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Olympic Swimmer Chase Kalisz Discusses Commitment to His Dog’s Diet

By Pet Age Staff//June 28, 2024//

Olympic Swimmer Chase Kalisz Discusses Commitment to His Dog’s Diet

By: Pet Age Staff//June 28, 2024//

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American swimmer Chase Kalisz is an elite athlete who has put together a remarkable career. Mentored by Michael Phelps, Kalisz peaked at the 2017 World Championships when he swept gold medals in the 200-meter and 400-meter individual medleys at the 2017 World Championships, then he earned an Olympic gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Having turned 30 this past March, Kalisz thinks the world of Floyd. He describes the bulldog, which tips the scales at just under 60 pounds, as “tough and stubborn and incredibly loyal.” The two recently partnered with Nulo for the pet nutrition brand’s “Fuel Incredible” campaign. Pet Age recently spoke with Kalisz to learn more about Floyd as well as his views on premium nutrition when it comes to himself and his dog.


You drove from the University of Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee to get Floyd when he was just 10 weeks old. He’s just turned 6 in December. Looking back, what stands out about him?

I obviously went to the University of Georgia we were the bulldogs. I don’t mean to be a cliché about it, that wasn’t really the reason why I got a bulldog – it didn’t really hurt that I am a ‘bulldog,’ but my love for bulldogs started when I grew up training with Michael Phelps. When I was young, and I first got into the group with him, I was about 13 or 14, he had an English bulldog named Herman, who he would bring to the pool, and I fell in love with that dog. I felt the whole demeanor was incredible. They could be the laziest dogs in the world that just want to cuddle on you, but they’re also tough and protective. Just very loving dogs. Even before I had the University of Georgia on my mind, I knew that someday I wanted a bulldog.

The health issues with bulldogs are well known. I was very lucky to be at the University of Georgia – we have a great vet school, which also specializes in bulldog health… When he was a 1-year-old, he had his nasal ways opened and his soft palate clipped to help his breathing and lifestyle. From the beginning, I was very concerned about making sure Floyd would be as healthy as he could possibly be.


Being that you’re an elite athlete, nutrition is important to you. You’ve also expressed how important proper nutrition is for Floyd. What did you do to find the right diet for him?

Nutrition is a huge part of what I do – you’ve got to fuel right. I don’t eat artificial stuff that often. Sometimes I’ll have a cheat meal here or there but, for the most part, I’m eating real ingredients – I’m eating real meat. Why should a dog be any different? Why should a dog grow up eating processed food its entire life?

I had been feeding Floyd a different brand and, when he turned 3, he seemed to lose interest in it. I came across Nulo, and it was like he was a puppy again. I give him the MedalSeries salmon kibble and the freeze-dried raw duck, and I top it off with bone broth. The bone broth is such a creative thing to do. When Floyd sees the bone broth go in the bowl, he just goes in and devours it. In addition to him just enjoying the food more, I’ve seen noticeable differences in his skin and his coat, and he’s a lot more active on our walks. Usually, we’ll get out the front door and he’ll walk a little bit, and then he’ll just stand there. That’s just standard bulldog move – just standing and staring at you. Ever since I’ve made that switch, it’s very noticeable differences. In Arizona, it’s pretty dry. So, when it gets hot and dry, he used to get these rashes behind his ear, and now that’s gone away completely.


With Floyd flourishing on a high-protein, low-carb diet, how does that make you feel?

I don’t have any kids, so I consider my dog to be an extension of my family, just like most dog parents do. You obviously want the best for your dog. I feel confident that Floyd is eating the right thing. Six is getting up there in age for a bulldog, I just want to give him the best life that he can have, and make sure he’s as healthy as he can be. I feel like we’ve hit the right diet for that.


(Photo courtesy Nulo)