Dr Freeman completed her DVM degree at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and received a PhD in Nutrition from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
She is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and has been on the faculty at the Cummings School since 1996. She has been active in numerous national and international veterinary organisations, including roles as president of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and co-chair of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's Global Nutrition Committee, and currently is the president of the Pet Nutrition Alliance. Dr Freeman is active in teaching, clinics and research.
Her research focus is the role of nutrition in the development and progression of heart disease, as well as cachexia and sarcopenia.
My original intent was to become an equine veterinarian, but I became increasingly interested in nutrition and its role in preventing and treating disease. I completed my DVM degree at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and received a PhD in Nutrition from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. I’m board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and am currently one of 3 veterinary nutritionists at the Cummings School where we care for patients that require specialized nutrition for acute and chronic diseases. My research focuses on the role of nutrition in the development and progression of heart disease, as well as muscle loss that occurs with ageing and disease. I’ve been active in national and international veterinary organizations, including roles as president of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and co-chair of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's Global Nutrition Committee, and my current role as president of the Pet Nutrition Alliance. Teaching is one of my favourite parts of my job. I teach our veterinary students about pet nutrition but also am passionate about helping veterinarians, nurses, and pet owners learn to objectively provide the best nutrition possible to dogs and cats. In my free time, I enjoy running, growing orchids, and reading as well as visiting various facilities with my 2 registered therapy dogs.
In college and vet school, our nutrition classes focused primarily on food animal nutrition – how to feed cows to produce more milk or chickens to produce more meat or eggs. Obviously important topics, but not my area of interest. It wasn’t until I went to a clinical nutrition conference that I realized nutrition had a much bigger role in veterinary medicine – everything from preventing and treating diseases in companion animals to helping sporting animals to perform better. This showed me the power of nutrition and I was hooked!
Nutrition is even more important in veterinary medicine today for two reasons. First, there’s more and more research showing how nutrition can help to prevent disease, slow disease progression, and improve both the quality and quantity of life. Second, pet owners are increasingly confused by the many myths and misconceptions about pet food and, as a result, are often providing suboptimal - or even harmful – nutrition to their pets. The veterinary healthcare team has a tremendous opportunity to become the most credible source for information and advice on pet nutrition which will help to optimize our patients’ health.
I love to help veterinarians, nurses, and pet owners learn to objectively provide the best nutrition possible to dogs and cats, so this is a wonderful opportunity to sharing the latest information on nutrition while having fun!
Probably most of the veterinarians and nurses face nutrition questions from their clients daily (and students are probably already being asked nutrition questions by their friends and family). The goal for my lectures to provide the latest nutrition information but to be very practical. I want delegates to leave the Festival feeling confident about answering the many nutrition questions they’re asked by owners (e.g., grains, raw diets, natural, protein, etc). I’ll also be talking about some of the most common (and most frustrating) clinical issues we face in small animal practice – obesity, weight and muscle loss in senior pets, and nutrition for pets with orthopaedic issues. These are all conditions in which nutrition plays a key role and can help pets live happier and healthier lives.