Animal Nutrition

Science & Technology
Veterinary Technology
Course Code
VTEC 2111
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course will examine the dietary requirements of companion and food animals and how nutrition affects animal health. Students will also be provided with the knowledge required to counsel small animal clients on life stage, preventative and therapeutic nutrition as well as available supplements and nutraceuticals.

Enrolment is limited to students in the Veterinary Technology Program.
Course Content

The major topics in this course include the following:

  1. Basic veterinary nutrition:
     - nutrition terminology
     - the basic nutrients required by animals
     - ingredients used in commercial and veterinary exclusive diets
     - pet food label interpretation and regulatory bodies
  2. Canine and feline veterinary diets and supplements:
     - life stage diets available for growth, adults and senior pets
     - therapeutic diets available to prevent and manage various medical conditions
     - calculation of feeding quantities
     - supplements and nutraceuticals
     - homemade recipes and raw food diets
  3. Marketing and promotion of veterinary diets:
     - client education and effective use of marketing tools
     - owner compliance
     - dental programs, senior pet programs and weight loss programs
     - software tools, client education materials, website resources
  4. Large animal nutrition:
     - equine life stage nutritional needs  and disease prevention
     - nutritional requirements for dairy and beef cattle, with emphasis on feeding for different types of production
     - feeding recommendations for pigs, poultry, sheep and goats
Methods Of Instruction

This course involves four hours of classroom instruction per week.

Means of Assessment

The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. A final minimum cumulative grade of “C” or 60% is required in order to pass this course. Evaluation will be based on quizzes and assignments, at least one midterm and a final written examination.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the basic nutrients, their role and importance in the body and ingredient sources.
  2. Provide an overview of the pet food industry in Canada.  Differentiate commercial veterinary exclusive diets from grocery, pet store, homemade and raw food diets based on research, innovative ingredients and clinical support.
  3. Interpret and understand pet food labels and describe the regulatory bodies for pet food.
  4. Discuss the unique nutritional needs of immature, adult and senior animals and make recommendations in a companion animal setting for appropriate life stage nutrition. 
  5. Calculate feeding amounts for any diet both manually and using software tools.
  6. Discuss, and educate clients about, nutritional strategies employed to prevent and manage common medical conditions.
  7. Discuss the unique nutritional requirements of the critical care patient.   Discuss the placement and care of feeding tubes and educate owners regarding the nutritional needs of debilitated and chronic care patients.  
  8. Design an effective weight loss plan for overweight and obese patients and successfully implement a weight loss program in a clinical setting. 
  9. Discuss nutritional supplements and nutraceuticals and the indications, research and clinical studies upon which recommendations for their use are based.
  10. Review the nutritional needs of horses and discuss variations in feeding methods used in equine nutrition.  Assess forages and grains for type and quality.
  11. Discuss and compare the basic nutritional needs and feeding methods of dairy and beef cattle. 
  12. Discuss the nutritional needs and feeding methods of pigs, poultry, sheep and goats.
Textbook Materials

A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.



Successful completion of Year 1 of the Veterinary/Animal Health Technology Program





Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for VTEC 2111
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Summer 2022

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.