The American Animal Hospital Association recommends these nutritional assessment guidelines because good nutrition enhances pets’ quality and quantity of life, and is integral to optimal animal care. Incorporating nutritional assessment into regular animal care is critical for maintaining pets’ health, as well as their response to disease and injury. It requires little to no additional time or cost.

The specific goals of this article are to provide:

The positive impact of proper nutrition on health and disease is well established in all animals. Appropriate feeding throughout all life stages can help prevent diet-associated diseases, as well as to assist in the management of other diseases. For example, diets formulated for dogs and cats with chronic kidney disease have been shown to provide significant benefits.1,2,3 

The National Research Council (NRC) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences is the leading provider of nutrient recommendations for dogs...

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