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Food is an incredibly valuable "medicine" that all of us have to partake of daily! A high quality diet can help many medical conditions and poor quality diets may make them worse, or create new medical conditions. As Dr. Jones was trained as a biologist before she was trained as a veterinary doctor, in general we support a "natural" or holistic perspective when it comes to nutrition. We ask ourselves what the animal's ancestors would have likely consumed for optimal health in addition to using current evidence-based scientific research to come up with some general principles. However, there is not one single diet that is perfect for every cat or dog. Some dogs do best on grain-free diets, some dogs do not. Some dogs do well on a well-designed raw diet, some dogs do not. Some cats gain too much weight on some diets, while others lose weight. There are instances where a home prepared diet is best, but it may not work for every owner.
Unfortunately in this country, over nutrition is typically more of a problem with pets these days, just as it is in people. Some estimates state 50% of pet dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. It is not uncommon for pets to be double their ideal body weight...or more! While keeping our pets inside the home instead of running free outside is better for their safety, the cumulative effects of under activity and too many callories can shorten the live spans of our furry friends. Painful arthritis is made worse by obesity not only by adding extra pounds to their frame, but extra fat cells are now known to be pro-inflammatory. Obesity can contribute to diabetes in cats and insulin resistance in dogs. Overweight cats also have more difficulty cleaning themselves and may get urine scald or have trouble making it to the litter box.
After the huge pet food recall of 2007, more and more owners are researching and educating themselves on what goes into their pet's foods. There is both good information out there as well as misleading information. We can consult with you on the pros and cons of both commercial diets as well as home prepared diets, including raw diets, so you can make the best decision for your pet.
Nutrition (and environment) is a huge issue in exotic animals as well. Ferrets, rabbits, pocket pets, and reptiles all have very specific dietary needs and their health likewise can suffer if these are not met. All house calls with exotic pets will include nutritional considerations.
In Home Nutrition Consult: We discuss general topics in nutrition and weight management plans if necessary as well as supplements that can aid your pet. Includes house call,* at home physical examination, weight of your pet, and food scoop. Bloodwork or other additional diagnostic tests may be helpful depending on the individual. We will discuss your goals and tailor recommendations specifically for your pet. $70 for individual dogs or $150 for multiple animals or kennels/catteries.
Customized Diet Formulation for Individual Dogs: Depending on the level of complexity (basic maintenance diet versus use with patients with medical issues), we will formulate a customized home prepared diet for your pet. Includes house call* and physical exam. $150-300.
Customized Diet Formulation for Kennels/Catteries: Great for working or hunting dog kennels, we will formulate home prepared diets for puppies/kittens, pregnant/lactating females, adults, and seniors. Includes house call. $350.
*additional mileage will be charged at the rate of $0.50 per mile if outside a 10 mile radius of Columbia.