frequently asked questions
Your Queries My Solutions!
Food is what fuels every single cell in the body. Ensuring we have the right fuel, in the right amounts, is the most important factor in how well our bodies function.
This is true for all animals. When you eat better, you feel better, have more energy, and stay healthier. But what does it mean to "eat better"? Now that is the real question!
It differs for everybody, and every animal, but the fundamentals, as dictated by biology, remain the same. Ensuring your pet's food is nourishing, fresh, appropriate for their species, free of toxins, and varied is the key to any nutritional plan. The nutrition they eat affects how well their cells function, multiply and divide as they age (which is why it's especially important for younger animals, as their cells divide much quicker as they grow).
The fewer mistakes cells make, the less disease and illness they will suffer, and the less chance they have of passing on mutated genes to any offspring. Every generation that eats healthy sets up its progeny for success. And every generation that eats poorly sets up its progeny for a potentially diseased and lower-quality life.
Food affects your pet's organs - including their skin - as well as their hair, their nails, their brains, their genetics, their digestive systems, and their immune system. And what they eat is largely within your control.
Nutrition is important because it affects every single aspect of their health, and it's one of the largest factors of their health that you have authority over. You have great power over your pet's health. So making the right choice is vital. As a very dear, and wise individual once said, with great power comes great responsibility.
It is fair and accurate to acknowledge that veterinarians are experts in Veterinary Medicine, and not in Pet Nutrition. While expertise doesn't equate with infallibility, it does mean that an expert has extensive knowledge and experience in an area, and much moreso than an individual that is not an expert.
The relationship between human doctors and human nutritionists is much the same - Doctors are experts in the medical field, and most know very little about nutrition and cannot provide appropriate dietary advice to their patients. Veterinarians are experts in the veterinary medical field, and most know very little about pet nutrition and cannot, and do not, provide appropriate dietary advice for their patients (our pets).
Another important aspect to consider is the huge role that large Pet Food Manufacturers play in the nutritional training that vets, and even veterinary nutritionists, receive. The largest Pet Food Manufacturers in the industry aggressively target veterinary schools and young vets-in-training and provide them with heavy discounts on their food, lunches, education about their products and how to use them, as well as heavily fund and sponsor the schools themselves. This is, of course, a gargantuan conflict of interest, because it means that the Pet Food Manufacturers themselves are the ones often providing much of the information vets learn about pet food.
It does not mean that a therapeutic diet recommended by your vet should be immediately dismissed, or assumed useless. Short-term, these diets can assist with a great deal of acute and chronic health problems, when used appropriately. For example, some veterinary diets have been clinically proven to break down kidney stones rather quickly.
What it does mean is that these diets are not meant for every pet, they are not meant for long-term consumption for any pet, and they are often over-prescribed, as are so many other treatments by vets and doctors alike, because the vet may not know of any other alternative.
That's where Nutrition Experts like myself come in. A good Nutrition Expert is equipped with a mountain of knowledge on food, how it breaks down and interacts with the cells in the body, and will have a firm grasp on your pets' physiology and biochemistry. By using our expertise in nutrition, we can provide long-lasting, more effective alternatives to simply using symptom-reducing drugs and/or poor quality veterinary foods, most of which merely inhibit signs of disease while failing to cure them.
It is becoming more and more common to work alongside a vet, who is able to admit their lack of nutritional expertise, or who may have actually spent a great deal of time being educated on conflict-free nutrition for your pet, instead of directly contradicting their nutritional declarations.
When we aren't able to work together, it's not because your vet isn't trying. It is because vets trust these veterinary foods and the pet manufacturers that make them - because it is difficult not to trust your benefactor and an authority that makes what sounds like reasonable scientific sense - that they recommend these foods. It is not to receive a "kickback", and it's not done with any ill-will.
Vets become vets because they love animals, they trust science, and they want to save the world one dog and cat at a time. And that, is something nutritionists and vets have in common. So, when it makes sense to do so, I will suggest a veterinary diet. But when my nutritional expertise gives me insight your vet doesn't have, I may not suggest such a diet, and instead, recommend one that better suits your pet's body and dietary needs.
In the end, your pet relies on you to gather all the facts, consider multiple sources of information, and then make the best decision you can for them for their health. This is why I encourage you to become a Wizard in your own pet's nutritional health - our pets deserve our best efforts, and they deserve healthy, nutritious food that matches their biology and gives them and any of their offspring the best chance at a long, disease-free life!
Many might treat cats like small dogs. The fact is, they are very different. Cats are different in a myriad of ways from dogs in how they communicate, what they thrive on nutritionally, and how their bodies work. My approach is to treat cats as Obligate Carnivores, and dogs as Facultative or Mesocarnivores.
I take into account what each species can and cannot manufacture in their bodies, how they process different nutrients and the different types of lifestyles and eating habits that they have. So while my fundamental approach is going to be the same for almost every pet, the details and different components of the diet will vary from species to species, breed to breed in some cases, and certainly from pet to pet.
Yes! Though the list is short. I am happy to answer questions about the nutritional needs and diets of most "Pocket Pets", including rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, mice, rats, and ferrets.
I do not possess extensive knowledge of the special dietary needs of reptiles, birds, fish, and other exotic pets, and therefore will suggest finding someone who is an expert on these pets, should anyone ask.
Typically you can expect to receive your Food Analysis in the e-mail you entered on the Booking Form within 2-3 days of payment. As noted, it may sometimes require clarification if I am unable to find the brand or formula specified, and then it will depend on how long it takes for me to obtain that clarification.
I will always work on Food Analysis services in the order I receive them, and should I receive enough that the timeframe needs to be pushed out further, I will update it accordingly, both on the Booking Form and here!
If your pet has a chronic condition or nutritionally based acute disease, suffers from periodontal disease, weight problems, skin & coat issues, yeast infections, gas, bloat, pickiness, poor appetite, overzealous appetite, lacks energy, often has an upset stomach, often has runny stool, is often constipated, or if you simply feel that you can improve their diet, then my services may be the solution.
It is staggering how many conditions, diseases, and other health problems can be traced back to a poor diet. And even in the case of issues that cannot be cured or reversed, nutrition can certainly help to make your pet feel better, live more comfortably, and even slow the progression of a disease.
Hopefully you won't need to cancel, but if you do, let me know right away!
At the time of booking, I receive your Questionnaire. Before our appointment I will have spent time going over this Questionnaire, will have held the time slot making it unavailable to any other clients, and will have done prep work to ensure our Consult provides you with the best value.
Therefore, No-Shows and last minute Cancellations does a disservice to the time I've spent preparing for a Consult, therefore I do have a Cancellation policy and a No-Show policy.
When cancelling your appointment with more than 12 hours notice, you will be refunded in full. Any
cancellations with less than 12 hours prior to the appointment is subject to a $20 Cancellation Fee.
In the case of a No-Show, a partial refund of 60% of the booking cost will be provided.
Since I do allow for Same Day Appointments (a service booked earlier in the day for later that same day), those appointments may be cancelled without a fee if done with at least 4 hours prior notice.
Ultimately, a Cancellation/No-Show policy helps me and you, my clients, show up for each other. Not only do repercussions for late cancellations encourage us to be intentional with our scheduling, but it holds me accountable, too. Whenever there’s a cancellation policy in place, it’s a great reminder that we’re in this agreement together, and our time - both yours and mine- is valuable.
The Pegasus Package is additional support for clients who have had a consult with me, so only clients who have previously booked a Consult will have access to it. Delivering suitable, personalized support requires time and an in-depth knowledge of your pet's current dietary and health situation.
If you're interested in obtaining monthly support from The Wizard, as well as Discord access, however, and you're not ready to book a consult, you can become my Patreon! Visit patreon.com/askthewizard, and find the right Tier for you. Some Tiers grant access to my Discord server, service discounts, and even exclusive Merch!
In some cases, yes. While most of my consults are going to be virtual, for clients that live within a 10-mile radius of my home, I may be willing to provide an in-person consult. As a matter of courtesy, I do ask that you and anyone else present in the house or establishment wear masks during the entirety of the consult, and I will do the same. If meeting in person, you may pay in cash. Please reach out to me to see if an in-person consult can be arranged.