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By Leslie Kuczynski, VMD, DACVIM

Does my pet really need this special food?

An important part of medical management of many diseases can be dietary therapy; however, special prescription diets are higher in cost and can be less convenient to obtain that over the counter pet foods. Because of that, the question of how necessary is this special diet, often comes up. Depending on the medical condition of the pet in question, special diets are prescribed for different reasons.

Gastrointestinal Diets

In cases of acute GI upset such as vomiting or diarrhea induced by viral disease or by dietary indiscretion, often a gastrointestinal friendly diet will be prescribed. These diets are highly digestible, have moderate fat levels, and have easily assimilated nutrients. They often also have a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber to help modify bowel transit time. These diets are often well tolerated and can improve clinical signs associated with a sensitive GI tract. These diets are NOT hypoallergenic.

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