Canine Nutrition Certificate- An Online Course

Study the Basics of Canine Nutrition in an online course taught by renowned canine nutritionist & herbalist Cat Lane, Dip. CFN, Chartered Herbalist


Build a strong foundation in canine nutrition in the longest running course of its kind. This course prepares you for all other courses- including canine diet formulation.


Part 1 is an examination of the essential nutritional needs of the domestic dog. We take a close look at canine digestion, and then go straight into nutrients – what they are, which foods provide them, how much of each an individual dog requires (using the National Research Council’s Nutrient Requirements of Dogs, 2006) and how nutrients interact, affect the bioavailabity of other nutrients. This information forms the very “basics of canine nutrition” and any study of the topic needs to start here. It is tremendously empowering to know what an individual animal will need dietarily and how to provide it. If you don’t study the nutrients, you can’t go forward in nutrition


Part 2 builds on the knowledge you gained in Part One; here we evaluate various methods of providing nutrients with an eye to what might work best for an individual dog. Commercial diet, home made cooked diets, and various forms of raw feeding are evaluated without bias, but a clear presentation of both pro and con of each. We also look at feeding for life stages, and basics of supplementation, although individual needs and supplements for health issues are explored more fully in other courses.


Each unit has a corresponding assignment.


Unit 1

Orientation & Introduction

During this first week my focus is to orient everyone to the classroom and begin exploring the two basic components of canine nutrition; that is, which nutrients dogs require to sustain life and maintain good health, and how we as owners supply those requirements dietarily.


Unit 2


Study the physiology and anatomy of the mouth, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Learn how the macronutrients digest.


Unit 3


Food is energy. Learn why energy matters, the different terms for energy, which foods contain energy, and the function of energy.


Unit 4


This section tells you how proteins play a big role in regulating metabolism, transporting essential materials around the body, defending your dog against disease, and much more


Unit 5


Learn about the function of fat, the different kinds of fat, the sources of fat, and how fat plays a role in each diet.


Unit 6


Learn what carbohydrates are, what they do, how they are categorized, and how to evaluate carbohydrate sources.


Unit 7


Learn about vitamins in the canine diet, food sources, interactions, and functions.


Unit 8


Learn about minerals in the canine diet, food sources, interactions, and functions.


Unit 9

Commercial Dog Food

An extensive section on commercial dog food where some of the things you will learn include the different forms, formulations, label claims, marketing techniques, brands, manufacturers, and much more.


Unit 10

Home Cooked Diets

Apply the knowledge you have acquired and apply it to home cooked diets.


Unit 11

Raw Diets

Apply the knowledge you have acquired and apply it to raw diets.


Unit 12


An introduction to the growth stage and nutrition.


Unit 13


An introduction to pregnancy and nutrition.


Unit 14

Performance Nutrition

An introduction to proper nutrition for canine athletes and working dogs.


Unit 15

Feeding the Geriatric Dog

Learn how to support aging dogs through nutrition,


Unit 16


Learn about supplements- ranging from oils to enzymes.

This course provides a solid foundation for the subject, and teaches critical thinking, so graduates can dispassionately evaluate various methods of feeding, and decide on which will suit an individual dog. It does not promote the superiority of any one type of diet over others, but is based on the premise that dogs require nutrients from appropriate food sources, and there are many good methods of delivering them. Coverage is given to each group of nutrients and the foods that provide them, so graduates emerge with a broad and sophisticated understanding of the topic.


The Basics of Canine Nutrition Course is suited to those who have an interest in knowing more about canine nutrient requirements and digestion, reading dog food labels, identifying food sources of various nutrients, deciding between raw, cooked or commercial diets,and generally making sound nutritional choices for their dogs. It will be of great value to those in the retail field, to veterinary assistants, breeders, behaviourists and trainers, TellingtonTouch practitioners, those involved in various sports and competitive work, and of course, anyone who simply loves and lives with dogs. It lays the groundwork for the Advanced Nutrition/ Dietary Formulation programme and is an extremely important companion course to the Applied Herbalism course.

Basics of Canine Nutrition

Certificate course with marked assignments.

  • Receive access to the full course including lecture notes and assignments.
  • Access to the online Facebook Classroom
  • Turn in assignments for grading and receive feedback from Cat Lane.
  • Receive a certificate of completion

CAD $300.00

Basics of Canine Nutrition

Unmentored version

  • Receive access to the full course including lecture notes and assignments.
  • Access to the online Facebook Classroom

CAD $75.00

Setting: Online/Virtual | Expected Completion Time: 1 Year

Required Textbooks (Purchased Independently)

Dog Food Logic by Linda Case
Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, 3rd Edition.



Purchase the course and immediately receive access to course materials online under the “My Courses” tab. Easily track your progress under the “My Courses” tab.


Work through the lecture notes, textbooks, and recommended reading at your own pace. Lecture materials are available online and Cat Lane is available for any questions.


Full course students submit homework to be graded and receive feedback from Cat Lane. Receive a certificate when all assignment have been submitted and solid understanding of the material has been demonstrated.

Full Certificate Course

Audit Course

Cat Lane’s Basics of Canine Nutrition Course truly is the foundation for all other learning. The material was easily understood- yet still challenging and very detail oriented. This course was essential for further studies at the Possible Canine and also set me up for success in other courses. My success as a student and a professional is rooted in this very course. I still utilize materials from this course daily. It truly is essential.

Thank you Cat Lane for everything. My success is because of you!

Savannah Welna, Cert. CN

Feed Thy Dog

 I thought I knew a lot about nutrition. I followed PMR/80-10-10 diets for about seven years and had gotten really good at it… but It wasn’t until I Learned about the NRC and started taking Cat’s courses that I realized I. knew. nothing. Thank you Cat Lane for everything.

Cats courses are beyond amazing. They are well organized, easy to follow, and have exceptional information within them that the most advanced or even the most simplest of people can follow (myself included). She has years of experience and a wide vast knowledge of nutrition and it shows in all of her work. She’s very forthcoming when questions arise and goes out of her way to make sure that you understand the content. Not only that, but her passion and drive to help people truly shows in her every day life.

Nemos life is now flourishing from the new found knowledge I have and I couldn’t be happier knowing my best friend will have a better life because of her.

Whitney Suarez

Cat Lane is a true master of her field and her courses and tutorials are a fantastic testament to her knowledge and experience. The basics of canine nutrition course is not only a fantastic wealth of information, organized beautifully and precisely in an aesthetically pleasing web format – it is an incredible starting point for learning how to critically think about the inner workings of our dear canine companions so that we can begin the very arduous, but mentally invigorating process of developing homemade diets with confidence and an abundance of strong scientific sources at your back. Lessons covering all of the building blocks of any diet: energy, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These chapters alone provide months’ worth of materials to take serious deep dives into – the topics are complex and will exercise the science side of your brain.

 I consistently find myself looking back through Cat’s lessons and sections – not just the basics of canine nutrition, but also her canine diet formulation course as well as her fantastic Facebook tutorials on nutrition, home cooked diet formulation, and herbalism. Lifetime access to all of the materials provides a permanent harbourage for you to continue to refer back when questions arise, and revisit material to brush up on comprehension.

Lauren Bay

The single most comprehensive, detailed and reliable source for everything related to dog health and well being. Whether it’s information, a therapeutic or proactive consult or a learning course, this site has it all and is the gold standard in both health and education. No one knows more or cares more than Cat Lane and she has made the biggest difference in my dogs life hands down. She continues to do this every single day. My gratitude is beyond measure!

Jeanne Moran

Cat Lanes course, Basics of Canine Nutrition, provides the foundational building blocks for understanding science based nutrition. Cat’s extensive knowledge is both inspiring and challenging, with no bias to a specific feeding method. 
You will be equipped to start understanding the importance of precision when home-feeding your dog and to think critically about the food in the bowl.
This course is also necessary should you wish to study further and learn the mechanics behind formulation and actually filling that bowl with confidence. This course and all the others deserve 5 gold stars.

Ellyn Manley Grubbe

Cat is a very structured teacher and her courses are very well written and developed. I’m currently enrolled in all her classes and actively studying both the Basic and Formulation courses. I am learning so much that I am more confident in being able to feed my dog right.
At the same time, Cat is a brilliant herbalist who has helped my dog immensely. Previously, she would have a major flare up because of her sensitivities whenever she experiences changes in her hormones, but after following Cat’s protocols, we’ve sailed past her last heat. I look forward to engaging Cat’s help in getting my dog’s diet modified next because I’m certain she’ll do an excellent job. 
Two thumbs up!

Victoria Koay, Cert. CN