Nutrition Counselling for Pets

Nutrition counselling helps us guide you about the best type of food to feed your pet, based on their specific needs. There are hundreds of pet foods on the market, all in various sizes and quantities. It can be difficult to decide which ones will provide your pet with all the nutrients they need. The goal of nutrition counselling is to find a diet that meets all your pet’s health needs.

Did you know our Registered Veterinary Technicians are here to help if your pet needs to lose a few pounds? Ask us about our Pet Fit Program for weight loss tips, diet recommendations and a tailored plan to help your pet return to their optimal weight.

Why do I need nutrition counselling?

No two pets have the same nutritional needs, even if they belong to the same breed. Factors like age, breed and health status can affect the nutritional requirements to meet their daily needs. Our veterinary team of experts have a wealth of nutritional knowledge, based on years of working in the practice as well as extensive training, allowing them to make the best recommendations, specific to your furry friend.

What factors influence nutrition recommendations?

Your pet’s diet will change throughout their lifetime, depending on their current life stage. Since pets age at a rapid rate and develop more health issues as they become senior, it’s recommended they have ongoing nutrition counselling. For example, geriatric animals have significantly different requirements than young, growing puppies or kittens. It isn’t uncommon for your pet to be moved through five different diet choices throughout their life stages, depending on their age, lifestyle and possible diseases. We understand misleading pet food commercials can make it overwhelming to make the right choice for your furry family member. We are happy to discuss your pet and their needs at any time when you visit or phone into the hospital at 519.624.9760.

What is a veterinary exclusive diet?

Veterinary exclusive diets go through a series of tests that ensure your furry friend’s food meets a high quality of safety and nutrition. Depending on their dietary needs, we might recommend a specific food for your pet. We carry a variety of veterinary exclusive diets for:

  • Diabetes management
  • Kidney disease management
  • Liver disease management
  • Allergy management
  • Food sensitivities
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Joint/Mobility management
  • Weight management or weight loss

    Grocery Store vs. Veterinary Exclusive Diets

    All pet foods sold in grocery stores and pet stores will have an AAFCO claim on their label. So do the exclusive veterinary diets we carry. However, AAFCO does not regulate, test, approve or certify pet foods in any way. AAFCO establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods, and it is the pet food company’s responsibility to formulate their products according to the appropriate AAFCO standard.

    One big difference in the exclusive veterinary diets is that they go far beyond most pet food companies with further testing on their products to ensure product quality and safety.

    Testing Beyond AAFCO Trials

  • Palatability feeding trials
  • Digestibility feeding trials
  • Blood parameters
  • Relative Supersaturation trials
  • Stool conformation
  • Amino acid analysis
  • Fatty acid analysis
  • Toxicology studies and stability data
  • Clinical trials for efficacy in conjunction with vets and pet owners
  • Peer-reviewed research

    In terms of product safety at the Veterinary Exclusive food plants, the centrepiece of the laboratory is the use of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). It is a system that compares the “fingerprint” of an ingredient to a database of standards.If the NIRS results for the incoming ingredient do not match the standard, then the ingredient is rejected before unloading. The consequence of this remarkable technology is that pet owners can be assured that the Exclusive Veterinary products are free of any contamination and are safe.

    The lines of pet food we carry also perform safety inspections to ensure product safety. In doing this, we feel the pet foods we carry in our hospital are not only the most researched but the most nutritious and safest products on the market. With some of the recent pet food recalls, we want to make sure your pet is eating safe, healthy, and nutritious food.

    Do exclusive veterinary diets cost a lot more?

    The answer is often no! Most people were surprised when our nutrition display in our reception area showed foods from the pet store and our shelf in comparison. We were able to prove that on a cost per cup basis, each was on par and in some instances, the pet store food was a little more. One more great thing – If your pet doesn’t eat our food, you can return the bag for a full refund!

Pet Education

What is Heartworm?

Heartworm is a blood parasite that poses severe health risks to pets in Ontario. Heartworms live in the heart and the blood vessels that supply the lungs.

Read More
See All Articles

Dear Clients,

The team at Animal Hospital of Cambridge would like to take a moment and thank you for your loyalty. We know the last couple of years have not been simple as we've worked throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, so we thank you for your patience and support. As always, your veterinary care team has your best interests in mind, which is why we're announcing the fall & winter protocol throughout the remainder of this page. This protocol takes effect as of Nov. 1st 2021, so please read carefully.

Fall & Winter Protocol

We will proceed with certain restrictions in order to help prevent infections (of COVID-19) combined with the fall/winter flu season ahead. AHOC has decided to make a limited public entry into the hospital in an effort to reduce the risk of the virus being spread. All clients must wear a face mask properly when entering our hospital. Please use the hand sanitizer stations provided. For any clients who can not mask, we can still serve you with curb-side care protocols.

We will limit the quantity of people internally in the following ways:

  • 4 People max will be permitted to enter the doors to the right for food and prescription pick ups
  • 1 Person and 1 pet will enter the doors to the left when directed by staff and be allowed into the designated, sanitized exam room for VET appointments only
  • Appointments like nails trims, blood collection, weigh-ins, and anal gland expression will continue to be curb-side care

  • Walk-in For Food & Prescription Pick ups

    For those people just stopping by to pick up food or prescriptions you may enter without phoning. We ask you to abide by our 4 people max protocol which will allow for social distancing. 2 people being served and 2 people waiting. You will see blue floor markers to aid with social distancing guidelines. Please line up out the door to the right if there are already 4 people in our lobby.

    Phone When You Arrive For Your Pet's Appointment

    We will be asking you to call in at 519.624.9760 when you arrive for your appointment. Our customer service representatives or Registered Vet Tech's will ask you about your pet and for your cell number so that we can direct you with next steps for your appointment type. We may need you to wait in your car for a moment while we prepare/sanitize the exam room for your appointment with the Veterinarian. We will ask you to fill out our COVID screening consent form once you are inside the exam room. All clients should remain inside the exam room for the duration of their pets appointment.

    Non-Vet Appointments = Curb-side Protocol

    Once we have confirmed with you what needs to be done for your pet we will ask you to release your pet into our main entrance (vestibule), where one of our staff members will bring your pet inside for their procedure while you wait in your car (please let us know if you arrive by taxi or public transit). We will call you when we are finished and may process your payment over the phone upon discharge, or if our lobby is free, you can come pay inside.

    Do We Have Your Email on File?

    Please continue to phone us to book your appointment 519.624.9760. Please make sure we have a current email on file for you. It is important for us to have a secondary line of communication with you. Having an email on file is essential for you to receive important communications like: vaccine reminders, newsletters, information about pet product recalls, and other special handouts your veterinarian may wish to share with you as it relates to your pets health.

    Additionally, our internal efforts to keep phone lines open by our support staff & Veterinarians means they may call you from one of our internal cell phones, which will read "private number." Please be sure to answer the call when they call.

    Ordering Pet Food and Prescription Refills

    If you would like to pre-order pet food and/or ask for a prescription refill, you may do so by sending an email to ahoc.orderdesk@gmail.com. Please make sure to provide your full name, pet's name, the item you are requesting (please specify quantity or size) and the phone number we have your file listed under. We will process your order within 24-48 hours (emails are checked Monday to Friday) and will notify you when your order is ready.

    Once again, we thank you for your patience & support as we navigate this fluid situation. If you have any questions, send an email to info@ahoc-ph.com.


    Animal Hospital of Cambridge