Ask the Veterinary Nutritionist

Do you have a specific question related to pet nutrition?

Our database contains over 1200 questions asked by pet owners and veterinarians.  Enter a search term, then use the "topic" filter if you would like to narrow your search further.  If you don't find an answer here, submit your question and a nutritionist will respond to your questions as best possible. Email responses will come from intelligen@aciemails.com.

We believe pets make us better people.
Donations provide nutritional consultations to disabled military and seniors citizens with sick pets.
If you wish to make a contribution for the information you have received, please click to donate.

Thank you for your contribution!

  • My husband feeds our small dog (purchased from a breeder) K-9 Kraving raw dog food because the breeder recommended it. (https://www.k-9kraving.com). The dog doesn't even like it and only eats it when he's really hungry. I have given my husband all the facts as to why raw dog food is a bad idea, i.e. FDA, CDC recommendations etc. Any other ideas on how to reason with him?
  • We believe you to be correct about feeding raw dog foods, but sorry ..... we do not provide recommendations on how to handle husbands.

     
  • What are the ideal percentages of protein and fat for giant breed puppies in a dry food?
  • There are no known ideals. There are published dietary recommendations from AAFCO, NRC and FEDIAF that are used to formulate diets. More is not necessarily better. These dietary recommendations are a good starting point, and then adjustments should be made as needed for an individual dog. 
  • Looking for advice on the company "The Farmer's Dog". Its is veterinarian approved and a healthy option for my pet.
  • Sorry, I am not clear about what you are asking us. Please call the office for more information.
    We do recommend products for specific pets with medical conditions but do not evaluate companies.
    You should also know that there is no legal or official seal called "vet approved" b/c no authority gives "vets" the option to "approve" or "disapprove" products. It is a bogus claim. Companies may make such a claim, but it only illustrates to the world that they do not know about what they speak. They may have a vet on staff, or they may have a vet and a nutritionist, or they may have consulted with a veterinary nutritionist …. 3 different types of professionals. ‚Äč"Vet Recommended" is a valid claim (different from “vet approved”) in that companies must have a statistically sound survey of veterinarians' preferences on file.
     
  • I have two 14-week-old cavapoos. They are currently on the kibble they were sent home with but would like to transition them to a fresh diet. Most seem to be grain free, and my vet recommends grains with their diet since this breed is predisposed to heart issues. Can I add grains myself to fresh, grain-free food? If so, what would be the healthiest grains to add? Brown rice? Thank you
  • You will likely UN balance the diet if you add "grains" to a grain free diet.
    Besides, adding grains or feeding grains in any diet is NOT going to prevent heart disease DCM. 
  • What is the best joint support supplement out there for dogs? Also, source of calcium?
  • It depends on knowing the specifics of YOUR dog.
    It depends on knowing the calcium concentration in the current diet.
  • There is a holistic veterinarian who claims that the following recipe is nutritionally balanced and complete. Several people feed this recipe but before I do I was wondering your opinion.

    3 pounds beef (90% lean)
    8 ounces beef heart
    5 ounces beef liver
    20 ounces chicken gizzards
    3 cans sardines in water, minus the juice
    6 ounces mussels (3 teaspoons kelp could replace the mussels for trace minerals)
    2 teaspoons ground fresh ginger
    5 eggs with shell
    3 ounces red pepper
    5 ounces mixed dark leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach)
    4 ounces broccoli
    6 ounces butternut squash
    3 tablespoons flax seed or grape seed oil
    4 ounces cranberries
    4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • I would not recommend feeding this diet without seeing a nutrient profile.
  • What supplements do I include ,when making homemade dog food
  • You will need a vitamin mineral supplement specifically designed (reverse engineered) for completing a homemade diet.
    There are only a few on the market with that claim.
  • I would like to find the MER for my 1 yo miniature dachshund female that is NOT spayed so I can figure out if she is getting enough calories .. Thank you
  • You can do the calculation BUT that can be off by as much as 50% for an individual pet.
    The best measure of calorie intake in body weight  (high, low or just right).
  • I have a pug/dauschund that weights 29.5 lbs. He eats 360 calories a day between vital Essential raw patties and Vital essential dry patties that I break up for treats throughout the day. He is over weight by 2.5 lbs. He is 3 years old and get some exercise with walks.
    I really want to manage his weight the best I can with the best meal plan. What do you suggest??
  • The dog is apparently close to 10% over weight (2.5/27). Given the breeds and probably neutered, he is most likely more than 2.5 lbs overweight. In order to receive a nutritionally complete and balanced diet for all essential nutrients but for calories, you must feed a product specifically designed for weight loss. Nothing in the OTC market is designed specifically for weight loss because that is considered a medical condition that should be supervised: 1) to be sure there are no hormonal conditions causing the weight loss, and 2) to monitor body weight loss is fat and not muscle. Foods in the OTC market are toted as low calorie or weight maintenance, etc. but NOT for weight loss. There is a distinct difference. You are feeding food with more than 20% fat. You will not be able to get weight loss unless feeding a food with less ~10% fat and designed for weight loss. The very best advice is to first determine of the reason for the weight gain with a physical exam, blood work and diet history. If it is related solely to calorie intake, then feed a low 6-8% fat food at 90% of estimated caloric need, weigh the dog weekly.


     
  • How do I get a diet recommendation for low fat and high fibre?
  • If the pet had a medical condition, then we suggest a nutrition consult. We certainly can help with those questions but only within a Nutrition Consultation for legal and ethical reasons. You may begin at www.PetDiets.com / Services / Nutrition Consult, select ‘Pet Owner’, and then select a consultation type. The fee is $500 (USD) which includes a Teleconsult (phone or video) conference with a nutritionist. Written recommendations are sent to you and your veterinarian within days of the conference. Follow-up questions can be handled by phone or email and there are no additional fees for fielding questions or helping to resolve immediate unforeseen problems.

    If your pet has no medical issues, you may obtain a balanced homemade recipe using our automated homemade recipe module for adult pets. Go to www.petdiets.com / 'Services’ / ‘Homemade Recipes, review the process, click on ‘start your homemade recipe’ at the bottom. Log into or open an account. You may select “See all ingredient options” to see all food options or one of several specific diet types (high or low calorie, etc.). Most likely, you will be able to select the main ingredients similar to those you are now feeding. The software will re-balance your recipe properly and suggest a vitamin & trace mineral supplement. The cost is $25 for the first recipe and $12 for each thereafter purchased at the same time. Recipes are available for immediate download after payment.
     
1278 Results Found 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Next   Page 1 of 128