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Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions!

  • How long is the intake questionnaire?
    I will first send you a brief intake form with just a few questions regarding what you're struggling with. ​ The actual intake form can be 5-15 pages depending on the consultation. You should set aside enough time (about 30-60 minutes) to get this completed prior to the consultation. It covers a lot of very important information that pet owners are not usually asked in other wellness appointments. ​ This helps me get an in-depth analysis of the pet's medical and behavioral history, current status, and a glimpse at their home life and environment in order for us to achieve the best results possible! ​ Due to the nature of this field, it can be very difficult to get to the bottom of certain issues. We must remember, animals cannot talk! It can take quite a bit of sleuthing, as well as trial and error in order to uncover various problem areas. I created this questionnaire based off of much research, and experience to create the most detailed outline of your pet in the areas I find most important. ​ Keep in mind, a holistic/ whole body approach not only includes a current behavior or what the pet eats, but it looks at the animal's environment, and even their emotional state. Nothing is black & white. When we address physical, emotional, environmental and nutritional needs of a living organism, we can get far better results! ​ By getting the answers to these questions right away, as opposed to asking them later on, I find it saves both valuable time, and money so we can see results faster, with less effort! ​ Initial intake evaluations are always the longest and most in-depth. We need to get a good history and baseline to create a well-rounded plan for optimal results!
  • Do I have to sign a contract for Services?
    Yes, all Clients must sign a Terms of Services Agreement. This will outline what to expect with an appointment, payment and cancellations, how to prepare for each session, and more. ​ These Terms will not only outline my expectations as a service provider, but they also protect you as a client! ​ You will be sent a Complimentary New Client Welcome Packet with everything you need to know about what to prepare for, and what to expect while working with me!
  • Are results guaranteed?
    Unfortunately, no results can be guaranteed as animals can be unpredictable in nature and most results will be dependent on the work each owner puts into each session or their program. Anyone that can make guarantees in training or nutrition should raise questions, since each individual and protocol is so very different. However, I DO guarantee that I will help in any way that I can. Even if this means finding someone more suitable to take on your pet's case. This also includes providing you extra resources. Included with each consultation, I take a thorough history and analysis of the pet, as well as putting together a customized recommendation for you to follow. If for whatever reason I feel like your pet needs further help, I may recommend things such as, but not limited to; chiropractor, holistic veterinarian, other trainers, etc. ​ I will continue to work with you during the event that you also see another care provider. Having a full team is of great help in some cases! Remember, that while problems are not created overnight, neither are solutions.
  • Is my information confidential?
    Absolutely! You can rest assured your information is not shared with anyone but you. This includes your pet's record. When you fill out intake forms, you will sign a confidentiality agreement that states your information will not be released for any reason without your prior written consent.
  • Who needs to be present at each consultation?
    I always encourage the entire family to be involved in the pet's care (as appropriate by age). That being said, it depends on what we're working with. For nutrition, we may be okay with one sole caretaker or both adults to be present to get a good game plan in regards to feeding and supplemental care. For behavior and training I do require both adults to be present. If only one person is working on training and behavior modification techniques we may hit a road block in results. I understand schedules can get busy so there are exceptions to this. ​ For Pawsitively Safe Consultations, I generally first meet with the parents, and the follow-ups will include the children being involved and learning.
  • Do you make recommendations for only certain product lines?
    No. I do not affiliate with any brand or company and try to remain objective in my recommendations to clients while not being tied to any particular product line.
  • How much do your services cost?
    That varies. However, my prices are generally all-inclusive. This means I do not charge extra to focus in on specific health or behavior concerns. All factors of mind, body & spirit are taken into consideration during our appointments. Happy Trails Pets specializes in one-on-one consults to provide individualized attention to detail in each unique case. If you need help choosing the package that's right for you, just ask! *Please see the descriptions of each service for what is included.
  • I don't think I really need a full packaged consultation. Can I have some guidance and support with a brief phone call for just a few questions?
    Absolutely! If you're needing some extra guidance and clarification, you can now receive professional insight regarding common questions about pet care in a 20minute or 45minute call with me! Some things that we may be able to cover with an Acute/ Brief Support Call include: • Food transition guidance • Product or brand question • Veterinary care & procedures • Use of flea/tick & HW medications • Second opinion on a diagnosis or medical condition
  • What is a Pet Health Consultant?
    A Pet Health Consultant is a supportive member of your pet's health care team! While many dog and cat owners attend veterinary appointments to talk with their veterinary team and get answers to their questions, many clinics are over booked and under staffed. This leaves many questions unanswered and pet owners are often left feeling lost and confused. Having another professional to consult with one-on-one outside of a clinic setting is critical for success!
  • Is there anything else I should know?
    It is important to note, that you know your pet the best. Any information provided within this website or as a consultation: is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical care as stated in the DISCLAIMER. HAPPY TRAILS PETS reserves the right to determine if any particular service is right for you and/or dismiss any pet if it is determined they may be a danger to others and/or staff. We also reserve the right to dismiss any case that is above what we can help with (like severe or complex medical conditions). You must be honest about your pet's condition prior to and during booking.
  • Are the products you recommend included with the consultation? Such as collars, leashes, food or supplements?
    No, I do not have physical items for sale at this time. That being said, this will be an extra cost to you. But don't worry, I will only recommend what I feel is absolutely necessary for your pet and be sure to let you know where you can purchase them.
  • What services do you offer?
    HTP provides Individualized Pet Health Consultations. With a heavy focus on holistic care, nutrition, bite prevention and safety, there's something here for everyone to learn and care for their pets with confidence and clarity! Most services are packaged consultations, but I also offer Acute/ Brief & VIP Support. This allows for a better opportunity for you to receive the one-on-one guidance needed to make informed decisions, even if a full consult is not needed. All of my approaches are tailored to the individual needs of both pet and owner/ family.
  • Do you offer any on-demand courses?
    No. While most health & wellness services focus on subscription models and self-serve/ on-demand courses, I know that this style of learning doesn't serve everyone equally. This may ultimately leave you with more questions than when you started. Individualized care with a qualified professional is far more effective than a DIY approach.
  • Are you a Veterinarian?
    I am not a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). However, I am a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), now a Pet Health Consultant and hold various other credentials. Remember: Technicians are the arms and legs of any veterinary clinic and provide supportive knowledge for clients in caring for their pets.
  • How do I get started and book our first session?
    To schedule a consultation, first see the pricing and description of the services. Please visit the Client Login page to view directions on booking.
  • Where are you located?
    I do not have a physical office location. All appointments are via phone or video..
  • How often do I need to consult with you?
    That depends on your pet's condition. Due to each individual case, I cannot say for certain. Some pets take longer than others to see results. That being said, follow-ups are included in all packages to be sure we are able to cover what is needed. We can always schedule more as needed to see results and get to our end goal!
  • Do you offer any in-person services?
    Not at this time. In previous years all services have moved to a virtual format. This has been a wonderful opportunity to help even more dogs, cats and their dedicated owners! We are now making a global impact!
  • Do you take any kind of insurance, or payment plans?
    No. I do not accept any type of insurance. Payment plan options are available, please inquire. ​ Payments are made electronically before any service or consultation is provided.
  • Do you accept cancellations or refunds?
    Cancellation, refund, and booking policy can be found in your Online Client Portal. *There are no refunds for any services provided.
  • It's been a long time since I've owned a pet, but I would like to again soon.
    The pet industry changes drastically all the time! From food recommendations and quality, to training advice, to prices of products, and more! Getting caught up on the latest information will be important to overall success when getting a new pet. Your lifestyle may have changed as well, and we will work together to address many areas of your life and schedule to be sure you are successful!
  • How do I know if my child is ready for a pet?
    Great question! Age is definitely an important factor. So are maturity, and overall time for that pet. ​ But the truth is, all ages can benefit from a pet! Whether your 6 month old baby is enjoying watching the fish tank, or your 5 year old is tossing toys for your cat to chase. It's important to know what age appropriate chores your child can participate in when caring for the animal, and it's also important to remember that no pet is the child's responsibility. As a parent, both child and pet are YOUR responsibility, that includes keeping both safe when co-existing.
  • How can I help my pet adjust to their new home?
    Patience is of virtue. Let them come to you. Provide comforting tools such as a soft, safe space to sleep, and even soothing music. Letting your pet explore their new territory on their own terms is very important. If your pet seems to be having trouble adjusting, a Welcome Home Consultation may be a good option to obtain further insight and to discuss an action plan to lessen the anxiety and overwhelm of their new surroundings.
  • My new pet is anxious, and my other pet is stressed, Help!
    Training, setting up separate living spaces, adding more resources, and providing calming are just a few ways we can help the adjustment of a new pet, and your current one! ​ It can take some time getting used to a new family member. Be sure to have patience and never force interactions. If you need extra help, consider a Welcome Home Consultation to address different areas of care and help them to better adjust together.
  • My family is thinking about getting a pet, but we don't know which would be best for us.
    That's great that you are already asking questions! There are many things to factor in such as pet preferences, budget, and your overall lifestyle and activity level. In a Pre- Adoption Consultation, I take into account many things when helping families decide on pet ownership.
  • I want to get another pet, but I'm worried about how my other pet will react.
    This is actually something that is very important to consider! A lot can go wrong; fights, hostility, fear, anxiety, etc. BUT, a lot can go right: joy, acceptance, companionship. Introductions must be done appropriately with both pet's mental and physically well-being and safety in mind. With a Pre- Adoption Consultation I will go over how to properly introduce a new pet and what you can do if there is any conflict
  • I want to get a pet for my other pet, is this something you advise?
    Absolutely! But there are a few things you should know: -Be aware that not all pets want a companion. -There can be hostility that needs addressing. -It's an added expense. -Getting your pet another animal companion is not a substitute for your care and attention (if you already have one untrained dog, don't get another to 'keep him company'). ​ I can help determine any problem areas you may encounter upon getting another pet, including budget and behaviors.
  • Are you able to run tests, if my pet needs it?
    No. While I may recommend certain things be done if your pet's health is showing struggle or decline, all medical testing and diagnosing would need to be done through a trusted veterinarian (of your choice) or through another health organization. I will continue to work with you through that process, and afterward. If your pet's case is complex, I may require certain tests be done prior to and/or during consultation process so I can review them. These can provide valuable insight into what is going on in your pet's body. I want to be sure that we can efficiently work together and support you with your pet's health concerns and wellness goals. That being said, please be prepared for this extra cost when working with me.
  • What type of feeding style do you support?
    Many kinds! I am an advocate and supporter for homemade raw and cooked diets, as well as commercial diets. Whether that be commercial raw, kibble, canned, freeze-dried, or even a mix of all of them (such as a hybrid diet model). There is no one-size-fits-all approach to feeding our canine pals, and I tailor my recommendations to both the pet and their human! As a busy mom, I know that raw and homemade diets are not doable for everyone (time, space, budget, etc), nor are they suitable for every pet (those with a compromised gut or certain autoimmune conditions). I'm here to support and educate you to provide them the healthiest and most appropriate diet possible! *Note: I do not support the 80/10/10 raw feeding model. This is an old, baseline style of feeding raw diets and leaves many nutritional gaps, and I have personally seen it lead to many skin and gut health issues.
  • What is Feeding Management?
    As a part of each Whole Body Wellness Plan, I address the area of Feeding Management. This is where I discuss any issues I notice in how your pet's food is stored, the way it is prepared, and how it is served.
  • What is Whole Body Wellness?
    Whole Body Wellness is a way of addressing more than just one specific area of health, such as nutrition. I believe that full health is achieved by addressing and changing all areas of a pet's life... including but not limited to nutrition, lifestyle and their environment.
  • What kind of methods do you use to help support a pet's health status other than switching food?
    There are quite a few options that can help a pet find more balance, aside from switching to a more nutritious diet. Some examples are: Homeopathy Chiropractic care Essential oils Acupuncture Herbal remedies ....And much more! Included with each consultation, will be recommendations for alternative therapies, if you wish to go that route.
  • Are Follow-Ups included?
    Yes! Follow-Ups are included in Whole Body Wellness Consultation Packages! Various packages are available for your pet's individual needs. Right now I only offer packaged services (additional follow-ups are available). This ensures we can see results and get to the end goal. Think of it as taking a trip. You wouldn't book half a flight to each individual town on the way to your destination to inch you closer and closer... you book the full ticket to be sure you get to your target destination with minimal interruptions!
  • What kind of issues may be relieved?
    Through supporting Whole Body Wellness, recurring or acute issues may be minimized. Your pet could find relief from things such as, but not limited to: ear infections, dull coat or dry skin, excessive licking, loose stools, skin irritation, weight management, even anxiety and hyperactivity.
  • Are you a Nutritionist?
    Yes! I am a Certified Professional Canine Nutritionist (CPCN)! On top of 10+ years of pet nutrition research and experience, I recently completed this new certification. What's so cool and unique about this program? This course covered dietary requirements of dogs and cats for various life stages, with heavy focus on vitamin/ mineral balance & gut health, while placing a high emphasis on homemade raw diet feeding models. Not only that, but it's also RACE approved for Continuing Education (CE) credits. As you may know from some of my blog posts, finding any type of CE and certifications in the veterinary field that aren't created and/ or sponsored by corporate companies like Big pHarma, Hill's or Purina… is practically unheard of! *To keep my Veterinary Technician certification current, I must submit a certain number of RACE-approved continuing education credits every 2 years. Even though I'm no longer in clinical practice, I still choose to keep this current! What is RACE?! "The (American Association of Veterinary State Boards) AAVSB’s Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) program develops and applies uniform standards for veterinary medicine continuing education. Our goal is to support the AAVSB member boards by ensuring that all RACE-approved continuing education programs meet appropriate standards of quality. RACE-approved continuing education programs are widely recognized by veterinary professionals as quality courses which help them meet their compliance obligations for licensure." -AAVSB website So this has been pretty awesome! Whether you're looking for support in a proactive manner, or need help with current health condition, you can feel confident in working with me for all your pet's nutritional needs!
  • Why are Weight Management Plans extra?
    Weight Management Add-On is an extra fee due to the additional time it takes to complete the pet's individual metabolic and calorie calculations. as well evaluate the nutrients of the food. It is a 1 time fee which includes calorie adjustments as needed (for 6-12 months of care) should your pet need any changes.
  • I think my pet has allergies. Could you help with this?
    Yes! I am so passionate about allergies, detox, nutrition and gut health! In fact, this is the main reason I left general practice (working in a veterinary clinic). It was so difficult to see countless pets with allergies just be prescribed loads of medications without even taking a second guess as to what else could be contributing to their unpleasant symptoms! My other interest in this: Because I've been there. I've been reactive to foods. Scared to eat at Holiday get togethers. Fearful that any food, at any time, could send my body into a downward spiral. That's no way to live. And that's no way to feel about your pet's health either. Truth is: Maddie used to have food intolerances as well. There were certain things her body just didn't like, and it caused me so much anxiety! Worrying about people giving her treats, searching endlessly for limited ingredient foods, leaving notes on the board at doggy daycare so employees would know to keep her out of other dogs' food, and so-on. She would get: Diarrhea from peas Hives from eggs Chicken would make her anal glands flare up like crazy The good news is: I can eat my previously avoided foods now, and she eats the above listed on a regular basis, with no issues! But you're probably thinking "How could that be?! How could you two possibly not react to foods anymore that were previously so triggering?" Have you ever wondered if there were better solutions to food allergies and sensitivities than: Rx diets Steroids Injections Pills Prescription shampoo Topical creams Restrictive/ limited diets Do you feel like you're at your wits end with skin issues and tummy troubles? You've come to the right place! There is a way to help your dog or cat regain balance and feel better! And you can sleep better knowing they aren't licking, scratching and chewing themselves raw all night long! You can also RELAX on vacation knowing that if your dog gets an odd treat from the sitter, they'll be just fine! Working with an experienced professional (like myself) can help give you the tools and knowledge you need to get your pet's health back on track!
  • Will my pet be cured of disease?
    HAPPY TRAILS PETS owners, and staff (while very knowledgeable) are not medical doctors, and cannot/ will not diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or illness. Any advice or information provided on this website and/or in a private consultation is not a substitute for veterinary care. My goal is to simply assist you in giving your pet's body a helping hand to boost their vitality, and natural processes through proper dietary nutrition, supplements and other modalities/ recommendations.
  • I don't eat meat, can my pet eat a meatless diet as well?
    Humans can make their own decisions on what they prefer to eat, but this should not reflect what your pet eats. Contrary to what you may be told, cats and dogs are carnivores by nature. I do not condone feeding them a meatless diet for multiple reasons. Cats for example, will die from lack of certain amino acids, mainly found in red meat.
  • How long before I see results?
    Each animal is an individual. Some minor cases may simply need one appointment with a switch in diet, while others may need additional therapies with a few follow-ups. While illness and imbalance aren't created overnight, neither is the restorative process.
  • Why are there behavior questions on the nutrition intake forms?
    It is well known and documented how much emotional health plays a role in physical health. For that reason, I have included a few behavior related questions into the nutritional questionnaire. This helps me get a better understanding of the pet's overall health status to support them through all angles.
  • I have already tried switching my pet's food, but his symptoms didn't improve, what else can I do?
    Many things! As a part of your consult, a detailed look at past history, and any change in diets /regimens will be done. Environmental & lifestyle factors will also be taken into consideration. With that, we will be able to spot red flags and common variables or hidden irritants that could secretly be making your pet worse, or hindering their improvement.
  • Do you formulate diets?
    No. However, I do offer guidance on how to balance a homemade diet. I do not provide any formal outline or sell recipes.
  • Are you knowledgeable on raw food diets? I have been thinking of switching.
    Yes! I am familiar with Ancestral/ Primordial, Prey Model Raw (PMR), and BARF diet models. I also know the financial and time constraints/ limitations that some people may face with homemade diets. Therefore, I am a huge advocate for Hybrid diet models as well! No matter what you choose for your pet, I am here to help make sure they have a balanced diet. While I am not formulating raw, homemade or cooked diets at this time, I will make sure to point you in the right direction for a specifically balanced meal plan that optimizes the health of your individual pet.
  • Can my puppy or kitten eat a raw food diet?
    Of course! But please be aware, puppies and kitten have a lot of growing to do and proper nutrients is very important to prevent issues such as bone and joint problems. For that reason, I highly recommend against DIY raw/ homemade meals for growing animals unless formulated by a nutritionist or a seasoned professional! Using a commercially prepared raw food is superior to be sure they are getting an appropriate balance of calcium and phosphorus for growth. In the meantime, please do a LOT of research and take some courses to ensure a good knowledge base on DIY meals to prepare for their adulthood (if you prefer).
  • I am thinking of getting a pet for my child, I want to make sure we get off to a good start. Can you help?
    Of course! I think pets are an amazing addition to families with children. However, it is important to choose the appropriate pet for the family. I offer a Pre-Adoption consultation that can assist families in preparing for a new pet. Getting a pet is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Going to the shelter and picking out a cute little puppy may result in financial stress, safety issues, and/ or a re-surrender. For example: Family who works many hours with 2 young kids, goes and picks out a fluffy little black dog from the shelter. This cute dog begins to grow rapidly. Into a rambunctious dog who starts destroying furniture, nipping at the kids, barking in the kennel, his fur is now matted, etc. He needs a job & training, but time does not allow for this. His fur requires regular grooming appointments, and finances and time are getting in the way. Stress builds, and a child is bit. The child is now injured, and traumatized, and the dog's life could be in jeopardy. All of this can be avoided if appropriate research is done prior to adopting a pet. Helping families to pick the proper pet that fits their lifestyle is something I love to do!
  • My pet has been very stressed since the baby has been born. I'm worried he is upset.
    Bringing a new baby home can definitely change the family dynamic and put a stress on things. Including your pets. With solid preparation, good boundaries, training and even the occasional supplements, the transition can be made much easier.
  • The Pawsitively Safe Consultation seems like it could be very informative. What will we all learn?
    SO MUCH! I will review all areas the pet has access to, and suggest changes to environment to ensure safety. We'll work together to teach you and your children how to read signs of stress in pets (this includes fun handouts)! If your kids are older, they can even participate in a board game all about dog body language and bite prevention!
  • Help! My toddler will not leave the pets alone!
    Setting up "Safety Zones" is very important. Giving pets and toddlers their own space to retreat is crucial to avoiding conflict. At this age, it is also vital to start implementing appropriate interactions and teaching good skills on how to safely interact with different animals.
  • I would like to get my child to assist with the proper care of our pets, how can I safely get them involved?
    It is great for children to be involved in age appropriate chores, including the care of family pets. I will assist in implementing a daily plan with a chart that you can follow, so everyone is able to take on age appropriate responsibilities of pet ownership.
  • My dog/ cat has gotten pushy and/ oraggressive with my child but I don't want to re-home my pet. Is there anything we can do?
    Definitely. Establishing clear boundaries and setting in place proper leadership does wonders. Often times, these situations arise because there is a lack of structure and no space where the pet can retreat to get away from a child. With a consultation, measures will be set in place to teach you, as well as the child how to safely interact with the pet, and how you can read their body language to avoid these unwanted scenarios.
  • I'm expecting a baby soon, what can I do to make my pet's transition easier?
    There are many things you can do to make the transition easier. First it is important to give the pet, and baby their own separate spaces where neither is allowed. Second, learning body language cues and stress signals is essential to maintaining proper harmony in the home, so pets and children can safely co-exist. Third, providing emotional support with various supplements can make a huge difference in how pets handle and react to change. With a consultation, I will go over these topics, plus more- so you can be assured your family is set up for success.

Dog Behavior

Dog Training & Behavior

Cat Behavior

Cat Behavior & Enrichment

Why Choose HTP?

While Happy Trails Pets is not a substitute for veterinary care, the consultations offered here are an opportunity for you to learn and apply alternative care options, gain a deeper understanding and make informed decisions on your pet's behalf.

I provide a variety of unique options to choose from depending on your pet's healthy history and the level of support you desire. With customizable packages to fit each individual animal, and their dedicated owner (YOU)!

BONUS:

  • No Traveling

  • Flexible Scheduling

  • Individualized Care

  • Unique Options

  • In-Depth, Comprehensive Consultations

  • On-Going Support

  • Credentialed Education

  • Additional Resources

  • Dedication to Each Client and Animal

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What you need to know about Happy Trails Pets Consultation Services:

Consultations ARE for pet owners who:

  • Want to take control of their pet's health & behavior

  • Are committed to making a change

  • Are ready to go the extra mile

  • Have a willingness to put old patterns and beliefs aside

  • Need guidance and support

  • Have an open mind

  • Desire to learn new health & wellness strategies

Consultations are NOT for pet owners who:

  • Want a 'quick fix'

  • Are not willing to commit and put in effort

  • Do not have a desire to make a change

  • Wish that someone else would do all the work

  • Are not open to learning new things

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