With the aim of tackling stubborn pet food myths, the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA) held its first ever 'Pet Nutrition Debate' at the London Vet Show this November.
The event was over-subscribed with 50 plus pet professionals, proving that nutrition is a hot topic for veterinary professionals.
Using voting buttons, the panel and audience debated hot topics from obesity to raw feeding:
Commercial Pet Food
75% of delegates were of the view that when fed correctly, commercial pet foods provide optimum nutrition. However, Dr. Marge Chandler, one of a small pool of Board Certified Nutritionists working in the UK, highlighted the importance of assessing the needs of the individual pet, then matching the diet accordingly.
Dr Chandler’s top tip was that owners and professionals should look at the credentials of a pet food manufacturer, whether nutritionists are employed, what research is done and how the diets are tested for their nutritional adequacy. This applies to all commercial pet food – prepared or raw.
Worryingly, although perhaps not unexpected, 80% of the audience believed pet obesity is getting worse. Whilst factors such as overfeeding and lack of exercise were singled out, psychological issues such as owners treating to ease a sense of guilt due to longer working hours also had a role to play.
83% of the audience considered current teaching of small animal nutrition to be inadequate. PFMA hopes to lend its support on this issue in 2016 by teaming up with UK Vet Schools, small animal nutritionists and other experts to see how this can best be addressed – watch this space for exciting developments!
Notes to Editors
The panel included Dr. Marge Chandler, one of a small pool of Board Certified Nutritionists working in the UK, Dr. John Lowe, Small Animal Consultant, Dr. Nick Thompson, Founder of the Raw Feeding Society, and to provide background on the pet food industry and pet food production, Sarah Hormozi from the PFMA and Laura Ward from GA Pet Food Partners.
PFMA is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry. Our 70 members account for over 90% of the market. For more information on the PFMA, pet nutrition and how pet foods are formulated, please visit www.pfma.org.uk