Bella the Butternutter is a toy Cavapoo living in London.
She’s an active member of the Doodle community in the English capital who meet up regularly in Hyde Park at the weekends.
Bella has been known to be a fussy eater but thanks to Butternut Box’s meals, this beautiful Cavapoo’s ways have changed.
She is now a Butternut Box ambassador and advocate for feeding dogs balanced, complete and healthy meals.
Her mum Hannah works for Butternut Box so we wanted to learn about Bella as well as the benefits of this dog food delivery company.
If you’d like to check out Bella, you can follow her on Instagram here (@bella_the_butternutter).
1) How did you hear about Cavapoos?
I actually initially fell in love with the Cockapoo, I kept meeting Cockapoos when out and about, I couldn’t believe how wonderful they were in personality, friendliness and spirit. Living in a flat in London, I did a little bit of research and thought perhaps the Toy Cavapoo would be better suited to our lifestyle, given our garden is only small. Bella has plenty of exercise though, so in hindsight it wouldn’t have mattered what breed we got.
2) What attracted you to Cavapoos?
So many parts of the Cavapoo personality attracted me. Poodles are highly intelligent and Cavaliers are renowned for being lovely lap dogs and love people. The combination was and is wonderful.
3) Can you tell us how you ended up with Bella?
I’d been wanted a dog ever since I could read and write… So the moment my husband and I purchased our flat it was finally time. I did a huge amount of research online to find out what to look out for in a breeder (and what to avoid!). I wanted to make sure Bella was bred for the right reasons and that the breeder really cared about her welfare. We found a wonderful breeder in Kent, I met Bella the first day she had opened her eyes – It was love at first sight!
4) Can you spot Cavalier and Poodle traits in Bella?
Bella is definitely mostly a poodle – she is super intelligent and picks things up very quickly, a little highly strung but also hilarious and full of funny quirks. She prances around like she’s on her tip toes which I think is quite characteristic of the Poodle. She also loves snuggling up to us on the sofa – something more characteristic to the Cavalier I think!
5) In your experience, are Cavapoos picky eaters?
Bella is one of the fussiest dogs I’ve ever met – I didn’t even know a fussy dog was a concept until Bella entered our world. She has the most discerning taste buds and feeding her before Butternut Box came along was incredibly challenging. Bella would go on hunger strike after hunger strike and it broke my heart with the amount of food we ended up going out of date and wasting. She now turns her nose up at 95% of the treats out there, its bananas. I think it’s a mixture of nature and nurture (she is very spoilt) – but I do meet lots of other Cavapoos who are similarly fussy.
6) How important is a Cavapoo’s diet? Do they have any special requirements?
Bella’s diet is incredibly important to me. I want her to eat the healthiest food possible. Bella is part of our family, so deserves to eat like part of our family. I really dislike processed food with lots of additives and nasties, I try really hard for myself to eat as much fresh food as possible – so it’s really important that Bella has the same, as I want her to live a happy healthy and long life. There was a study I read once, that fresh food can increase the lifespan of our dog’s by a dramatic 32 months (when compared to a commercial canned food diet) – From this moment I have never turned back 😍
7) What are the benefits of eating fresh dog meals such as Butternut Box?
Fresh dog food has changed Bella’s life. She is much happier, healthier, she enjoys meal times. I love knowing I am feeding her a preservative free diet, food that I would only feed myself.
Read more about the study Hannah mentioned at the end of the interview.
8) Can diet have an effect on their shedding – better food less shedding?
Ooo good question! I don’t know – Bella is fortunate enough to be hypoallergenic, therefore she doesn’t shed.
9) Does getting a Cavapoo groomed cost a lot of money?
This is a good question, it totally depends on the level of maintenance you choose for your Cavapoo. We like to keep Bella’s fur short, she prefers it that way, which means getting her groom done every 6-8 weeks or so at around £45 per groom.
10) Would you recommend Cavapoos to a first-time dog owner?
Absolutely, they are incredibly loving, incredibly intelligent, desperate to learn, super characters and generally just all round fantastic dogs.
11) Is there a big Cavapoo community in London?
It’s growing! There is a HUGE cockapoo community, but all other doodles are growing in numbers, including Cavapoos. Somewhere that we love to go on the weekend is the monthly Hyde Park Doodles Meet. If you are a doodle in London, I would strongly recommend it. It’s honestly heaven on earth, nearly 100 doodles of all shapes, sizes, ages, colours, personalities running around having a wild time.
12) What comments or questions does Bella get out and about in London?
“Aawwww she’s so cute, what breed is she?”
“Awww is she still a puppy?”
“Wow, she’s so chilled on the tube/bus/train”
13) What’s your favourite memory (or post) with Bella?
Well this is impossible to choose but if I HAVE to.. It would be having Bella on our wedding day in the church with us. She was just an angel and I was so proud of her. She also calmed all my nerves! Would definitely recommend having your dog at your wedding.
14) What are the pros and cons of having an Instagram for your dogs?
Pros – Possibly the most wonderful community of people in the dog world you can imagine. Fully of pure positivity and uplifting content and feelings.
Cons – I mean I used to take thousands of pictures of Bella long before I had an Instagram, but now I take tens of thousands of pictures of Bella!
15) What other Cavapoo accounts would you recommend?
Oh there are just so many wonderful accounts – Can I choose just some of my fave doodle friends? (I have loads.. But here is a selection of great ones!)
And finally, here is the study Hannah referenced above
In 2003, Dr. Gerard Lippert and Bruno Sapy published a 5-year study of 552 dogs in Belgium that looked several key factors influencing the relationship between the domestic dogs’ well-being and life expectancy on a statistical basis. Characteristics that were analyzed included breed, type, size, weight, sterilization status, nutrition/diet, living conditions/housing, and family environment.
The conclusions were that two intrinsic factors (a dog’s breed and size) had a major influence on the dog’s life expectancy, while two external factors (housing and family configuration) had no significant impact. The two most influential external/acquired characteristics that had dramatic impacts on a dog’s life expectancy were sterilization, and the type of food they were fed during their lifetime.
According to this study, sterilization raises the average middle age of the dogs in the study by 21 months (1 year and 9 months). However, diet showed to have the most profound and dramatic determination in life expectancy.
The study showed that dogs fed a diet exclusively of home-prepared meals (eating a similar diet as the human family) lived an average of 32 months – close to 3 years! – longer compared to dogs fed a commercial canned food diet. Dogs fed canned foods with the addition of real foods (essentially, fed table scraps) lived, on average, 1 year longer than dogs eating exclusively commercial canned food.