Please read full description below.
- Client Stories
- Before & After
The consultation includes eight weeks of uninterrupted (does not include weekends) email support while we determine appropriate foods and tolerated amounts for your dogs's complete diet.
In order to accommodate the needs of an individual dog - in particular dogs with food intolerances and digestive issues, the process may take longer, and additional support can be purchased by the month. The process involves frequent email contact between the dog owner, Monica Segal/ Jody Zesko. Please keep in mind that we are not available on weekends.
We've been feeding home-prepared diets to our own dogs for 20+ years. It takes more time than feeding a commercial diet, so we encourage everyone to consider this but not lose sight of the benefits fresh foods can bring to the bowl.
We cannot always incorporate commercial foods for dogs with health challenges. Please contact us to discuss if this is a concern.
If you have doubts on which consult is best for your dog, please email customerservice at monicasegal.com before booking.
Please note: The time frame for our waiting list changes weekly. Current waiting list is 3 weeks (sooner if possible) from the time we receive complete replies to the intake questionnaire you will receive.
You will receive a form via email within 48 hours of placing an order. Please complete this form and return it to us within 1 week.
A $50 fee is applicable if a client cancels the order prior to email exchanges.
A $100 fee is applicable if a consultation is cancelled after more than 3 email or other message exchanges.
Cancellation of consultations less than 48 hours after the start of formulating a diet has begun will be considered a diet formulation and charged $180 accordingly. Cancellations after that time are not refundable.
This consultation is the best way of addressing those dog with health concerns and special needs.
I have used Monica's expertise for several of my clients, some with very challenging dietary needs. In every case she brought a wealth of knowledge to the table, together with flexibility and creativity in designing a diet that not only nutritionally optimal but also highly palatable. Happy dogs, happy clients! I cannot recommend her enough!
Leida Visee, DVM Zeist, The Netherlands
Client StoriesPrefontaine has been following a custom, cooked diet put together by Jody for about a month now. Before that time, Pre would eat very sporadically. Sometimes twice a day, sometimes once a day, sometimes not at all. He wasn’t interested in kibble, he wasn’t interested in raw. Meal time was stressful for all of us.
In addition to him likely being malnourished (although his weight was fine) and ‘hangry’, he is also quite reactive. Lunging at dogs on leash, baring his teeth to people, charging dogs and humans, and just kind of acting like a jerk. This is particularly heartbreaking because the whole reason we got an Australian Shepherd was so we could do dog sports with him, but we just didn’t feel like we could trust him in a setting with other people and dogs. When Jody mentioned diet could be playing a role in his reactivity I was shocked! And so I jumped at a diet that could help that even a little bit!
The changes we’ve seen so far are beyond encouraging. For starters, Pre actually starts crying if we don’t feed him at the same time, everyday. And as soon as that food comes out of the fridge, he’s doing spins and getting ready for the best part of his day! He devours every morsel of his meals and still gets some raw chicken necks (which he loves!) throughout the week . But even more exciting is that we’ve noticed a change in his behaviour. He’s actually starting to chill out a bit! And because he’s in a less reactive state so much of the time, he’s better able to listen to our commands and process them. He doesn’t ‘lose his mind’ nearly as much. We’ve started taking him to our local pet store every week just to get him used to outings around people and other dogs while on leash. It was a bit rocky at first, but now when we go, he’s excited to sniff all the things, he’s not bothered by other people or animals in the store, and he’ll even politely take treats from the people who work there! That would NOT have happened 2 months ago. It would have been growling and lunging. And in the next couple of months, we’re going to get him practicing his disc dog skills with a local club and maybe even try a rally obedience class! We finally get to start doing the things we’ve always wanted to do with him! All of us are SO much happier now, and best of all, Pre is much healthier physically, and he’s getting there emotionally! " Jenny Howe Calgary, AB From the time he was 10 weeks old Taser has had GI issues. We had him blood tested for allergies at age of 1, we now know the whole process is bogus, and followed what showed up on his report for almost 3 years. In that time, we changed foods I don’t know how many times as he would improve on something new and eventually crash. His calorie requirement was also incredible for a dog his size, but we always assumed it was because he was so active and his brain just never shut off. Sometimes we had weeks on a new food, sometimes months. He picked up giardia and that pretty much did in his entire system. It took a good 6 months and lots of metronidazole to get him back on track. He was under veterinarian supervision but I started researching and found Monica’s site.
We had also kept him on a high protein diet because he was so incredibly active and thinking then was that that’s what you did. That also turned out to be all wrong. After reading through just some of Monica’s info, we started our own process of elimination, -food wise - and it ended up that the allergy test was almost the complete opposite of what Taser couldn’t tolerate. He also developed environmental allergies that complicated the whole process. Once we knew what he could tolerate, I contacted you to get his diet balanced. I had also read something about how lowering protein could sometimes benefit hyperactive dogs. Since Taser’s brain was like a hamster wheel spinning out of control it was worth a try.
Since being on his new diet, his GI issues had settled right down. We still have the odd hiccup but we can deal with hiccups. For the first time in his life he actually gained weight and we assume he was finally able to actually absorb the nutrients from his food. His calories actually had to be reduced a little. Our once hyperactive little dog is still incredibly active, but his brain now functions where he can actually think. Turns out that once we lowered his protein a little, the hamster wheel slowed to medium speed and we have an awesome little dog in there.
S. E.Ayton, ON I just wanted to share an update on Linnie with you. She’s continuing on the diet you designed for her, and her protein/creatinine ratio numbers have continued to improve!
Needless to say, the vet and David and I were extremely happy over the latest reading of 1.5! There have been no other medication changes so the improvement is definitely due to the diet change. Also, the vet had been concerned about dropping albumin levels, but that improved as well. We’re continuing on. Linnie turned 10 in August and, overall, is doing well. She passed her Barn Hunt instinct test in October, and I’ll enter her for Novice…once I teach her what the word “tunnel” means! :) This weekend she will be representing her breed at the Lakeland Terrier breed booth at the Wisconsin Dog Fair. Thank you again for sharing your expertise with us and helping us to get Linnie Bean on the right track! Shani Atkins WI, USA Chip has been on a diet formulated for him by canine nutritionist Monica Segal. Over four years ago a cardiologist at Angell gave him a year at most until heart failure, and then a few more months. That's when I contacted Monica and started the diet. As of today Chip is still not in heart failure! And he likes his food, formulated with ingredients he enjoys.
I am of course also extra careful with heat, cold, stress level, exercise. But he still goes for his daily hour long walks, chases a rabbit, all weather permitting. The MVD has progressed but he is still not in heart failure. I recommend this highly, well worth the investment. Sarah Jansen, USA What a wonderful experience for all of us! Monica is easy to work with, and so knowledgeable. Our Homer (Lab x Beagle) suffered though too many diet changes before we found Monica. Thank goodness that's behind us. Homer has been doing really well for many months now. He's finally at a perfect weight, stool is great, and our vet is thrilled. I highly recommend Monica and her approach. Jeri and family including Homer My boy Splash who passed in 2016 was fed diets formulated by Monica for nearly his entire life. When he was diagnosed with a Grade 4-5 heart murmur and MVD before his 9th birthday, she quickly changed up his diet to be even more heart friendly. He lived to be 12 1/2 and although in the end his heart was huge, he never went into heart failure. Just the day before we knew it was time to say goodbye, he was still able to go for a leisurely walk with me. Monica's expertise is worth every penny! Janis Mattson VT, USA I wanted to write you to let you know that BlackJack the wonder poodle has now been 2 years cancer free! His last thoracic xray at MSU showed no metastasis. His BUN is still a tad high, but no worse than last year when we talked about this, in fact it was a couple of points lower than last year. I know this number moves around based on various things, however,I ALWAYS fast him for this test. My boy will be 14 in February :)
I want to thank you for always being available and helpful--and in my mind, Jack's special diet has helped get him through this ordeal and has made ME feel like I'm taking an active part in his care! (despite my cooking abilities :) Here's to all you do for the dogs and people of the world :) Hello to your very special girl, too. Cindy Haines Traverse City, Michigan Words cannot even begin to accurately describe the gratitude I have for Monica, which is why it has taken me months to write this testimonial after a long, determined journey she and I have taken together to get my White Shepherd, Oscar, in better health. His GI tract was like a wild rollercoaster, which made every rib bone, backbone and hip bone stick out of his beautiful white fur. I came across Monica Segal on a GSD forum. Several people recommended her books and services when I was posting about how frustrated I was with Oscar's recurring GI problems. After months of staring at her website with Oscar by my side, I finally found myself hitting the "Add to Cart" button to buy a 2-month Adult Dog Consultation.
In hindsight, I don’t know what took me so long. It has easily been the best money I’ve spent on one of my dogs – and I knew it 2 weeks into working with Monica. Monica is driven – “passionate” would be an understatement. She lives and breathes canine nutrition and is one of the most responsive, professional and caring people I have ever met – not just in a dog-related profession, but in my entire life.
The support she has offered me through the entire process was nothing short of amazing. Oscar has turned out to be one of her toughest cases, because he just would not gain weight. We went back and forth for months and became friends through the entire process, and Monica became "Auntie Monica" to my special boy.
What astounds me most is Monica’s incredible, personal approach. Her commitment to her clients is phenomenal. She has helped Oscar go from a 57-pound skinny wienie to a 74.5-pound gorgeous young man who has never been so healthy. Thank you, Monica, for helping our family in ways that only you could have and for never giving up on Oscar. Laura Hackbarth(WI) I'd heard great things about Monica's work and had purchased and used a few of her pamphlets. Monica joined our "care team" via an adult dog consultation in the fall of 2010. My Jack Russell Terrier (REO) had a history of allergies then we found urinary crystals (spring 2010) and by fall he had urinary stones removed (calcium oxalate). We knew we HAD to make some changes to his diet to help with not only the allergies but now the calcium oxalate issues!
The process for the consultation was smooth and SO educational!
Thinking through and filling out the questionaire prior to the consult made me really think about cause and effect REO had been trying to tell me.
I loved the step by step approach. Introducing incrementally meant when REO had a negative response we could ID what didn't agree with him quickly and adjust accordingly.
The ongoing communication with Monica was amazing! REO threw us some curve balls! Most (if not all) were probably run of the mill for Monica but they weren't for me! Monica was there to talk me "off the edge"; providing a supportive ear, explaining the pros and cons of our next step "options", and then developing the game plan for the upcoming days/weeks. In the end we discovered REO also has a digestive disorder but even as the list of health issues grew Monica kept on top of it and pointed us toward a plan.
If it weren't for Monica's help, in all honesty, I don't know that I'd have REO here with me today and for that I am forever grateful! Today he's back to being a busy 3 year old enjoying Rally Obedience, agility, terrier games, hiking and his favorite activity - yard patrol! Laura Breckheimer(Mpls) You may recall that you reformulated a liver friendly diet for my Australian Shepherd, Rikki. He’s been on it for 2 years now. His ALT when we started this whole process was as high as 1800. For the past 2 years, he has been tested and has been normal. Your diet along with your milk thistle and Zentonil has turned this around for us. Thank you for all the time you spend helping dogs live longer. Cheryl Rogalsky I'd heard wonderful things about you, but working with you has been better than anyone can describe. Thanks so much for caring about our boy, Scamp. According to blood tests, his kidneys are functioning much, much better. Our vet just can't believe the change. Another thing is that Scamp's coat seemed alright before you formulated his diet, but now it looks better than we knew it could and even his ears don't get infected anymore. Thank you for your magic. Donna Turner(CA) I'm writing on Dottie's 5th birthday to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for bringing her back to us. We thought she was going to die when we contacted you, but your positive attitude gave us hope. Two and half years after being diagnosed with cancer, she's running around like a puppy and still looks forward to every meal. Thanks for all you do for so many dogs and their people. Jackie Nelson(UK) It is my pleasure to report that ever since you worked with us on Billy's diet, his IBD has been under control. The skinny dog that couldn't gain weight and was always throwing up or having diarrhea is thriving and we've saved so much worry and time at the vet. Thanks for knowing how to turn him around. You're great to work with and your results speak for themselves. Joy Brent(B.C.)
Before & After
This is Oscar - No Bones About ItOscar is very handsome, super-high energy, and has a GI challenge. The GI issue was settled quickly with a diet change, but getting those poor bones covered was another story. Oscar's mom Laura, and I are a stubborn team, and we stuck to our guns. Just look at Oscar now! From a skinny 62 pounds to perfect 74.5 pounds. Thanks Laura. You were just wonderful to work with, and I will always remain Oscar's "auntie" in my heart.