Small Animal Nutrition | Centre for Veterinary Education

Small Animal Nutrition

What are the differences between dogs and cats in their nutritional requirements? How can you use this knowledge to better advise owners about how to feed their animals?

Over the past 40 years, the widespread feeding of commercial foods to dogs and cats has diminished awareness of the special nutritional characteristics of these domestic animals. 

Although commercial foods, formulated to meet the known nutrient requirements of dogs and cats, have ensured good nutritional health, there are still circumstances where malnutrition of these species can occur. The aims of this course are to emphasise the differences between dogs and cats in their nutritional requirements, to draw attention as to how this knowledge can help veterinarians better advise dog and cat owners about how to feed their animals and to awaken an understanding about how nutritional knowledge can assist in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Veterinary nurses with a special interest in the topic are welcome to enrol in this course. Please be aware that the course is designed for qualified veterinarians and you should consider this in light of your knowledge and experience before you register.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of how knowledge of nutritional science is needed to be able to provide guidance on how to meet the specific nutrient requirements of dogs and cats

  • Have covered how to use feeding standard tables and food composition tables to formulate diets that meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats

  • Gain a better understanding of how to apply nutritional knowledge in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases where nutritional factors are involved in their aetiology

  • Gain a better understanding of the significance of clinical signs that indicate a history of malnutrition in dogs and cats.


  1. The physiological and biochemical characteristics that determine the different nutritional requirements of dogs and cats.

  2. The specific nutrient requirements of dogs and cats.

  3. The application of nutritional knowledge in the prevention and treatment of disease.

  4. Malnutrition of dogs and cats with consequent disease.

Course Delivery

This course includes:

  • A set of written notes and photographs within each module

  • Self-assessed multiple choice quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding

  • A discussion forum for conversation, debate and information exchange with your peers and tutor

  • An electronic certificate available for download upon successful completion of the course

The estimated time to complete this course is 10 hours. The course will be open for 4 weeks


Tuesday 3 - Monday 30 April 2018
Delivered Online



David Fraser was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia to study at the University of Sydney, graduating Bachelor of Veterinary Science with First Class Honours and the University Medal in 1962.  He was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Sydney, before becoming a postgraduate student in Clare College at the University of Cambridge.  He undertook research in the University of Cambridge Dunn Nutritional Laboratory on vitamin D metabolism and graduated with a PhD in 1967.  From 1967 to 1986 he was a member of the Scientific Staff of the Medical Research Council at the Dunn Nutritional Laboratory, with continuing research on the metabolism and function of vitamin D.  In 1986 he returned to the University of Sydney as Professor of Animal Science.  He was Head of the Department of Animal Science (1992-1994) and Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science (1994-1998).  He continues with research and teaching on the nutrition of domestic animals at the University of Sydney, with particular interest in vitamin D status and function.

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$289
Student Member$145
Non-member / eMember$578
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members

You may be eligible for a 10% discount off your registration. Please read the full Terms & Conditions to see if you are eligible.

The TimeOnline nurse rate is the same as the Recent Grad/Part-time member rate in the table above. 

Discounts and nurse registrations can’t be processed online so please contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or

Further details

Have a question? Your answer could be on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer for your question, please email us or call us on +61 2 9351 7979.