What is an Animal Nutritionist?
An animal nutritionist is someone who specializes in the dietary needs of animals in captivity, such as pets, agricultural animals and zoo animals. The purpose of an animal nutritionist is to promote and increase understanding when it comes to an animal’s diet and its effects on the animal’s health, well-being, and productivity.
Animal nutritionists differ from animal dieticians in that their work centres more around creating nutritional and lifestyle plans and menus for animals, rather than working from a strictly clinical aspect.
What does an Animal Nutritionist do?
An animal nutritionist is an animal scientist who applies their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and nutrition, to animal food and diets. Animal nutrition combines a number of factors, such as physics, mathematics, food processing, chemistry, biochemistry, animal behaviour and economics.
An animal nutritionist takes into account the nutritional and physical needs of an animal and formulates balanced rations of food for them. They look at an animal’s caloric intake, level of activity, and condition. For example, the food intake and needs for dairy cows may vary from the food intake and needs of beef cattle.
The job varies, depending on the company or organization the animal nutritionist is working for. For the most part, the day revolves around giving advice to animal owners so they can make good dietary plans for their pets, livestock, or zoo animals.
Other duties of an animal nutritionist might involve:
- testing pet foods
- developing feed plans and nutritional programs for animals
- evaluating the chemical composition and nutritional value of grass, feed, forage, and other supplements
- studying animals in laboratory trials
- maintaining the quality control of certain feeds
- investigating nutritional disorders
What is the workplace of an Animal Nutritionist like?
The workplace of an animal nutritionist varies according to the type of work they do. They may work in a classroom, a laboratory or a farm. They can also be found working for government departments, agricultural advisory bodies, international development agencies, educational and research institutions, animal food production companies, and as freelance consultants.
Animal Nutritionists are also known as:
Animal Nutrition Specialist Animal Nutrition Scientist