Keeping dogs out of vets since 2011

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Turmeric for dogs

Turmeric For Dogs – Natures Most Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

The amount of info about turmeric for dogs is incredible. Unlike most herbal remedies, turmeric has a vast amount of high-quality scientific and clinical studies supporting it and testifying to its incredible anti-inflammatory properties.  The primary pharmacological bit in turmeric is called curcumin (that’s the deep orange colour). Clinical research

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Torn acl in dogs

Torn ACL in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Cost

A common sporting injury of humans and canines (I’ve done my left knee twice, putting the kibosh to a less than impressive footballing career…), a torn ACL in dogs is a nuisance, necessitating some rehab -beginning with rest (confinement), healing and (nourishment) and soon therapy. It’s not the end of

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symptoms of bloat in dogs

Bloat in Dogs: Causes and What to Look Out For

Bloat with torsion in dogs is a scary, painful, often life threatening and all too common occurrence in large, deep chested dogs . As the science is yet to pin a definite culprit, there is a lot of confusion. In this extensive review piece I present the most up to date thinking on the matter and make some important dietary recommendations for at-risk dog owners.

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Feeding Dogs, Now Available on Amazon!

I TOLD you I would get Feeding Dogs out Before Christmas, albeit very much later than hoped… It’s done!  More than 500 pages on canine nutrition and health. More than 1200 references. Countless topics covered. It’s a colossus. I cannot overstate what a relief it is that this book has

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best books for obesity

What is a researcher? I’m not sure anymore…

A little background into what a researcher actually does, a note on the state of the science and its terribly ironic saviours… It was during the recent Finland seminar that the curtain on obesity was pulled back for me. In terms of a root cause, it’s fair to say, coming

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Caroline Ingraham, founder of Zoo Pharmacognosy


Zoopharmacognosy Continued: The first two tastes were fine…which turns out is a bit of a worry…! Just a follow on from the Zoopharmacognosy Facebook post yesterday entitled “Give Raw Garlic But Separately to the Food” re garlic selecting in dogs. If you missed it, check it out. We were saying

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Where are you legally buying a sick dog?

Where are you legally when you buy a pup but very soon you realise the dog has a major health issue, one that mightn’t have been disclosed to you?  I was contacted by a concerned owner who recently purchased a purebred dog only to find out very quickly that the

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Orijen pet food causing DCM in dogs

How is Orijen Dog Food Causing DCM in Dogs?!!

The US FDA Reports That Some of the Biggest Names in More Natural (Meaty, Grain-Free) Pet Food are Causing DCM in Dogs… I’m really confused by this one. The US FDA releases the top 15 dry foods most associated with DCM in dogs according to the reports they are receiving

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green tea for kidney disease in dogs

Top 5 Herbs for Kidney Disease in Dogs

Here are the top 5 herbs for kidney disease in dogs that you mightn’t have heard of but studies show they are the most effective… Organs closest to the digestive system (gut, liver, kidneys) are the easiest to effect with herbal remedies taken by mouth, and the studies absolutely support

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beautiful plate of raw dog food ingredients

The Epigenetic Effect of Food, Part 2 Epigenetic Foods for Dogs

Whole ingredients bestow the greatest epigenetic effects in mice, humans and dogs. Here are the most scientifically supported and likely epigenetic foods in use in dogs today… Part 1 of this article showed us via studies of human populations malnutritioned via famine and socioeconomic decline, of stem cells in culture

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Wild deer of Ireland

4 cats dead from TB after eating raw dog food

Four Cats Dead, TB From a Venison Raw Dog Food Made by Natural Instinct Not sure how many of you heard but four cats came down with TB at the end of 2018 after eating raw dog food produced by Natural Instinct and based on venison. Specifically, it was Wild

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Something Smells at the Veterinary Evidence Journal…

Following on From Yesterday’s Post, Here is Another Example of a “Study” Published by the Veterinary Journal That Leaves far Questions Asked Than Answered. Something is Going on… Another recent work by Veterinary Evidence Journal. This one authored by a lady with a degree in science, entitled “In Adult Dogs,

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A Constant and Exhausting Tide of Poo…

It’s a Constant and Exhausting Tide of Bullshit. That’s Their Plan. A new “knowledge summary” (a clever way of avoid the use of the word “review”, which it most certainly is not) study in the highly enlightened Veterinary Evidence journal (I would have put Evidence in italics if FB provided

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Medivet Top Brass Appears not to Support Raw Feeders…

UK Raw Feeders, Consider who you Spend Your Money With… Below you’ll find Medivets statement on raw feeding, released internally, which was emailed to me by a vet working for the group. All the usual guff. It’s funny, if you substitute the word “raw” for “dry food” their statement actually

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Raw Green Tripe

This is Going to get Worse Before it Gets Worse…

Four STEC Infections; one Person Dead After Exposure to Raw Pet Food (but not Really) When you read a title like the above on Food Safety News concerning some humans apparently getting poisoned by raw green tripe, you think you’re going to read something interesting, enlightening or in the least

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feeding dogs bones

Do Raw Meaty Bones Cause Fractures: The Results

We asked 290 Raw and Dry Feeders if Raw Meaty Bones Cause Tooth Fractures, Here are the Results of 541 Dogs… This was the informal questionnaire put to both raw and dry feeders on my Facebook page over the weekend. Some data was excluded on the basis of incorrect submissions.

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Bloated Dog

What of Legumes and the Risk of Bloat in Dry-Fed Dogs?

The Recent Trend of Adding Even MORE Fermentable Fibre via Grain-Free Foods Might Pose More, as of yet Undisclosed, Issues for Dogs… Over the last month, there has been a lot of concern regarding “grain-free” dry foods. Our recent article on the risk of DCM in dogs fed grain-free diets

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valerian root for dogs

Herbs to Reduce Stress in Dogs

Study finds ginger, vanilla, coconut and valerian root are effective at reducing activity and vocalisations in kenneled dogs…might help with a stressed dog at home Researchers exposed 15 dogs in shelter surroundings to a cloth with each of the scents on it for 2hrs then recorded their behaviour. They found: • Vanilla

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Once McDonalds brought out the salad, they were doomed!!!

“Once McDonald’s brought out the salad, they were doomed”! These are the words of Bill Burr, my favourite comedian. He was being interviewed on the Tonight Show when he took the perhaps unpopular stance that he felt sorry for McDonald’s. His point was that once they started serving healthy options

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a dog with a carrot on his head

Why you might feed some vegetable matter to dogs…

A comprehensive review of the pros and cons of feeding dogs vegetables, and best advice… Of all the ingredients we can put in their bowl, none create more debate than the mention of feeding vegetables to dogs. A quick trip around the forums reveals a lot of cliques. From the

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a dog being shown a plate of meat and licking his lips

More Grade A Bullshit From the Pet Food Industry

With bullshit being one of the few ingredients they’re not actually permitted to use (too much of) in pet food, the industry instead employs it lavishly around the industry to help it grow. Here’s the latest… The pet food industry has always had the following conundrum – they want to produce

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a close image of bacteria floating in liquid

Everything you need to know about Canine Probiotics

Canine Probiotics, What We Do and Don’t Know, Study Participants Needed… What is the Gut Flora and What Does it do for us? Meet the ENS, the Organ you Never Knew you had… How to keep your Gut Flora happy Canine Probiotics Dry versus Raw-Fed Dog Gut Flora… Are human

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mexican hairless terrier

The Shaved Dog Debate

The Shaved Dog Debate… There’s an interesting debate that has just popped up, I’d welcome your input. The image below is of a double-coated dog who has been shaved. The shaved area is apparently hotter than the unshaved area. The advice that resulted was to stop shaving your dogs in

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pre-rendered meat meal

Rendering plant staff describe meat meal production

Want to know what goes on inside an Australian rendering plant? Listen to what previous staff had to say… Great interview on ABC news Australia this week. It’s fair to say this news company is ALL OVER the latest scandal from Mars Pet Food, this time with their magic Dermal

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which pet insurance

A Note on Pet Insurance in Ireland & UK

A Note on Pet Insurance for Cost (and Drug) Conscious Pet Owners in Ireland & UK… For dog owners concerned about over-vaccination and getting ripped off in general, pet insurance is a bit of a daunting minefield. I did a little digging, made a few calls and largely have drawn

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lungworm life cycle diagram

Lungworm in Dogs

INCREASE OF LUNGWORM IN DOGS IN NORTH DUBLIN… Dr. Emily McAteer, Dublin Holistic Vet, emailed me an alert over the weekend regarding lungworm in dogs. I trust her opinion 100% when it comes to the prevalence of critters (she’s no scaremongerer) so thought I’d repost what she sent below, in

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fleas on dogs

Is Bravecto Safe? Here we lay out the facts…

Is Bravecto safe for dogs? Well, in 21 months it sold 40mil doses. In that time, the EMA cites it killed every 52,000 doses. How badly do you want to kill the fleas your dog doesn’t have?! Bravecto is a flea and tick killer made by pharmaceutical giant Merck. It’s

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clean dog teeth with dollar sign

Pearly White Profits

How Vets are Being Encouraged to Extract More Money From Pet Owners… I was contacted by a lady yesterday who was entirely exasperated with her vet who had been pushing a dry diet on her mother’s dog as fresh food “is not good for the teeth”. Of all topics to tackle,

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medivet logo

Who are Medivet and Why are Mars Interested?!

Who are Medivet?! Ownership of the health profession is every multinational’s dream. To highlight this, let me give you two stories: Highlighted back in 1997 by Parker-Pope of the Wall Street Journal, in a piece called “Colgate Gives Doctors Treats For Plugging Its Food Brands”, Colgate-Palmolive (CP) were the first

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picture of a dog eating raw chicken

It is Highly Unlikely Raw Chicken Causes Paralysis in Dogs

RAW CHICKEN IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO CAUSE PARALYSIS IN DOGS… Recently, Melbourne University produced a study investigating Acute PolyradiculoNeuritis (APN) in dogs. This is an immune-mediated peripheral nerve disorder where a suspected trigger is the bacterial pathogen Campylobacter spp. In a piece entitled “Raw Chicken Linked to Paralysis in Dogs”, the university

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RCVS Publishes Complementary Medicines Statement

Soo, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK has released its statement on complementary medicines. Needless to say, it doesn’t bode well for homeopathy… Let’s get straight into it. Please note, I have added italics for emphasis in their comments where necessary. It begins with: We have recently been asked questions about

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The Assissi Loop for dogs

The Assisi Loop – Dogs First

Anyone Ever Heard or Ideally Used an Assissi Loop, or Anything Similar?! A friend of mine has an old dog with bad joint issues, hip dysplasia and canine arthritis. She’s trying everything including a great diet, getting him nice and lean (with good muscle tone), some great natural additions such

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Look how many studies support the use of CBD oil…

I was so saddened to read a headline in the yesterday. It read “Epilepsy drug which has left 400 Irish children with disabilities to come under EU review today”… The FACS (foetal anticonvulsant syndrome) Forum Ireland, an umbrella group of patients and disability organisations, estimates that sodium valproate has

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A dog in a walking supportive harness

Dogs in a Box – Week 2 Summary

This week Dudley begins his various therapies, most importantly physio and hydrotherapy. The progress we have seen in this week along is frankly, incredible. On just his second hydro session, just four days after his first, the therapist said this could easily be a different dog. Wait until you see

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a dog pen, used for a dog recovering from a spinal operation

Dog in a Box Part 2 – What You Will Need

Dog in a Box Part 2 – What You Will Need Dudley, a.k.a. the “Dog in a Box”, is recovering from a spinal operation. A ruptured disc, to be exact. This series of videos charters his long road to hopeful recovery and back to rude, waggy health. In this second part

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Dr. Arleigh Jones…Great Video!

Feeding Dogs for the Toughest Endurance Race Imaginable…. I did a seminar for a small group in Dublin recently. There was a great mix of people there, a few Stafford breeders, some Rottie owners and some working dog owners. The latter group were speaking very highly of Dr. Arleigh Jones.

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Insulin in dry fed dogs

Why a 50% Carbohydrate Diet Gives Dogs Cancer

Why a 50% Carbohydrate Diet Gives Dogs Cancer Did you know domestic dogs are ten times more likely to get cancer than humans? They are the most cancer stricken animals on the planet. This is a total disgrace when Western dogs are so adored, so pampered. One more little fact,

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cbd oil for dogs

Results of the Canna-Pet Trial

Results from the Canna-Pet CBD Trial… You may remember I got on to the company making Canna-Pet CBD oil for pets some time ago. I proposed to them that I would put 6 dogs with various health conditions which might benefit from CBD (Cannabidiol) oil supplementation (largely skin and joint

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trust me I'm a vet

Some Bad News, Some Worse Journalism and Good News…

Multinationals Have Turned Veterinary Science Into the Veterinary Industry… I’m not supposed to be blogging on my holiday but I can’t help it. This is just too big and too serious an event. Mars have taken a huge step towards controlling a hefty chunk of the vet hospitals in the US.

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cartoon image of a dog holding his groin

New Poll: Is Your dog Neutered?

New Poll: Is Your dog Neutered? Results of last week’s poll, where we asked if you have pet health insurance or not, are in. It was practically a dead heat the entire time, finishing with 78/154 (51%) of you saying “yes” you have health insurance for them! Very interesting. Our

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image of dog with collar and bandaged food

Do you Have pet Insurance? Take our Poll!

[poll id=”4″] Pet Insurance is a hot Topic… Some reading the above headline might be surprised. Others less so. The truth is health insurance is a good thing. Ask anyone waiting on trolleys in the public sector. When it comes to our pet’s health though, it gets a little more grey.

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almond oil is natural sunscreen for dogs

Natural Sunscreen For Dogs…

Natural Sunscreen for Dogs… A VERY optimistic poster just asked me did I know of any natural sunscreen ideas for a very white little Staffie pup. This was interesting as I remember hearing that seed oils are naturally SPF. Two things you might not know about sunscreen. The first is,

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cartoon dog getting sick from a chicken or beef allergy

Chicken or beef allergies in dogs

Ever Wonder how / why Dogs can Suffer Chicken and Beef Allergies?! A New Theory… As I like to say, a dog being allergic to beef or chicken should be as strange as a cow being allergic to grass. So, how can dogs become sensitive to a food group that

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a range of botanica products

Botanica, For Skin Conditions in Dogs

Botanica, Natures Healing Energy So, who’s heard of Botanica?! As we’re now stocking them! Botanica is an Irish company making natural products that target the heal and repair of a great variety of common skin conditions in dogs (as well as horses and humans). And by all accounts they do it

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a photo of a labrador eating grass

Applied ZooPharmacognosy

Applied ZooPharmacognosy Two weeks ago a lady asked me did I know of any Applied ZooPharmacognosy (AZ) practioners in Northern Ireland? In Northern Ireland?!!! I don’t even know any in the South either. In fact, to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. Then I got to thinking.

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fish oil for dogs alleviates inflammation

An Important Note on Fish Oil Supplementation in Dogs

Fish Oil Supplementation in Dogs I just read an interesting point on Patricia Gethin’s excellent forum re fish oil supplementation in dogs. It concerned a dog owner in Australia who had been giving 8 capsules of fish oil tablets to her 3yr old, fresh fed, 80kg Neopolitan Mastiff (example above,

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oregano oil is great for kennel cough in dogs

Oregano Oil for Kennel Cough

Lots of Folk Recommend Oregano Oil for Fighting Bacteria AND Colds, But Does it Work and who Says?! Oregano oil is recommended for treating kennel cough in dog by many websites, including Dogs Naturally Magazine. In fact every single natural-type website has it top of the list for all the

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an image of kelp with "kelp for cancer" written on it

Kelp for Cancer…And Everything Else

Kelp for Cancer…And Everything Else So much disease in humans is the result of nasty, reactive baddies called free radicles (oxidants) which whizz around inside us. They are responsible for most inflammatory and cardiovascular disease, cancer and ageing. How do they get in? For the large part, we eat them (processed foods, unnatural

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cartoon of a doctor with his hands hand cuffed with a dollar sign

Influence of Big Pharma in Ireland: Uncovered

Influence of Big Pharma in Ireland: Uncovered Anyone see that article in the Sunday Business Post on the influence of corporate sponsorship in Irish surgeries and hospitals nationwide? It was a cracker, everything you hoped wasn’t true but feared it was. The lead caption said it all: Big drug firms pay almost one-third

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Why Do Vets Recommend “That” Dry Food?!

Why Do Vets Recommend “That” Dry Food?! Are Irish vets not yet wondering why the only dry food they choose to stock (Royal Canin) is rated a miserable 2.5 stars out of 5 by Dog Food Advisor? With Science Diet not performing that much better (3 stars out of 5).

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Could our Vets be Playing a Role in the Superbug Epidemic

Hands up Who’s Given Their Dog Antibiotics in the Last Year? Has anyone noticed that the application of antibiotics (often used with in conjunction with steroids) is now absolutely routine by your vet? Got a cough? Antibiotic. Got a dickie tum? Antibiotic. Got a rash? Antibiotic. Got a sore ear? Antibiotic.

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a glossy, black labrador sitting on the grass

Better Coat Condition in Your Dog

How to get Better Coat Condition in Dogs… The below is not a photo-shopped dog. This is what a black Labrador can look like given the right nutrition. Beautiful eh? The key to better coat condition in dogs is absolutely all about the diet. We all want a good coat but

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Islam and Dogs

Islam and dogs, What’s the Beef?!

I was reading a post in The Journal over the weekend. Iran sent in the authorities to remove all dogs from people’s homes. Needless to say it didn’t go down well with the poor owners. Especially the way they did it, if there was a way to do it. The

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Why I Hate Chemical Parasite Control in Dogs

The idea of flea chemically bombarding your dogs is ridiculous for many good reasons, the main one being THEY DON’T HAVE FLEAS… First and foremost it is highly unlikely your dog actually has fleas. Think about it, have you deloused your child this month? No?!!!! But head lice!! They’re eeevvvverrryywhherree…As it happens

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fleas on dogs

Great Home Made Spray for an Itchy Dog

Great Home Made Spray for an Itchy Dog So you have an itchy dog. First things first, everyone wants the quick fix but more important than what you put in at this point is what you STOP putting in. After all, if your friend has a shrimp allergy and  you

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Allergies in Dogs – Part 5 The Exclusion Diet

Now That You Have The Diet Correct You Need to Need To Find Out What was Causing all This Allergies in Dogs… The process is simply and it involves an elimination diet. In short this involved first finding the right base diet for your dog. Once this is established and

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cartoon dog with a gas mask on

Reduce Bad Breath in Dogs Before You Need the Vet!

We’ve all suffer it at some stage, it’s just we don’t go round licking each others faces every chance we get. Bad breath in dogs arises for the same reasons it does in humans. However persistent bad breath (halitosis) needs attention. Why So Much Bad Breath in Dogs? The most

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itchy dog scratching his ear with his hind paw

Great Homemade Spray For Your Itchy Dog

So you have an itchy dog. No problem, they’re our bread and butter here at Dogs First. First things first, everyone wants the quick fix but more important than what you put in at this point is what you STOP putting in. After all if your friend has a shrimp

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1-to-1 Online Consultations

Should you need a little hand holding, I’m here to help. Consultations are typically 1 hour in length: 15 minutes to read your presubmitted questionnaire and prepare for your pet, 30-40 minutes with you directly via Zoom / Skype and 10-15 minutes to write your summary email, including all necessary tips and their diet plan. It also includes a follow up email should you need it.


"Finally! A well-written, well-referenced thorough examination of the raw dog food debate. A fantastic gift for your favourite veterinarian."
Dr. Karen Becker


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