ST. LOUIS — Nestlé Purina PetCare’s Purina Institute introduced a new reference guide on pet nutritional management for veterinarians — the Purina Institute Handbook of Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition. The guide offers insights to help veterinarians discuss nutritional needs with pet parents and support pet health and wellness.

According to a May 2023 survey by Purina Institute, 96% of pet owners claimed that veterinarians are their most trusted source for pet nutrition information. Additionally, 78% of pet parents reported that nutrition expertise is an important factor in satisfactory veterinary care. Despite this, only one in five veterinarians claimed to offer nutritional advice during clinical appointments, according to the survey.

“The good news is that the survey revealed clients are much more likely to trust advice from veterinarians and staff members on pet nutrition than any information they can glean from Internet searches,” said Natalia Wagemans, Ph.D., Global Head of the Purina Institute. “Whether a client and patient are visiting the veterinary hospital for a sick or well pet visit, it’s clear that nutrition discussions are vital opportunities to build trust.”

To help bridge the gap between pet parents and veterinarians when it comes to nutrition information, Purina Institute created the handbook with information from more than 40 professionals in veterinary nutrition, internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology, emergency care and other pet health areas.

“We know nutrition can help our patients thrive, but it can be hard to engage clients in a nutrition discussion,” said Andrew Sparkes, Ph.D., BVetMed, independent veterinary consultant and an editor of the nutrition handbook. “This handbook is an outstanding new resource to help facilitate conversations about nutrition and provide practical tips for busy veterinary team members, making it easier to prioritize nutrition recommendations and meet the needs of their clients.”

The handbook is available to veterinary professionals for free via Purina Institute’s website.

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