Reflections magazine: Can you give a brief history of Green Juju?
Kelley Marian: I founded Green Juju when my yellow Lab, Bailey, was diagnosed with a rare joint tumor in 2013. Chemo and radiation weren’t effective for that type of cancer, and amputation was the only option. She struggled with health issues for years, and a biopsy they did brought on a cascade of issues—an ear, bladder and yeast infection in the three weeks following. I knew she wasn’t in shape for a major surgery like an amputation. I wanted to help support her body to fight the cancer and become strong enough for the eventual amputation she would need to become cancer-free.
RM: Where did you get the idea to use food to heal?
KM: I was working through health issues of my own and noticed a difference when I began incorporating fresh whole foods in my diet, specifically through juicing. I learned the different antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties in vegetables, and realized Bailey could benefit from the same support. She needed some life in her bowl!
RM: How do you create your recipes?
KM: I pored through any research I could find on how whole-food ingredients benefit dogs, and while there wasn’t a lot at the time, what I found was very reassuring I was on the right path. I worked with a local canine nutrition specialist, Patti Howard, to help me fine-tune the recipe and make sure the ingredients were in proportion for daily feeding.
RM: Where do you source ingredients?
KM: We source from the same product supplier as the top restaurants and grocery stores in town. They have a network of local farms they work with during the growing season. We are using the same kale you find on the shelves at Whole Foods!
RM: Why do you think it’s necessary to provide food supplements for dogs?
KM: The majority of our dogs are eating a processed diet with synthetic vitamins and minerals. It’s hard for their bodies to get all the nutrients they need in this form. Lack of nutrients can show up as dry, flaky coats, itchy skin, low energy, et cetera. By providing fresh whole-food ingredients in a form that is easy for the body to absorb, they are able to get the nutrients they need. We juice and blend our produce to break down the cell walls, releasing the nutrients inside and making them easily digestible for your dog.
RM: What’s the most shocking thing people might not know about the food they feed their pets?
KM: So many things. Every pet owner should watch Pet Fooled on Netflix.
RM: Do you have pets of your own and what kind?
KM: Currently, I have an eight-year-old French bulldog named Bambi. We just lost Bailey a few months ago at 13 and a half years old.
RM: What was the greatest challenge in creating Green Juju?
KM: I jumped into something that I knew absolutely nothing about—I started with a juicer and a blender in a tiny condo kitchen, and now years later I am coordinating with our manufacturing partner, multiple suppliers, packaging reps, freight companies, distributors, and store owners. I had to learn every part of this along the way.
RM: What’s been the most rewarding part?
KM: In the very beginning, when I started putting this green concoction in Bailey’s bowl and watched her grow stronger with brighter eyes and more energy over the course of several months. It was incredibly empowering to know that I was making a positive difference in my beloved pup’s health with just what I was putting in her bowl.