| DogNeedsBest is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may receive a commision.

Does Your Dog Need A Veterinary Diet?

We always make sure that our little pets get the best food and diet that can keep them healthy and safe.

Speaking of which most people find it a hard choice to get the best possible diet for their dog.

To add more to the confusion there are labels on dog foods such as prescription foods, so does your dog need a veterinary diet?

Well, the answer may be yes and no, it generally depends on the health of your dog, if you find unusual behavior or rejection of their general diet or even worse, a certain health problem then it might be best to consult a vet and figure out the rest.

Read along to find out whether your dog needs a prescribed food or not.

Does your dog need a veterinary diet?

Does your Dog Need Prescription Diet Dog Food?

Therapeutic diets are prescribed by vets if your dog is suffering from illness or diseases. As most of the diet manufacturing companies cannot claim that their product is for curing illness or diseases.

It is necessary that it is approved by a vet, or else they can get into problems with the Food and Drug Administration.

All things considered, it is also crucial that the diet is supervised by a vet, as they can quickly figure out the problem and suggest the cure.

With that being said, you have to talk with your vet about your canine’s specific needs and based on that decide whether they need a diet or not.

Another thing to keep in mind is that feeding prescription diet food to the dogs who don’t need can cause problems.

As most of these diets are for medication they generally focus on some ingredients and minerals while leaving out the rest.

A good demonstration of this is, for kidney problems the recommended diet is low on phosphorus but which is needed by a healthy dog.

Learn More: Are dogs carnivores or omnivores? Get all the information here.

Benefits of Veterinary Diet

If your dog is having any sort of illness or disease it is probably best to consult a vet and get the diet figured out.

Now here are some benefits that can improve certain problems when feeding a prescribed diet but make sure to get it approved by your vet.

Digestive Problems

The dogs suffering from diarrhea or vomiting can also be benefited from a veterinary diet.

This diet depends and varies according to your dog breed and problem, for instance, some prescribed diets might be more towards digestive ingredients while others might include a new protein diet or high-fibers.

There could be a ton of reasons for these problems, so it is crucial to get things cleared with your vet.

Kidney Problems

Kidney disease can be considered life-threatening and diet plays a significant role. Though diet will not cure the problem it will sure stall the disease for a prolonged time so that it minimizes the damage.

According to some researches, the dogs relying on the veterinary diet have increased their lifespan when compared to the ones that have been on an ordinary diet.


Another benefit prescribed diet can bring to the table is for those dogs suffering from bladder stones.

They are quite effective to prevent some types of stones as they increase the acidity of the urine thereby forestalling certain formations of stones.

They also improve the urge to drink water so that it ultimately contributes to helping the stone problem.


Overweight or obese conditions skyrocket in animals, especially dogs. Which can lead to many health problems such as diabetes, respiratory problems, cancer, and arthritis.

So a weight diet prescribed by your vet can actually help reduce weight while maintaining the required nutrients.

It is important to note that those dogs that are mildly obese can easily reduce weight by engaging in more physical activities as well as reducing their present diet.

Does your dog need a veterinary diet?

Do You Have to Feed Veterinary Diet?

It mostly depends upon the health of your dog and the problems he is facing. In some cases, it would probably best to feed your dog a prescribed diet by veterinarians.

With that being said, these diets are mostly restricted to some nutrients and should always be fed as medication.

Aforementioned feeding healthy dogs a prescribed diet is anything but a smart thought. These diets cannot and should not be used for the long-term, they should be only used to cure certain medical problems.

So long story short, if your dog is having any sort of health issues then make sure to visit a vet and figure out the problem, and based on that your vet will provide a diet.

Read More: How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Digest Food and Poop?

How About the Over the Counter Dog Foods?

Well, it is not unusual for commercial brands claiming medical claims with ambiguous terms as they cannot directly print that their products help to cure certain medical problems, cause if they do then they can run into problems with the FDA. You might find over-the-counter dog supplements helping or aiding certain illnesses but truth to be told if your dog really needs help, then it is better to visit a vet rather than manually changing his diet.

So even if you find a food supplement that according to you can benefit the dog, it is better to cross-check with the vet and figure out what he says about it. It is always better to be on the safer side.

Does Your Dog Need Prescription Pet Food? – FAQs

Is prescription dog food necessary?

Well, as mentioned before, it is only required by dogs who are suffering from illness and having symptoms such as vomiting, weakness, pain, diarrhea, and so forth. You should probably not consider feeding a veterinary diet to a healthy dog.

Why does some dog food require a prescription?

You will find that most of the stores and veterinarians will not sell the veterinary diet without a prescription, as getting the wrong food will just worsen the condition. So it is best to involve your vet while looking for medical dog food.

What is the healthiest diet for dogs?

You can feed your dog a kibble diet as well as mix it up with some cooked meat, rice, fish, and vegetables. Some owners prefer to provide full raw meat to their dogs which can work well with certain dogs and with others it might not just work.

Which is the proscribed food for dogs?

There are certain foods that should be kept out of dogs’ reach such as chocolate, garlic, onions, citrus, and fatty foods. Some dogs may be intolerant to milk and lactose, it might cause vomiting and diarrhea. So if your dog reacts to certain milk products then your dog is better off without them.

Read More: Find out How Long does Rawhide Take to Digest in Dog?

Final Note

So does your dog need a veterinary diet? It is based on the health condition of your dog. If your dog is having serious health problems, the prescription diet will really help. There is no replacement for prescription dog food if you are looking to improve the health condition of your dog.

That being said, make sure that veterinary diets are not recommended and should not be fed for long-term, they are medications and should be fed appropriately.

So visit your vet and figure out the best possible diet for your little fury guy. Once the health is improved and your furry companion is back to the game, move to a decent quality diet.

Also Read:

  1. Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?
  2. How Many Cups in a Pound of Dog Food?


  1. Complete Pet Food Diets Intended to Treat or Prevent Disease [1]
  3. Nutrition matters | American Veterinary Medical Association [3]