About the Founder
Amy Granillo, CHN, DipCN, CertCN
SoCal Raw Fed Dogs: Sprouted 2016 • Est. 2017
Instead of writing about myself in the third-person & bullet pointing my applicable credentials, I thought I’d tell you about myself & my why’s.
THE BIG WHY- I love dogs. My dogs are family & I feed my family the best I can so they can live long + healthful lives so, to me, it is a no brainer to do the same for my animals who cannot take care of themselves; being that Labradors don’t have thumbs & are basically perpetual toddlers! There are thousands of people in the world who feel the same way as I do; so I created an online community where they can hang out. I love dogs and helping them thrive through optimal nutrition so much.
THE DIET FORMULATING- I was going to school for canine nutrition and doing as much self-directed education as I could while learning to formulate canine diets before there was a SoCal Raw Fed Dogs Facebook group. (We actually started on the GroupMe app!) Learning about canine nutrition and raw and cooked diets took me down the rabbit hole to interesting foods that are easier to get in bulk, which led me to look for a co-op, of which there wasn’t any, so that led me to start one with the goal of providing nutritious foods that I was learning were appropriate in school.
I’ve completed thousands of hours in formal education, training, & mentorship; researching & writing guides + articles & designing raw diet calculators. I have spent the past several years working directly with dog owners, dog food company owners, and Veterinarians in the hands-on practical application of diet formulation. As time has gone by, my career has grown and evolved & I have developed my own diet formulating program for my professional use & built meal building systems for client use, and I do a lot of teaching via group workshops, 1:1 consultations & pet nutrition events.
I formulate and teach about a variety of diet guidelines/methods: Canine Ancestral, NRC, FEDIAF, AAFCO & therapeutic plans. At the time this about me section was last revised in 2021, I have now worked directly with nearly two thousand dogs. I love every minute of it!
ACCREDITATIONS – I’ve been teaching professionals for the past 12 years about how to create strong brands and build successful businesses. As I got further along in my education and experience with canine nutrition and diet formulation, I began receiving requests to teach about it and so that is when I launched my first raw feeding course, which was in late 2017. I pursued my accreditation with The CPD Group as a CPD provider and also set up to have CPD accreditation for a couple of my workshops and courses; I can be found on the international CPD Registry. This is an accreditation that I keep up with annually. In 2019 I created my Canine Nutrition Professional (CNP™) Certificate Program & in 2021 I received CPD activity eligible accreditation for it, which has to be maintained annually as well. The program is a professional-level, mastery & business-building program for aspiring or existing canine nutritionists and raw diet formulators. Upon successful completion, students are certified to use the designation CNP after their name. My program is copyrighted and the designation is trademarked™ and currently processing for federal registration® at the time of this last about me section revision in 2021.
I get to teach canine nutrition enthusiasts and professionals from all over the globe and I love it!
HOW I GOT HERE + MY FOUNDATION CANINE NUTRITION EDUCATION- I grew up raw feeding my Gramma’s animals & when I had dogs later in my college years I always fed a hybrid of raw and kibble. Fast forward to the summer of 2016, when I had a new puppy who was not doing well on the kibble that was required in the breeder’s health contract, the knowledge of how Gramma taught me to raw feed as a kid, & a thirst to learn all that was current & correct about raw feeding for dogs. I took a class on general pet nutrition & moved forward to my first diploma level master course in canine nutrition. I also invested a small fortune in animal nutrition books that year, lol. (Textbooks you want to keep are always so expensive.) Many of these sit open on my desk daily and are used in practical applications with my own dogs and clients. That same year, I took my first series of dog breeding courses about topics such as genetics, nutrition influences on reproduction, and whelping intervention. I have since devoted countless hours to self-paced CEUs and live seminars, while also investing in direct mentorship regarding breeding dogs.
In early 2017 I took two focused programs simultaneously; a 225-hour canine nutrition certification program, earning my certificate (CertCN) & a 9-hour science-based mastery certification course on formulating a balanced raw diet. In the late spring, I finished a 75-hour canine health and nutrition program earning a certificate of completion. A bit later I completed a 240-hour program also in canine health and nutrition, earning my diploma (DipCN) and it was during that time I put together the grassroots raw feeding co-op SoCal Raw Fed Dogs (SCRFD) which brought me the opportunity to meet the most amazing dog owners. At their widespread sharing of the co-op and their repeated requests for more high-grade raw and balanced recipes for their dogs, SCRFDs organically grew into the company it is today.
During all this time, over the past years, I have been raising puppies at all stages of life from whelp to adulthood, dedicated time to getting educated about how to best feed them, and sought out intensive mentorship from veterinarian nutritionists and canine nutrition professionals who specialize in growth. Puppies are an intricate stage of life to work with because every puppy needs to be fed for its body and lifestyle. It’s thrilling work. To put it in Southern California terms, puppies are my jam! lol.
PRE-VETERINARY DEGREE IN PROGRESS & OTHER CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION- In August 2019, I began attending the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, where I completed a Graduate Certificate Program in Companion Animal Nutrition (non-degree program), and I am working towards my second bachelor’s degree; this program is in animal science; pre-veterinary medicine track, with a focused concentration in companion animal nutrition. I’m not making a career change; I am in the (long) process of pursuing my PhD and this is part of the path I’ve chosen to get there. Three of my degree program classes also went towards the graduate certificate in companion animal nutrition.
WHAT I SPECIALIZE IN- I love to formulate for all dogs but I have a concentrated focus on teaching & formulating balanced diets for puppies with emphasis on large & extra large breeds.
WHO I AM- I’m a dog lover with a background in computer technology & human nutrition so I find the science of formulating diets for dogs a natural fit.
When I was little, you could find me barefoot with wild hair, carrying whatever dog or cat was my best friend that day looking for blackberries. An animal lover & a Gramma’s girl, I spent the early years helping raw feed Gramma’s cats & dogs. It was bone-in meat + heart/liver minces with fish & milk for the cats and bone-in chicken with liver + green beans for dogs; of course, I shared the blackberries with them! Who knew those early days smashing salmon patties and tossing chicken scraps would end up here?! —> Anecdote: Her pets ate what we gasp at today in the companion animal nutrition world, and they all lived to be in their late teens, her beloved Siamese passing from a fall at 17 years old.
Being a free-spirit in my core & a technology nerd by trade, I tumbled into the world of brand design & I’ve spent the past twelve years in my studio creating brands & teaching women how to grow their businesses, so they too can own their own time.
The year I opened my studio I was diagnosed with a health issue & dove into all that is holistic. A brand client of mine at the time was a Certified Nutritional Practitioner in Canada & at her urging, I learned about holistic nutrition & began healing myself. In 2012, I completed and earned my credentials in holistic nutrition from AFPA as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist (CHN). I’m a non-practicing CHN which means I don’t offer holistic nutrition services to humans, I went to school for myself and my family.
I feel like this section is too long & I don’t like ‘About Me’ situations in the first place, so I am going to share a couple of more applicable pieces of me and wrap it up.
CANINE GUT HEALTH, HERBALISM + FUNCTIONAL FOOD THERAPY- Gut health & plant-based protocols are two areas I like to learn about, so I spent 10 months of 2018 under the tutelage of Lorene Sauro, RHN; a registered & board certified Practical Holistic Nutritionist learning more about gut health & fermentation. I took her certified mastery program for my holistic nutrition CEUs & now I teach private workshops to dog owners about the benefits of fermenting for their dogs & how to do it. I am still a member of her group mentorship.
I have taken and still do take, various online programs about gut health and have done a lot of self-directed learning. Canine gut health is something that I work a lot with on a frequent basis & I wrote an Ebook on the topic in 2019 that is available free here on the website.
Also in 2018, I began learning more about herbs for dogs from Canine Herbalist, Rita Hogan & in February 2019, I began an indefinite mentorship program with her to expand my knowledge further about herbal protocols & proper dosages for dogs. I learn so much from Rita and apply it all daily when working with internal & external herbal protocols for clients.
In 2019 I began exploring Eastern food therapy for dogs on my own and enrolled in two self-paced online programs for dog owners. In 2020 I enrolled in a formal Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) • Veterinary Food Therapy education program for Vet students and Vets. I learned so much that I am able to now help dogs when other approaches are not working for the dog and owner. After the program, I began integrating the modality into my formulations and workshop topics. I am not able to be a CVFT because only Veterinarians are able to test for their certification and I am not a Vet.
HIGHER FORMAL EDUCATION- Currently attending the University of Illinois in the Pre-Veterinary & Medical Concentration with a focus in Companion Animal Nutrition. I attended California Southern University for my Bachelor of Business Administration degree & I have a graduate certificate in Companion Animal Nutrition, master certificates in Project Management and Government Contract Management, a professional certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, and I’m a AFPA Certified Holistic Nutritionist.
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS/AFFILIATIONS– Vet Vine, Peer Reviewer with Elsevier Research Academy and the Journal of Molecular Biology.
PROFESSIONAL AWARDS- Women in Technology’s Sunshine Award (2006) • President George H.W. Bush’s Daily Point of Light Award #4990 (2013) • President’s Volunteer Service Award (2017 & 2018)