Paleo Pup Transformation

Written by: Steevie

Our quest to find a pup to add to our lives showed up when we stopped by a local shelter. They had a feisty little guy named Tony who was an overweight, “personality challenged” rat terrier chihuahua they asked us to foster for a weekend to learn his habits and true traits. He had been transferred from a Sacramento shelter where he was roaming the streets prior to being in lock up. Since being transferred to the Seattle area, he had been in a kennel 80% of the time and the other 20% was all about food time for him.

When we saw him in the kennel the first time, he barked and growled at us. Not a great start and later that day he bit my wife’s nose when she got too close. My immediate response was to send him back but we figured it was just a defense mechanism since he was a street puppy and in a kennel for the past 8 months. I would be grouchy too!

The shelter had given us dry dog food, pretty generic, that they called “high grade” food and a few toys for Tony. I fed him the dry food but we found him obsessed with the fresh fruits, veggies and meat we were enjoying. I had been Paleo for about 3 years then and figured what was working for me would work for him. Tony weighed in at 15 pounds when he found us and the folks at my CrossFit deemed him Tony Balogna, the little sausage king. He looked and acted like he was maxed out weight wise. We started feeding him raw meat with some carrots. He loved it and he seemed to mellow out a little. We chalked it up to settling with us a bit since we now fully adopted him and him us.

I started running with him a little everyday and we stuck to the Paleo food choices. He lived for his carrots and an apple wedge here and there made him very happy. Now and then a little avocado would supplement his raw meat and carrots. We noticed his personality really changing. He wasn’t cranky anymore and he was playful too. This was not the same dog anymore. Tony had transformed into a loving, playful and happy dog. A simple diet change and a little more playtime made him a brand new pup. We were shocked that in 6 months he had lost 8 pounds. He looked sleek and relaxed so much that the folks at the shelter didn’t recognize him when we dropped in to say hello.We live in Arizona now and Tony lives for our weekend hikes. He stays in step with the big dogs and he is always friendly to new people. This was so amazing for us, that we passed this along to another friend who had a “personality challenged” pup from the same shelter. They are also finding their pup is adapting and blossoming to become a very fun dog to have around. This has been a life changing for us all at my house and has given Tony a whole new life! We love that little guy, he really is little now, and he loves us. If you find a cranky mutt at the shelter, I urge you to try Paleo with them and see the results.


Tony - Before

Tony – Before

Tony - After

Tony – After


Categories: Featured Testimonial, Paleo Testimonials, Pets


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Marijke Peereboom says

    Our doggies who are both from shelters too have been eating paleo from day one
    although officially it’s called BARF and they are both healthy and happy too. Tony
    Is looking great! Well done and hope you guys have a great life together!

  2. Melanie says

    Awww. It’s great to read about how you gave the little guy a chance even after he bit your wife’s nose! Lucky dog, to have found people like you. He looks so happy!

    For what it’s worth, I feed my dog and two cats ground chicken backs and the “pet burger” from US Wellness meats. My dog was a similar personality mess when I got him from the shelter–he’s now morphed into a really sweet little guy. Chicken backs and pet burger have also turned my sausage-like kibble-fed shelter cats into nice, trim, cat-shaped animals again.

  3. says

    Absolutely! I once had an american bulldog who would eat almost 2 lbs of raw chicken+liver every day; In fact, that’s how I began my own journey toward healthy eating. :)

  4. says

    Another great article; dogs should eat real food too! Raw meat (grass fed, antibiotic free, etc), veggies and some fruit. My dog Lloyd loves carrots as well. It can however get pretty expensive to feed a 90 lb yellow lab raw food all of the time but he is worth it. It’s awesome to see little Tony’s transformation!

  5. Vinny says

    Great story but can anyone point me to how much and maybe what I should feed my dog? I have a beagle :)


  6. sean o'brien says

    avocados (at least certain varieties) may be toxic to dogs and other pets. also i wouldn’t recommend coconuts, although my dog loved coconut, she had much difficulty passing the solids for a couple days and the pieces appeared to be completely undigested once they finally passed. may be due to the tough stale / dried out coconuts we end up with in michigan.

  7. Sofia says

    I have 4 indoor cats that are in good health. The male suffers from crystals in urinary tract and is on a special kibble diet. Does anyone have any suggestions for easing the females into a paleo diet? My vet’s not too keen on giving them “people”:food.I’m not happy with commercial cat food. I’ve been Paleo since March and I’m thrilled with my health, mood, weight loss and general well being!

  8. Leslie says

    Happy to find this article. My pup eats paleo as well. Our vet is not supportive. The vet pointed out dogs can’t eat the same food as us. I quickly agreed and said “right, like if I ate poop, I’d probably get sick, but I’ve seen dogs do it.” She did. Not. Laugh.

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