Paws and Listen Podcast

Paws and Listen Podcast

A podcast series brought to you by Big Dog Pet Foods, the leading pet nutrition provider in Australia. We bring you interviews and deep dives into pet nutrition and care, training, and regular ‘Ask a Vet’ segments.


August 28, 2023 42 mins

In this episode of Paws and Listen, Johnny Manning sits down for a chat with the founder and managing director of Big Dog Pet Foods, Chris Essex. This discussion documents the beginning of 'Big Dog', why Chris started a raw pet food company back in 2000, his work with Dr Ian Billinghurst, and how he built Big Dog to the much loved Aussie company that it is today.


Sound and editing by Camilla Falkowski

Produced by Jasmine Clark

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In this episode of Paws and Listen, Johnny sits down with some of the team from Smart Pups Assistance Dogs to talk about the life-changing work that they do. This charity aims to enrich the lives of children with special needs by providing them with highly trained canine companions that improve their physical health and safety, independence, confidence, self-esteem, social interaction, life experience, happiness and wellbeing. Thes...

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June 23, 2023 49 mins

In this episode of Paws and Listen, Johnny and Dr Nicole Rous take a deep dive into medical cannabis for pets and discuss the latest research about the benefits of CBD. Dr Nicole is an integrative vet with a passion for natural treatment options for pets. She shares the latest research and her own experiences in clinic with CBD for various conditions in pets including anxiety, cancer and joint issues – plus many more. This episode ...

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In this episode, John chats with holistic veterinarian, Dr Edward Bassingthwaighte "the healing vet", about the delicate topic of knowing when and how to say goodbye to your pet, and the importance of grieving these special family members. It can be a sensitive subject to discuss, but John and Dr Edward have a very real and raw conversation about it. This episode does come with a trigger warning, and discusses death and suicide, s...

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In this episode of Paws and Listen, Johnny has a frank discussion with Dr Nicole Rous about nutrition and trends in the veterinary industry. Dr Nicole's honest and open style gives insight into the life of a vet, the history of their role and responsibility with pets, and how she’s furthered her education and proudly calls herself an Integrative Veterinarian.

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In the latest episode of Paws & Listen, Johnny Manning chats with Arianne Sackville, the founder and owner of Bell & Bone, the creators of outcome-based dog treats and dental sticks formulated for specific canine needs. Arianne is passionate about dental care for pets, sharing some surprising facts and helpful tips for dental hygiene for our fur babies. Arianne’s mission is inspiring and infectious; this informative episode is a mu...

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In this episode of Paws & Listen, Johnny chats with canine nutritionist and the owner and founder of Canine Ceuticals, Narelle Cooke, about the fundamentals of canine nutrition and the role it plays in our dogs’ overall health. This discussion explores how diet impact our pets’ immune systems and how it can affect their behaviour. Narelle is overflowing with knowledge about canine nutrition and wellbeing. Read Narelle’s latest arti...

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In the latest episode of Paws & Listen, Johnny chats with dog trainer and canine nutritionist, Brittany The Pet Girl, about the pet food industry and her Transparency Project, which saw her go behind-the-scenes at pet food manufacturing facilities.

Brittany is passionate about animal welfare and advocates for better standards in the industry. She's also great for a laugh - catch this fun episode now, and visit the Pet Girl's websit...

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In the latest episode of Paws & Listen, Johnny chats with dog trainer and behaviourist, Lara Shannon about separation anxiety in pets. Lara is bursting with knowledge on this topic with her experience in training and also as a fur-mum to rescue dogs.

This heartwarming episode is a must-listen for all pet parents and animal lovers.

Read all Lara's tips HERE

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We’re so thrilled to introduce you to Johnny Manning (aka Manno), our new host of Paws & Listen.

Johnny is the perfect person to host the Paw & Listen podcast as the proud father of Frank the pug X bulldog and has always been a brand ambassador and advocate for raw feeding. He previously worked with the team at Big Dog as our National Sales Manager and is currently working as a radio presenter and producer for the ABC in Brisbane.


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When it comes to itchy skin, sometimes the trigger is obvious and sometimes it isn’t, and when it isn’t it can be so hard to watch your baby suffer while you try all the different remedies on the planet. This Ask-a-Vet episode of Paws & Listen is a must for pet parents of dogs with skin issues. Jasmine and Tiffany, from the Big Dog team, chat with veterinarian, Dr Duncan Houston, about the most common conditions he sees in pets, th...

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Have you ever tried to make sense of the too-good-to-be-true claims on a bag of dog food? Not sure how much meat is actually in your cat’s food? We asked Clare Kearney to use her very sensitive, no-nonsense radar to help pet parents navigate through the confusion of pet food labelling. This  episode of Paws & Listen leaves no stone unturned when we chat with Clare about Pet Food Labelling and marketing. Article - Decoding pet food...

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One of the most common questions we are asked here at Big Dog, is “Is Raw Food Safe For My Pet?”. This is the number one concern of pet parents and vets too, so we thought we’d take some time to interview Phil, our Quality and Assurance Manager to get details about our quality control here at Big Dog, and how we make sure our food is safe for all pets.

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In our 5th episode we have the privilege of chatting again with Chris Essex, Big Dog's founder and Managing Director, and Canine Nutritionist, Narelle Cooke. We'll chat further about health and nutrition, with a particular focus on Detoxing and what that looks like in our pets.

Detox signs and symptoms and support for our pets- By Narelle Cooke

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In our first “ask a Vet’ episode, we have the pleasure of having Lara Shannon, dog trainer, nutritionist, wonderful human and host of the TV Show, Pooches at Play chatting with Dr Edward Bassingthwaighte one of our favourites holistic vets based in Frankston, Victoria.

They will be discussing how to keep our pets safe from diseases and parasite without overuse of preventative ...

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In our third episode we have the absolute pleasure to discuss Gut Health with Narelle Cooke, clinical Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist for both people and pets, and Chris Essex, founder and managing director for Big Dog Pet Foods. If you want to understand more about prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes for our dogs’ gut health this is the episode for you.


Articles mentioned: Detox Signs, symptoms and support, Healt...

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In our second nutrition-focussed episode  we take a deep dive into ingredients and nutrients for dogs. Jasmine Clark focus her discussion with Chris Essex on superfoods, as well as some chats about the difference between pet-grade and human-grade ingredients and some of the challenges we face with regulations.


Articles mentioned: Superfoods; Bioavailability

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In this episode Tiffany Howe interviews Chris Essex founder and managing director of Big Dog Pet Foods, about all you need to know when thinking of transitioning your pet to raw Food. 

Articles mentioned: Bacteria in Raw Pet Food   Eggcellent Nutrition Advice    What's your dog's poo teeling you.   Unsafe foods for cats and dogs

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