You may remember, or know, Jennifer from The Natural Carnivore, she wrote a guest blog a few weeks ago for me which you can read here -> The Natural Carnivore Guest Blog. When Jennifer offered to provide Ted with a consultation I jumped at the offer, after all a qualified nutritionist (with the American Council Of Animal Naturopathy) who wasn’t taught by the pet food companies, well that’s pretty hard to come by at the moment. I was both interested to know whether there were things I could think about doing better for Ted and also to be able to share more about what a consultation involved.
The first part of the process was to complete a questionnaire for Jennifer which covered everything from where I got him from to his general health, lifestyle and diet, to what cleaning products I use and what drugs he has taken over the course of his life. I was also required to list my top 3 concerns for Ted. The form covered a lot of ground but was easy to complete. I found the completion of the form itself a useful task as it made me think; and it was interesting to see everything that might impact Ted’s health all collected in one place.
I e-mailed this and a signed authorisation form over to Jennifer and we agreed that her response would be a written one. I have to say I was a little skeptical about how much I would get from the consultation having raw fed Ted for over a year now. Not that I think I am some sort of expert, but the basics are pretty straight forward and I’ve read plenty of raw feeding material, and what I consider to be related subject matter, (vaccinations, parasite prevention etc) to at least know my stuff a little.
Jennifer had the response back to me very quickly which was great and it came with a number of supporting materials covering starting your dog on raw feeding, what you should know about processed pet food and information about the importance of natural cleaning products. Much of the material covering raw feeding and kibble I’ve read before but it’s always good to get it supported by another source and I’m sure if you were new to, or considering, raw feeding they would be very helpful. The cleaning products I found more useful as although we do use a lot of organic cleaning and other products I’ve loads to learn still and am always looking for new tips.
Now onto the consultation, I picked up some tips on feeding raw meaty bones and diet generally, not least of all the quality of the water that he drinks. It also lead me to look a lot harder at the cleaning products that Ted is exposed to, both at home and also when on his travels with me.
Jennifer included some further reading via links covering vaccinations and parasite treatment, I’d seen one or two of them before but some were new. Her website also has some links on which she continues to add to so I’d recommend checking them out, you can find them here.
The greatest value however was covering the concerns that I had raised. Two (a retained testicle and a retained baby tooth, both common in small breeds) are arguably not diet related. Jennifer’s response on the testicle has led me to do more reading and questioning and I already feel in a better position to deal appropriately with it. The tooth she confirmed what I already had decided to be the case.
The third point that I raised was that Ted scratches a little. If I’m honest it wasn’t a concern as such but in getting to three things to raise it was the only thing that came to mind. I am glad I raised it because Jennifer’s response has caused me to look at everything that impacts Ted from food to water to the environments he spends time in more carefully. I’ve made a few changes, as a result he does scratch less and our human environment has improved a little too.
As part of the consultation there is a follow up session, we’ve yet to do this but I’m looking forward to hearing more from Jennifer in relation to Ted.
So I guess the question is would I recommend a consultation? I did get value out of it, even though I felt comfortable with what I was doing, and have read lots of information regarding raw feeding. If I was really strapped for cash and did not have concerns I needed help with then I likely wouldn’t recommend it, so I’m not suggesting everyone rushes out and get a consultation. But for many other circumstances I would recommend Jennifer, for example:
- Anyone needing professional support to switch to raw feeding/a more natural lifestyle. You’re going to get this from Jennifer, she is clearly very knowledgeable and having her certification is going to give those with concerns the support they need to act. If your vet isn’t knowledgeable about raw feeding (and let’s face it few are, even if they accept it) then Jennifer can help you.
- Anyone with a carnivore pet that has unexplained health issues, especially recurring ones. Whilst vets just love to dish out drugs, and in some instances you do need them, drugs won’t solve the underlying issue. Jennifer can help you to look at everything impacting your pet to help stop/reduce symptoms rather than cover them up with steroids and anti biotics.
- Anyone with a pet diagnosed with an illness. Jennifer can help review your pet’s lifestyle so that you can make changes to support healing and recovery.
So overall I would definitely recommend Jennifer’s services. Not only that but we have an exciting competition coming up to win a consultation from Jennifer, watch this space!
About Jennifer: Jennifer Lee is a natural rearing breeder of mastiffs and a carnivore nutritionist providing in-depth, personalized nutrition and wellness consultations for dogs and cats of all breeds and ages.
Visit her websites at: www.thenaturalcarnivore.com andwww.tailcreekmastiffs.com
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