Canine Nutrition Certificate (Cert.CN)

Program Description and Objectives:

The Certificate in Canine Nutrition (Cert.CN) program is a solid science-based foundational exploration of nutrients, life-stage nutrition, digestive anatomy, and other topics related to this area of study. This program provides the solid foundation of knowledge necessary to understand canine nutrition. This program of study is not cursory and basic; we have designed this program of study to be more comprehensive and advanced than any other program available for personal interest. This program of study would be of interest to anyone wanting to gain a solid understanding of canine nutrition and possibly prepare themselves for a advanced program of study in the future. While this program does not include coursework in consulting skills, professional ethics or business practices, it is comprehensive with regards to topics in nutrition science.

This program is based on written assignments. Students can expect to do a lot of studying and writing in this program, exploring the various topics in-depth. 

Please note that this program is an advanced and comprehensive program. The Certificate of Advanced Canine Nutrition program is not more advanced; that program provides coverage of some further advanced topics for graduates of the Certificate of Canine Nutrition program. If you are looking for an advanced and comprehensive program of study, this is the program to enroll for.

This program requires approximately 200 - 250 hours of assignment preparation, reading and study time.

The graduate would be awarded a Canine Nutrition Certificate (Cert.CN).

Tuition: $999.00 Canadian Dollars. (Currency converter) Tuition is in Canadian funds (Currency Converter). Textbooks not included in tuition. They may be purchased through http://www.dogwise.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.abebooks.com or http://www.half.com in most cases. Also check the Student Library. Canadian Residents pay applicable HST.

Students should emerge from this program of study with a detailed understanding of:

  • Energetics: GE, DE, ME, NE, RER, RMR; Value of protein; Energy balance
  • Nutrient classes
  • Carbohydrates, (definitions, classifications, functions, requirements, etc)
  • Protein, (definitions, classifications, functions, requirements, etc)
  • Fats, (definitions, classifications, functions, requirements, etc)
  • Minerals, introduction, function, required, toxic, interactions
  • Macro minerals
  • Trace minerals
  • Vitamins, general, classifications, interactions, functions, requirements, deficiencies, etc.
  • Water, function, requirements
  • Digestion, anatomy, physiology, enzymes, hormones, absorption, etc.
  • Life stage nutrition, pregnancy, lactation, weaning, puppies, adults, geriatrics
  • Nutrient content of commercial dog foods
  • Aflotoxins and endotoxins
  • Marketing concepts
  • Chemical vs. natural preservatives
  • Elements of a home-cooked diet
  • Cooking proteins and carbohydrates
  • Supplementing and serving
  • Reasons for using home-prepared diets
  • Commercial raw diets and mixes
  • Components of a raw diet
  • Safety of feeding raw foods
  • Safety and efficacy of a vegetarian/vegan diet
  • Ingredients for a vegetarian/vegan diet

Program Package Includes:

  • Coursework document including assignments and handouts
  • Student Handbook

Courses (Scroll down for course details):

  • General Canine Nutrition - 301
  • Energy Yielding Nutrients - 302
  • Non-Energy Yielding Nutrients - 303
  • Canine Digestion - 304
  • Life Stage Nutrition - 305
  • Introduction to Canine Diets 306

Entrance Requirements:

Entrance into this program requires that you have completed a high school diploma program or equivalent (exceptions can be made) and that you be at least 18 years of age. We recommend, but do not require, that students have a high school senior level science or biology course as preparation. Personal interest program of study.

Schedule:

This program is self-paced within a 1-year time limit. Extensions are available.


General Canine Nutrition - 301

Instructor: Susan Dillon, Dip.NS., Dip. C.N., Dip.ACBS., Dip.CFNA.

Course Description:

This foundational course will examine some of the general information needed to start understanding the field of canine nutrition. This information will prepare the student for more in-depth studies in the field of nutritional sciences and will prepare the student for follow-up courses. The course explores definitions, calculations, and some of the basics concerning nutrients. This course is evaluated by way of written assignments.

Students should emerge from this course with able to analyze and discuss the following topic areas:

  • the terminology used when describing different types of energy
  • the terminology used when discussing metabolic rates
  • energy balance
  • calculations needed to determine how much food a dog should eat
  • what is meant by "complete and balanced" in reference to dog foods
  • basic information concerning nutrients

Required Resources:

  • Lecture notes: Provided.


Energy Yielding Nutrients - 302

Instructor: Susan Dillon, Dip.NS., Dip. C.N., Dip.ACBS., Dip.CFNA.

Course Description:

This course is an extensive investigation into 3 of the 6 nutrient classes.

Section one explores carbohydrates. It addresses the purposes and digestibility of carbohydrates, as well as how carbohydrates are utilized by the canine body. 

Section two explores protein sources and amino acids. The student will examine the purposes of protein, factors that affect protein requirements, and the effects of deficiencies and excesses.

Section three examines lipids. This section will explore the differences between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the source and function of fats, and also why some fats are considered essential while others are not.

Students should emerge from this course with able to analyze and discuss the following topic areas:

  • classifications and functions of carbohydrates
  • simple carbohydrates, starches and fibers
  • digestibility and metabolism of carbohydrates
  • amino acids
  • requirements and digestibility of proteins
  • protein complementation
  • classifications and functions of lipids
  • essential fatty acids
  • Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids

Required Resources:


Non-Energy Yielding Nutrients - 303

Instructor: Susan Dillon, Dip.NS., Dip. C.N., Dip.ACBS., Dip.CFNA.

Course Description:

This course is an extensive investigation into the non-energy yielding nutrients.

Section one explores minerals. It looks at the functions of minerals, the interactions of minerals, and sources of where those minerals can be found. 

Section two explores vitamins. The student will examine the functions of some of  the vitamins, sources for those vitamins, and the effects of deficiencies and excesses. 

Section three looks at the importance of water. Why is water so important, how a dog loses water, and are all waters equal in their nutritional value?

Students should emerge from this course with able to analyze and discuss the following topic areas:

  • functions and availability of minerals
  • macrominerals, microminerals and trace minerals
  • differences between minerals and vitamins
  • characteristics of vitamins
  • differences between vitamins and vitamin-like substances
  • functions of water
  • factors that affect water requirements

Required Resources:


Canine Digestion - 304

Instructor: Susan Dillon, Dip.NS., Dip. C.N., Dip.ACBS., Dip.CFNA.

Course Description:

This course is an extensive, foundational examination of the canine digestive system. It explores all the major structures and organs involved in digestion while keeping terminology as simple to understand as possible. It starts by examining the canine mouth and dentition and works its way through the stomach and intestines. This course contains important information in how dogs ingest ingredients and digest their constituent nutrients and then how those nutrients are absorbed by the body.

Students should emerge from this course with able to analyze and discuss the following topic areas:

  • functions of saliva
  • major structures involved in digestions
  • enzymes
  • functions of the stomach
  • factors affecting gastric emptying
  • functions of the small intestine
  • pancreas, liver and gall bladder participation in digestion
  • absorption of nutrients
  • function of large intestine

Required Resources:

Introduction to Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology (2004) by Victoria Aspinall and Melanie O'Reilly


Life Stage Nutrition - 305

Instructor: Susan Dillon, Dip.NS., Dip. C.N., Dip.ACBS., Dip.CFNA.

Course Description:

This course provides an examination of the dog's nutrient requirements and how they change throughout their life. From neonate nutrition through gestation through geriatric requirements, this course will cover nutrition for the expectant mother, dealing nutritionally with orphaned puppies, adult maintenance, and nutritional requirements as dogs enter their golden years. This course is evaluated by way of assignments.

Students should emerge from this course with able to analyze and discuss the following topic areas:

  • types of feeding regimes
  • caloric requirements
  • nutrition during the stages of gestation
  • nutritional requirements during lactation
  • weaning
  • unique requirements of large and giant breed puppies
  • geriatric nutrition requirements
  • nutritionally related changes in the aging pet

Required Resources:


Introduction to Canine Diets 306

Instructor: Susan Dillon, Dip.NS., Dip. C.N., Dip.ACBS., Dip.CFNA.

Course Description:

This course provides a foundational examination of the types of diets available  for dogs almost everywhere. It does not focus on brands because not every brand is available around the world and not all brands are consistent from country to country (although we discuss individual brands in Class). Instead, this course will explain ingredients and additives in dry foods and help the student understand home-prepared diets. All diets are examined objectively including both the pros and cons of each type. This course is evaluated by way of assignments.

Part one of 306 explores home-cooked diets. It discusses the major elements of this type of diet as well as what supplements might be added and safe food handling practices.

Part two of 306 explores commercial diets. This section delves into the safety of commercial foods, AAFCO vs NRC, marketing concepts, and ingredients commonly used.

Part three of 306 explores raw diets. This sections discusses the advantages and disadvantages of a raw diet. It also talks about how to put a raw diet together and the safety of feeding raw foods.

Part four of 306 explores vegetarian/vegan diets. It discusses the safety and efficacy of this type of diet as well as why this type of diet would be used.

Students should emerge from this course with able to analyze and discuss the following topic areas:

  • nutrient content of commercial dog foods
  • aflotoxins and endotoxins
  • marketing concepts
  • chemical vs. natural preservatives
  • elements of a home-cooked diet
  • cooking proteins and carbohydrates
  • supplementing and serving
  • reasons for using home-prepared diets
  • commercial raw diets and mixes
  • components of a raw diet
  • safety of feeding raw foods
  • safety and efficacy of a vegetarian/vegan diet
  • ingredients for a vegetarian/vegan diet

Required Resources:

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Note: This program is not vocational. That means that the program does not provides education in all areas required to qualify someone to begin functioning as a professional in the field with only the education provided in the program. The programs are comprehensive, in-depth, and well rounded with regards to the science of fitness and nutrition itself but the program does not include courses in professional activities such as consulting skills, professional ethics, design of service agreements and liability waivers etc. Students wishing to prepare themselves for professional activities ought to pursue these other topics. The programs are intended for personal interest or professional development.

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