The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is applauding the launch of the Pet Nutrition Alliance’s (PNA) revamped website (www.petnutritionalliance.org).
The upgrade, officially revealed at the PNA Board meeting held in conjunction with AVMA Convention 2017 in Indianapolis, makes it easier for veterinary health care teams to more effectively use the website’s nutritional calculator for dogs and cats.
”The calculator can help the veterinary team determine the right number of calories for an individual pet, and make nutritional assessments and recommendations to help their patients maintain or achieve their healthy weight,” said PNA President Dr. Lisa Freeman. Freeman, who represents the American College of Veterinary Nutrition on the PNA, assumed the presidency at the July 23 PNA meeting. Her presidency runs from 2017-2019.
According to a PNA survey conducted over a six-week period in April and May, more than 50 percent of clients ask their veterinarians questions about pet nutrition. This underscores the role the veterinary team plays in optimal nutrition for pets and the importance of having accurate information and helpful tools, said Freeman. Over time, the website will offer more tools to help veterinary teams address nutrition in pets, she added.
”It is very important that veterinarians have honest conversations with their clients about a pet’s weight,” said AVMA President Dr. Mike Topper. “Veterinarians are the trusted experts when it comes to assessing a pet’s weight and overall health, and in making recommendations regarding nutrition. This calculator is a great tool for veterinarians and pet owners.”
Dr. Doug Aspros, who served as the PNA’s first-ever president (2015-2017), was AVMA president from 2012-2013 and represents the AVMA on the alliance, noted that the calculator produces a take-home report for clients that details the targeted daily caloric intake based on ideal weight, current food and body condition score. Through collaboration with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), the calculator has also been translated into both Spanish and French, he said, demonstrating the PNA’s commitment to veterinary cultural competency.
”Achieving and maintaining healthy weight in pets have been proven to reduce the risk of illness and add to their longevity and general well-being,” said Aspros. “As animal advocates, it is important that we educate and coach our pet-owner community about nutrition and best practices in feeding.”
The AVMA is one of nine organizations that form the PNA. Others include the American Animal Hospital Association, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Veterinary Medical Association Executives, CVMA, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, WSAVA and Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians. These organizations work together to promote the importance of nutrition in the health of pets worldwide, and strive to fulfill the PNA’s mission to position nutrition as essential to optimal pet health by providing resources to veterinary health care teams.