Food is love and pet owners often make choices about their animal’s food based on emotions rather than evidence but it is important that we as veterinary professionals are able to guide them to make the best and safest choices. Here are some of our favourite resources available about nutrition from well qualified sources.
In these sections we focus mainly on free or low cost information, but always from reliable and science based sources, so it is accessible to anyone
When it comes to free things, especially webinars, they are generally sponsored, and in the nutrition field usually by food companies. So it is important to consider bias when you watch them but these lectures are balanced, given by veterinary professionals and fully referenced.
The Webinar Vet has a large range of lectures on all aspects of nutrition, from home cooking and raw to life stage and disease and obesity management and many of these are free to watch. We have linked a few of our favourites here but to find the full range, simpy visit the website and search under the category ‘Gastroenterology and Nutrition’.
Heska, a veterinary lab and diagnositic equipment charity, have a great range of free to watch webinars, many of which are nutrition focussed. You can find them here; Heska Webinars
Horiba is a veterinary diagnostic solutions company and they also have webinars that are free to watch and they have a couple of really great lectures on raw food.
Food Company Learning Centres
The main three veterinary and science based food companies all have online learning centres that are full of evidence based resources for veterinary professionals;
Purina have the Purina Institute and their Vet Centre
Royal Canin have their event centre.
Nature’s Menu, a raw food company, have a learning course for their suppliers which can be completed at home or their representatives will deliver it in pracitce. Find out more about it here.
Regulatory and Representative Organisations
The WSAVA have recently updated their Global Nutrition Guidelines, these give independent, evidence based nutritional information aimed at veterinary professionals and are hugely useful for those wanting to learn more about pet foods. We can also highly recommend their ‘Guidelines On Selecting Pet Foods’ , which is an excellent print out for pet owners.
UK Pet Food (formerly known as the PFMA) is the trade body for pet food manufacturers in the UK. Their Pet Nutrition Hub is a particularly useful source of information, both for actual nutrition and also for definitions and labelling requirements, and contains much of it in PDF format so they can be easily printed out for clients. Also, our recommendation for clients who raw feed is to make sure the company they use is a member of UK Pet Food because their member companies are required to adhere to both nutritional and manufacturing standards. They also produce very useful printouts about raw feeding.
FEDIAF is the trade body representing the European pet food industry. The FEDIAF nutritional guidelines are based on extensive research and the vast majority of pet foods, especially those that are ‘complete’ follow these. Their website has a huge amount of resources and is particularly helpful for definitions of ingredients and labelling and contains factsheets on a wide variety of subjects that are great for learning but also to print out for pet owners.
AAFCO is the American version of FEDIAF. Their website is also a great resource for learning and understanding the legislation behind pet foods.
If you, or a client, have an interest in home cooked meals for pets, putting the recipes through the BalanceIT calculators is a great way of ensuring it is complete and balanced. The site is free to use, paid options are available but are most useful for professional formulators.
Social Media Pages
There are some brilliant pages and accounts on social media platforms that inform and educate about nutrition and diets, here are our favourites;
Nutrition RVN Jess is an Australian Veterinary Nurse who’s passion is nutrition! She is about to take the VTS in the subject but has been blogging and educating for a couple of years already. You can follow her on her Instagram page and her blog.
Doc Of All Trades is Caitlin, a DVM practicing in America with a significant interest in nutrition. She writes brilliant, detailed posts about pet nutrition on social media and her blog and is particularly strong on raw food diets and DCM and grain free foods.
CanineHealthNut is Nikki an RVT in America who educates on balanced home cooked diets, mainly for dogs. She approaches the subject in a very evidence and science based fashion and is a great resource for anyone considering creating diets.
Feeding Raven Doodles is run by Dr. Stepfanie George DVM. She writes blogs and shares posts on her social media focussing on science based nutrition and myth busting some of the common misconceptions about pet food.
Petfoodology is written by the veterinary nutrition team at Tufts University in America. It is a brilliant resource for tackling some of the common myths about pet food like why ingredient lists aren’t a good way to judge pet foods.
SkeptVet writes regularly on pet foods and the evidence behind them. His site is a great place for some deep dives into the science on this subject!
There are several groups that we can recommend on Facebook that share and promote evidence based nutrition;
Canine: Nutrition & Dog Food Discussion
Feline Nutrition & Cat Food Discussion
Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Dogs
We hope you found this helpful! Please share it with your colleagues if you did! And if you have any suggestions for other resources we could add, drop us a message on our FaceBook page.