JIM Sawyer’s dog got sick and so did Jim. Their joint recovery has led to the launch of a new business.

Wickford-based Heights Farm Essex Premium Petfoods sells food that helps pets with allergies.

Jim was diagnosed with ME in March 2011. He said: “I owe my recovery to good nutrition.”

Four years ago, the family’s pet French mastiff, Milo, became very ill as the result of an allergic reaction to his food.

Jim said: “It cost hundreds of pounds in vet’s fees, but none of this cured his condition.”

Eventually it was discovered Milo was allergic to wheat and wheat gluten. Milo’s health improved rapidly after Jim and his wife Nicola started to feed him non-allergenic products from a special supplier. Then the supplier went out of business.

Jim said: “It left us with the prospect of a sick dog again. “But it also left a gap in the market for a reasonably-priced premium product.”

Jim said his own recovery from illness, as a result of good nutrition, was a spur launching the business, which opened the same day his son Lucas was born.

He said: “I came to realise how important good nutrition is, both for people and dogs.”

To find out more, visit www. heightsfarmpetfoods.co.uk