the scientific study of pet nutrition by veterinary nutrition specialists and experts.
Who we are and why you can trust us
As you’re on this website right now, we can assume that you love pets and likely have a special dog or cat (or many) in your life. We love them, too! And not only do we love the pets, we also love their people, and you are our reason for making this site.
So, who are we and why can you trust us to teach you how to feed your pet safely, healthily, and affordably? All three of us are veterinarians. We’re also “board-certified veterinary nutritionists”, which means that after finishing veterinary school, we all opted (often to our families’ disbelief) to spend another two years in residency training so that we could gain more training in pet nutrition. During our nutrition residencies, we worked in veterinary teaching hospitals seeing pets both healthy and sick who needed help with their nutrition. We all toiled to publish a nutrition research project in a scientific journal and then had to convince a group of our peers that we were qualified to sit for a 12 hour exam. Passing that exam gave us status as “Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition”, an organization of veterinarians dedicated to improving the nutrition of animals of all types.
Our formal nutrition education didn’t stop with passing that exam, however. All 3 of us then went on to devote more years to earn Master’s or PhD degrees in nutrition and related fields from very well-regarded schools – Tufts University and the University of California, at Davis.
In our roles as faculty members at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, we spend our days interacting with veterinary students, veterinarians, and pet owners, so we know the questions that pet lovers have about feeding their pets. We’ve seen the pet food ads, read the other internet sites and blogs, and have spoken extensively with representatives from pet food companies large and small. We know that many pet owners are desperate for accurate, trustworthy information about how to feed their pets and we know firsthand the amount of confusing and conflicting information that’s out there and how hard it can be for pet owners (and often even veterinarians) to make sense of it all.
Never satisfied with the current state of knowledge, all three of us have active research careers – investigating how we can use nutrition to enhance wellness, as well as prevent and cure disease (check out our “in the news” section). We’ve made contributions to the scientific knowledgebase in areas as diverse as treatment of obesity, management of cancer, pediatric nutrition, and nutrition for pets with heart disease, publishing these findings in scientific journals so that everyone can benefit from the information. We’ve even collaborated with human researchers on projects that have potential benefit to both pet and human health.
As you can see, pet nutrition isn’t just a hobby of ours – we’ve dedicated our careers (and a sometimes frightening portion of our personal lives, as well) to the study of how to feed pets – “Petfoodology”, as we like to call it.
We’ll be straight with you – we are not employees of any pet food companies and we don’t have any ownership interest in any companies that make pet food, treats, or supplements. Our goal isn’t to sell you anything – we just want to answer your questions about feeding your pet, and help you find a feeding program that works for both of you. We want this site to be the first place you look for reliable information on how to feed your pet – we designed it to answer many of the questions that pet owners ask us every day and we plan to keep adding to it so it stays current and continues to be a great resource for caring pet owners.
Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN
Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN
Deborah E. Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN