Kind Words & Updates
I'm always grateful for feedback from prior clients!
Monica Segal, Author, Toronto, ON
Having worked with Jody for more than three years I can say that her ability to formulate diets for dogs in health and disease is excellent. She considers the entire dog by providing support for the issues at hand, breed predispositions and that the dog feels satiated. Jody also has a kind heart and generous spirit that endears her to the dog world.
Amanda W, Calgary, AB – Connor
Connor is just over 3 years old and was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the age of 3 months. At this time, he spent one week in the hospital and was Very skinny. He suffered with reoccurring Ear infections, Eye Infections, Diarrhea and was throwing up daily.
Connor is truly one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known. Despite all of his health problems, multiple stays in the hospital, blood work, IV’s, Xray’s, medications and procedures he still trusts and loves everyone. It does not matter how sick he is, his tail is always wiggling.
Most nights we were up 2-3 times … diarrhea, throwing up, and shaking with a fever. He was under weight, always feeling hungry and trying to eat anything he could– socks, paper, dirt, stool. He would get wobbly and almost fall over after walks or too much excitement.
He started to get acne and sores on his chin, nose, belly and paws. Everyday was ointments, eye drops, ear drops and pills.
On average we were at the vet 2 times a month. Sometimes weekly for check ins.
At nine months old he had his first seizure. His nose had lost all color and his nails started to turn white. He was now being monitored for Vitiligo, Lupus and Epilepsy.
When he had his first seizure, I thought… this is it, his little body has finally had enough.
Balancing epilepsy and inflammatory bowel disease was tricky. I was feeling very overwhelmed and lost. We had been to an Immune Specialist, traditional Vet, Holistic Vet, and a neurologist. We followed a food protocol to try and help determine allergies and a sleep and meal schedule.
Connor’s seizures started to become longer and more frequent. He also was having more wobbly episodes throughout the day. A friend suggested I call Jody for a consultation.
We started working with Jody in Jan 2022. At this time Connor was averaging 2 seizures every 5-6 weeks. He was ALWAYS hungry and was overweight (by 10lbs).
Jody started by working with his current diet of premade raw (cooked) and veggies. Eliminating a few items and adding in new ones as we weaned away from the commercial food. We went very slowly since Connor was very sensitive to change. She always checked in and adjusted as we moved along. She researched all of his current supplements and we made adjustments to eliminate some that may have had ingredients not suited for dogs with seizures.
I am very happy to say we have gone 10 months without one seizure!!
I just can not believe it. No ear or eye infections, his nose color has returned and his nail color is still coming back. He sleeps all night for the first time ever and has lost the needed 10lbs.
We will be forever grateful for all that Jody has done for our family. If anyone is struggling with any health issues, I highly recommend contacting her for help. This was a game changer for us!
Michele A, Tucson, AZ – Gretel
Gretel is a six year old Dachshund mix who was diagnosed with Valley Fever a few years ago. She has a history of being on Fluconazole for an extended period of time, going off the medication, and then having the Valley Fever return. The cycle would then repeat. When I started the consult with Jody, Gretel was on Fluconazole for the third time.
Prior to the consult, Gretel was eating a frozen commercial raw food. She always seemed hungry which was an issue long before the Valley Fever diagnosis. She was having some GI distress and vomiting bile fairly often. Another side effect of the Fluconazole is hair loss. Gretel’s hair was thin and she had lost most of the hair off her belly and lower side areas. In the past, it would stay that way until going off the Fluconazole.
Jody was recommended by a friend when I had mentioned that I wondered if Gretel would do better on a cooked diet. She only weighs about 16 pounds, so my goal was to have a diet formulated that packed as much nutrition as possible into her daily calorie limit. I also hoped this would help alleviate the side effects of the medication.
During the eight week consult, Jody was always available to answer questions and I was never left waiting on a reply. The process was really easy, even when we had to backtrack a bit. I appreciate Jody’s methodical approach. Jody is extremely knowledgeable. Her step-by-step instructions were easy to follow and kept me on track. Having support over eight weeks made the experience less stressful for me. I didn’t feel rushed and I knew that I could reach out for support when needed.
It is relevant to note that Gretel was taking Fluconazole when we began the consultation in October and didn’t stop taking it until mid February. She stopped vomiting bile as soon as we made the switch to the cooked diet. The mucous covered stools also stopped. Much to my happiness, her hair also began to grow back while she was still on the medication! Unheard of in the past!
Fast forward to May and Gretel is currently Valley Fever free! It is an unpredictable disease but even if it returns, I know that she’s getting the best nutritional support possible. Gretel’s coat is the shiniest and thickest that it has ever been. Her color also seems to have intensified. Many of our friends have commented on the difference! She seems satiated rather than acting like she’s always starving. She’s even begun to slow down while she eats - picking and choosing around her platter but always finishing it all. She is calmer at home and her reactivity has gone down a notch. In the past, we struggled on and off with some crud inside her ears and they have been clean and odor free.
I highly recommend contacting Jody! It is one of the best decisions I’ve made for Gretel to ensure that I’m doing all that I can to keep her healthy and happy!
Sharon C, Union Grove, WI– Abby
It has been a while! Wanted to let you know both dogs are doing well. Abby's vet nearly fainted when he saw that she was still here a year after her renal diagnosis. I had told him about getting the diet plan for her, but he clearly did not put much faith in you and your "super" powers. He asked if she was still eating and I said she looked forward to her next meal! He preformed a blood test on Abby and called later to tell me her numbers had improved. Thank you for formulating her diet and giving me more quality time with her.
Katie Homan, Milwaukee, WI– Lily
I sought out Jody's expertise after realizing that my two-year-old Labrador, Lily, was about ten pounds overweight. Although Lily is very active and gets plenty of exercise, she had gained weight from overfeeding. Labradors have insatiable appetites! As a reactive pup, Lily was getting many high-value treats during training, but that wasn't balanced with the rest of her diet. Jody absolutely took all of our needs into consideration. She made sure we had plenty of high-value treats to work with while providing Lily with an adequate, interesting, and balanced diet. We gradually introduced the new foods, all of which Lily has absolutely loved, and supplements over a few weeks. Lily ultimately lost those ten pounds. Her coat is great, she no longer has digestive issues, and the fresh foods have been much more effective for training than anything store bought. Lily has made significant progress in her reactivity, and I'm convinced the diet played an important part. Plus, since I'm concerned about the environment and animal welfare, I'm so pleased this fresh cooked diet has allowed us to reduce our plastic consumption and support local, sustainable farmers.
Stacey E, Wasaga Beach, ON – Finn
Hi Jody, it’s been a while since our last communication but I have an update.
Finn was in to the vet earlier this week for his yearly check up and repeat labs for his liver. The appointment itself went very well - the vet is extremely happy with how Finn presents (coat, weight, skin, ears, teeth, etc) and had advised to keep up with what Finn is currently doing for food/supplements/medication.
As for the labs, I heard back from the clinic today and all his blood work looks great (according to the vet). The ALT, which was the main concern, has come down (344 to 55) and is the lowest it has ever been. I could have cried! I’m so happy. Thank you, Jody!
I’m so thrilled with the entire process. It’s tough when dealing with something that doesn’t show outwardly (like a decrease in itching or licking) but that you’re waiting for internal processes to change. I had to wait for blood work, which meant I had to put time in with the process. It can feel overwhelming going through the entire switch over but it’s completely manageable. The tiny steps that are taken each day help to keeps things manageable, versus looking at the overall picture is reassuring. Patience is key.
Honestly, I’m just so happy. I’m thrilled he is healthy - perhaps the healthiest he has ever been during his life.
Sheri Porter, Calgary, AB – Rigby
I started working with Jody when Rigby was just a few months old. My main goal was to introduce him to more fresh foods through her Puppy Bowl Boost program. Well I I got so much more out of what I signed up for because soon on it was evident that Rigby had some food intolerances and had been on antibiotics at such an early stage so his gut was in need of some support. Jody was great at answering all of our questions and helped us heal his gut and find a fantastic food that he loves. It would have been a much longer road without her support. Thank you Jody
Brad & Maggie Smith, USA – Max
We sincerely appreciate the guidance and expertise we recently received from Jody! We recently lost our 11-year old chocolate lab from cancer so we are trying to learn as much as possible so we could help our 3-year old yellow lab. The information we received was incredibly helpful! As a result, we are switching his main food and will be supplementing his meals with vegetables and other things that will hopefully lead him to a longer and healthier life. Thank you so much Jody! We highly recommend her services to everyone!
D Mengel, Missouri, USA – Misty
I had been wanting a puppy for a while but was concerned about ensuring it received proper nutrition. What I appreciate most about working with you (Puppy Bowl Boosts) is the peace of mind it affords. I was not playing a game of willy-nilly in that I add this or try that, thinking they are “good” for my pup. Instead, I was confident regarding the guidance you provided, it took into account the characteristics of my dog and her breed, and you considered cost and availability of food items within my local area. The result is a small, skinny shelter pup that, when I first met her seemed to be all eyes and ears, that has been transformed into a healthy adolescent at a good weight for her full of vim and vinegar. I could not be more pleased with our efforts and whole-heartily recommend your services to anyone wanting to start or get their dog onto a good nutritional path. Thanks so much!
K Weil, NSW, AUS – Sparky
Jody helped me with my small agility sheltie .. he was on a commercial raw and now on a home made plan .. just right for him .. some cooked .. some raw .. very well balanced with supplements also . Now he’s more energetic and trimmed down a little which is what I wanted. Thanks Jody he’s going great!
Lynette J, Calgary, AB – Posy Blue
I have consulted with Jody multiple times since adopting our rescue pup Posy Blue 6 years ago….at first it was to try to find a diet she would eat consistently, next it was for a diet review as it had been a few years and Posy was having some aches and pains and most recently our work together has been to find a liver support diet when Posy was diagnosed with liver disease. After a couple months on the diet, her liver values are back in normal range!
I have found Jody to be extremely knowledgeable, supportive and her communication is excellent. Each time we’ve transitioned a diet the process has been simple and easy to understand. Most important is that Posy looks forward to mealtimes and we are able to support her health challenges with diet, which has allowed her to thrive.
I can only recommend Jody!!
Bernadine T, Rancho Cucamongo, CA – Tig
This is my sweet little boy. He is 10 years old and needs to take medication for a serious heart condition. After six months on the medication, we ran a blood panel. Several values (including kidney values) were out of the normal range and very concerning. My good friend recommended Jody Zesko and I’m so thankful she did. After following Jody’s detailed instructions for more than eight weeks, we ran another blood panel to make sure we were on the right path. The results are incredible and everything is now within normal limits. Our Vet is understandably impressed and will recommend Jody to other patients, willing to cook for their pets. Thank you, Jody, for all you do!
Clare J, Tucson, AZ – Daisy, Tessa, Naomi
Jody has created custom food plans for three of my dogs. Two have complicated food sensitivities, and one has complicated health issues that we are supporting with balanced nutrition. I love working with Jody - she is knowledgeable, proactive, and responsive. Jody has been very patient and creative when formulating recipes for my two pups who have challenging (but very different) food sensitivities. All of my pets are doing very well on their food plans, with noticeable improvements in their conditions!
Tara B, – Teddy
I am so grateful to have received Jody’s advice via email consultation. I had a pretty good handle on the direction I wanted to take for our growing puppy's food but I really needed some reassurance from Jody that I was on the right track. She helped me narrow down a couple of food brand choices and what additional foods and supplements would be beneficial. There are so many food choices nowadays and also so much information and misinformation, so her guidance and professional knowledge really gave me peace of mind.
Edward Klorman,QC – Ellis
Jody has been enormously helpful to me and my puppy! When he had ongoing digestive issues over several weeks, it seemed like nothing I tried was working. But Jody helped me proceed systematically and scientifically, testing incremental changes to his diet until we could identify what worked best. She really knows her stuff and takes the time to listen to what I’m observing and to advise me step by step through the process. If you’re wondering about your dog’s diet or would like some advice to complement what you’re learning from your vet, you and your dog will be very happy working with Jody!
M. Anderson, Duvall, WA – Luke
Jody, thank you so much for guiding us through this stage of Luke’s food life! I find that you’re very generous, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. Thank you so, so much!
I will keep you posted on how Luke is doing, hopefully, for many years!
T&K Cripps, Saanichton, BC – Couper
I was thinking about how this process of working with you is less stressful than with previous consultants. You're very responsive with any questions we have had and your step-by-step approach has been a blessing for us. We have worked with two nutritionists prior, and we were always given the final recipe at the start, and Couper would go through ups and downs with it, making it difficult to pinpoint the causes.
Gina F, Webster, NY – Daisy
Just wanted to thank you for helping me get Daisy's GI issues resolved. I was seriously at my wits end watching her struggle with watery stools all of the time. And it could not have felt good for her either! She's almost 1.5 years old and I struggled for over a year. My only other option was to try hydrolized food at $100 for a 20 pound bag and even though my vet thought it would've helped, I decided to invest in a consult with you and get her on real whole foods instead of kibble. As you know, the change was almost instant! With just a reduction in fat and an increase in fiber she started coming around. The whole process was affordable and easy to follow, and I can tell she LOVES what is in her bowl. And I feel better because she doesn't have to survive on processed kibble. I would tell anyone whose dog has health issues to look at the diet and seek help. I'm so glad we did!!
Jenny Howe, Calgary, AB – Swizzy
I reached out to Jody when my dog, Swizzy, an Aussie Shepherd was 16 months old. She was on a commercial raw diet and was maintaining her weight but she just didn’t seem satisfied- she also ate poop and was shedding excessively. I felt like she needed some extras in her bowl and that something might be lacking in her diet. Because Jody had created my other Aussie’s diet, she knew what foods I was already using and she created a little recipe of additional foods I could add to Swizzy’s food, based on Pre’s diet. By using appropriate food additions and utilizing some supplements we were able to address some nutrients that were lacking in her commercial raw food. Within a month or so we noticed a big reduction in shedding, and she was so much calmer between meal times. After more time on the diet, she stopped eating poop and just seemed generally more content overall. She loves the extras at meal times- in fact she cries for her meals and her weight is optimal – we are so happy!
Jenny Howe, Calgary, AB – Prefontaine
Prefontaine has been following a custom, cooked diet put together by Jody. Prior to this he 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, every day. 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 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!
Regan Smith, Calgary, AB – Mia
I came to Jody needing help with my little Mia. She was diagnosed with something wrong with her liver, she had elevated liver enzymes, sludgy gallbladder and really wasn’t enjoying food, just treats. Mia is a 13 year old rescue and I felt a biopsy surgery would be too hard on her as she had just had her teeth done. The vet recommended a kibble diet change and I feel very strongly about kibble not being able to support our dogs well enough. I was referred to Jody by Doodle Dogs. I am so happy to have Jody in our lives! Mia eats a well balanced diet, is very happy, super excited about meal time, and in general, does not seem her age. Most people think she is a puppy! The changes over 4 months were amazing, and those enzyme levels came way down.
Be prepared to talk all about poop and meal prep for your furbabies. Without Jody and her help, I honestly don’t know where we would be. Mia is a new old dog. We will forever feed her this meal plan now, she eats better than us! Thank you Jody. You gave our girl her life back and helped me get through understanding the insides of our dog.
Jenny Howe, Calgary, AB – Lola Belle
My sweet puppy, Lola Belle, was well into her senior years and having a hard time keeping on weight. Even with increasing the amounts of her commercial raw food, I just couldn't stop her from looking like a rail. Also, her energy was especially low, which I chalked up to her being a senior. I had a Commercial Food Boost consult with Jody and she made suggestions on supplements and healthy food additions that would be a good fit for Lola-Belle.
Well, I have to say, the change in her was remarkable! She gained weight and was much more satisfied after her meals. Her “glaucoma eye” was even less bulgy! She was so full of energy that she almost demanded walks. We took her for a little "hike" and she didn't run into anything! (she had Very minimal vision) Normally she’d be exhausted for a couple days after a big walk -nope, the next day she was SAUCY! She yelled and yelled for us to come play, and ended up completely destroying a toy.
She was sleeping less during the day, but resting hard at night. She wasn’t restless anymore and for the first time, I SWEAR she became social. My 13-year-old dog had no idea she wasn’t a puppy- we couldn't have been happier!
Trudy Drake, Cochrane, AB – Moxie
She honestly loves the veggie mixture so much and I will start rotating other veg/fruits through it one by one the next time I make it. She’s tolerated everything so far very well and the supplements you recommended have made a huge difference too! The shedding has stopped, her coat looks so shiny and soft! She’s still a bit itchy but I’m sure it’s more related to it being allergy season. I’ve already started to cut back on her Apoquel (she only gets it 4-5 days a week now instead of 7). Hoping we can cut it out entirely and keep her happy and healthy.
Elaine M, St. Anthony, MN – Jack
I’ve been feeding a raw home prepared diet for at least 15 years. Due to an issue I was having, I had to switch to kibble a year and a half ago, but meant to get back to home prepared when able.
My 13 year old dog, Jack, started having recurrent aspiration pneumonia and repeatedly tried to die on me last winter. In an effort to bring him out of that downward trend, I switched back to home prepared, but this time cooked as it was safer for him. Between the permanent medications he’s now on and getting a balanced complete diet, he’s turned the corner and is back to being a happy, healthy dog. He’s put on some weight so he looks better too. I can’t express enough how important proper nutrition with fresh, real food is in my dog’s recovery and to support him as he continues to age.