Frequently Asked Questions 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 for commercial diets, treats and supplements (if applicable) to meet your pet’s nutritional needs. We may also discuss or formulate a home-cooked diet recipe for your pet (there is an additional charge for recipes).

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. After your appointment, we will type up a report of our recommendations for you and your referring veterinarian. It may take up to a week to receive your written report after your visit.

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.

To schedule an appointment or for pricing information, please contact our service 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. To ensure that we have adequate time to communicate with all of our clients, we limit communications to 6 months after your initial appointment. During the 6 months, our nutritionists will be available for brief email or phone questions about your pet. However, more complicated follow-up including extensive research of diets or supplements, changes in your pet’s health (such as a new disease) or other complex follow-up may require a recheck appointment. After 6 months, you may need to schedule a follow-up appointment to continue to work with our service.

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.

The diet recipe(s) may take up to a week to finalize after the appointment or consultation, once we receive all of the information that we need, 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 service 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 service liaison at (508) 887-4696. You will need to fill out a diet history form and your veterinarian will need to provide current medical records (especially blood work) for your pet.

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.