In an effort to place the role of recommending small animal nutrition back into the hands of experts, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has developed global nutrition guidelines.

In response to the growing need to help place the role of recommending small animal nutrition back into the hands of the experts – the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has developed global nutrition guidelines.

WSAVA has developed global nutrition guidelines. These guidelines are consistent with those produced by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) last year, and are designed to increase worldwide awareness of nutrition as the 5th vital assessment.

The evaluation of pet body temperature, pulse, respiratory and pain are long-standing vital assessments, but WSAVA believes it is also important that vets and VNs work with their clients to ensure the pet is being fed a proper pet food.

WSAVA president Jolle Kirpensteijn said: “We believe a sound nutritional recommendation from a veterinarian is crucial, because pet owners are exposed to a myriad of nutritional myths that if acted upon can actually be harmful to their pets.”

The WSAVA Guidelines Development Committee met for a second time at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Florida.

WSAVA president Jolle Kirpensteijn.The group formulated a plan to build an alliance of global veterinary organisations to help healthcare teams and pet owners begin implementing the guidelines together on an international basis. These efforts will be coupled with the Veterinary Companion Animal Nutritional Consortium founded by AAHA, of which WSAVA is a charter member.

To help assimilate the WSAVA guidelines worldwide, the team’s next steps include working toward getting the guidelines published and encouraging other stakeholders to get involved.

Lisa Freeman, professor of clinical nutrition at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said: “Our team met for two full days during NAVC, and we are all very enthusiastic about the plans ahead for the WSAVA guidelines. We took the existing AAHA guidelines to use as a model, and will be working toward the mutual goal of making pet nutrition recommendations relevant worldwide. These guidelines are an important resource that global veterinary practices, pet food companies and all others invested in optimal small animal health can benefit from.”

For more information on WSAVA or its guidelines development committee, visit wsava.org.

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