First and foremost, I am a dog Mom to Gracie, Carli & Flyer -my 3 rescue dogs!
I am a Certified Canine Nutritionist with over 3 years experience working with dogs and their parents to optimize their health through diet and natural products. I have worked with close 100 pet parents in this time with everything from health issues, proactive healthcare and everything in between.
In addition to my certification in Canine Nutrition from The Academy of Natural Health Sciences in 2014, I have completed many other courses from recognized colleges and universities such as the University of Guelph (Veterinary Technician's Nutrition Course), Algonquin College and many more. I am actively involved in the ever-changing world of pet nutrition and keep my finger on the pulse of new studies on pet health and nutrition.
One special highlight of my career was when I was featured in Ottawa Magazine's Pet Feature!: https://ottawamagazine.com/people-and-places/a-nutritionist-for-your-pet/
I am also Co-President of Eastern Ontario Potcake Rescue, where I am actively involved in rescuing dogs from the Caribbean Islands - many of whom come to us in very poor health. My job is to not only find them a furever home, but also to get them healthy again.
I am passionate about animals and as a pet parent, I want to share my knowledge with fellow pet parents so that you can make more informed decisions about your pet's health & in turn, extend their life.
Please visit our SHOP to see the variety of services I provide. If you are interested in a service that you do see there, please feel free to email me for a special request. I often provide special services to those who perhaps just want a bit of information about nutrition, picking a good commercial food, or even just navigating through all the information (and misinformation!) found online about a dog's "ideal diet".
The bottom line to my approach is that EVRY DOG IS UNIQUE. While there are a set of "industry standards" which indicate whether a diet is "nutritionally complete" according to AAFCO or NRC standards, the diet for an individual dog often goes far beyond that when you are dealing with specific health needs such as: GI issues, organ disease/failure, cancer, special life stages (puppyhood, senior and pregnancy) or recovering from injury.
My approach focuses on the needs of YOUR specific pet, your lifestyle and budgetary considerations to determine the best dietary plan. I am NOT set on one specific type of food - while I emphasize the benefits of fresh food diets (cooked and in some cases, raw), there are some excellent commercial products on the market that I can comfortably recommend based on personal experience.
What is a pet nutritionist? Basically, someone who has studied pet nutrition and contributes to a healthy dog from the inside out, often working in conjunction with conventional medicine. The key is to look at nutrition from all angles, both scientifically and holistically. They can be board-certified through veterinary colleges, but there are also natural holistic schools. My certification is through the Academy of Natural Health Sciences, but I’ve also completed several courses through the veterinary programs at the University of Guelph and Algonquin College.
Why is seeing a pet nutritionist important? Ideally, for more preventative health care, but most of what we see is when a pet has a health issue, like kidney problems and heart disease. Allergies are a huge one right now — it seems there’s a bit of an epidemic. Improving the diet is an important part of any treatment plan.
When should preventative care begin? Right from puppyhood. There are many fads in the pet-food industry, like strict raw diets and dehydrated diets, so puppy parents would come to me for help getting through all the misinformation and to guide the pet parent as to what is real, bona fide, researched information. I would help to develop either a homemade diet plan or recommend a commercial product and change it as the puppy grows into adulthood.
What advice do you give most often? Be careful of homemade recipes and diets you read about online. The biggest thing to look for is that the diet is developed by someone who knows what a dog’s nutrient requirements are, because deficiencies over time can lead to more serious health issues.