Association develops global guidelines for pet nutrition

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The World Small Animal Veterinary Association announced in mid-March that it has developed global guidelines for nutritional assessment of dogs and cats.

The WSAVA guidelines are consistent with nutritional guidelines that the American Animal Hospital Association released last year in tandem with formation of the Veterinary Companion Animal Nutritional Consortium (see JAVMA, Sept. 15). The WSAVA is a charter member of the consortium.

"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," said Dr. Jolle Kirpensteijn, WSAVA president.

The WSAVA Guidelines Development Committee has formulated a plan to build an alliance of global veterinary organizations to help veterinary practices and pet owners begin implementing the WSAVA nutritional 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," said Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, a member of the task force that wrote the WSAVA guidelines and a professor of clinical nutrition at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

"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."

The new WSAVA guidelines cover nutritional assessment for dogs and cats; interpretation, analysis, and action; monitoring; and client education. The guidelines are available at