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Pet Nutrition

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    Internationally Accredited by ICOES
    Fully CPD/CE Certified
    Instant Free PDF Certificate
    Recommended by 95% of Students
    24/7 Access

    Meet the expert


    About the course

    As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” This is as true for our pets as it is for us. But with so many different diets and formulations on the shelves, the world of pet food may seem baffling and overwhelming.

    This highly digestible course will help you understand your pet’s dietary needs and give a solid grounding in pet nutrition. The course helps you understand food labelling, how much and when to feed, and not forgetting our smaller furry (and scaly) friends as we pick a path through the maze of pet nutrition.

    Food glorious food! You’re on safe ground spotting a steak is not a cabbage, but can you tell proteins, carbohydrates and fats from vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants? Learn nutritional aspects such as:

    • Food groups: What foods are made up of
    • Types of food: How commercial diets are packaged
    • Food labelling: Decode the small print
    • Know how much to feed

    Understand Your Pet’s Nutritional Needs

    A dog has different nutritional needs to a cat, which is different to a rabbit. Indeed, don’t stop there because birds, fish, and reptiles all have specific needs. Learn about:

    • Different types of digestion: Herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores
    • Life stage feeding: Youngster, adult, or senior pet
    • Matching lifestyle to nutrition: How to feed the active animal, for pregnancy or lactation
    • Why a cat isn’t a small dog
    • Mealtimes vs ad lib feeding
    • Avoiding fussy eaters

    The Weighty Matter of Weight

    It’s official: Lean animals live longer.

    Learn how to assess your pet’s weight and then diet them for longer life:

    • Body score your pet
    • Feeding for painless weight loss
    • What every overweight diabetic cat should know

    Food and Ill Health

    Food choices cut both ways: It causes ill health and it can cure it. Learn:

    • Signs of dietary allergy or food intolerance
    • How to put your pet on a hypoallergenic diet
    • Foods to improve renal, liver, heart, dental, and urinary disease

    An appropriate, good quality diet is vital for our pets’ health and longevity but do you truly what you’re feeding them? If you can’t put your hand on your heart and say “Yes,” then this course helps you to ask, and answer, the right questions about feeding.

    What you will learn

    Learn how to switch diets without upsetting your pet’s tummy, and weigh up the pros and cons of various diets such as:

    • Raw meaty bones
    • A homemade diet
    • Supermarket food
    • Veterinary approved diets
    • Prescription diets

    Learn the crucial importance of an unprocessed high fiber diet to your rabbit’s health and well-being. Also, how to feed the following for optimal health:

    • Rabbits
    • Guinea pigs
    • Hamsters, gerbils, rats, and mice
    • Birds,
    • Fish
    • Tortoises, turtles, and terrapins
    • Reptiles, including snakes.


    International Open Academy courses are designed for anyone with an interest in learning. No formal qualifications are required to study with us. Our courses are suitable if you want to learn new skills, start a new career, or if you’re already working in a particular industry and wish to upgrade your talents and enhance your resume.


    Course Breakdown

    Module 1: Food Glorious Food
    • 1.1 Food groups
    • 1.2 Types of diet
    • 1.3 Reading food labels
    Module 2: Types Of Digestion
    • 2.1 Herbivores
    • 2.2 Carnivores
    • 2.3 Omnivores
    Module 3: Cradle To Grave Feeding
    • 3.1 Puppies and Kittens
    • 3.2 Adults
    • 3.3 The senior animal
    • 3.4 Pregnancy and lactation
    • 3.5 Feeding Dogs
    • 3.6 Feeding Cats
    • 3.7 Ad lib feeding vs mealtimes
    • 3.8 How often to feed
    • 3.9 Avoiding faddy eaters
    Module 4: The Weighty Matter Of Weight
    • 4.1 The importance of a healthy waistline
    • 4.2 Does your pet have a weight problem?
    • 4.3 Honey I shrunk the dog
    • 4.4 A special mention about cats and diabetes
    • 4.5 Safe weight gain
    Module 5: Food And Ill Health
    • 5.1 Dietary allergies and intolerance
    • 5.2 Hypoallergenic diets
    • 5.3 Cats and Urinary Blockages
    • 5.4 Renal problems
    • 5.5 GI upsets
    • 5.6 Pancreatitis
    • 5.7 Dental disease
    • 5.8 Cancer, brain ageing, and liver disease
    Module 6: Pet Food: Opening Pandora’s Box
    • 6.1 Homemade diets
    • 6.2 RMB
    • 6.3 Supermarket foods
    • 6.4 Premium pet foods
    • 6.5 Veterinary approved foods
    • 6.6 Changing diets
    Module 7: Rabbits And Guinea Pigs
    • 7.1 Myths and mistakes
    • 7.2 Healthy Eating for Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
    • 7.3 Eating Related Issues
    Module 8: Mice, Rats, Gerbils, And Hamsters
    • 8.1 Mice and rats
    • 8.2 Gerbils
    • 8.3 Hamsters
    Module 9: Birds
    • 9.1 Cage birds
    • 9.2 Poultry
    • 9.3 Birds of Prey
    • 9.4 Parrots
    Module 10: Fish
    • 10.1 Freshwater
    • 10.2 Marine
    • 10.3 Saltwater
    Module 11: Reptiles
    • 11.1 Tortoises
    • 11.2 Terrapins and Turtles
    • 11.3 Lizards
    • 11.4 Snakes


    Who is this course for

    This course will be of great interest to animal lovers and professionals in the pet care industry who would like to better understand the nutritional needs of animals, how to properly care for pets, and to any learner who is interested in pet care as a future industry to work in.

    This is also a great resource for those who would like to own animals and want to provide the highest level of care for their pets.

    Career path

    Candidates with an interest in working with animals

    Anyone interested in a career in animal nutrition or animal care

    Those interested in owning animals, volunteering at animal shelters, or fostering animals.

    Existing animal care workers in pursuit of promotion

    Those seeking to improve the lives of their pets through proper nutritional care


    Certification details

    To receive certification, you must:

    1. Complete every page of the course
    2. Score at least 55% on the exam at the end of the course
    3. That's it!

    After successfully completing the course, you will immediately receive your PDF course certificate so you can instantly add it to your CV and display your achievement. You can also request a hard copy certificate to be sent to your postal address for a small printing and posting fee.

    All our courses are accredited by the International Council for Online Educational Standards - www.icoes.org (accreditation number ICOES/00763/13/36). Most of our courses will earn you credits through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) / Continuing Education (CE). Check for the CPD logo on the course page.

    CPD points are accepted and recognized by employers from both the public and private sectors, and academic institutions across the UK and internationally.

    International Open Academy is also an officially approved TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) center, with the TQUK Center Number: C001157

    TQUK is a national awarding body recognized by the UK Government and regulated by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation).

    For further details, please visit https://internationalopenacademy.com/accreditation