For two weeks in February, Dr Chantelle was in the USA chasing down the latest in nutrition and pet wellness. It all started with an invitation from the Hill's pet food company to go on a tour of their factory in Topeka, Kansas. In order to make the trip worthwhile, Chantelle decided to also attend the Western Veterinary Conference, one of the largest Veterinary conferences in the United States.
The 3-day stay in Kansas included a tour of the Hill's pet food factory in which Chantelle learned about the stringent testing and 'critical control points' (CCPs) in which Hill's employs for food safety and quality assurance. Having studied human-grade CCPs as a Veterinary Public Health subject at university, Chantelle was very impressed at the standard to which Hill's holds itself in food safety.
Part of the tour also included a visit to the "Pet Partners Centre", where they trial and test the food with cats and dogs. The most pleasing part of the tour was seeing how happy the pet partners are; they lead very normal lives in what could be a very artificial environment. It was clear the Hill's pet food company had employed the services of a Veterinary behaviourist in order to ensure the mental wellbeing of the pet partners. It was great to see their company keystone "To help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets" upheld in every step of their production process
The second half of the trip centred around the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC). The WVC was a four-day conference that boasted an average of 17 lecture streams to choose from at any given moment ... that was approximately 136 lectures per day. And that was just the Small animal stream! It was very difficult to decide between lectures but Chantelle managed to narrow the choices down and continued with the theme of nutrition. She also attended feline medicine, pain management and behaviour lecture streams.
It is professional development journeys like this that keep our Vets and clinic working at the leading edge of the Veterinary industry. Whilst we spend a lot of time learning at these conferences, we also spend time discussing with other vets what we are performing and learning at Pascoe Vale Veterinary Hospital.
So you can rest assured our team are constantly aiming for the absolute latest in 'Best for Pets' always!