The Purina Institute’s upcoming webinar addresses the role of nutrition in palliative care

The Purina Institute’s latest webinar, ‘Incorporating Nutrition into Palliative and Hospice Care’, will be presented by board-certified nutritionist Dr Julie Churchill and veterinary hospice and palliative care expert Dr Beth Marchitelli. Topics covered will include the effects of chronic illness on appetite, optimal nutrition for pets with reduced food intake and advice for effective nutrition discussions with struggling owners. The one-hour webinar will be live on 30 November 2023 at 6 pm GMT and will also be recorded for later viewing. Veterinary professionals can register at

When a pet is in their final days, or has been diagnosed with an incurable health condition that could negatively impact their quality of life, that pet’s care is often focused on addressing discomfort and the clinical signs of disease while other potentially beneficial interventions – such as nutrition – may be given lower priority or overlooked altogether. However, appropriate nutritional management can play an important role in preserving these pets’ quality of life as long as possible.

Veterinary palliative care provides support for pets and families coping with life-limiting health conditions, while veterinary hospice care aims to preserve the highest quality of life possible for pets in the final stage of their lives. Pets with life-limiting or terminal conditions may have physical or medical issues that affect their appetite or their physical ability to eat. They may have an increased demand for calories or protein. They may also have one or more health conditions that could benefit from enriching their diet with certain nutrients or supplements, or that could require a specific dietary approach. Many pet owners see food and treats as an expression of love for their pet, and may choose food items or treats their pets favour but that could introduce additional health risks. Veterinary professionals can help owners satisfy this “food is love” need while still meeting their pet’s nutritional needs.

Those interested in learning how to incorporate nutrition to provide pets with the highest possible quality of life, for as long as possible, can join the Purina Institute for their upcoming webinar, Incorporating Nutrition into Palliative and Hospice Care. The webinar will bring together a boarded nutritionist, Dr Julie Churchill, and a hospice and palliative care veterinary expert, Dr Beth Marchitelli.

The presenters will focus on providing optimal nutrition for pets that may be more finicky and may have physical or medical challenges that affect eating and food intake. They will discuss strategies for optimising nutrition to preserve quality of life and lean body mass as well as support other aspects of palliative and hospice care. During the discussion, the presenters will include tips for effectively communicating these concepts to an owner who is emotionally struggling with their pet’s condition.

The live, one-hour webinar will take place on 30 November 2023 at 6 pm GMT. Veterinary professionals can sign up to watch the webinar live and access it later on-demand at

About the Purina Institute

The Purina Institute is dedicated to transforming nutrition science into actionable information that veterinary professionals can put into practice to benefit their patients. Through the Institute’s extensive online resources, publications and scientific programs, veterinarians and team members can arm themselves with the unbiased, science-based information they need to help pets live longer, better lives.

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