Pet diet: 5 nutrition questions to ask your vet

Maybe you’ve adopted your first kitten or puppy, and aren’t sure whether you should feed them canned food, kibble or raw meals. Maybe your pet has dietary restrictions because of a food allergy, or needs to manage their weight. Your veterinarian can provide valuable advice to make sure your pet’s diet is appropriate for their needs. Here are a few questions you can ask to see how they can help your furry friend.

1. Could a change in diet help my pet’s medical condition?

Are you consulting with a veterinarian because your cat or dog has a specific condition, such as obesity, diabetes or osteoarthritis? Ask them what type of diet would be best for your pet’s medical condition.  Don’t hesitate to ask them to explain why they suggest a certain kind of diet or choice of ingredients for your furry friend.

2. What are the pros and cons of [Diet A] vs. [Diet B]?

Between raw, wet and dry food, home-cooked food, treats and fresh ingredients you can safely feed your pet, there are many diet options. The products you’ll find at the grocery store, in pet supplies stores, online or at your veterinary clinic may all be different. And reading the packaging label to compare the nutritional values between two brands isn’t always easy. If you’re hesitating between multiple options, ask your veterinarian for advice. They’ll be able to explain the benefits and challenges of each.

3. Is there a more affordable alternative?

It’s pointless for your veterinarian to recommend a diet that will be abandoned because it requires a specially formulated brand of food that’s too expensive. Be honest about how much you’re able and willing to invest in your pet’s nutrition, and a good professional will provide healthy recommendations that meet your budget.

4. Is there an option that’s less time consuming to prepare?

Similarly, maybe you don’t have time to prepare home cooked meals every day for your cat or your dog who must follow a very strict diet, and don’t have enough freezer space to store servings in advance. Your veterinarian can recommend alternatives, or a mix of options that suits your lifestyle.

5. Are there any resources you could recommend where I could learn more?

Your veterinarian may be able to suggest trustworthy sources of information regarding animal nutrition or refer you to a colleague who’s more experienced in dealing with your pet’s condition.