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Pet Nutrition

Nutrition Is An Important Part of Pet Care

A complete and balanced diet is fundamental to optimizing health and longevity in both dogs and cats. Proper pet nutrition throughout your pets’ life is not only potentially preventive for many health challenges but also a vital part of a therapeutic plan should health concerns arise. Other than affection, food is often the only thing that is provided to our canine and feline companions every day, often multiple times per day. The Carolina Ranch Animal Hospital Clinical Nutrition Service is deeply committed to maintaining and enhancing quality of life through individually tailored dietary recommendations and custom nutritional programs.

Clinical Nutrition Services Include:

Nutrition Counseling & Education

There are so many diet options on the market that it makes selecting the best diet for your beloved companion difficult or even impossible. New diet options are being launched nearly everyday and just as many opinions being voiced by experts. It is not uncommon to feel paralyzed in the nutrition selection process. This appointment will help guide you in deciding what is the best food for you to feed your companion and deciphering what is a food fad or food fact throughout all life stages.

Supplement Counseling & Evaluation

Are you not sure that your pets’ diet is providing everything they need? Do you feel your pet needs additional supplementation to thrive? Do you want to use food or part of a food to modify and maintain normal physiological function to maintain health? How do you know which product to choose? The Clinical Nutrition Service is available to discuss the need and role of supplemental dietary fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and other different types of herbal/natural foods. If appropriate, a specific supplemental and nutraceutical plan will be designed for your pet.

Customized Weight Loss Plans

The most common significant health challenge facing dogs and cats in the United States is being clinically identified as overweight or obese. More than 50% of canine and feline companions are at risk for developing serious illnesses due to excessive weight. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, liver problems, urinary disease, skin disease, digestive problems and joint deterioration are not uncommon. Studies have shown that pets with a lean body weight live longer, healthier lives. Weight loss plans are customized to the individual to maintain and build lean muscle mass while minimizing annoying food-seeking behaviors.

Home-Prepared Diet Counseling, Formulation & Evaluation

Are you considering making your beloved companion’s food yourself? Are you not sure if you are ready to make the commitment to being 100% responsible for your pet’s nutritional health? Do you want to know what all is involved in the preparation, storage, and feeding of human foods to maintain health or nutritionally manage a health concern? Are you already feeding a homemade diet to your beloved companion but unsure if it is 100% meeting their nutritional needs?

Unless a recipe comes from a board certified nutritionist or animal nutritionist, it has a 95% chance of being incomplete and/or unbalanced putting your beloved companion at risk for a nutrient deficiency. Our board certified nutritionist will counsel you as to the pros and cons of making your pets’ food, analyze and evaluate a recipe to determine if it is nutritionally adequate for your pet given their life stage and/or health challenges. Another choice is custom formulated recipes for them as individuals.

Critical Care/Disease Management Nutrition

Pet owners and veterinarians often collaborate on the nutritional support for a companion with health challenges. However, at times the dog or cat with special health needs may refuse to follow this best laid plan. Whether your beloved companion is currently in the hospital or is receiving outpatient care, nutrition is vital.

If they are not eating or not eating enough, their recovery will be prolonged and place them at higher risk for malnutrition. This often leads to additional health challenges, undesired complications, and ultimately a shortened lifespan.

Our Clinical Nutrition Service can determine if a nutritional intervention is necessary. Tools ranging from medical management of appetite to intravenous nutrition could be necessary to optimize your pet’s disease management to potentially extend the quality of life for pets battling chronic disease or critical illness.

Planning Your Evaluation Appointment

What Is a Nutritionist?

A nutritionist is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition ( and is noted by “Diplomate ACVN” or “DACVN” after their name. This board certification requires members to have completed four years of veterinary training to become a doctor of veterinary medicine, two to three years of additional residency training in veterinary nutrition and passage of a credentialing process and comprehensive exam. These specialists are uniquely trained in the nutritional management of both healthy animals and those with one or more diseases.

Pre-Appointment Information

For some services, you may be asked to complete a diet questionnaire prior to your appointment. If a diet questionnaire has been indicated to be necessary we MUST first receive the completed form in order to schedule your appointment.

Initial Appointment Information

The initial appointment will take approximately one hour. During this time, the nutritionist will review information regarding your pet’s medical history as well as their current diet, activity and household information. This helps ensure that the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your pet is considered in making any nutritional recommendations and diet design.

Toward the end of the consultation, potential diet strategies will be discussed and you and the nutritionist together will decide the most appropriate approach for your pet. Depending upon the selected strategy, you may be given instructions to start and report back prior to proceeding with the full consultation.

Financial Policy

Whether consulting with the Clinical Nutrition Service in person or by phone, the fee for the consultation and fees related to any written diet plan to be formulated after the consultation, are due when services are rendered. We CANNOT begin working on any written diet plan formulations until payment has been received.

Additional follow-up appointments may be necessary and are additional to the cost of the initial consultation. The fee for any follow-up appointments and any additional fees discussed in consultation with the nutritionist during that appointment are due when services are rendered.


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Monday-Friday: 7:00am-6:00pm Saturday: 8:00am-12:00pm
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6129 NC Hwy 42 West
Garner, NC 27529