Veterinary Nutrition Group
Fuel their fire
We are veterinarians dedicated to both
the science and the art of personalised nutrition for dogs and cats.
Our company provides expert consultancy services to pet owners, veterinary practices and pet food manufacturers in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Middle East.
Recipe formulation for
Nutritious, complete and balanced recipes for healthy adults and growing animals
Recipe formulation for pets with medical conditions
Personalised recipes to suit your pet's special requirements
Analysis of your pet's current diet
Be sure that your pet's current diet contains everything they need
Commercial or prescription diet recommendations
A range of options that are most appropriate for your pet's needs
Are you giving your pet the best supplementation you can?
Working dog or high performance diet formulation
Provide your dog with the absolute best to maintain performance
Frequently asked questions
How does a therapeutic nutrition consultation work?
A therapeutic nutrition consult involves formulation of recipes for an appropriate home-prepared diet, for a pet with medical concerns. Therapeutic consults can be done remotely with no face-to-face contact, however they do need to be requested by the pet's veterinarian. This is because we need all test results and medical history, to make sure the formulations are suitable. We also can't (and shouldn't) provide medical advice directly to pet owners that we have no face-to-face relationship with.
If you are a veterinarian and would like to request a therapeutic consult for a patient, please follow the referral instructions that can be found via the 'Services' menu, on the 'Therapeutic nutrition' page. Likewise, if you are a pet owner and would like a consult for your pet, please read the instructions on the 'Therapeutic nutrition' page, and also ask your vet to do so as well.
Therapeutic consults include two different, personalised recipes for a home-prepared therapeutic diet, and commercial diet recommendations as well (if desired). We can take into account ingredient preferences when we formulate the recipes. The cost for a consult is $275 AUD including GST ($250 AUD GST free for clients outside Australia), and the turnaround time is usually 1.5 to 2 weeks.
How does a healthy pet nutrition consultation work?
A healthy pet nutrition consult involves formulation of recipes for a complete and balanced, home-prepared diet, for a healthy dog or cat. We can formulate recipes for both adult dogs and cats, as well as puppies or kittens. There is no need for the pet's veterinarian to be involved, so long as the pet is healthy, with no relevant medical history. The pet's owner can contact us directly to request the consult, by completing one of our Healthy Pet request forms, found under the 'Forms' menu.
Once we will receive the form, we will double-check everything with the owner, prior to proceeding with the consult. If you are a veterinarian and have a healthy pet that needs complete and balanced recipes, please ask the owner to visit our website, so they can contact us directly.
Do you formulate recipes for raw meat-based diets?
We can certainly consider requests with respect to cooking of ingredients. We do recommend that all meat or offal is cooked thoroughly, to reduce the risk of bacterial or parasitic contamination. This is particularly important if you have immunocompromised people in your household. Regardless of this, if you would like to feed your pet a raw meat-based diet, please keep in mind these limitations:
We will not formulate any recipes using intact bones to meet calcium requirements. The absorption of calcium from bone has been shown to be highly variable, and we favour a more precise approach to the calcium and phosphorus content of the diet. Bones can certainly provide valuable enrichment, however they can also cause dental fractures, esophageal or intestinal obstruction or perforation, or constipation and obstipation. If you have decided to feed raw bones to your pet, you can still use our balanced recipes and provide raw meaty bones as a "treat" several times a week - we can allow for this.
Our raw meat-based recipes will still contain supplements. It is actually quite difficult to create complete and balanced raw recipes without supplementation. Of course we can discuss what you would like, and try to incorporate foods as sources of particular nutrients, however supplements will still be required in a majority of cases.
We will not formulate raw meat-based recipes using mixed muscle meat/offal/bone "pet meat" products. The reason for this is that these mixes are typically inconsistent in terms of their composition, and even slight variations in the types/amounts of offal can greatly affect the nutritional composition of the mix. We use and recommend human-grade meat and offal in our formulations.
Can you formulate recipes for a vegan or vegetarian diet?
We can formulate both vegetarian and vegan recipes for healthy adult dogs with a good appetite. Please keep in mind that vegan or vegetarian diets are often less energy dense, so your dog will need to consume a relatively large volume of food per day. Some dogs will love this, however fussy dogs or dogs with a poor appetite may not cope well with this. For growing puppies, we will need to assess each case individually - a vegetarian or vegan diet may or may not be possible. For dogs with medical conditions, again, we need to assess each patient on a case-by-case basis.
Cats are more difficult and it is our strong preference not to formulate vegetarian or vegan recipes for cats, unless required for a medical reason (for example, hepatic encephalopathy). It is our experience that cats do not find these diets very palatable, a lot of supplementation is required, and that there can be problems with urine pH.
What kinds of ingredients will the recipes contain?
We try to take owner preference into account as much as possible. Please let us know what your pet loves, and what they don't like! This helps us produce the tastiest possible recipes for your pet.
Otherwise, there are no hard-and-fast rules with respect to ingredients, other than not including toxic foods, for example, grapes or macadamias. If you would like to avoid certain ingredients, we should be able to do that.
Will my pet enjoy eating a homemade diet?
Many pets love eating a homemade diet! Sometimes it can be a challenge to introduce something new (especially with cats!) However, most of the time, we can adjust the recipe to achieve success, with a bit of patience and experimentation. Over time we have accumulated lots of tips and tricks to persuade even the fussiest pet to try, and hopefully enjoy, their new diet. Please ask us for help if you are struggling, we are always very happy to provide advice.
What kind of follow up is provided?
We try to provide as much follow up and support as possible, however this can take a lot of time. If the recipes are not palatable to your pet, we will revise and adjust them (within a month of completion of the initial consultation) at no additional cost.
However, if completely new recipes are required after the first month, there will be an additional charge of $135 AUD including GST per recipe. We also have ongoing intensive support available ($275 AUD including GST for three months - this includes email support and up to three reformulations).
We have always received great feedback from both our referring veterinarians and owners, so we are very confident you will be happy. Please have a look at our testimonials page if you have any concerns!
Can you tell me what supplements to feed my pet?
We use a range of supplements in our recipes - what is required will be assessed on an individual basis. This may include supplements for joint health, antioxidants, fibre supplements, B vitamins, multivitamins/minerals and many others.
If you are currently giving a number of supplements and would like detailed comments on these, with recommendations, just let us know.
Can you produce recipes that require no supplementation?
It may surprise you, but in reality this is challenging to achieve, without the requirement to feed a large number of ingredients, some of which may be expensive, unpalatable and/or impractical.
It may be possible though, for some pets. Please contact us to discuss what you would like to do.