Did you know that you can consult a dog nutritionist to help you choose the best dog food for your pet? Or, that you can contact a cat nutritionist to help you determine which nutrients your cat needs to eat to best support her health? That’s right, Veterinarians aren’t the only professionals who can offer insight into your dog or cat’s dietary needs. Here’s everything you need to know about animal nutritionists so you can determine whether or not you should consult one to discuss your pet.
What Is A Dog Nutritionist?
If you’ve ever seen a dietician, nutritionist, or another doctor who specializes in providing advice about food, diet, and nutrition, then you’re familiar with the concept! An animal nutritionist, or veterinary nutritionist as they’re also called, is simply someone who offers dietary advice to pet parents regarding their cat or dog. Or horse. Or cow. Or pretty much any animal you can imagine!
While it’s most common to come across an animal nutritionist who specializes in dog diets or cat food recommendations, there are plenty of practitioners who offer dietary advice for a broader range of animals. Much like when humans seek nutritional support, veterinary nutritionists can provide general everyday advice, or targeted nutritional recommendations designed to help with a specific health condition.
What’s The Difference Between A Nutritionist And A Vet?
Some vets offer nutritional advice. And some animal nutritionists are also trained veterinarians. But, the main difference is the type of education and experience a vet gets versus an animal nutritionist.
There are countless animal nutrition programs out there, and it’s a changing field every day. But, in general, the minimal requirement is a bachelor’s degree in Animal Nutrition or a science-related field plus additional dietary and nutrient education.
There are several schools in the United States that offer a Certificate of Animal Nutrition—both as a bachelor’s program and as a continuing education program. And there are plenty of specialties that fall under the umbrella of ‘animal nutrition,’ as well.
Aside from the educational requirements, the biggest difference between veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists is the amount of time spent considering pets and their dietary needs. Veterinarians are often generalists in their knowledge and equipped to handle a host of pet-related situations. Nutritionists, on the other hand, have a specialized niche. And that’s your dog, his diet, and how it can affect the rest of his health!
Why You Should Visit A Dog Nutritionist
Is one better than the other when discussing your pet’s diet? That’s for you to decide! Of course, it’s essential to bring your pet into the Vet’s office for regular wellness checks. But, in addition to your Vet, adding a nutritionist to your pet's roster of caretakers can be beneficial. Here are some of the reasons to consider visiting an animal nutritionist:
- If Your Pets Recently Been Diagnosed With A Health Issue: There’s no denying that our pet’s diet greatly influences his overall wellness. This is especially true when he’s facing a health issue. To help your pet with this diagnosis, it’s a good idea to seek the expert advice of a nutritionist. They can help you determine which foods can best support your pets' health.
- If Your Pup Needs To Lose Some Pounds: While you might think Gidos fat rolls are seriously adorable, that extra weight can take a serious toll on your pet's overall health. And can lead to some serious health challenges as he gets older. When you want to help your dog or cat lose the extra weight, an animal nutritionist can help! They support your dog or cat with food recommendations, portion size and more.
- If Your Pup’s Pregnant Or Lactating: Pregnant dogs have different dietary needs than your average adult dog. And that’s because your sweetie’s responsible for her own body and the nutritional needs of her growing puppies. Before, during, and after your dog’s pregnancy, you should seek diet advice!
- If You’ve Noticed A Change In Your Dog’s Behavior: Of course it’s important to discuss changes to Baha’i or with your Vet. But it can also be beneficial to seek the opinion of a nutritionist expert as well. Food and diet greatly affect your dog—including the way he behaves. So, changing his diet may help with his new behavior.
- If Your Dogs Extra Active: if you have a working dog or a pet who’s more active than your average four-legend friend, you may want to check with a nutritionist to help you determine how much you should feed Fido. And to learn about which ingredients will best support his everyday demands.
- If Your Dog’s Entering His Golden Years: As we age, our bodies aren’t able to absorb as many nutrients from our food as they once could. The same is true for your pet. And seeking advice from a dog nutritionist may be beneficial to help you determine which food you should feed your senior dog, how much he should eat and whether or not additional help from supplements is necessary.
Pethonesty Supplements To Discuss With Your Dog Nutritionist
Whether you’ve decided to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your Vet or you’re planning to consult a dog nutritionist, it’s a good idea to start by talking vitamins, minerals and daily essentials. Your dog may benefit from a multivitamin like Pethonesty 10-for-1 Multivitamin—which is formulated to help ensure your four-legged friend consumes all the most important compounds he needs to stay healthy...each and every day. Probiotics like Pethonesty Digestive Probiotics Chews and Fish Oil like Pethonesty Salmon SkinHealth are other popular supplements you should talk about with a professional.