Browse All Pet Nutrition Articles

What does it mean to be a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and why can you trust us to provide accurate, unbiased nutrition information for your pet?

Clinical Nutrition Team

Many pet food companies have come out with specific veterinary therapeutic joint diets that have claims to decrease joint pain from arthritis.So what makes these diets different?

joint pic

Muscle condition score is an often overlooked part of assessing the nutritional and health status of pets. We discuss what a muscle condition score is and how to assess your pet.

bcs-blog

Digestive enzyme supplements are often touted to improve digestion and improve health even in healthy pets. We discuss the science versus the hype of enzyme supplements.

fuca-2491995_640

Though dogs may not have to be worried about being made fun of by other dogs at the dog park, being overweight has been linked with many conditions that can affect a dog’s health including…

golden-retriever-1809044_1920

The accumulation of too much copper in the liver is a common cause of liver disease in some breeds of dog. Both medications and diet are used to manage this condition in dogs.

dsc_1316

With up to 63% of cats currently overweight, we now know about the problems that cats face when they are too heavy. If your cat is overweight, your cat is at risk for these common problems.

cat-1351612_1920

Pumpkin is frequently recommended as a fiber supplement for pets but is it as good as it is often claimed to be?

bulldog with pumpkin

Many pet owners change their pets diets after a diagnosis of cancer. But which changes are likely to be effective versus which ones may cause more harm than good?

dog-2437110_640

Frustrated by trying to compare nutrients between different foods? Try our convenient calculator so you can more accurately compare the amount of a nutrient in canned and dry pet foods and treats.

nutrient calculator

It’s important to be able to provide your veterinary care team with detailed information about what you feed your pet so that they can make the best recommendations for your pet. Here are the things that are important, and not important, to include in a thorough diet history for your pet.

12/15/2016 - Grafton, Mass. - Melissa Precopio, V17, talks with a client in the lobby of the Foster Hospital for Small Animals on December 15, 2016. The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine recently completed an expansion and renovation of the lobby, examination rooms and areas of the ER at the on-campus hospital. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)

Bladder stones are common in both dogs and cats. Diet can be an important factor – some foods can contribute to stone formation while special diets can be used to dissolve some types of stones and prevent others from returning.

bladder stone rad

Struggling to get those lost few pounds off your pet? Weight loss can be challenging, so we’ve though through some strategies to help you troubleshoot!

lucky-cat-1196761_1920

We share some findings from a recently published study comparing the calories, carbohydrate content, and ingredients in grain-free versus grain-containing dry diets for cats

cat-351926_640

The gut bacteria and probiotic supplements have become popular topics lately, but will supplementing “good” bacteria make your pet healthier?

bacteria with faces

There’s a lot of information and misinformation on the internet about what to feed your pet. Avoid these top mistakes pet owners make to feed their pet.

Top 5 Mistakes pic

Exotic proteins like ostrich, kangaroo, wild boar and alligator are all the rage right now, but are diets containing these ingredients helping your pet or merely hurting your wallet?

cat and dog exotic dreams

Worried about pet food recalls? Not every recall means that a company makes “bad” food – sometimes it can even be a good thing, but how do you tell the difference?

recall graphic

With warmer weather making it easier to be active, here are some ideas to have your pets more active with you this spring and summer.

Spring Activity_pic

If you have an older pet or one with a medical condition, it’s time to learn about an issue that pet owners and even veterinarians don’t think about enough – muscle. Maintaining muscle throughout a dog or cat’s life is incredibly important to her health.

muscle matters main

Dealing with picky pooches or finicky felines can make feeding your pets challenging. Check out our strategies for making meal time easier!

picky pet pic

Knowing the real facts about supplements can help to determine which ones might be useful, which ones are useless, and which ones can actually be harmful to your pet.

8862

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has created new guidelines to help you better chose a diet for large breed puppies.

large breed aafco pic

“Allergen-free dog food“ touts one product website, while another company advertises “limited ingredient diets”. And the majority of companies that make grain-free diets suggest that they may be helpful for dogs with allergies. How true are these claims, though?

cat-227941_1920

A recent lawsuit underscores the lack of understanding about therapeutic diets that can only be purchased through a veterinarian

20170104_090803

How can you tell about the quality and nutritional expertise of a pet food company? Here are some questions savvy owners should ask companies to select the best possible food for their pets.

questions-to-ask_pic

It can be hard to keep cats and dogs from eating each other’s food, but it can be important to do your best, especially when those foods aren’t the same or pets have different calorie needs. Here’s tips on how to make it work.

multipet-blog

Check out these tips and video to find out if your pet is in ideal body condition!

bcs-blog

Think you know about dog and cat nutrition? Take our Pet Food IQ test to find out whether you are at the top of the class or need to hit the books!

Take the Pet Food IQ Quiz

Weight loss can be challenging, especially in cats. See Sunshine’s story as he learned to shed the pounds and get more active with these healthy living tips!

scale-sunshine-video

What do the numbers on the back of the pet food bag mean? If you’ve ever been confused by what to do with those numbers, we’re going to break down the basics of pet food nutrition math.

math-blog

Are premium pet foods worth the premium price, or can you save money without compromising your pet’s health? We discuss what premiumization means for pet food and why premium foods may not always be the best nutritional value.

premium-dog-food

Information on the Internet about pet nutrition can be confusing and contains lots of myth and misinformation, but there also is some excellent information available. How can you decide who to trust? We provide tips on effectively and objectively using the Internet so you can make the best decisions about your dog or cat’s diet.

Cat at Computer

The story of a pet owner who was attacked online for posting a picture of her dog and describing her vegan dog diet has gone viral on social media. We discuss whether vegan diets are safe for dogs.

Dog thinking about vegetables

An increasing number of pet owners are interested in cooking their pets’ food at home. We discuss what is involved in cooking for your pet and the pros and cons.

Cooking

Although ingredient lists are commonly used by pet owners and most pet food rating sites to determine the quality of pet foods, this approach has many pitfalls and usually is not a good way to select a food.

Meat vegetables and trains

Are you feeding a grain-free diet to your pet? Grain-free diets are one of the largest growing segments of the pet food market right now. More and more pet owners are reaching for these diets, which are billed as more natural for pets and less likely to cause health problems and allergies.

bread and grain

Many websites and other resources about feeding pets advise that you should avoid foods that contain by-products, but the truth is that by-products can be healthy, tasty additions to pet foods.

Bulldog licking lips

Though most cats should be about 7-12 lbs, the ideal weight for an individual cat depends on the size of the cat’s frame, so we focus on body condition score rather than just weight.

Overweight cat

While kidney disease can be a scary diagnosis, many dogs and cats can live comfortably for years with kidney disease if it is caught early enough and treated appropriately. While most drugs used to treat pets with kidney disease are only meant to reduce symptoms, feeding the right diet can have dramatic effects on survival – studies have shown that pets that eat diets designed for kidney disease can live twice as long as those who eat more typical diets.

Dog at Foster Hospital

Nutrition is an important part of the treatment for dogs and cats with heart disease.  In the past, when few cardiac medications were available, restriction of salt in the diet was one of the major treatments for animals with congestive heart failure and little consideration was given to other dietary factors.

Child playing doctor with kitten

It’s amazing how quickly kittens and puppies can grow up! That little bundle of joy that you brought home seemingly only weeks ago has now rounded his 6-month birthday and is headed towards his first birthday. Should you change her to adult food now, or wait?

Kitten on branch

Both canned and dry foods have to meet basically the same standards for nutrient levels, so both are going to provide adequate nutrients, but for some pets and situations, either canned or dry may be more ideal.

Cat eating food

It has often been said that aging, in itself, is not a disease. However, aging is often associated with a variety of diseases. Nutrition can be a powerful tool in maintaining health, preventing disease, and in helping to manage disease.

Senior dog

All animals have basic nutritional needs that must be met for them to live long, healthy lives. “Essential nutrients” are called such because our bodies and our pets’ bodies are incapable of making enough of them on their own and so we must get what we need from food.

Woman reading with dog

Veterinarians decide how many calories your pet needs by looking at their current weight, their body condition (are they over or under-weight or just right?), and what they’re currently eating.

Dog and cat choosing between veggies and meat

Have you ever found yourself comparing dog food labels and wishing that the information could be clear, more like human “Nutrition Facts” labels? We can assure you that we, and pretty much every other dog owner, feel the same way.

Reading the small print

Raw meat-based diets, both commercial and home-made are increasing in popularity. You likely know a friend or colleague who is feeding this type of diet to their pets and you may have heard lots of wonderful things about what these diets can do. But how much of the glowing testimonials that you’ve heard are accurate, and is there any risk to this type of feeding strategy?

Raw steak

Too many treats (more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake) can add lots of unnecessary kcals (which means kilocalories – the same as Calories on a human nutrition label), nutritionally unbalance the diet, and could be harmful if your pet has a medical condition. Rawhides, though popular, are about 100 kcal per palm-sized piece and some chew bones can be over 1,000 kcal!

Dogs getting a treat

Subscribe

Want to read more information on feeding your pet? Subscribe to always know when we add new material!

Petfoodology Topics

Search

Petfoodology on Twitter

Why Trust Us?

Clinical Nutrition Team, Heinze, Freeman and LinderAs you’re on this website right now, we can assume that you love pets and likely have a special dog or cat (or many) in your life. We love them, too! And not only do we love the pets, we also love their people, and you are our reason for making this site.

Learn more about the Clinical Nutrition Team at Tufts

Print Friendly