10 Feb Can a Vet Offer Pet Nutritional Advice? / Do I Need A Pet Nutritionist?
( By Corinna Underwood )
Most veterinarians have basic training in animal nutrition and many more take the time to research during their career but there are times when you may need a pet nutritionist?
“[It] depends on the knowledge and comfort of the individual veterinarian. Most are trained to answer basic questions about pet diet, but if it’s more specific, they may want to refer to a board-certified nutritionist,” explains expert veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber.
Always a firm believer in supplemental diets, Dr. Jeff teamed up with a board-certified animal nutritionist to create his range of pet health products.
What is a Pet Nutritionist?
Pet nutritionists specialize in how specific nutrients affect pet health. Typically, they have had extensive training in whole-body animal health and have a deep understanding of how a healthy microbiome can keep your companion healthy. This means they can help with treating or managing many conditions.
When to Consult a Pet Nutritionist
Most pet owners understand that poor pet nutrition can cause health issues in dogs and cats. But it’s very difficult for pet parents to know that their best friend is allergic to certain ingredients or is lacking certain nutrients. Often this goes unnoticed until symptoms appear, or a diagnosis is made.
You may want to consult a pet nutritionist if:
- Your companion needs a therapeutic diet: If your furry friend has a medical condition, such as cardiac disease, arthritis, or kidney disease, he can benefit from a special diet. A pet nutritionist can design one to suit your pet’s health needs.
- Your pet has a food allergy: Both cats and dogs may have pet food allergies. A pet nutritionist can perform tests that will enable her to isolate the problematic allergen. She will then be able to create a diet plan that excludes it.
- Your furry friend has multiple health issues: If your companion has a combination of allergies and chronic disease, a nutritionist can devise a specially formulated diet that will address all his conditions.
- Your dog or cat is overweight: A pet nutritionist can advise you on a healthy diet that will help your pet regain and maintain a healthy weight.
How a Pet Nutritionist Can Help
They can customize a diet plan that will fit your pet’s needs as well as yours: Every dog and cat can benefit from a personalized diet plan. Your nutritionist will design a plan that offers the best nutritional support for your companion and suits your pocket. She can also advise you on what nutrients you need to include if you prefer to make your pet food at home.
They can use their nutritional expertise to address your pet’s health issues: It doesn’t matter if your pet has one or a combination of health issues, or if they are seniors. Nutritional changes or supplementation can help improve the symptoms of many pet health conditions. A new diet plan can also help prevent other diseases.
They can provide a holistic approach to your companion’s health: When your animal nutritionist works in combination with your regular vet, you are getting a complete health profile for your pet. This means no potential or actual health problems will go unnoticed and untreated. This helps not only to improve your pet’s health but also to prolong your pet’s life.
Consulting a pet nutritionist can save you money: In the long-term, you can save thousands of dollars because a nutritionist can help to prevent illness in your pet.
How to Find the Right Animal Nutritionist
- Ask your pet parent friends for referrals and look online.
- When you find one, do some research into their credentials and experience.
- Set up a consultation and come prepared with questions about the service they offer, such as if they have experience treating specific diseases, if they have a specialty, and what results they have seen from nutritional treatments.
- Make sure they take the time to get to know your pet and they listen to what you have to say.
Working with a pet nutritionist alongside your regular vet can ensure that your companion leads a full, happy, and healthy life that will last into his twilight years.