Feline and canine nutrition

Nutritional evaluation, development and optimisation of petfoods with the aim of improving the health and well-being of companion animals are a core area of research within Veterinary Science.

Home to the Centre for Feline Nutrition and Canine Nutrition facilities, we are in the unique position of being able to combine industry-leading standards of animal welfare with detailed evaluation of pet nutrition, health and digestive function along with comprehensive analysis of the impact of petfood processing techniques such as extrusion, retort canning and pouch and air and freeze-drying.

Our expertise

  • Feline and canine digestion and physiology
  • Nutrient digestibility and uptake
  • Non-invasive techniques to measure specific blood metabolites
  • Companion animal health and welfare
  • Dedicated veterinary expertise
  • Enhancing feline and canine immunity through nutrition
  • Impact of petfoods on dental health
  • Food Processing
  • Thermal processing, extrusion, canning, pouch and air and freeze-drying
  • Food characterisation and quality
  • Impact of processing on nutritional value of foods


  • Centre for Feline Nutrition
  • Canine Research facilities
  • Laboratory capability for feed, body fluid and tissue analysis to ISO 17025 standard
  • Clinical and analytical biochemistry laboratories
  • Scale model processing plant including: Extrusion: BC21 twin screw extruder Heat treatment: pasteuriser and continuous UHT, plus static and rotary retorts
  • Dehydration: evaporators, plus spray-, roller- and freeze-driers
  • Separation: clarifier, plus ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis plants
  • Manipulation: bowl choppers, smoker, homogeniser, mixers, freezers, plus powder recombination plant and packaging equipment.

Industry protocols/standards

  • AAFCO feeding protocoI testing (growth, maintenance and gestation/lactation)
  • AAFCO nutrient profile testing
  • Metabolisable energy determination
  • Urine pH
  • Other urinary and blood metabolite measurements


  • Associate Professor David Thomas

    Associate Professor David Thomas

    Associate Professor - School of Agriculture


Key Contacts

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey