Your pet’s nutrition plays a critical role in his or her health, quality of life, and relationship with you. Every individual animal is unique – so how do you know if your pet is eating the best diet to support his or her health?
Meet Dr. Lindsey Bullen. She’s a board certified veterinary nutritionist serving pets in our BluePearl Pet Hospitals in Cary, Raleigh and Durham – and beyond via virtual consultation. She works with you, your pet’s primary veterinarians and other BluePearl specialists to create tailored diet plans designed for optimal nutrition, disease prevention and lifelong wellness.
As a board certified veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Bullen obtained her veterinary degree first and then underwent extensive residency training in the field of small animal clinical nutrition. Her expertise goes beyond recommending “the right diet”; Dr. Bullen is an expert in small animal biochemistry and metabolism. She treats and prevents disease with a combination of nutrient manipulation (in the form of tailored diet plans) and where appropriate, medications.
As one of the roughly 100 board certified veterinary nutritionists in the county, she is a trusted leader in the national nutrition community who is committed to helping improve pets’ lives through clinical nutrition and diet education.
Dr. Bullen understands the human-animal bond you share with your pet and develops nutritional recommendations with the goal of creating more great days together and extending quality of life as long as possible.
She describes her approach to veterinary nutrition as precise, realistic and communication-focused. She believes education is key in nutritional care and teaching you about your pet’s nutritional needs is her favorite part of the job. During your visit with Dr. Bullen, you can expect:
Dr. Bullen and her team are always focused on the big picture; they want your pet to eat a healthy diet and feel better. They guide you through the nutritional process without judgement and encourage open communication every step of the way.
Your pet’s ideal diet is a precise blend of nutrients – and every pet may have different nutritional requirements. Dr. Bullen reviews your pet’s medical needs and goals and performs complex calculations to determine the right nutrient proportions and concentrations to recommend.
“I love working with math and percentages. Each patient presents a new puzzle to solve and mathematics is the foundation of my recommendations.”
– Dr. Bullen
In most scenarios, all Dr. Bullen needs is your pet’s bloodwork, medical history and current diet information to uncover any nutritional deficiencies and tackle the challenge of creating the optimal diet plan.
Dr. Bullen’s creates personalized diet plans for all types of pets, and some of her most common cases include:
Chronic conditions. Pets with complex illnesses may require special dietary requirements to help them live their best quality of life. Dr. Bullen takes the time to review each patient’s specific condition and provides nutritional recommendations which aim to promote wellness and correct nutritional imbalances.
Weight loss. The majority of patients Dr. Bullen sees are either overweight or obese, meaning they are higher risk for certain health complications. Dr. Bullen works closely with her clients to develop achievable, realistic weight loss plans
and schedule frequent weigh-ins to track progress together. Maintaining an optimal weight can improve both quality and quantity of life!
Assisted feeding. Pets that cannot or will not consume adequate nutrients and calories or pets on ventilators often require lifesaving assisted feeding support. Dr. Bullen develops the proper diet composition for these pets to be administered via feeding tube or other assisted feeding methods.
Medication bioavailability. Diet can play a huge role in how certain medicines are absorbed into the body. Tailored diets can help these pets process their medications appropriately and feel more energized.
Maintaining nutritional health. Not all of Dr. Bullen’s patients are sick. In fact, sometimes she works with perfectly health patients and confirms they’re on track for lifelong nutritional wellness.
After assessing your pet’s needs and performing the necessary calculations, Dr. Bullen presents you with diet recommendations. Rather than providing one solution, she shares several options and helps guide you through making informed decisions that are best for your pet.
Dr. Bullen creates recommendations and tailored diet plans with both you and your pet in mind. She understands your pet’s daily diet is part of your routine and will often presents choices between several diet options, including:
Commercial Diet. Dr. Bullen can help you understand which types of commercial food will provide your pet with complete and balanced nutrition.
Prescription Diet. Pets with certain conditions or medical complications may benefit from a prescription diet that is designed specifically for their needs.
Tailored Homemade Diet. If you elect this option, Dr. Bullen creates tailored recipes for your pet (based on their medical and physiologic needs) which includes advising ingredient choices, preparation and freezing instructions.
Custom-Made Diet. In cases where clients elect a tailored homemade diet but cannot cook for their pets, Dr. Bullen and you can partner with a third-party company to make Dr. Bullen’s recipe (which is specific to your pet’s condition and precise nutritional needs).
It’s Dr. Bullen’s goal to empower you to choose the tailored diet plan that is right for you and your pet and give you all the tools you need to make this diet change successful in your day-to-day lives.
Dr. Bullen is playing a critical role in leading future generations of veterinary nutritionists. She devotes much of her time to teaching, giving lectures and developing educational resources to train passionate veterinarians on improving their patients’ lives with nutritional care.
“Veterinary nutritionists strive to lead the future of clinical nutrition with information and education. Clinical nutrition creates the opportunity to augment and uplift the level of collaborative care we provide for our patients.”
– Dr. Bullen
Dr. Bullen has served as an educator and mentor at collegiate institutes including Lincoln Memorial University and North Carolina State University, as well as a mentor in hospital-based programs such as BluePearl’s EmERge program. She strives to lead many continuing education (CE) events each year and continue reaching as many veterinary professionals as possible.
Dr. Bullen also contributes to the future of veterinary nutrition by publishing and reviewing research and participating as an active member in several national veterinary associations.
Outside of work, Dr. Bullen applies her mathematic mind and problem-solving abilities to her passion for video games. She is married to her college sweetheart, Nathan, and has two young sons, Arthur and Rowan, who reflect her personality and interests. She loves physical activities like running, playing soccer, and climbing, and she holds her black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art.