The Importance of Working with Your Veterinarian to Develop a Dog Food Management Plan

Ensuring that your pet is receiving the proper nutrition they need is crucial for their overall health and wellbeing.

Adverse Food Reactions in Dogs

Adverse food reactions can manifest in different ways, such as gastrointestinal upset, skin irritation, and other allergic reactions. However, according to a 2018 Report, food allergies in pets are uncommon, affecting just 0.2 percent of dogs and 0.1 percent of cats. [1]

The Role of a Veterinarian in Developing a Food Management Plan

Fig 1. The Circle of Nutrition [2]

Despite this, it is important for dog owners to work closely with their veterinarian to develop a food management plan that is tailored to their dog’s individual needs. This includes considering factors such as their age, breed, activity level, and health status. A food management plan can help to prevent adverse food reactions and ensure that your dog is receiving a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.

Working with a veterinarian to develop a food management plan involves a thorough evaluation of your dog’s diet, including the ingredients in their food, how often they are fed, and the portion sizes they receive. This evaluation can help to identify potential allergens or intolerances, and the veterinarian can recommend appropriate dietary changes or supplements.

It is important to remember that dogs have different nutritional needs at different stages of life. Puppies require more protein and fat than adult dogs to support their growth and development, while senior dogs may require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. A veterinarian can help to determine the appropriate diet for each stage of your dog’s life.

Example of a food management plan:

Based on my personal experience, my dog’s food management plan consisted of the following steps:

  • Initial Assessment – The veterinarian evaluated my dog’s current health status, weight, body condition score, and medical history to determine her specific dietary needs.
  • Dietary Recommendations – Based on the assessment, the veterinarian recommended a specific veterinarian dog food that contained only hydrolyzed protein.
  • Feeding Schedule – The veterinarian emphasized the importance of following a feeding schedule for my dog, ensuring that she received adequate portion sizes and was fed twice a day. As my dog has gastric reflux[3] , it was crucial that she ate every 10-14 hours to prevent complications.
  • Monitoring – To ensure my dog’s progress, several follow-up visits were scheduled. During these visits, the veterinarian monitored my dog’s weight and body condition.
  • Communication – The veterinarian explained all the recommendations and the importance of following them to ensure my dog’s health.
  • Support – The veterinarian continues to provide ongoing support and is available for any questions or concerns I may have. Her recommendations may include the use of medications when necessary, and I am encouraged to send photos of my dog’s stool for analysis.

My role as pet owner

As a pet owner, I play a crucial role in ensuring that my dog follows her dietary plan. From the beginning, it was clear how important it was for her to follow the plan, and I was instructed to communicate any issues. I monitor her weight regularly and report any changes or problems to the veterinarian.

In addition to monitoring her diet, I provide my dog with a clean and safe environment. I walk her 4 to 5 times a day to ensure she gets adequate exercise and mental stimulation, and I am cautious of any potential hazards on the street that could affect her health. By taking an active role in her overall health and well-being, I can help ensure that she stays healthy and happy.

Addressing Health Issues through Nutrition

In addition, working with a veterinarian can help to address any health issues that may affect your dog’s nutritional needs. For example, dogs with certain health conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes, may require a specialized diet to manage their condition.

Ensuring Proper Nutrition for Your Dog’s Health and Wellbeing

Overall, developing a food management plan with a veterinarian can help to ensure that your dog is receiving the proper nutrition they need to thrive. It can also help to prevent adverse food reactions and address any health issues that may affect your dog’s nutritional needs. As a dog owner, you play a crucial role in your dog’s health and wellbeing, and working with a veterinarian can help to keep your furry friend healthy and happy for years to come.


[1] Three main types of allergies that pets, particularly dogs and cats, may develop: flea allergies, environmental allergies, and food allergies. Certain dog breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds, are more prone to developing environmental allergies due to genetic factors. Food allergies in pets often co-occur with other allergic skin conditions and may make pets more susceptible to skin infections. Banfield Pet Hospital2018 State of Pet Health Report.

[2] Guidelines for a systematic approach to nutritional management of dogs and cats. 2021 AAHA Nutrition and Weight Management Guidelines – printable PDF.

[3] Gastric reflux is a condition in which stomach acid flows from the stomach to the esophagus in dogs [1]. Symptoms of gastric reflux in dogs include excessive salivation, regurgitation, vomiting, burping, and foul-smelling breath. Other signs of gastric reflux include decreased appetite, retching, burping, or gagging after eating, and lip licking indicating nausea. Treatment for gastric reflux generally includes dietary changes, antacids, and changes in the environment to reduce stress. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying cause. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Non-Brachycephalic Dogs.

Leave a Comment