How Booba Beat Her Dog Food Allergies and Became Freshpet’s Latest TV Star

07 Mar 2019 | Written by Freshpet
We’ve all known a small dog whose over-sized personality fills up a room. But there’s something equally adorable about the other far end of the spectrum – the huge dog who thinks they’re a dainty lap dog.

Luckily for Booba, the 130-pound St. Bernard star of the latest Freshpet TV commercial, her dad can handle the extra affection. At 6’8’’, Jon is able to pick Booba up and carry her around like a little puppy.

“Booba just loves everyone,” Jon says, “but she and I are really best-best buddies.” When Booba was 2 years old, she started developing skin problems and digestive issues. Her eyes were becoming bloodshot, she began to lose fur, and what remained of her once luxurious coat turned brittle.

Worst of all, the rash eventually developed into painful hotspots, and Booba couldn’t stand to be held or pet anymore. She just wanted to be left alone under a blanket – a total turnabout from her once outgoing personality.



“At first we thought it might be environmental,” says Jon. After all, Booba had recently moved down with the family from New York to Florida, so Jon consulted his vet.

But after several tests, it turned out that the underlying cause for Booba’s skin irritation and stomach trouble was an allergic reaction she had developed to her kibble. And that discovery was only the start of a long process to determine how to make her heal.

Special medication. Expensive prescription food. Home-made diets. And so, so many different brands of dog food – all of which Booba would barely touch. Jon was trying everything, but Booba was still not back to her old self.

Finally, he picked up a roll of Freshpet. Booba smelled the food and suddenly began to show interest in eating again. She polished off her meal right away, which she hadn’t done in a long time.

A day later, her stomach problems cleared up. And in the weeks that followed, her skin allergy receded, and her fur began to grow back thick and healthy. Jon was astonished and relieved by the transformation.

When he shared his story in a letter to Freshpet, we knew we had to head down to Florida and invite Booba to be in our next TV commercial.

“If we didn’t switch over to Freshpet when we did, we don’t know where we’d be with her,” he says.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but for Freshpet’s Vice President of Research & Development, Dr. Gerardo Perez-Camargo, it’s no surprise that switching from kibble to a diet of fresh food can work wonders for a dog suffering from allergies.

“Reports show that soy, dairy, wheat and corn products are the most common food allergens among dogs and cats” says Dr. Perez-Camargo, noting that Freshpet offers a wide variety of options that don’t include those ingredients.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt that all Freshpet products are free of preservatives and additives – two other elements that can cause allergy flare ups.

Nowadays, Booba doesn’t have to worry about any of that stuff anymore. She’s just focused on enjoying her life as an all-Freshpet girl. She happily finishes a 1.5-pound roll in a single sitting, and doesn’t mind a few Turkey Bacon treats, if you got ’em.



Most of all, she’s back to giving hugs (Jon says she’s a natural hugger!) and being her true self: a cute, little, 130-pound lap dog.

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