Hi! I’m Alicia.
MA, CMFT, Cert. AAP, Cert. RDFNS
I’m passionate about helping pet parents uncover and understand the mind, body, and spirit of their dogs.
A little bit about me – I’m a canine wellness and health-obsessed dog mom who’s been working in the pet industry for over ten years. I’m a Certified Canine Massage Therapist, Canine Nutrition Coach, Canine & Equine Aromatherapist, Dog Parent Life Coach, and Usui Reiki Master. All of my certifications and credentials are at the bottom of this page. Most recently, I completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification with the North American Veterinary Community. I am also the Medical Director for a local dog rescue.
I began working with animals in the animal sheltering world learning hands-on from veterinarians, trainers, consultants and more. My passion has always been with helping shelter dogs. My career within the pet industry has included everything from running an animal shelter to producing celebrity-studded events and everything in between.
While I’ve had almost every job in the animal rescue world, the biggest job and challenge I’ve faced has been taking care of my very special needs dog, Mylah. When Mylah was diagnosed with diabetes at 10 months old my world changed. A traditional veterinarian took it upon herself to make a detrimental decision regarding Mylah’s health. When this happened my world stopped and changed. Mylah almost died at the hands of a veterinarian who didn’t take Mylah’s health and wellbeing into consideration. I was introduced to the world of integrative and holistic medicine and modalities and my life changed for the better.
That’s how I became the ‘do-it-yourself’ dog mom. I wanted to make sure my dog’s health and wellbeing was forever taken care of by me, their guardian.
All the around-the-clock care, sleepless nights, money spent on hospitalizations, and hours of research and education on canine holistic health has been to give Mylah, and now my other three dogs, the best life possible.
Now I am on a mission to share my expertise and first-hand experiences with others.
Somewhere in between working, taking care of Mylah and her siblings I also got my Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit but doing everything for my dogs on my own propelled me into that mindset further. That’s how my little DIY Dog Mom blog was born and turned into a full wellness business. I was getting asked about nutrition and other help for dogs by friends and family. I thought, ‘why not create a blog?!’
Fast forward three years later and I am utilizing my formal education alongside my first-hand experience with animals and continued animal training courses to help dog parents (and some equine parents, too!).
My mission is to give dog parents the tools needed for a happy and healthy life together. Whether it’s full-fledged dog parent coaching, a Reiki session, developing a nutritionally complete recipe, or an aromatherapy consult, I am ready to give you and your dog my full attention, light and love.
If you’ve read this far I know you are invested in your dog’s care on a whole other level. You’re what I call a do-it-yourself dog parent. You want the best and you’re ready to commit to a holistic, spiritual journey with your dog. I am honored you’re here and hope we can work together.
Please note I am not a veterinarian, veterinary group, or veterinary nutritionist. I’m an independent canine nutrition coach, a certified canine massage therapist, and certified animal aromatherapist and herbalist. Always consult with your veterinarian when making changes that affect your dog’s health. Information on this website and given through services is not intended to diagnose, prognose, treat, correct, change, alleviate, or prevent animal disease, illness, pain, deformity, defect, injury, or other physical, dental, or mental conditions.
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself
My background and training in animal welfare, nutrition, and holistic modalities is diverse and allows me to approach holistic pet wellness and parenting from an integrative standpoint. In addition to my pursued education in the fields of animal nutrition, bodywork, aromatherapy, herbs, and energy work, I have spent countless hours researching and reading on these topics I am so passionate about. I am a lifelong and continued student, there is not a day I don’t spend some of my time in a virtual classroom learning more about these subjects I am so passionate about.
- Pet Nutrition Coach Certification, North American Veterinary Community (NAVC)
- Certified Canine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapist (massage)- Holistic Animal Studies
- Certified Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist – DNM University
- Canine Diet Formulation Tutorial – Possible Canine
- Certified Animal Aromatherapist – National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, Ashi Aromatics
- AromaChemistry Intro, Naturopathic CE
- Certified Acute Herbalism Specialist – DNM University
- Practical Herbalism – Common Canine Conditions – Possible Canine
- Nutrition & Herbs for Canine Conditions – Possible Canine
- Animal Emergency Course – RAHU
- How Food Can Affect Health Issues – RAHU
- Usui Animal Reiki Master
- Jess Lively’s Consciousness School
- Lewis University, Master’s Organizational Leadership, 2014
- Drake University, Dual Bachelor’s Degree, 2008
Meet My Kids
From left to right: Izzy, Hudson, Mylah, Jayne
I call Izzy my ‘best girl’ because she is my best friend and the minute I laid eyes on her I knew we were meant to be together. I can’t even begin to count how many ways she has changed my life. I got Izzy right after college at 22 years old and we have been through so much together. My first city apartment, breakups, roommates, family deaths, celebrations – she has always been there. Izzy is eight years old, but basically going on one year old; she is a giant puppy at heart! She also loves to be in nature and at the lake. She is my adventure dog and soul mate.
My middle kid, Hudson: big, goofy and lovable. The moment I met eyes with Hudson I knew he was a dog I wouldn’t be able to live without. Hudson came from a puppy mill, was brought to a pet store and purchased at the pet store as a “bullador” at three months old. His owners had a lot of young kids and he wasn’t mixing well with them so they were going to either euthanize him or give him up. They claimed Hudson was ‘unpredictable’. Well, he is the most predictable dog I know, a dog that thrives from routine and familiarity. Hudson is a big lug, not the brightest, but would protect me and his sisters from anything. Hudson is seven years old.
Mylah is the baby and was the final addition to the family. I rescued Mylah’s mom and seven siblings who were confiscated from a dog fighting and breeding operation and were going to be euthanized due to space at animal control. Mylah and her siblings were only four weeks old. Mylah was the runt of the litter and I fell in love with her. Mylah is our special needs baby. She was diagnosed with diabetes at 10 months old. She is now six years old and over the last year was diagnosed with protein losing nephropathy, inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatic enzyme insufficiency. It has been a rough year for her, and us, but we are managing and are so thankful for every day we get to spend with her.
My husband and I swore we would never adopt another puppy… and then along came Jayne. Funny how that happens! I met Jayne at Chicago Animal Control when I went to do transport dogs to rescue. Jayne was a last minute addition to the transport. We believe she was hit by a car – she was brought in as a stray with her right hind leg dangling from her body. The rescue tried to fix her leg but the surgery didn’t work so it was amputated. We were asked to foster Jayne after her first surgery because of my medical care experience. My husband and I both knew she was never leaving once we began fostering her. She is almost 1 years old and living the good life as a tripod, she is super fast and gets around great!