Resources to help evaluate a pet's current nutrition and guide nutrition recommendations.
An accurate, comprehensive diet history is part of a nutritional assessment that helps determine if a pet’s overall diet is nutritionally complete and balanced ꟷ and optimal for that specific pet. Completeness is also essential for developing and delivering effective dietary recommendations. In addition, a thorough diet history provides information about how human family members use food in interactions with the pet.
When using questions to elicit information from clients, it is not enough to ask the right questions ꟷ although knowing what questions to ask is important. As it turns out, how questions are phrased can influence the quantity and quality of the client’s response. Using a variety of open-ended questions in a funnel technique (i.e., from broad to focused) can help draw out more quality information.
Coe, J. B., O’Connor, R. E., MacMartin, C., Verbrugghe, A., & Janke, K. A. (2020). Effects of three diet history questions on the amount of information gained from a sample of pet owners in Ontario, Canada. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 256(4), 469─478. doi: 10.2460/javma.256.4.469
Eirmann, L. (2016). Nutritional assessment. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 46(5), 855─867. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2016.04.012
Freeman, L., Becvarova, I., Cave, N., MacKay, C., Nguyen, P., Rama, B., Takashima, G., Tiffin, R., Tsjimoto, H., & van Beukelen, P. (2011). WSAVA nutritional assessment guidelines. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 52(7), 385─396. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2011.01079.x
Kealy, R. D., Lawler, D. F., Ballam, J. M., Mantz, S. L., Biery, D. N., Greeley, E. H., Lust, G., Segre, M., Smith, G. K., & Stowe, H. D. (2002). Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 220(9), 1315─1320. doi: 10.2460/javma.2002.220.1315
MacMartin, C., Wheat, H. C., Coe, J. B., & Adams, C. L. (2015). Effect of question design on dietary information solicited during veterinarian-client interactions in companion animal practice in Ontario, Canada. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 246(11), 1203─1214. doi: 10.2460/javma.246.11.1203
Michel, K. (2009). Using a diet history to improve adherence to dietary recommendations. Compendium: Continuing Education for Veterinarians, 31(1), 22─24.