I’m Dr. Jackie Parr and I am a board-certified veterinary clinical nutritionist. I am one of four small animal clinical nutritionists practicing in Canada. I trained for 14 years in order to meet my career goals and I’m finally living the dream working as a Scientific Affairs Manager for Royal Canin Canada. I have worked very hard to get to this point, and all of that hard work has allowed me to provide a great quality of life for my girls, Hennessy and Chickpea.
I adopted Hennessy, my 10 year old retriever mix, when I was in veterinary school at the Ontario Veterinary College. I made the mistake of going to see “puppies that needed homes” and fell in love with Henny. She provided a great learning experience for a veterinary student. She had chronic, resistant urinary tract infections when I adopted her. Once we got her UTIs treated, she ruptured both of her cruciates in her knees at 8-months of age which resulted in the need for surgery, pain medications, and cage rest (which is very challenging to do in a puppy!). Then at 1-year of age she developed chronic diarrhea. Being a veterinary student, who knew from the time I was admitted into vet school that I wanted to be a nutritionist, I started implementing diet trials to see how Hennessy would respond. I logically progressed through different trials with veterinary therapeutic diets, starting with highly digestible diets, moving to fibre diet trials, and then finally starting her on a hydrolyzed soy diet. She finally responded to the hydrolyzed soy diet and was later diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. During my residency, Hennessy started to develop diarrhea again after being managed for years on a hydrolyzed soy diet. My options for diet trials were a hydrolyzed chicken diet or the new Royal Canin Anallergenic diet that had just been launched. I attempted to feed the hydrolyzed chicken diet and her diarrhea worsened. I was worried I was going to have to formulate Hennessy a complete and balanced homemade diet to control her diarrhea (which would be far too expensive and time consuming for a resident!), as I had not yet experienced the power of ANALLERGENIC. I am proud to say that Hennessy continues to do incredibly well Royal Canin Anallergenic to this day! She gets 220 grams of Anallergenic daily spread out over three meals. She works for her food by eating two meals out of a food puzzle and one meal out of a Kong to help keep her active. She is truly the perfect dog!
My other dog, Chickpea, is a 4 year old Boston terrier. She is as high energy as they come! I completed my residency and internship at Angell Animal Medical Centre in Boston, MA and I absolutely fell in love with all Bostons that came into the hospital. I adopted Chickpea from a rescue organization I found on PetFinder. I drove to Vermont to pick her up as a small puppy. Chickpea was bred in a puppy mill that was fortunately shut down and all of the puppies were sent to rescue organizations for proper care and adoption. One of her littermates died of pneumonia due to the poor conditions she was living in at the puppy mill. After my experience with Hennessy as a puppy, I got pet insurance for Chickpea the day I adopted her and I’m sure glad I did! Chickpea suffers from both atopic dermatitis and food allergies. Having pet insurance has given me great piece of mind that I will never need to make decisions for my girls based on money. Chickpea receives a number of medications and oral allergy serum daily to control her environmental allergies. She also gets bathed weekly with medicated shampoo and conditioner. For her food allergies, she is also on Royal Canin Anallergenic. She absolutely loves it, to the point that I am able to use her kibble for training! She gets 140 grams of Anallergenic daily spread out over three meals and also works for her food in food puzzles.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone at Royal Canin for ensuring the highest levels of safety and quality control when manufacturing Anallergenic. It truly makes a huge difference for both my girls! And it really is about providing the best quality of life for our pets!
Dr. Jackie Parr, BScH, DVM, MSc, Dip ACVN
Veterinary Clinical Nutritionist
Scientific Affairs Manager