Whole Pet Provisions, PLLC, was created in 2017 by Dr. Laura Gaylord to help pet parents care for their special family member(s) and to help provide nutritional expertise directly to veterinarians for their individual patient needs.
What is a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist®?
You may discover there are lots of websites giving pet food advice when you search the internet, and many authors claim to be a “pet nutritionist.” Some will even give nutritional advice for management of disease conditions. Unfortunately, there is no regulation or strict definition of the title “nutritionist” and we strongly suggest that you investigate and evaluate the credentials of those offering advice on dog and cat nutrition.
“What are the credentials, educational degrees or training of those writing the content and/or offering advice?”
“What makes them qualified to offer this advice?”
This would apply to advice given for both healthy pets and for those pets with disease conditions. Remember, nutritional management of disease conditions falls under the scope of practicing veterinary medicine, and guidance should always come from a licensed veterinarian.
A Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® is a licensed veterinarian (DVM) who has sought additional intense residency training concentrating in nutrition for both healthy pets and those with disease conditions. They are uniquely qualified to evaluate, recommend, and formulate commercial and homemade diet plans for individual pets. They commonly also consult for pet food companies and advise on ingredient selection and diet formulation.
As a veterinarian, they apply their knowledge of maintaining health, as well as managing disease conditions specifically towards optimizing nutrition. They understand how nutrition may impact the underlying causes of disease and how specific nutritional strategies can be used to prevent and treat diseases.
Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists® are diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (subspecialty Nutrition) – DACVIM (Nutrition). The DACVIM (Nutrition) is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recognized specialty organization for nutrition in veterinary practice. After receiving a veterinary medical degree (DVM), diplomates must complete at least 1 year of internship or practical clinical experience followed by at least 2 years of residency training, or they may complete an alternative tract training program where they can use a work/study combination.
Residency training involves intensive clinical, teaching, and research activities under the mentorship of at least one board certified veterinary nutritionist (usually 2-3 mentors participate). Trainees must achieve established benchmark skills and/or prepare written case reports and publish a peer-reviewed scientific article(s). At completion of their training program, they must pass a comprehensive two-day written board examination in order to achieve board certification.