Everyday veterinarians are asked for advice on the best way to feed healthy pets. It is important that this advice is going to promote optimal health and well-being rather than be a potential cause of disease. The 'new science' of Nutrigenomics tells us how diet influences genes - turning them on or off; promoting health or predisposing to disease.

Dr Jean Dodds received her DVM in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. She worked as a Research Scientist with the New York State Health Department and became Chief of the Laboratory of Hematology Wadsworth Center. Her love of blood took her to become Executive Director of the NY State Council on Human Blood Transfusion Services in 1980, She moved to California and established the first non-profit blood bank for animals in 1986 and has been dedicated to non-profit services and education ever since. She was awarded Outstanding dR jEAN dODDSWoman Veterinarian of the Year in 1974 by the AVMA, and received the Award for Outstanding Service to the Veterinary Profession from the AAHA in 1977, many awards have since been bestowed upon Dr Dodds, including Holistic veterinarians of the Year AHVMA. She is an active member of numerous professional societies including the National Research Council/ BANR Committee on National Needs for research in veterinary Science. She is considered a world expert on Thyroid Disease in Dogs and has authored The Canine Thyroid Epidemic and numerous scientific papers, and in her spare time she is an inventor with numerous patents and runs Pet Life Line which adopts retired Greyhound blood donors. She teaches pet owners, animal fanciers and veterinarians in immunology, hematology, endocrinology, nutrition and holistic medicine internationally. 

Nutrigenomics Series:

Each Webinar: Full Fee $40 Members $30

Part 1  Full Fee: $90  Members: $70

  1. An Introduction to Nutrigenomics - understanding the new science
  2. Nutrigenomics approach to Weight Control
  3. Nutrigenomics and Cancer

Part 2   Full Fee: $90  Members: $70

  1. Nutrigenomics approach to Arthritis
  2. Nutrigenomics Effect on Behavior and Cognitive Aging
  3. Nutrigenomics and other Diseases (chronic kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, seizures etc.) 

Parts 1 and 2: Full Fee $160  Members: $120

An Introduction to Nutrigenomics - understanding the new science                

Nutrigenomics is the new science of how diet affects gene expression at the cellular level, creating vibrant health or chronic disease. As veterinarians, we are advising clients on how to feed pets every day in our clinics – but is our advice current and correct? Dr Jean Dodds presents an overview of Nutrigenomics, at a veterinarian level, so you can respond to your clients’ queries. Newly released, Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health from Dogwise Publishing is authored by W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Diana Laverdure and will be a hot topic with pet owners in coming months. The target audience is pet guardians.

This first webinar in Dr Dodd’s series on Nutrigenomics, for veterinarians, provides an overview of the science – what is happening at the cellular level; how do various foods affect genes (switching on and off); what is optimal gene expression; what should we be advising clients with regard to the healthy dog; what foods and how can they be fed to promote optimal health? These and many more questions will be answered at the webinar.

Nutrigenomics Approach to Weight Control                

The disease epidemic that is sweeping the modern world - obesity: is it simply too much food or are there underlying genetic factors. Is your advice, as the trusted professional in animal care, aiding healthy weight management or exacerbating the likelihood of obesity and it's related illnesses? The second webinar in the series will look at how and why Nutrigenomics plays a role in healthy weight control and most importantly how can we use dietary management, not just quantity but content, to prevent obesity development and the plethora of associated illness.


Nutrigenomics & Cancer


Cancer is responsible for as many as half of the canine and feline deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of death in dogs older than two years. When a beloved dog is diagnosed with cancer, it’s natural to feel confused, frightened and even responsible. Was it something you did? Most likely, the answer is no. Scientists have spent decades studying this confounding and insidious disease, and to date there is no definitive conclusion as to why some humans and animals get cancer. However, evidence continues to mount linking it to environmental toxins, where everything from common household cleaners and pesticides to flea and tick preventives and vaccines have been shown to cause carcinogenic mutations to the cells.


  • Researchers estimate that only 5-10% of all cancer cases originate from genetic predisposition, while 90-95% are the result of lifestyle and environmental factors.
  • Scientists have concluded that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by implementing dietary changes.

Nutrigenomics Approach to Arthritis                

The aging pet is plagued by stiffness and reluctance to move on cold mornings. Veterinarians often reply on NSAIDs to ease the aches and pains - but what if we can prevent or minimize arthritic changes in the first place and use dietary superfoods to ease those aching joints. Good news for man and beast! This is the third in the Nutrigenomics series by Dr Jean Dodds. Scientifically backed nutritional advice for veterinarians on how to prevent and minimize damage to joints leading to arthritic change. Why is diet so vital to bone and joint health and what can be done to ease the suffering. Make sure that your dietary recommendations are not exacerbating the risks of joint damage and find out ways to help your clients and their beloved pets.

Detailed lectures notes  accompany the Nutrigenomics Lectures


Behavior, Cognitive Function & Aging and Nutrigenomics

Dogs are thought to be the first domesticated animals, around 15,000 years ago. But even though our canine companions often understand us better than our human ones, as dogs are clearly not “furry people” they live in a “foreign culture” (the human culture) and must understand a foreign language (human language).

Sometimes, dogs exhibit behaviors that are “undesirable” to humans, such as excessive barking, running away and house soiling. Sadly, millions of dogs each year are relinquished to shelters and euthanized due to behavioral issues.

While nutrition is rarely considered as a possible contributing factor to canine behavioral issues, we need to start taking a closer look at this relationship. Evidence shows that dietary components do affect the behavior of both humans and animals.

Other Common Health Concerns and Nutrigenomics (CKD, IBD, Diabetes Mellitis, Liver Disease, Epilepsy/Seizure etc.)
There is little doubt today that nutrition plays a key role in maintaining the health and longevity of human and animal populations and their resistance to disease.  Food and diet can directly affect the expression of our genetic potential.  In the last 15 years, medical, veterinary and nutrition scientists have begun applying genomics to the field of nutrition.  Nutritional genomics (Nutrigenomics) has become an essential part of and vital role in assuring the quality and safety of human, livestock, and pet foods.
In this regard, foods are considered as functional ingredients. Different diets alter gene expression and the production of proteins and metabolites. Understanding the relationship between nutrition and gene expression enables one to design an optimal diet based on a person or animal genotype, which will ultimately affect the individuals on the level of their genomes.  This, in turn, will have profound effects on their phenotype of observable traits.This approach individualizes dietary intervention to prevent, mitigate or

cure chronic diseases.


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