When their dog Raffy was diagnosed with cancer and given three to six months to live, Liz Nuttall and John Rice decided to feed him the best food they possibly could.

"I believe what you are is what you eat. We didn't know how long Raffy had left, so we wanted to make it as good as it could be for him," said Ms Nutall.

The couple started feeding their dog organic food and, five years later, Raffy is still alive.

This inspired Ms Nuttall, 40, who used to work in mergers and acqusisitions in London, to set up her own pet food company.

"I believe the change in Raffy's diet has a lot to do with why he is still alive," she said.

"The vet could not believe it, and said jokingly we should start our own business."

Organipets was launched in April, and is a fitting business venture for the couple who moved from London to Oxford, seeking a gentler way of life.

The food, made from organic ingredients, is available in shops across Oxford and will go on sale in Waitrose stores in October.

But what does Ms Nuttall say to cynics?

"There are lots of additives and preservatives in regular pet food. We use organic chicken and rice."

She says people have even reported behavioural changes in their animals.

"It is like feeding children with food that is full of additives and preservatives, they go nuts."

Organipets products are ethically accredited, and all the packaging is recycable. It also sponsors West Oxford Animal Rescue, supplying it free of charge, with all the cat and dog food it needs.

"We have all the details on the back of our packaging, and want to support it as much as possible," she said.

Manufactured in Preston, OrganiPets supports British farmers and minimises transport pollution by sourcing its organic ingredients as locally as possible. However, setting the business up has been tough, as was the move from London to Oxford.

"It has been a massive learning curve. But I have surrounded myself with experts. I have a food specialist and organic consultant. I project manage everything, while my husband takes care of sales and finance," said Ms Nutall.

"Living here is so different too. I wasn't sure at first, but now I absolutely love it.

"Walking along the canal in the morning, people say good morning. It is so friendly."

And although they have a house full of pet food, and are working longer hours than they did in London, the pair say they would not change a thing.

n Contact: Liz Nuttall, 07957 803847, www.organipets.co.uk