Pet Counseling

Nutritional Counseling

The nutritional needs of pets change as they age, and pet food labels can be difficult to interpret. The veterinarians of VCA Desert Inn Animal Hospital are specially trained on pet nutrition and regularly consult with pet owners to select foods that best meet individual needs.

How do veterinarians determine the best pet food choices?

Pets age much faster than people, and their bodies require different nutrients at the different stages of life to remain healthy. In addition to the proper balance of nutrients and the quality of the pet foods themselves, proper pet nutrition is determined by balancing a number of different factors including:

  • Species
  • Breed
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Health issues
  • Dental condition

Aren’t all pet food brands the same?

Some pet food companies have researched pet nutrition and have put high quality products into their pet foods. Other companies may assure that their products contain substances like protein but do not choose quality sources of protein for their food. The veterinarians of VCA Desert Inn Animal Hospital will provide pet owners with different pet food brand options like the Purina Veterinary Diet line that have proven quality products and will meet pets’ needs.

Does my pet need nutritional supplements?

Most of a pet’s general dietary needs can be met with high quality pet foods, but nutritional supplements are used to help pets with special medical conditions. The veterinarians of VCA Desert Inn Animal Hospital evaluate each pet’s health, age, breed, and risk factors and will make specific recommendations on any supplements that would be of benefit.

Our veterinarians have developed their own line of high-quality nutritional supplements, and we also carry a wide variety of commercially available supplements. For example, Purina’s FortiFlora is an excellent probiotic supplement carried in our pet pharmacy that can aid with digestive issues in pets.

Should I be concerned about my pet’s weight?

About 50% of the cats and dogs in the United States are considered obese or overweight. Overweight pets are at a much greater risk for health problems, including:

  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Respiratory disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Joint and ligament conditions

Our veterinarians will advise pet owners on the proper amount and type of food to feed their pets to maintain excellent weight control.

VCA Desert Inn Animal Hospital also encourages all pet owners to exercise their pets to assist with weight control. For families who need assistance ensuring their pet receives adequate exercise, appointments can be made to use our pet treadmill and arrangements can be made for boarding pets to exercise on the treadmill as well.

If you desire to consult with our veterinarians on your pet’s nutritional needs, contact VCA Desert Inn Animal Hospital today.