Poppy's Picnic founder Dylan Watkins appeared on the popular Channel 4 TV series Come Dine With Me on Tuesday and served up a dog's dinner to fellow contestants.
The three-course dinner*was an experience for the senses and comprised handcrafted, fresh recipes that are suitable for both humans and dogs. Dylan wanted to make the point dog food doesn’t have to be a mundane eating experience with dry kibble day-in, day-out.
Dylan said: “Sadly, over 50% of dogs in the UK are obese, and many are dying from cancer and diabetes. We know that highly processed food is a contributory factor in human health problems, and the same goes for dogs.
"This was a massive inspiration to me when I set up Poppy’s Picnic and why I used my appearance on Come Dine With Me to spread the word that fresh is best.”
For the show he teamed up with Emma Rutherford, a Functional Canine Dietary Consultant, who he met at a dog show, to appear on the programme and showcase that just like humans, dogs should eat fresh food too.
Dylan explained: “When a friend sent me the advert for the new series I knew it would be an excellent platform to encourage more dog owners to feed fresh, healthy meals. My partner Michael was mortified at the thought of appearing on TV, so when Emma volunteered to join me, I seized this mad opportunity.”
Fellow contestant Kelly Houghton said: “It’s definitely not what I was expecting from a sophisticated dinner party! However, having spent the week with Dylan and experiencing his love, passion and dedication to dogs first hand, I was sold.
"We are now the happy owners of our own miniature schnauzer, and having previously known nothing about dog food, there was no way I was going to be feeding her anything else.”
Dylan added: “My heart pounds every time I think about the filming. I needn’t have worried, as all was forgiven by my fellow contestants as both couples now feed their dogs fresh, raw food.
"By appearing on a nationally loved TV show such as Come Dine With Me, I knew that the diets and health of thousands of dogs could be improved.”