top of page
Wild Nature
AdobeStock_221151936.jpeg

Our Team

We believe that your pets deserve the very best and that you deserve to know how to provide it to them. We created The Wholesome Dog so that pet parents and professionals everywhere can be empowered and equipped to do just that. 

Julielyn Gibbons, Certified Professional Canine Nutritionist (she/her)
Co-founder

Julielyn got her start in the medical and nutrition world as a teenage patient diagnosed with a particularly severe chronic illness that stymied doctors for years. Seeing the disconnect in Western medicine between nutrition and health, she learned early on the importance between the two and why balancing traditional Eastern and ancient medicine with modern medicine is the ultimate key to health and wellness. 

 

Julielyn used her personal experience to propel herself into a 20+ year career as a healthcare advocate, nationally-recognized issue and electoral strategist, and a respected educational trainer, facilitator, and curriculum designer. Despite growing up with a dog, she had to wait for her professional life to settle down a bit before bringing pets back into her life. 

As she prepared to bring home her first puppy as an adult, Julielyn realized the great overlap between dog and human nutrition and health. She immediately learned all she could about health, diet, and wellness and was lucky enough to find several teachers willing to share all they could about Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), species-appropriate nutrition, and training. 

When she decided to change careers, Julielyn began working and would go on to manage a nutrition-focused pet food store in Vermont and then in Michigan, guiding and advising pet parents on how to best feed and care for their beloved family members. As demand for her knowledge grew, Julielyn developed a set of courses based on the NY Times best-seller The Forever Dog and found herself educating pet parents, professionals, and retailers around the country, drawing on her background in health and nutrition as well as her retail experience to provide recommendations and guidance.

Julielyn received her professional certificate in canine nutrition from the Feed Real Institute in 2023. She is a familiar face at many of the leading pet nutrition conferences around the U.S. and is a sought after educator and nutrition advisor. She lives in the Metro Detroit area with Ruthie Bader, her wise and opinionated Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Wendy Bengivenni, Certified Professional Canine Nutritionist(she/her)
Co-founder

Having started her career in human medicine as a nurse, Wendy has always had a passion for animals, but that passion became even greater when her son, born Autistic, needed a way to navigate the world with a little help. Being a dog lover, Harry, became our son's answer.  Harry had created a world where tasks were easily achieved.  Harry's soft personality and warm smile for every person he met made navigating the world easier.

 

Wendy immediately determined the best way to keep this team in tact was to research, study, and feed Harry the best whole foods she could provide. It began with kibble just over fourteen and a half years ago, and slowly, by the time Harry was three it was obvious that with the intense stress and hard work Harry would require more. Harry began to eat a diet provided by online research and created by Wendy Volhard  Wendy had a Landseer Newfoundland dog (Heidi) that at the age of 5 was given months to live. She placed Heidi on a fast, and then a whole foods diet.  Heidi lived to be 12.5, incredibly impressive given that most Landseers live to just 7.  With further research, it became clear Wendy Volhard was onto something. She had several dogs that lived well beyond their breed average. Having a mom herself who raised Newfoundlands, and knowing the level of care they required, Wendy was hooked.  So that is where she started her quest to have a "forever dog."

Wendy received her professional certification in canine nutrition from the Feed Real Institute in 2023. 

 

Throughout Harry's life, he has been on freeze-dried, raw, pre-made, and precooked diets. Fast forward to today, and using the principles from The Holistic Guide for A Healthy DogThe Forever Dog, Feeding Dogs by Conor Brady, and Dr Judy Morgan's Yin and Yang Nutrition for Dogs, Harry is a happy, healthy, 14.5-year-old. All of these lessons have given her other dogs, Sally (12), and Fizz (10) healthy, long lives as well.  Wendy would like to see everyone live a fulfilling life with laughter and good memories with their best friends.

Contributors

We are proud to have these incredible professionals share their expertise and wisdom with The Wholesome Dog community. 

Michelle Thomas (she/her)

Michelle holds a bachelor of science in Veterinary Technology from Michigan State University's School of Veterinary Medicine. She has several years of experience working in clinical veterinary practices as a technician. She left working in clinical practice to focus full time on helping dogs & cats on a deeper level through nutrition in 2020. Since then she has been on her own journey of healing and energetic work and has incorporated this into her practice. By tapping into intuition and confirming with biofeedback Michelle can provide recommendations that are customized and in tune with your pets unique needs. Michelle also recognizes the deep importance that emotions and energetics play in our pets health. She helps to identify these emotional blocks and share tools to help support your pet in clearing these blocks. 

Michelle lives in Vermont with her 2 children, 3 rescue mutts & 4 cats. 

Christine Colmanico, DVM (she/her)

Dr. Christine, the co-founder of Jope (Joy of Pets), fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. Her motivation arose from the experience of her cherished companion, Pepsi, who battled osteoarthritis. Driven by a mission to enrich the golden years of our furry friends, she honors Pepsi's memory through Jope, empowering pet parents with effective, natural solutions.

 

Dr. Christine, a Toulouse Veterinary School graduate with valuable experiences from renowned institutions in the United States and Australia, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of senior pets, emphasizing improved mobility. Fluent in English, French, and Spanish, she's unwavering in her commitment to pet lover education. Her extensive pharmaceutical and veterinary industry background solidifies her seasoned professional status.

bottom of page