Amid the latest pet food recalls and recent FDA investigations into pet foods distributed in the US that have been contaminated with melamine, many owners are now considering making their own pet foods instead of relying on the quality of store purchased products.

Many online articles have recommended that owners seek the advice of a pet nutritionalist before changing their pets diet as they must ensure that home prepared foods contain the full range of nutrients required to maintain their pets long term health. Healthy dogs require 38 different nutrients in their daily diet and a healthy cat requires 40.

There are only a handful of pet nutritionalists wordwide – you can find them listed at the American College of Veterinary Nutrition website. The small numer of qualified nutritionalists means that this is a pet care profession that is in high demand. As the interest amongst owners to protect their pets health grows many new pet nutritionalists will be needed to meet consumer demand.

Pet nutritionalists evaluate the pets age, breed, activity level, and exisiting medical conditions to determine the correct daily energy and nutrient intake that is required in their daily diet. They then recommend a mix of foods and supplements to meet these needs.

If you are interested in getting a nutritionalist to evaluate your pets dietary needs you can visit PetDiets.com to receive a written evaluation. They also have some great information on pet nutrition at their site.

A full overview of the requirements and duties of a pet nutritionalist are outlined in an Occupational Profile put together by Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service in the UK.