Purina Institute to host virtual symposium presenting behavioural insights into pet weight management - Veterinary Practice
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Purina Institute to host virtual symposium presenting behavioural insights into pet weight management

The Purina Institute is sharing talks from its recent BVNA symposium on owner behaviours around pet weight management, featuring psychologist Prof Thomas Webb from the University of Sheffield

The Purina Institute is sharing talks from its recent BVNA symposium on owner behaviours around pet weight management, bringing the recorded sessions online to reach a larger veterinary audience.

Presented originally at the British Veterinary Nurses Association (BVNA) Congress in Telford in October, the talks will feature psychologist Prof Thomas Webb from the University of Sheffield, together with behavioural science researcher and Purina Corporate Affairs Manager, Hugues du Plessis.

In the recordings, both expert speakers will present insights from their recent research (Webb, 2015; Webb et al., 2018; Webb et al., 2020) and explore how psychology and behavioural science could provide innovative ways to help veterinary professionals engage with owners on managing the weight of their pet. The event also explores insights from human healthcare and examines how we can learn from and build on these in veterinary practice.

The event will run from 7:30pm to 8:45pm on Wednesday 15 December, though registration will remain open after this date with the session available on demand. All interested vets and nurses can register, and those who sign up before 15 December have the chance to enter a free prize draw.

The talks will give a short overview of key aspects of the “COM-B” approach to behavioural change, before exploring how veterinary professionals could engage with owners of overweight and obese pets in a collaborative approach based on the model. The event will be hosted by Purina Scientific Affairs Manager and Vet, Dr Libby Sheridan, who explains how behavioural science might hold the key to managing pet weight more successfully:

“Nutrition and exercise are well-known elements of pet overweight and obesity management, but it’s often difficult to achieve a long-lasting impact without owners changing their routines or behaviour in some way,” Libby says.

“For vets and nurses in this situation, insights from behavioural science can really make a difference, as they help us understand how to support owners to alter their habits, which is necessary both for weight loss and maintenance of optimal weight in the longer term.”

The symposium will consist of three twenty-minute talks, ending with a live Q&A with Libby. All those who register prior to the launch of the event can choose to enter a prize draw for the chance to win one of ten free copies of Susan Michie’s “The Behavioural Change Wheel” (RRP £18.99), an acclaimed science-based guide for practitioners that introduces a systematic method for designing and evaluating behavioural change interventions.

All those interested can register for the virtual symposium and enter the prize draw.  

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