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Online Toolkit Launches To Fuel Pet Nutrition Conversations

1 year ago

1st February, 2023 11h17

A new scenario post-pandemic reveals that veterinarians are facing a significant workload in their daily work at clinics. The difficulties to find human resources that could alleviate such situation gets complicated with the high level of staff turnover that is becoming habitual in some European countries. At the same time staff and client education is more important than ever —yet veterinary professionals have less time than ever to educate themselves and their clients. To help address this challenge, the Purina Institute has created CentreSquare, a free, comprehensive online toolkit of user-friendly, science-based pet nutrition information for veterinary practices. This product-agnostic, one-stop resource offers a wide range of clinic tools, including staff training videos, nutrition briefs, nutrition conversation starters and client handouts.

“Even before the pandemic, the reality was that while 4 out of 5 pet owners said they wanted pet nutrition advice from their veterinarians, only 1 in 5 veterinarians was proactively discussing nutrition with clients,”1 said Daniel Rodes, DVM, PhD European Leader for the Purina Institute. “If veterinarians and clinic staff members don’t lead the nutrition dialogue, their clients will look for answers elsewhere—often from unreliable sources. We believe it is time for veterinary professionals to take back those important conversations.” 

At the same time, Dr. Rodes noted new market insights determined that Veterinary Health Care team has a tremendous workload that penalizes the time they can devote to maintain a long enough conversation with their clients about issues such as how to feed a puppy, what a cat’s ideal body condition should look like or why a diabetic pet needs a change in diet. 

These same time constraints also make it complicated for clinic staff to keep updated about nutritional trends and provide accurate messages to their clients. 

Nutrition tutorials packaged in convenient formats 

CentreSquare users can filter nutrition information by species, life stage, material format, and length of read or watch time. The online hub includes training assets that can help staff members as well as veterinary students who are transitioning to a clinic environment. In addition, information is presented in formats that are easy to share with pet owners. 

In a pilot study2 with veterinary professionals in the U.S. and Canada, 92% of surveyed professionals agreed that the information on CentreSquare was relevant, while 85% agreed the information was easy to relay to pet owners. A separate survey of veterinary students found that 96% of students surveyed said that the site assets increased their confidence to initiate conversations with pet owners about nutrition. Meanwhile, 93% of veterinary professionals and 100% of veterinary students were likely to recommend CentreSquare to their peers.

Along with testing the usefulness of the CentreSquare site to veterinary professionals and students, The Purina Institute consulted with leaders in nutrition education to ensure the toolkit assets were meeting the objective of facilitating better nutrition conversations. University of Ghent in Belgium Veterinary Nutrition Professor Myriam Hesta, DVM, PhD, Dip ECVCN, said, “As a veterinary nutritionist I’m very pleased Purina Institute has created CentreSquare. It will make practitioners more confident to talk about a variety of nutritional questions for which owners often seek the advice of their veterinarian; including the trending nutritional topics but it will also make them more confident to address more difficult nutritional topics like obesity. CentreSquare makes nutritional science available for free in a user-friendly way. It’s very easy to find information on a certain topic and the vet, who’s always limited in time, can even choose what to watch/read based on the available time as the informative videos have a time indication. As nutrition is key in the health of our pets, this will improve the pet´s wellbeing and this the goal of every veterinarian.”

The CentreSquare site is divided into six major information categories: life stage nutrition, focused nutrition, therapeutic nutrition, understanding pet food, nutritional and clinical assessment tools and nutrition conversations. In keeping with the educational mission of the Purina Institute, CentreSquare assets carry the Institute logo but do not position or mention Purina diets. Client education assets can be customized with a veterinary clinic’s logo.

CentreSquare is currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, and German. To find out more about CentreSquare and how to incorporate these resources into practices, visit

¹Source: Ipsos (2014). Vet Tracker US.

²Source: CentreSquare Pilot Study, June 21 – July 27, 2021, of 74 veterinary professionals in the U.S. and Canada and 52 veterinary students from 30 North American veterinary schools.

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