Q: Who created this directory?
A: Veterinarian, Karen Becker, believes feeding fresh, nutritionally optimal homemade diets improves health and well-being. Many people’s first response to discovering ultra-processed pet food might not be ideal is: “ok, I’m open to making my animal’s food, give me a recipe my vet will endorse.” Having a centralized directory of professionals makes finding qualified formulators much easier for pet parents seeking this information. Lindsay Hadfield, a nutritional consultant herself, volunteered to provide perspective to the project from the side of the consultant. Rachel Godfrey, an experienced raw-feeder and active member of the raw-feeding community, volunteers her administrative skills. Renee Morin, as a pet parent herself, brings that perspective to the project and the ability to help get the information together and up online. As volunteers and fresh-feeding advocates, our intention is simple: provide a reference list of educated and experienced professionals capable of working with pet parents to ensure they are feeding fresher diets in a nutritionally complete way.
Q: Why does the directory require diets be formulated to NRC, AAFCO or FEDIAF?
A: One of the main reasons that veterinarians hold back support of fresh feeding is their concern that the diets are not meeting established nutritional standards. One of the main things holding back pet parents from feeding fresh is the worry over not being able to do it well enough to ensure their pets are getting a balanced diet. To gain support in the veterinary community and to encourage more parents to confidently feed fresher, we feel it vital that the consultants we list are capable of formulating to established standards and beyond, optimizing the diets they provide.
Q: Are the professionals on this list "nutritionists"?
A: The use of the word "nutritionist" is not a well-regulated universal term. It can be understood differently in layman terms vs as a professional designation.
A Veterinary Nutritionist, as an example, is a regulated term within the industry. It is a specialty field with specific educational and experiential criteria that must be met in order to use the title. Its usage is protected and well-defined. Other educational programs in animal nutrition, whether they be as short as a seminar, or take years to complete, can have their own certificates, designations, titles, and they may not be regulated, registered, or overseen. The weight they carry depends on the quality of the program and the credibility of the institution or organization providing the education. As such, this directory respectfully uses the term "consultant" and encourages users to look into the education and experience of the consultant, and the reputation of the educator.
Q: Do these consultants work for you?
A: No, the consultants listed are all independent, own their own businesses, or work for others who do. This website is simply a directory of listings.
Q: Do I contact you to hire a consultant through your list?
A: No, we just provide the listings and you need to contact the consultants directly regarding their services and to do more research into them.
Q: Do you formally endorse all the consultants listed?
A: We require consultants to complete a submission form (available for download) which we have taken on good faith. It is not possible for us to fully investigate each consultant and the responsibility to do further research before using the services of any consultant lies with the pet parent.
Q: Why is my consultant not on this list?
A: We reached out to as many consultants as we could find when we started. We asked the ones that we reached out to if they had others they'd like to recommend to us. However, we have not been able to contact every consultant that exists to make them aware of the project. Not everyone we contacted may have taken up the opportunity to appear on this list. Some may have different philosophies and approaches other than formulating to official standards. Some may not have met our criteria as far as having the education and experience indicative of a certain level of proficiency at this time. The directory is a growing list, please feel free to refer qualified consultants here to learn more.
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