As part of an extended email conversation with a friend over selecting a cat food, Dr. Michael Watts, companion animal general practitioner and owner of Clevengers Corner Veterinary Care, shares with his friend the extensive training that veterinarians receive, including education on pet nutrition and petfood formulas and ingredients.
Dr. Watts' friend said he was looking into a grain-free cat food because of a conversation he had previously with a friend who is a dog trainer.
In response, Dr. Watts said: "How is it that someone as smart as you would weigh the opinion of dog trainer who works for the pet food manufacturer as superior to the advice of two independent medical professionals? To earn my degrees I took three semesters of physiology, one semester of comparative animal nutrition, one semester of applied animal nutrition, one semester of veterinary nutrition, two semesters of biochemistry, and two semesters of gastroenterology. My veterinary school clinical rotations included working alongside several board-certified veterinary nutritionists. I have practiced on cats for twelve years while regularly reading nutrition research and attending frequent continuing education sessions."
Though a veterinarian may have been practicing for a different number of years than Dr. Watts, he says that the extensive education background is similar for most. Dr. Watts noted that veterinarians, unlike many dog trainers, do not usually depend on a paycheck from a petfood company and do not rely on nutrition information from a petfood company.
By Lindsay Beaton
While dogs and cats continue to reign supreme, the growth of the “other” pet space can’t be denied: 9.9 million homes own a bird, 6.2 million homes have a small pet (usually small mammals) and 5.7 million homes own a reptile.
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