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Nutritional assessment

Nutritional assessment is a two-part process consisting of screening and extended evaluations.

BCS and MCS

Use a consistent method and scale to measure body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS) and muscle condition score (MCS) to assess current status and changes over time

Monitoring

Adults in good body condition should be reassessed regularly. Decisions regarding specific frequency of visits are made appropriately on an individual basis, based on the age, species, breed, health and environment of the pet.

Summary

Nutritional assessment is an important aspect of optimal animal care. This document provides guidance for appropriate, effective assessment, evaluation, action monitoring and education. With little practice, this approach can be efficiently incorporated into daily practice without additional time or expense. Stay tuned for further developments and expanding knowledge. 

Client education

Client communication and rapport is important for achieving desired outcomes. Technicians should be involved in the nutrition-evaluation process when they have knowledge and skills in both nutritional concepts and in communication.

References

2010 AAHA Nutritional Assessment Guidelines for Dogs and Cats references

Nutrition and Weight Management

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.

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