collectively keeping pets out of vets since 2010
dr CONOR BRADY, Bsc hons, PhD
My Professional Journey
While training dogs in Australia I was inspired by the work of Guide Dogs Queensland (who changed 200 dogs from dry to raw, to near miraculous results, if just in terms of vet bills) as well as raw pioneer vets such as Billinghurst and Lonsdale who were both Australian vets.
After some brief trials with troubled dogs I was working with (and following some strong kick back from some vets who didn’t believe the results!) I soon made the pursuit and advocacy of fresh feeding dogs my full time career. I threw myself back into research and soon after the Natural Dog Seminar was born.
What began as a 3hr lecture on canine nutrition has since expanded to cover many aspects of canine health, teaming up with many experts, a gig that in years to come would have me flown around the world – from Scandinavia to Switzerland, Bejing to Taiwan. My love of dogs, love of research and love of talking, all perfectly combined. I needed a place to house my thoughts and research and dogsfirst.ie was born.
In the middle of starting these seminars (and in the midst of a terrible recession!) I was encouraged to return home to form Ireland’s first raw dog food company – Gráw Dog Food (a take on the Irish word for love, grá, pronounced graw). It was really good quality food, I think the best stuff available anywhere at the time (though I would say that!). That was very hard work and in hindsight the Irish market was nowhere near ready but through it I learned so much – from the manufacturing of pet food to the industry itself.
I have to admit that I was pretty appalled how much of it worked. Talk about mutton dressed as lamb! It’s a bit of a magic show and I was instantly struggling to get paid for the quality of ingredients I insisted on putting in.
I started writing online about my ventures – detailing what pet food manufacturers (dry and raw) were putting out. That made me a lot of friends on the outside though, while they weren’t named, a few enemies on the inside too!
After success on Dragons Den in 2013 the company thankfully took off. However, I soon learned a few costly business lessons. The two most memorable are 1) don’t sell good stuff cheap and 2) watch your cashflow!
I couldn’t believe that more sales could ruin a business but my poor, much loved and now busy business started drowning. Unable to hire more staff I was often up all night trying to fill the machines to stand in a football field in the rain trying to hand out tubes of half-defrosted minced salmon to apalled dog show enthusiasts!
I was utterly miserable and soon moved Gráw Dog Food on to people better able at that sort of thing. Truth be told, I hated being seen as a pet food manufacturer. It lessened the impact of my writings.
And that was my last real job…!!
Since 2015, in between speaking gigs, I have operated as a pet nutrition consultant, a gun for hire. It enabled me financially to return to research in. the background and ultimately dedicate more hours to my new book Feeding Dogs.
I began helping owners with their dogs, first folk just new to raw but rapidly branching out to health conditions also. This part of my business has really taken off and I have added some new nutritionists to the team to help shoulder some of the load.
During that time I developed many flagship ranges of pet food for various companies worldwide including the UK’s favourite raw dog food Paleo Plus – this is what good, pre-made raw dog food looks like!
I also developed my own range of seaweed-based nutritional supplements of which I’m particularly proud.
I also worked on blog which incredibly has over 300,000 people reading it each month.
Just in case my wife ever reads this I have to say the birth of my daughters was the greatest thing to happen me …but a very, very, very close second is when I personally gave birth to my book Feeding Dogs in 2020. Let me tell you, it was surely as painful. Never, ever again. Releasing a book, particularly a factual one that a number of people on the “other side” are dying to pull apart publicly (but still, thankfully, have not), is like stripping naked and walking down the main street in your town. On Saturday. Lunchtime. And it’s really cold. Seems to be going down well though, thank God.
The launch of our new site sees Dogs First moving towards online education. Much of my time is now devoted to online teaching – shorter pay per view webinars and courses on the site as well as private webinars for small groups, colleges and yes, even vets! We also train pet shop and vet staff and assist in product development, something I particularly enjoy as you know this stuff, once it gets out there, is going to make a LOT of dogs healthy and happy.
After my doctorate, I spent five years in guide dogs as a pup supervisor and trainer. It was while working with guide dogs in Australia that the true powers of raw feeding came to light. The time since bar a couple of years as a raw producer myself, I have spent as a full-time writer, speaker and dedicated advocate for natural canine feeding and health. My book “Feeding Dogs” is the culmination of this work and it proudly sits as recommended reading among my peers.
I live with my wife and two young daughters in Wicklow, Ireland, and am proud father to a slightly odd blue roan cocker called Dudley. What he lacks in brains and finesse he makes up with single-minded determination, though that statement is equally true of the both of us.
Karen Read, BCCS Dip. Health & Nutrition
” My focus is on helping dogs to reach optimum health and vitality via good nutrition and a natural, holistic approach.
julie-anne thorne, BSc hons, MHAO, IIZ
“I’m on a mission to change the world’s perception of cats. Everything I do is natural-minded, starting with dinnertime…
I like you am a dog nut. With a lot of experience in the canine nutrition world I can tell you with sad confidence that the pet food world cares not a jot for the health of your pet.
Dogs First was established to give dog owners no-nonsense, well-researched, factual information on all things canine nutrition and natural health.
Everything you need to make the leap to a better diet and life for them is free to read on our site…
The most up to date scientific information on a range of nutrition & health topics delivered lecture-style by Conor…
For anyone needing 1-to-1 assistance with the transition from dry or specific dietary advice for a health condition
"one of the best"
What an excellent article. One of the best I have ever read. I greatly appreciate your honesty and the ability to provide me with free information to treat my dog’s yeast condition at home. I’m glad I found your site.
Lisa, website, 23/11/20
THANK YOU DR. BRADY
Thank you for your work. It is difficult to find websites where information is so honest and easy to understand. I needed information about raw ( Barf ) diet for my pregnant dog and your article was very helpful. I’m going to read all other articles to. Thank you
Monika, website, 20/09/21
I'VE LEARNED SO MUCH
I am using canident with raw meaty bones for a month and the transformation is fantastic Her pearly white his teeth are . Thanks so much for your advice!