FAQs about Clinical Nutrition Appointments

What can I expect from a nutrition appointment at Tufts?

During every appointment, whether in-person or by telephone, we will review your pet’s medical and diet history, evaluate his or her current diet, discuss appropriate feeding strategies for your specific pet, answer your nutrition questions and provide written recommendations to you and your veterinarian. During in-person appointments, we will also perform an exam on your pet, paying particular attention to body condition and other factors related directly to nutrition. Both types of appointments typically last 45 minutes; however, you should plan on spending more than 1 hour at our hospital for in-person appointments to accommodate registration, room availability, check-out, etc.

After your appointment, we will type up a report of our recommendations for you and your referring veterinarian. We will send your written report within one week of your appointment.

Our nutrition consultation reports include recommendations for up to 3 commercial diets and treats (if desired) which will be selected to meet your pet’s medical conditions, nutritional needs, and preferences. The number of appropriate diets available for each pet will depend upon his or her individual needs/restrictions. We also will provide recommendations for a limited number of dietary supplements, when appropriate.

Please note that research to identify additional diet and treat options may incur an additional fee based on the time required to research and identify appropriate products.

If you elect to feed your pet a home-cooked diet, an additional home-cooked diet recipe formulation fee will apply. Your written report will include a recipe for one nutritionally balanced home-cooked diet to meet your pet’s medical conditions, nutritional needs, and preferences. More recipes can be formulated if you elect to pay for that option.

To schedule an appointment or for pricing information, please contact our client liaison at (508) 887-4696 or 508-887-4363 (fax).

What if I have a question about my pet after my appointment

Our nutritionists will continue to support you and your pet after your appointment. Our fees for consultations include brief email or phone questions about our recommendations for your pet for up to one month after your consult or appointment. However, to ensure that we have adequate time to communicate with all of our clients, more extensive communication, research on additional diet options, or other complex follow-up may require a recheck appointment or incur additional charges.

To help ensure that our recommendations for your pet are appropriate and up-to-date, recheck appointments are recommended after any changes in your pet’s health status (such as development of a new disease or other changes that require modification of your pet’s nutritional goals) or after one year, especially for all pets on a home-cooked diet.

How can I purchase a home-cooked diet recipe from Tufts?

If your pet’s medical conditions require a home-cooked diet or you prefer to feed one, we can formulate a custom home-cooked diet recipe for your pet. To purchase a recipe, you and your pet must have a phone or in-person appointment with the Clinical Nutrition Service or your veterinarian must submit a consult requesting a diet formulation.

Once all needed information is received, the diet recipe(s) may take up to a week to finalize, and will be mailed, faxed or emailed to you (appointments) or your veterinarian (veterinary consults). As with all of our appointments and consultations, we will also provide comparable commercial diet recommendations if appropriate for your pet’s health concerns as well as information on treats and/or supplements.

To schedule an appointment or for pricing information, please contact our client liaison at (508) 887-4696 or 508-887-4363 (fax).

How do I make an appointment with the Clinical Nutrition Service?

To set up a telephone or in-person appointment with the nutrition service, you should call our client liaison at (508) 887-4696. You will need to fill out a diet history form and your veterinarian will need to provide a consult request form and current medical records (especially blood work) for your pet before we can book your appointment.

What if I have more than one pet?

As you know, each one of your pets is unique. We also treat each pet as an individual and carefully review medical records and a diet history before making specific diet recommendations, whether for commercial diets or home-cooked recipes. For this reason, if you would like to have specific diet recommendations for each of your pets, there will be an additional fee for each pet to cover the time required to review medical records and diet history, discuss options, and follow up with you. Evaluating each pet is particularly important when one or more pets in the family has health concerns and the diets that they require may not be appropriate for other animals in the household.

Without reviewing additional pets’ medical records, we can only advise you as to whether any commercial diets recommended for the pet that we discuss in the appointment are generally appropriate for healthy pets. Home-cooked diet recipes are more difficult to adjust to meet the needs of pets of different sizes and one of the main benefits of home-cooking is being able to customize the diet to the needs of the individual pet. Therefore, review of additional pets’ information and adjustment of the diet recipe to meet each pet’s needs is strongly recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

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