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Animal Hospital of Cambridge 519-624-9760

Nutrition Counselling for Pets

Tailored guidance and support optimizing a pet’s overall well-being through proper dietary choices.

Nutrition Counselling for Pets

Tailored guidance and support optimizing a pet’s overall well-being through proper dietary choices.

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!

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