Friday, 07/16/2021

Your pet dog or cat is your favorite companion. You love your pets and wish to provide them a healthy and happy life. Most pet parents are aware that they should not share their food with their pets. The nutritional needs of pets differ from humans. Many pet owners prefer homemade diets for their pets.

Now, are food allergies affecting the health of your pets? Are your pets suffering from multiple medical conditions? Are you confused about what could be the perfect food for your furry friends? In some medical conditions like kidney disease in cats, your cat needs a prescription diet.

Your veterinarian would refer to an animal nutritionist for a pet-specific diet plan. Consulting a board-certified veterinary nutritionist is essential to get a customized diet plan as per the medical condition of your pet. Let us find out how an animal nutritionist helps to keep your pets healthy and happy.

Significance of A Complete and Balanced Diet For Pets

The quality of your pet’s diet influences various aspects of their lives. A complete nutritional fulfillment through pet food, some treats, and supplements is essential to keep your dog or cat healthy and happy. Along with your pet’s health and overall wellbeing, a balanced diet helps keep their fur and skin coat healthy and shiny.

There cannot be one standard diet chart for all your cats, dogs, or the other pets you have. The dietary requirements vary according to age, breed, the possibility of food allergies, and any underlying medical conditions. Feeding home-cooked food and treats can be an option. However, the recipes for the pet diet need to be approved by a professional veterinary nutritionist to avoid nutritional deficiencies and similar issues.

The Meaning of Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist

Becoming a board-certified veterinary nutritionist is a challenging process. Like you hear about doctors specializing in cardiology, dermatology, orthopedics, and more, the veterinarians select pet food or animal food as their specialization. The reputed institutions like the American College of Veterinary Nutrition offer a comprehensive continual education in this domain.

To become a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, students complete their four years of schooling at reputed veterinary institutions. Apart from that, they need to gain at least one year of clinical experience. During their clinical experience period and residency, these nutritionists focus on research on animal diets and dietary management of healthy animals and patients of some diseases.

They specialize in the eating habits of various animals, concerning medicine, training, and consultations to manage nutrients in animal diets. The veterinarians specialized in animal nutrition can suggest remedies formulated with the desired set of nutrients in the ideal proportion to help animals like pet dogs, cats, and many more overcome nutritional deficiencies and other health issues.

About The American College of Veterinary Nutrition

The American College of Veterinary Nutrition offers residency programs for vets willing to specialize in pet nutrition. After completing a degree in veterinary medicine, students can enroll for the residency program of at least 2 years, gain at least one year of clinical experience to manage diets for healthy pets and pets undergoing one or more health issues. They pass board examinations to create a place in the prestigious directory of ACVN Diplomates.

When Should You Take Your Pet To A Veterinary Nutritionist?

Well, there is no straightforward answer to this question. There may be varied reasons when your vets may recommend you take your pet to a veterinary nutritionist for a detailed consultation. 

Let us go through some key reasons:

  • Medical Conditions

The concept of a balanced diet may differ based on the medical conditions your pet might be going through. Some medical conditions, like cancer, cardiac disease, kidney-related disorders, and allergies may alter your pet’s nutritional requirements.

You are usually recommended to feed a therapeutic diet during these conditions. To make you understand your pet’s dietary needs and get the necessary training, your vet may refer you to a professional pet nutritionist.

Pet nutritionists can design specially formulated diets for specific pets undergoing certain medical conditions. Preparing or suggesting the specially made diet needs lots of clinical research and experience.

  • Specific Feeding Requirements

Some diseases require a diet with unique feeding methods, like a liquid diet fed through a tube. Veterinarians refer you to nutritionists to get the diet designed and understand the process of feeding.

You may not be well-versed with the nutriment needs in some conditions, for example – fatty liver disease in cats. A professional veterinary nutritionist can recommend a diet plan and explain the ideal way to feed the liquid using a tube.

  • Home-Made Diet

If you prefer a homemade diet for your pets, it would be better to consult an animal nutritionist for suggestions. The pet nutritionist can analyze your ideas and recommend recipes for a balanced diet for the pets. Always make sure that your homemade diets are approved by a veterinary nutritionist.

The food you provide your pets should contain all necessary nutrients to make it a balanced diet. Choosing suitable homemade diets as per your pets’ age, sex, weight, breed, and other factors is essential. The experts can help you modify your nourishment for your furry friends.

  • Pet Obesity

Abnormal weight gain among pets has been a crucial issue. Pet obesity may invite several other health issues. If you check and find that your pet has gained some extra weight, it’s time to book a consultation session with a vet nutritionist. The professional nutritionist helps you strategize your pet’s nourishment for weight loss.

  • Diet Plan Consultation

Even when nothing is wrong, and if you wish to know more about pet food and nutrition, you can consult a vet nutritionist. The best way is to make effective use of the expertise of the nutritionists to determine if the diets comply with the standards.

Understanding the nutritional needs of your dog, cat, or other pets and learning feeding techniques is suitable for every responsible pet owner. Every pet is special and unique. The nutritionists can examine your pet and recommend an individualized diet plan as per your pet’s specific nutritional requirements.

Benefits of Consulting Veterinary Nutritionists

Usually, a pet owner takes the pets to a veterinarian for checkups whenever they fall ill. However, considering your pet’s food-related needs and challenges is equally essential. Consulting a vet nutritionist opens up many possibilities. A pro nutritionist can bring many positive influences to the health and overall wellbeing of your pet.

Here are some significant benefits of an animal nutritionist:

  • Experience and Expertise

The health of your pets is closely connected with the nutrition you provide through diets. Animal nutritionists specialize in ideal nourishment for dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and many other pets. You cannot overlook the specialized experience these experts have in designing a healthy diet for different pets.

  • How Diet Affects The Health of Your Pets

They are the experts in addressing various health issues through balanced nourishment or a pet-specific food plan. To tackle problems that start with malnutrition or wrong food, nutritionists should be your go-to option. They know how food affects the health of pets and other animals.

Thus, they can determine the best-suited eating requirements and feeding techniques for your particular pet comprehensively.

  • Customized Diet Plan for Your Pet

If you feed the right food in the right way, most patients recuperate faster. Nutritionists help you choose from commercial pet foods offered by several reputed manufacturers and healthy home-cooked recipes, or a combination of both.

They possess the ability to draw a roadmap of proper food, delivering the desired nutrition for your pet dog, cat, and many other pets. The diets and feeding schedule they suggest would help your pets lead a healthy life.

  • Collaboration with Vets

Many nutritionists work closely with their veterinarian partners to address any disease caused due to food-related issues.

Apart from thorough clinical research and veterinary medicine-related matters, vet and nutritionists may help patients survive and overcome issues by suggesting proper food.

  • Savings in the Long Run

Many pet owners might be worried about the money they need to spend on consultations with these pet nutrition experts. ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’ As your pet remains healthy and playful due to the suggestions of a nutritionist, that saves you further health-related expenses and stress in the long run.

The commercial pet food offered by reputed companies and food and treat recipes at home with raw ingredients leave you confused. It’s time to stop experimenting and get expert advice on what your furry pals should eat from the right person.

You can develop a chart explaining what your pet should eat and when during just one or two visits. The records you maintain would help you provide balanced nutrition to your pets for months to come.

How To Find A Professional Veterinary Nutrition Specialist?

Modern-day pet owners usually search for solutions for their cute friends using the power of the internet. Searching for pet nutritionists online is convenient, time-saving, and result-driven. Use your browser-enabled devices to search for pet nutritionists near you.

Image-Alt: Find and contact veterinary nutritionists online

Credit: Image from Unsplash by

Our platform,, is a recognized online vet database for pet parents in the US. Simply log on to our platform and search for general veterinarians, vet clinics, hospitals, and specialists like veterinary nutritionists, cardiologists, and dermatologists based on your location.

The veterinarian database allows you to search veterinarians near you. You can search for veterinary nutritionists in your neighborhood conveniently. Browse through the clinic profiles and book an appointment with the best-rated nutritionist in your area. This method saves you valuable time and helps you find a specialist through some clicks or taps on your devices, like desktops, laptops, tab phones, or smartphones.

Is Homemade Pet Food Good For Your Pets?

Most pet parents might be passionate about cooking for their dogs and cats, and other pets. Many manufacturers and companies offer pet food. Every reputed company offering pet food like kibble, raw meat, and different varieties claims to use the right ingredients to make it a complete and balanced pet diet. Thus, whether packaged pet food or homemade food is better for your furry pals might be best answered by a veterinarian or a nutritionist.

Take a glance at this detailed article to understand the pros and cons or dos and don’ts if you cook for your pets at home. Practically, home cooking for pets may not be for everybody. You must be conscious about the following to ensure balanced pet food:

  • Reliable source
  • The best-quality ingredients
  • Properly executed recipes

If your pet is going through any medical condition, you may need to alter its diet plan according to a nutritionist’s recommendation. Take a glance at our infographic explaining the ideal food to prevent canine cancer. The dietary needs of pets suffering from cancer would also be different from normal pets.

Most importantly, you can combine the methods to provide a healthy and nutritious diet for your pets. Better to purchase packaged whole ingredients and cook at home as per the recipe approved by your pet nutritionist. This helps you eliminate the possibilities of deficiencies and any problems due to your homemade diet.

It is wise to consult your veterinarian nutritionist to examine your pet and suggest a diet plan. You can follow the diet plan and cook for the pets at home per the nutritionists’ directives.

The Takeaway

This article takes you through the reasons for consulting veterinary nutritionists and their benefits in the long run. We hope that you understand the process these specialists go through to get board-certified. The best way to address your pets’ nutritional needs would be to get it examined by an expert and follow the schedule, ingredients, and recipes recommended by the animal nutritionists for your pet.