Massey University undertakes and leads research with industry partners across New Zealand and internationally into the health, nutrition, behaviour and management of companion cats and dogs.
We also have world-leading expertise in the health, management, welfare and nutrition of working dogs. There are many aspects of society where dogs have a vital role in assisting, safeguarding, and protecting our community. Massey University is filling a gap in available research on these animals.
Anaesthesia and critical care
Our anaesthesia specialists have a diverse range of research interests that include the evaluation of new anaesthetic drugs, improving pain relief, developing novel methods of monitoring patients and optimising fluid therapy, and understanding the causes of anaesthetic complications such as gastroesophageal reflux. Our critical care specialists are studying infectious disease control, and the molecular basis for blood vessel integrity in health, and its loss in disease.
Bioactive food and feed ingredients
We develop and evaluate functional foods, and ingredients for the animal and human food industries. We also examine effects of nutrition on characteristics of animal-derived human foods, including taste, quality, yields, shelf life, health and sensory attributes.
Companion animal infectious diseases
We have several projects investigating infectious diseases of dogs and cats, including viral causes of kennel cough, feline immunodeficiency virus, papilloma virus infection as a cause of cancer, and all manner of intestinal infectious agents. We have expertise in parasitology, bacterial and viral isolation, as well as cutting edge molecular genetic techniques.
Companion animal medicine
We have a broad range of research interests, with a particular focus in gastroenterology, infectious diseases, and diseases of the pancreas and liver. We have extensive experience developing novel diagnostic tests, and are interested in the complexities of optimal diagnostic testing and reasoning. The role of diet and microbiome in health and disease is an active area of research.
Companion animal nutrition
We are studying both fundamental nutrition for healthy pets, and the effects of nutrition in disease. We are currently researching aspects of pet obesity, nutritional strategies to improve recovery from spinal injury, supplements to improve osteoarthritis, the effect of dietary moisture, and the complex interactions between the diet and gut microflora. In addition, we have expertise in nutritional evaluation of commercial and home prepared diets, and work with companies to develop and optimise pet foods to improve the health and wellbeing of companion animals.
Companion animal surgery
Besides their technical expertise in the theatre, our surgical specialists are researching causes, treatments, and rehabilitation of surgical diseases. We are currently conducting studies into the cause and management of airway disease in brachycephalic dogs, developing bespoke titanium implants for stabilisation of lumbosacral joints, optimal surgical repair of working dog injuries, and the efficacy of rehabilitation methods following injury.
Working dog health, nutrition and management
Massey scientists are looking at testing, prevention and treatment for diseases in working dogs. Specific projects include studies to describe activity levels and optimal fitness of police dogs, the effect of diet on athletic performance, developing bespoke titanium implants for stabilisation of lumbosacral joints, and the efficacy of nutritional supplements in farm dogs with joint disease.
Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.
- Bachelor of Science with Honours (Animal Science)
- Master of Science (Animal Science)
- Master of Veterinary Medicine
- Master of Veterinary Science
- Master of Veterinary Studies
- Master of Veterinary Studies (Epidemiology)
- Master of Veterinary Studies (Veterinary Public Health)
Search for an expert
Search our staff database for an expert or area of expertise.
Amino Acid Oxidation Increases with Dietary Protein Content in Adult Neutered Male Cats
Cats are unique among domestic animals in that they are obligate carnivores and have a high protein requirement. However, there are few data on protein turnover and amino acid (AA) metabolism in cats.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of dietary protein content on urea production and Leu metabolism in cats. The project found that the high protein requirement of cats combined with a low rate of whole-body protein synthesis ensures that an obligate demand of AAs for energy or glucose (or both) can be met in an animal that evolved with a diet high in protein with very little or no carbohydrate.
Kennel cough in racing greyhounds
Canine infectious tracheobronchitis or ‘kennel cough’ is a term used to describe an acute, highly contagious respiratory disease. This research examined vaccination options, pathogens not covered by current vaccines and reviewing the development of the disease into previously unknown strains.
Neutering of working farm dogs
Research led by Associate Professor Naomi Cogger is investigating the attitudes and reasons that lead farmers to not neuter their farm dogs. A cross-sectional survey of working farm dogs found that the only 6% (71/1,110) of dogs were neutered, which is low compared to a national average of 63% across all dogs. This longitudinal survey is primarily concerned with cataloguing and understanding the reasoning behind this decision. The work will contribute to strategy development for mitigating the issues that this decision raises.
Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre
The Centre focuses on animal welfare in a diverse range of human-animal interactions. This includes the use of animals in research, teaching and testing, on farms, in the home, for sport, recreation and entertainment, in service roles, in zoos and the wild, and in other arenas.
Monogastric Research Centre
The Centre is an Australasian Centre of Excellence on monogastric species. Research focuses on feed evaluation, nutrition, husbandry and welfare. It provides a focal point for the New Zealand monogastric industries and has extensive international linkages.
Working Dog Centre
We work to improve the health and working life of working and service dogs through cutting-edge scientific investigations.
Facilities within FoodPILOT include equipment for both animal and human food production. Capability includes extrusion, ice-cream-making, sausage stuffing,vacuum packing, bowl chopping, spray drying, evaporation, freeze drying, canning and pasteurising. FoodPILOT hosts the largest collection of pilot-scale food processing equipment in the southern hemisphere.
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Massey’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital's state-of-the-art equipment includes canine hydrotherapy, MRI scanners, tomography, dynamic and video endoscopy, ultrasound and radiology equipment and arthroscopy as well as surgical expertise on many animal types.
Animal Genetic Services
Massey University’s Equine Parentage and Animal Genetics Services Centre offers the most comprehensive range of DNA-based genetic testing for animals in New Zealand.
Companion Animal Clinic
Top-quality veterinary care for all types of small pets. Open to the public, we are the first choice veterinary clinic for local pets. You can also ask your veterinarian for a referral to us for difficult cases. For emergencies contact the Pet Emergency Centre.
Pet Emergency Centre
We are the only 24-hour pet emergency centre in the central North Island. Our team is ready to provide excellent emergency and critical care treatment to your pet in our purpose-built, fully equipped facility.
Call 0800 PET EMERGENCY (0800 738 363)