Introducing… Panagiotis Balousis! 

Hey everyone! My name is Panagiotis, but I go by Panos! I am from Thessaloniki, Greece and I graduated with a BScH degree in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph in 2023. Currently, I am working towards my Master’s in Biomedical Sciences (MBS) at the Ontario Veterinary College under the supervision of Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe. 

How would you describe yourself? 

I view myself as an outgoing and positive individual who has a strong affection for animals!  

What interests or motivates you most? 

I’m motivated by the desire to promote healthier lifestyles through nutrition and to emphasize the significance of making sound dietary choices as a preventative measure against health issues, rather than simply addressing them after they occur. 

What program were you in before?  

In the past, I majored in Animal Biology at the University of Guelph, from which I graduated in the year 2023. 

When did you become interested in nutrition?  

From a young age, I’ve been fascinated by biological sciences! Throughout my childhood, pets were constantly present around me which sparked my passion to pursue a career in Animal Biology. As an undergraduate, I took various nutrition-related courses to broaden my understanding of this field. These classes taught me about the diverse nutritional needs of different animal groups, ranging from ruminants and monogastric animals to wildlife, aquaculture species, and pets. While I found all of this intriguing, as I approached the end of my undergraduate journey, I recognized that my true passion centered around pet nutrition. 

What made you choose this graduate program, and what are you looking forward to most about it? 

The popularity of raw meat-based diets for pets is on the rise among pet owners. These diets are often seen as healthier due to their unprocessed nature, with many pet owners relying on online sources to support these claims. By undertaking this research project, I am looking forward to investigating the opinions of pet care professionals on such diets and their effects on companion animals.  

What is your research project? 

My research project focuses on constructing and administering three e-surveys targeting pet owners, pet care professionals, and veterinary health care teams to explore their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding raw meat-based diets. 

Tell us about your pets, past and present.  

Currently, I have a pet in Greece named Bari! He’s an Aegean cat that we rescued in the summer of 2019. 

Bari is quite the independent cat who isn’t big on seeking attention. He enjoys sleeping in strange positions and frequently ends up lounging upside down. 

While he’s skilled at putting on an antisocial façade, he secretly enjoys head and back scratches when he’s napping! 

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