Vets offer best advice on pet nutrition

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is advising pet owners who have concerns about their pet’s health and nutritional needs to seek veterinary advice.

AVA president, Dr Paula Parker, said that veterinarians are best placed to assess the optimal nutritional requirements for any individual pet and can keep pet owners informed of the importance of optimum body conditioning for pet health and wellbeing.

“When formulating a nutritional program, deficiencies or excesses in calories, vitamins and minerals and an awareness of potential toxicities of the many nutritional sources must be considered—on a case by case basis,” Dr Parker said.

“Veterinarians make decisions about nutrition for each individual pet based on its needs and the latest scientific evidence.”

Currently, the Australian Standard: Manufacturing & Marketing of Petfood includes standards for manufacturing, labelling, marketing and nutrition as well as guidelines on purchasing pet food ingredients.

“These standards are good, and many pet food companies comply with these standards, however, compliance is encouraged rather than mandatory,” Dr Parker added.

“In Australia, we would like to see pet food become regulated and the standards made compulsory. This would ensure that pet food available in Australia adheres to these standards, which is in the best interests of the health and welfare of Australian animals.”

Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.

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