The Importance of Nutritional Counseling


As a responsible and passionate pet owner, you will be committed to ensuring that your pet is as healthy, happy and active as possible during their lifetime. One of the best ways to do this is to feed them the perfect balance of nutrients needed to sustain them at each point of their lives. When they are young, they need certain nutrients to allow them to develop and grow, and as adults, their nutrition helps them to maintain their weight and remain healthy. If your pet becomes unwell, the right vitamins, minerals and more can manage or even resolve their condition.


It is our responsibility to ensure that our pets get the right nutrition. However, unless you are trained in veterinary medicine, knowing exactly what your pet needs can be confusing and overwhelming. Fortunately, many vets now offer nutritional counseling which can take the stress of deciding what your pet should eat out of your hands.


How Does my Vet Know what Nutrition my Pet Needs?


Determining the right balance of nutrients to enable your pet to be at optimal health, and recommending the right foods to achieve this goal, is something that any veterinarian that offers nutritional counseling is trained to do. To do this, they will evaluate a number of different factors including your pet’s age, current weight and any health problems that could benefit from dietary changes. If you have a female, whether she is pregnant or nursing will also be considered.


It is important to be aware that an animal’s nutritional requirements do change over time and it isn’t unusual for your veterinarian to recommend dietary changes several times during your pet’s lifetime. For this reason, nutritional counseling appointments are recommended every 12-24 months to ensure that your pet is always getting the very best nutrition.


What Health Problems can the Right Nutrition Help With?


Animals are just as likely to suffer from health problems as we are. Fortunately, dietary changes have been found to be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of and treating a number of different conditions. These include:


  • Arthritis

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

  • Liver problems

  • Kidney disease

  • Thyroid disorders

  • Food intolerances

  • Lower urinary tract disease

  • Obesity, which is the leading cause of many health problems in pets as well as humans


What Can I Expect From Nutritional Counseling?


Every animal is unique and will have individual dietary requirements, and this can mean that nutritional counseling appointments vary somewhat. However, most involve some or all of the following elements:


  • A comprehensive evaluation of your pet’s dietary requirements.

  • Recommendations as to the diet that your pet should follow based on their individual needs. This will include details on types and brands of feed that are suitable.

  • Advice on portion control.

  • Advice for pets that are pregnant or nursing (if appropriate).

  • A schedule of mealtimes.

  • Guidance on giving your pet treats, including how often and the type of treatment that they can have.

  • General advice on maintaining a healthy weight and the perils of pet obesity.

  • Recommendations for dietary supplements your pet would benefit from (if applicable).

  • Guidance on how to switch your pet to a new brand or type of feed.

  • Follow-up appointments to check how well your pet’s new diet is working out.




If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss nutritional counseling for your pet, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our veterinary team in Lakeville, MN today.