Veterinary Nutritionist Defined

With all of the talk about dog food lately, you may have heard the term Veterinary Nutritionist mentioned. Most of us believe that our Veterinarian is a Veterinary Nutritionist; however, that is not the case.

Dr. Andrew Jones DVM  states, “I was taught nearly nothing about nutrition and I am of the opinion that most veterinarians also know very little about nutrition. My education came from the food company representatives; those that sponsored events while I was a student, and later the food reps that visited the veterinary practices in which I worked.”

According to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a Veterinary Nutritionist, there are fewer than 100 Veterinary Nutritionists in the United States. It is important to know the difference when seeking nutrition advice for your pet.

Dr. Shmalberg explains that “Veterinary nutritionists are first and foremost, veterinarians. They have all the same training and credentials of a regular vet. Their knowledge base extends further, though, to include detailed expertise on all things related to your pets’ dietary needs.”


A board-certified veterinary nutritionist ™ as defined by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition is a specialist that is uniquely trained in the nutritional management of both healthy animals and those with one or more diseases. This additional certification makes them qualified to give nutritional advice. Regular vets spend a nominal amount of their training covering nutrition, says Dr. Shmalberg, but a veterinary nutritionist makes it the key specialization of their medical career.

Dr. Jones says, “Your veterinarian is extremely knowledgeable, able to diagnose the most obscure disease, and can perform the most intricate surgery, but they likely know very little about dog nutrition.” He suggests that each pet parent do their own research.

For over 80 years, you have trusted Braxton’s to find the right foods for your pets, and we do not take your confidence lightly. We research ingredients and evaluate ingredient panels. We carefully and critically evaluate every food and the companies that manufacture them before we decide if they are a good fit for our customers.

During this time we ask that you continue to trust in us and talk to us about your questions and concerns. We will do our best to help you make the decision that is right for you and your pets. We are making pet nutrition the focus of our upcoming educational evening.

Braxton’s is hosting Rob Downey, CEO and President of Annamaet Foods on October 10, 2019, from 6:30 to 8:30. Rob will be discussing the Myths of Pet Food Formulation and the Pet Food Industry. Annamaet has two nutritionists on staff with over 100 publications in peer-reviewed Veterinary or Nutrition Journals.

This is a free event; however, registration is required. You can register through our Facebook page or in the store.

We Want to Hear from You!

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