The American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) was established in 1988 to provide specialty training in nutrition to graduate veterinarians and in 2021 ACVN joined the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) organization as a sixth specialty uner their organizational umbrella. Individuals with both a veterinary degree and board certification through ACVIM are uniquely trained in the nutritional management of health and disease and are able to guide other veterinarians and pet owners on the use of diet as a medical therapy. This specialty college is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and members of ACVIM will have either “Diplomate ACVIM (Nutrition)” or “DACVIM (Nutrition)” in addition to their veterinary degree (DVM or equivalent title).
The ACVIM (Nutrition) training involves an extensive residency program that requires graduate courses in advanced nutrition as well as clinical, teaching, and research activities beyond the standard veterinary school course work. Trainees are required to demonstrate practical skills as well as pass written exams in order to obtain board certification.
It is important to note: The Internet and Social Media are home to a number of different sources of nutritional information for your dog or cat. While some of these are great resources, many are guided by self-interest (money, acclaim, or prestige) or are not informed by the latest medical insights. Providing specific guidance on how diet and nutrition modifications can help you manage your dog or cat's medical condition calls for someone with not only a background in veterinary medicine but animal nutrition and physiology as well and that is where a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist can help!