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Dr. Natasha Lilly, DVM, CVA, animal diet expert and founder of the Royal Animal Health University (, delivers an interesting overview of pet nutrition and the importance of a well-balanced diet for our furry friends.

Dr. Lilly has a profound passion for animal well being and care. She attended California Polytechnic State University on the pre-veterinary track studying animal science and completed her DVM work at UC Davis with a concentration in equine medicine. Dr. Lilly has extensive experience in equine sports medicine and animal acupuncture. Frustrated by traditional methods of treatment, Dr. Lilly sought new ways to provide care. She began working for an established acupuncturist and complementary medicine DVM in Chicago—Dr. Barbara Royal. Dr. Royal’s approach to animal health combined conventional and holistic medicine practices. Holistic veterinary medicine is a branch of veterinary medicine that implements alternative medicine in the treatment of animals that strongly stresses the importance of empathy and very minimal invasiveness. Dr. Lilly worked at Central Coast Pet Hospital and Emergency, where she practiced acupuncture services. She has knowledge and training in Chinese herbal medicine through the Chi Institute.

Dr. Lilly discusses their diet software for dogs and cats. Based on the groundbreaking work and diet analysis of Steve Brown, Dr. Barbara Royal and Dr. Natasha Lilly have incorporated his unique Animal Diet Formulator into their care plan. (Steve Brown is a revered nutritional researcher and formulator of the first commercially available fresh-raw pet food in the United States.)

The animal diet expert talks about the kinds of foods people feed their pets, and surprisingly, home-prepared food is often the worst because it is extremely out of balance for the pet’s nutritional needs. Though with recalls and commercial pet food problems, she came to the conclusion that home-prepared food could be balanced and healthy… if pet parents could learn how to balance it for maximum nutritional benefit. She discusses the importance of considering the biology and physical traits of the species in regard to their optimum nutritional intake.

Dr. Lilly details how their formulator works, and how it can be set up to comply with American or European guidelines. She discusses how her team at the Royal Animal Health University works with clients to educate them on the software, so they get a comprehensive understanding of what it offers and how to utilize it.

The animal care educator discusses their website and the benefits that it offers to pet owners. She talks about some of the problems with animal diets, and mistakes some pet owners make when attempting to feed their pets. She elaborates on animal diets, and how it is important to incorporate things that many of us don’t eat, such as spleens, livers, kidneys, etc. because our pets are biologically designed to eat whole animals. And animals enjoy this type of organ meat and it is natural for them. Additionally, she discusses how smell is a factor in pet food, and the ways that smell can be enhanced to entice your pet to eat their food. She talks about the ways pet owners can add butter, or lightly sear the food, to enhance the meal and get pets excited to eat.

Dr. Lilly discusses weight issues with pets and the importance of getting weight under control to avoid health issues. Additionally, she discusses some of the absolutely unacceptable foods for dogs and cats; she stresses that pets should never be fed chocolate, onions, or grapes. When formulating fresh foods, Dr. Lilly states that carbohydrates can be lowered, which makes a big difference in pet diets. She also states that all carbs are not created equal, and some sources for carbs are far better than others.

Dr. Lilly describes their upcoming commercial software that provides a wide variety (over 1500 ingredients) for commercial companies who want to utilize the formulation software when preparing pet food brands for market. She discusses individual recipes as well, and consulting services for pet owners whose pets have specific conditions. Dr. Lilly is passionate about pet health and the Royal Animal Health University is steadfastly dedicated to a holistic, common sense approach to contemporary animal care

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