Ask the Veterinary Nutritionist

Do you have a specific question related to pet nutrition?

Our database contains nearly 1000 questions asked by other 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, please submit your question.  An ACVN Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist (PhD, DVM, DACVN) will directly respond to your questions as best as possible.

Submit Question

  • I have a 9 year old maltese/yorkie breed.
    During his younger years my dog Louie itched for some reason.He was not tested for allergy but the vet suggested not to feed my dog chicken but feed him lamb or venison which I did. I have been feeding him dry foods which is lamb in the morning and home cooked lamb for dinner. I don't buy canned foods because I don't like how it smell. His food is cooked very well and scoops out the fat just like our home cooked meal. It has mixed vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, 10% of oatmeal or rice, green peas, broccoli or beans, no salt. How do I know if my dog is getting a balanced diet. He is about 16 lbs.
  • The diet as you have described it is not complete or balanced. 
    If your pet has no medical issues other than needing to avoid chicken, we have an automated module for owners to obtain a balanced diet for their healthy pet.

     

    Go to www.petdiets.com. You begin the process by logging into your account or opening an account for you, your pet and link it to your Vet info, then click on 'Services:’ drop down to “Homemade Diet Recipes’. Select the “See all ingredient options” to see all of our food options or one of several specific diet types (high or low calorie, etc.). You may select ingredients similar to those you are now feeding. The software will re-balance your diet properly and suggest vitamin & trace mineral supplements. 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.

     

    Thank you for visiting PetDIETS.com!

  • is science diet a good alt. to c/d by hills my dog was just operated on for stones and dr wants her to eat c/d by hills is there something cheaper that i can buy also what type of treats can she eat her name is roxy
  • I would suggest that the Science Diet product is not specifically designed to prevent crystals and/or stones.

    Depending on the stone type, the Prescription Diet line c/d has been specifically designed, tested and has been shown to help prevent crystal formation.

    The additional $$ paid for the food has been shown to decrease your overall medical costs related to dealing with crystals or stones.

    The only question when b/c it is a 'pay me now' or 'pay me later' scenario with stones.

    Again the best web site is https://www.vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/minnesota-urolith-center/recommendations

  • My dog just had bladder stones removed and the vet prescribed "prescription food" for urinary health. I have compared the ingredients with regular dog food. Is prescription food better? Also is Raw food any better?
  • Raw is never better for stone prevention.
    Yes the prescription diets that prevent stone formation work in such that reading the label and/or comparing the ingredients DOES NOT tell the whole story:
    Do not waste your time reading the ingredient list. The dog food Advisor may have time on his hands for such a folly - most of do not.

    The type of diet and the features you are looking for all depends on the stone type.
    An excellent web site for canine and feline stones and crystals is https://www.vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/minnesota-urolith-center/recommendations
  • We have an 11 month old black lab. A few months back he had giardia and after he completed his treatments & had negative samples still had softer stools especially at night. At the vets recommendation switched his food from Fromm Large Breed puppy to a sensitive skin & stomach (American Natural Premium). His stools are better than before but his gas is enough to clear a room & his stools have a very strong odor. He has had negative stool samples so I'm not concerned about that. His food has always had chicken and am wondering if chicken could be contributing to his loose stools & gas/stool strong odor & if you have any recommendations. Although the American Natural Premium is not a puppy specific formula & he's almost a year do we need to feed him a large breed puppy since I know labs still are still growing after a year. Thank you.
  • At this age you can feed a large breed adult food.
    Odds are very good the current food contains soybean which does give some dogs flatulence.
    If you read the label and there is a soybean product listed, then try a large breed adult food with no soybean noted in the ingredient list
  • I am considering buying whole small Salmon or Arctic Charr fish for my Dogs to eat as occasional snacks as a treat.
    The product is whole fish that was previously frozen and then dehydrated and packaged for sale. I have a few friends that buy these treat for their dogs (and cats) and they find that their animals LOVE it. Would love your opinion. I am focusing on fish for Omega-3 benefits. Humans loves it, my pets should too.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids may not be viable after dehydrating the product, and certainly not at the dose recommended for therapeutic action.

    If fish is fit for human consumption (cooked)  - OK
    If not fit for human consumption (not cooked), you run the risk of giving your pet a salmon parasite.
    Salmon Poisoning Disease is a potentially fatal condition seen in dogs that eat certain types of raw fish.
    Freezing and dehydration may not kill the Salmon parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola.

  • I have an 12 week old pitbull puppy who currently weighs 17 lbs or 7.7kg. I’m really looking to feed her raw diets and I’ve heard scary stories about calcium deficiencies and not getting ratios right. What is a prime example of what a puppy of her age and breed and weight, should be eating. With that example, how many times should I be feeding her?
  • The recommended nutrient intakes are not a secret. It has been estimated by 3 diff independent organizations (AAFCO, NRC, FEDIAF). You can buy any one or all of these guidelines if you want to know the details.
    OR you could simply look on the back of the product and locate the claim of "complete and balanced" according to "feeding trials" for "growing dogs".
    IF anything less, then you might want to reconsider a different product.

    Dogs under 3 months probably do well on 4 meals/day
    Dogs 3-6 months do well with 2 meals/day
    Dogs >6 months may be fed twice a day but after 1 year could be fed once a day.
  • Is there cross-reactivity between chicken/turkey and ostrich meat?
  • The honest answer is NO ONE knows and the gold standard is the feed the proteins to that dog and see the response.
     
  • My vet gave me a recipe to feed my four dogs: pound of ground turkey, 2 cups broccoli, 2 cups spinach and two sweet potatoes. She told me to add a VetriSCIENCE multivitamin. They are fed twice a day. In the morning they are also given 1/4 hard boiled egg and some blueberries. In the afternoon, they have a teaspoon each of puréed kale, carrots and green beans. They also take a mushroom supplement and VetriSCIENCE DMG Pro for immune health. Is this balanced? I am concerned they aren't getting a balanced diet. Thanks.
  • Did you ask your vet if the recipe was balanced?

    If the vet did not have a veterinary nutritionist check the nutrient profile and balance of this recipe...... it is highly unlikely (less than a 5%) to meet either current AAFCO or NRC recommendations for dogs.

    One cannot dream up a concoction of foods. It takes additional training, skill and rather expensive software to do it correctly.

    Based on the diet as you have described it, in my experience, the diet is most likely unbalanced and has deficiencies.

  • I am a practicing veterinarian. I always recommend hydrolyzed or novel protein diets as a food trial for allergic dogs. I am often met with owners telling me they are using "grain free" food as a food trial. Did I miss something in vet school, or is grain not what causes allergies in food but rather the protein source?

    Thank you!
  • You are correct .......... the immune system only responds to a protein, not a carb or fiber or vitamin or mineral.

    The no grain marketing bliz is out of control .... so hold on to the basic principles you learned and stay strong!

    It is extremely rare (1 case in the literature) where a dog was positively reactive to isolated rice protein. The only other case in the literature is a study where dogs become allergic to purified corn protein after it had been injected IV - like a vaccine. But again it was the protein fraction – not the carb.

    The one exception clinically is when the small bowel is so inflamed and denuded that it has lost its mucosal enzymes with the normal epi cells. This is where the final end stage CHO digestion enzymes normally reside. So end stage Carb digestion can be lost with IBD and that partially digested dietary carb passes to the Large Bowel and ....... diarrhea, gas, pain etc .... will occur. So I prefer to restart severe IBD cases with a novel protein and a moderately low carb content, usually use sweet potato, and as the SI mucosa heals, the end stage carb digestive enzymes will return as the epi cells come up from the crypts and mature on lengthened villi and enzymes function returns, etc.

    Make sense?

  • I am trying to find quality food for my cats and I ran across a brand "Dr Elsey" is his food a good choice ? and how much protein from a food source should a cat have, to much protein could cause kidney problems or CVD Right ?
  • Sorry never heard of that food or that person .... I would be suspect of the product.

    The recommended daily protein is 30-40% for adult cats.

    No excessive protein intake does not cause renal disease.

1164 Results Found 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Next   Page 1 of 117