RAW dog food company Poppy’s Picnic has teamed up with a TV soap star to call on dog owners to try a fresher way to feed their pets during August.

The Melksham-based company has joined forces with Gemma Oaten, who found fame on TV soap series Emmerdale and Holby City, to launch its new RAWgust ‘change-for-life’ themed month for dogs.

The company is calling on all pet owners to try its fresh food throughout the month.

It hopes to educate those who are unfamiliar with the benefits of feeding raw food, while also encouraging those who have always wanted to try it, to see how easy it is to do.

Founder Dylan Watkins said: “We are calling on people to join our Raw Revolution this month because few dog owners know that when they feed kibble-only diets, they’re giving their four-legged friend fillers and ‘meat derivatives’, that are sprayed with fat and other substances to make them more appealing.

“With over 50 per cent of dogs being obese in the UK, and the percentage of dogs with diabetes having risen by 30 times in the last three decades, it’s time to take a stand and do right by our dogs.”

Miss Oaten, is supporting Poppy’s Picnic in its campaign and feeding her Miniature Schnauzer, Ruby Tuesday, fresh food for the first time.

She said: “I saw Poppy’s Picnic on Dragons’ Den and immediately wanted to support the brand. I’ve never tried raw before now as I’ve always been told that dry is best so was just led by that.”

“Having read all of Poppy’s Picnic’s testimonials, I felt RAWgust was the opportunity to get involved and it looks very promising for Ruby.”

Poppy’s Picnic says the benefits of feeding raw food include improved digestion, a healthier skin and coat, no added sugar, and reduced allergy symptoms.

Dylan adds, “We’re aware that feeding fresh frozen food isn’t convenient or cheap enough for everyone’s lifestyles but believe that any fresh nutritional intake is better for dogs than nothing but dried brown pellets.

“If owners can just feed our balanced meals then great, but if mixing it with kibble makes it more accessible, we’d encourage owners to try it out.

“We are all about making it easier for more people to feed their dog the best – as much or as little as is possible. Our Very Important Paws team are always on the end of a phone or email to help with the transition.”

Poppy’s Picnic is promoting its My First Hamper product (16 packs of its award-winning fresh food, a free bow tie and comprehensive RAWPLICITY guide) for £30, plus free delivery throughout the month.

Blogs and informational posts will be shared via social media and on its website

www.poppyspicnic.co.uk Those pledging are asked to use #RAWgust in their updates on social media.