Nutrition Advocates

by: Brianna Redlich

You may have read the title of this post and wondered, what is a Nutrition Advocate?  In our clinic we have two Nutrition Advocates.  We are Registered Veterinary Technologists that have taken extra training in the field of Nutrition.

Lucas and Brianna

Lucas & Brianna

What can a Nutrition Advocate (NA) do for you?

Our NAs work in one of two ways;

  1. We work closely with our veterinarians to develop a plan tailored to a pet’s needs.  Either the veterinarian will decide on a diet or they will ask our advice. Once a diet has been selected, based on the pet’s needs we then calculate a feeding guide. Next we explain to the client why the diet was chosen, how to transition, how much to feed and how often. We also do a follow up call 2 to 3 weeks later to see how the pet is doing and to answer any questions the client might have.  We then recommend coming in for weigh-ins following a diet change to monitor the pet’s weight. This helps to ensure the pet is not gaining/losing on a maintenance diet or is losing at a safe rate on a weight loss diet.
  2. The other way we work is when a client comes in seeking information or help in
    pet-food-on-shelves

    Some many choices…which is right for your pet?

    changing to a different diet. When a client comes to us with concerns about their pet’s weight, diet, eating habits, etc we will work with the client to determine the best course of action for the pet. An example is a client is concerned their pet is overweight.  We have a look at the pet and evaluate the body condition score and the overall appearance.  We also ask questions for a nutrition history.  It is very important that the client is honest when answering questions about feeding amounts, number of treats and exercise. We are there to help, not judge.  Once a body condition score and history have been evaluated we will then come up with a few different options.  Some clients decide to try achieving weight loss using the pet’s current diet. We will develop a plan and explain that if they are not seeing results that a prescription diet may be needed.  We do regular weigh-ins to track the pet’s progress and make adjustments as needed. Once the pet is at an ideal weight we will continue to work with the client while switching to a maintenance diet.

Please keep in mind that there are some situations where the Nutrition Advocate will recommend an exam with one of the Veterinarians before proceeding with a diet plan. An example would be a pet that has bad allergies and irritated skin, that may need to be treated both medically and nutritionally.

Not sure if you need to make a diet change? Ask yourself these questions.

  • Is your pet’s coat dull, brittle or do they have flaky skin?
  • Is your pet gassy?
  • Is your pet over or under weight?
  • Is your pet having loose or small hard bowel movements?
  • Is your pet having multiple large bowel movements a day?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you may want to book a consult with one of our Nutrition Advocates.

Further information:

Nutrition Consultations

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