Animal Nutritionist


    Animal nutritionists are scientists who analyse the nutritional value of animal feeds and provide livestock dietary advice to farming, agricultural and public sector staff. For a career as an animal nutritionist you’ll need an interest in science and animal welfare, an aptitude for business management and good communication skills.


    Employers of Animal Nutritionists

    • Animal and pet feed manufacturers
    • Nutritional research centres
    • Government agricultural departments
    • Universities
    • Consultancies



    • evaluate the chemical and nutritional value of feeds, feed supplements, grass and forage for commercial animals and pets;
    • formulate diets and rations to maximise growth, reproduction, health and/or performance;
    • assess the relative nutritional and economic value of feeding systems;
    • research the effectiveness of dietary regimes;
    • conduct animal-based studies and laboratory trials;
    • liaise with producers and clients to understand their targets and objectives, and the specific needs of the market;
    • monitor feed formulations to meet quality performance and animal health standards;
    • provide advice on nutrition to farmers, other animal owners, veterinarians and government bodies;
    • rationalise animal feed manufacturing techniques;
    • expand existing ranges of animal food products and develop new ones;
    • support commercial teams in producing and launching new products;
    • carry out sales and marketing strategies following the launch of a new product;
    • balance a growing consumer interest in quality with the need to develop competitive agricultural systems;
    • maintain expertise in nutritional trends and keep up to date with regulatory changes;
    • use computer software to formulate diets, conduct research and generate reports;
    • investigate nutritional disorders and the safe storage of feeds, often in conjunction with veterinary surgeons.



    A degree in nutrition, equine studies, animal/veterinary science, medical sciences, agriculture, or dietetics is usually required for entry into the profession. The following subjects may open up more opportunities:

    • agriculture (animal science);
    • animal/equine science;
    • animal management;
    • animal production science;
    • animal studies;
    • animal welfare and behaviour;
    • applied animal science;
    • public health nutrition;
    • veterinary science;
    • biochemistry;
    • biomedical sciences;
    • biosciences;
    • dietetics and physiology;
    • health sciences;
    • zoology.



    • an understanding of the scientific basis of nutrition;
    • familiarity with analysing data and writing reports;
    • ability to conduct research in a safe, ethical and reliable manner;
    • the capability to formulate and communicate ideas;
    • the capacity to form long-term relationships with customers and clients;
    • an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of science and the validity of others’ viewpoints;
    • business management, time management and personal development skills;
    • advanced numeracy, IT and internet skills;
    • a driving license;
    • drive, perseverance, dedication and a willingness to work long hours.