembers. “Now, she does a little happy dance when I set down her bowl!” It’s a testament to the power of healthy food and going raw—and seeing is believing.

Have questions about raw food and what it can do for your doggie? Dawn and Solid Gold Northland welcome your questions—really! Give them a call at 612-729-7748. is THE PLACE to read about all things dog-related in the Twin Cities. We’ve got the inside scoop on dog-friendly shops and restaurants, local celebs’ secret lives as dog-lovers, amazing animal rescues and nonprofits, and anything else that’s interesting, funny or just plain cute in the local pet scene