PNA Updates Tools for Optimal Pet Nutrition

The Pet Nutrition Alliance (PNA) announced the annual update on its resource that helps veterinary healthcare teams make more informed decisions when recommending pet food for their patients. This new tool Dare to Ask: We Did! was created by compiling information about pet food manufacturers.

With thousands of choices of pet foods, it is confusing for pet owners and the veterinary healthcare team to make informed decisions about the best pet food for an individual pet. Surveys show that practitioners are overwhelmed with the volume of food choices available and feel unequipped to make educated food recommendations to clients. With this in mind, PNA set out to create resources that not only inform veterinary healthcare teams on the best food options available, but also save veterinary professionals time and energy in their research.

“Most pet owners base food decisions on an ingredient list, and we want them to understand the decision should be more focused on quality control, nutritional expertise, and other important factors surrounding the pet food manufacturer,” said Julie Churchill, DVM, PhD, DACVN and PNA President. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) developed recommendations for selecting the best food, but most of this information is not on the label and requires contacting each manufacturer to ask them for information. PNA “dared to ask” by contacting more than 200 manufacturers selling pet food in the United States and Canada and asking them questions based on some of the WSAVA criteria. The results answer critical questions including details on the manufacturers’ nutritional expertise, where their foods are manufactured, and whether they can provide information on a requested nutrient (and if that nutrient meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials profiles).

A newly updated version of Dare to Ask is now available on the PNA website and expands its library of valuable tools for veterinary healthcare teams on nutritional assessment and planning, including calorie calculators for dogs and cats which are available in English, Spanish and French. “The goal is to provide veterinary healthcare teams with more objective information on which to base their pet food decisions and recommendations. We want to empower the veterinary healthcare team to help their clients navigate the sea of pet nutrition information (and misinformation) to provide optimal nutrition for every pet.” added Lisa Freeman DVM, PhD DACVN, PNA Past-President. For more information about this project, and to access scientifically-based nutritional information, calorie calculators, and other useful pet nutrition resources, please visit