The 6th DogRisk Seminar (2024)

The 6th DogRisk seminar - Metabolic health or disease: help through diets and functional foods? - will be on 6-8th September 2024. This time we'll have two days of lectures and one workshop day. We hope to see you there!

After five successful events, the DogRisk Evidence Based Raw Food Seminar will again be held in Helsinki this autumn! 

There is evidence that diet really matters – come and listen to the latest within healthy dog nutrition. We have excellent researchers and lecturers coming sharing their knowledge. The DogRisk research group at the Department of Equine and small Animal Medicine, Veterinary Sciences at the University of Helsinki, welcomes you all to join – and this year you can also have an impact! We will have 2 days filled with the newest research on dogs’ diets plus an extra day of workshops.

Preliminary Program (there might be some small changes)

Friday 6th September 2024

8.00-9.00 Registration and coffee: Auditorium F3003, University of Helsinki main building, 3rd floor

9.00-9.10 Program, welcome - Anna Hielm-Björkman, DVM, PhD, Docent, PI, Leader of the DogRisk research group; Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki (UoH)

9.10-9.40 Metabolic diseases of dogs, cats and humans – Anna Hielm-Björkman, DogRisk group, UH. 

9.40-10.25 Metabolomics reveals what metabolic pathways are affected in canine diseases – Petbiomics

10.25-10.45 Coffee and interaction

10.45-11.45 Metabolism of canine mammary tumors: Nature’s fate or product of our environment, including diet? - Robin Moore, PhD student at DogRisk, UoH

11.45-12.15 The speakers panel will discuss and answer questions on this morning’s topics.

12.15-13.15 Lunch (find your own lunch place nearby or BYO)

13.15-14.00 How does diet at young age impact future obesity? Dry versus raw – Manal Hemida, Post Doc, DogRisk group, UH.

14.00–14.30   The effect of a kibble diet versus a raw food diet on energy metabolism biomarkers in dogs - Sarah Rosendahl, PhD, DogRisk, UoH 

14.30-14.50 Coffee and interaction

14.50-15.35 Can diet change your genes? The expression of key breakthroughs in human functional medicine for our dogs and why it doesn’t always follow the plan – Brendan Clark, DVM, UK

15.35–16.30 A cat questionnaire reveals that raw is protective for cat osteoarthritis – Student work (Inka-Mariia Rissanen, now DVM) Presented by Anna

16.30-17.00 The speakers panel will discuss and answer questions on this afternoon’s topics.

19.00 Dinner for all interested (Not included in the price, registration please!)


Saturday 7th September:

8.00-9.00 Registration, coffee: Lecture hall “Pieni Juhlasali”, Uni of Helsinki main building, 4th floor 

9.00-9.10 Program, welcome, etc. - Anna Hielm-Björkman, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UoH 

9.10-10.05 TBA

 10.05-10.50 How do dogs thrive on good quality low-processed foods? – An Indian example – Dhanu Roy, Xcellsa Kennels and Pet Prakalp Pvt Ltd. and Anna Hielm-Björkman, UoH

10.50-11.10 Coffee and interaction

11.10-11.40 Raw feeding hygiene is the biggest red flag for both vets, students and non-rawfeeding owners. Tools to overcome this hurdle. – Sarah Hormozi, MSc Animal Nutrition, Head of Science and Education, UK Pet Food, UK.

11.40-12.10 The panel will discuss and answer questions on this morning’s topics

12.10-13.10 Lunch (find your own lunch place nearby or BYO)

13.10-13.55 The Function of Functional Food – Nick Thompson, UK.

13.55-14.40 Yeast Wars: How infections hijack your metabolism and natural ways to fight back – Conor Brady, BSc. PhD. Anim. Behav.

14.40-15.00 Coffee and interaction

15.00–15.45 Functional claims as: ”for skin health” or ”for weight management” on your dog’s food make you wonder - what do pet food manufacturing firms in Europe really say? (EU directives, PARNUTS etc.) – Sarah Hormozi, MSc Animal Nutrition, Head of Science and Education, UK Pet Food, UK.

15.45-16.10 Showing off our pain alert dogs – Nona Borgström, project planner, master student

16.10-16.40 The panel will discuss and answer questions on this afternoon´s topics 

16.40-16.50 Raffle for those present: Chance to win some books and a ticket to next year’s DogRisk seminar!

16.50-17.00 Thank you and see you soon – or see you tomorrow at the workshop! – Anna 


Sunday 8th September:

9.00-15.00 Depending on how many we are: at University, Vet faculty, or Anna’s house 

9.00-15.00 Workshop on 1. We should start making raw functional foods, 2. Social media on raw, 3. Raw dog food info for vets and students, 4. Other topics? 


For more info: Anna Hielm-Björkman, Tel:-358-(0)44-3270462; 

When, where, cost

Where and when?

The workshop will be held at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine on Viikki Campus in Helsinki, or at Anna's house if there are not so many participants, on Sunday September 8th, 2024 – or at Anna’s house if we are not so many. The 2-day lectures will be held at the University of Helsinki main building (päärakennus), Fabianinkatu 33, 00100, in Helsinki city center on Friday and Saturday, September 6-7, 2024. The Auditorium on Friday is F3003 and on Saturday “Pieni juhlasali”. Same entrance, different floors. The room will take up to about 200 persons but those who are late in registering, might not fit in so please be early. All three days 9.00 AM to 5 PM, but doors are open all day! If you fly in, it is Helsinki Airport (HEL), Finland.

For whom? Veterinary and human health practitioners and nutritionists, nurses, students, dog owners - anybody with an interest in multidisciplinary research on the relationships between diet and disease, in dogs, pets, humans. The course is part of the Veterinary study curriculum course “Eläinten pidon perusteet, etologia ja eläinsuojelu II” and for PhDs at the Clinical Veterinary Medicine doctoral school.

Language: English. 

Cost: Seminar fees (covers lectures and coffees, but NO TRAVELING OR ACCOMODATION).

  • If you are UoH staff, faculty or a student from any school or university, the seminar is free for you.

  • All others: 50 € per day (100 € + VAT for 2 days). (Please ask for reduced prices if the price is too high for you:

  • If you are a company and would like a table and/or a roll-up outside the lecture hall: 500 € + VAT, including 2 persons that may attend the lectures.

  • The organized dinner on Friday we try to get partly sponsored and charge you only 30 € (food only) or 40 € (with wine). Please enter this in the registration form when you register through the link above. Saturday: a restaurant where everybody pays but we make the reservation. 

OBSERVE: The University is slow so you might get your invoice before the seminar, or after. This is not our fault, and we invite you to come anyway and then just pay after the seminar, when you get the invoice. Sorry for the inconvenience. Our seminar fee pays for the lecturer, the lecture hall, the coffees etc., we never make a profit. But in case we someday would, all extra revenues would go to sponsoring the nutrition research done by the DogRisk research group at the University of Helsinki. 

For more info: Anna Hielm-Björkman, Tel:-358-(0)44-3270462; 


Registration open at:

Please, only one name per registration! If you register many from your firm/team/association, they all have to be done separately as we need to know dietary restrictions, titles and names for nametags etc. The paying info can be completed in the first and the next ones can be filled in with “as A. Smith”.

About your stay in Helsinki

Did you know that Finns have been voted as the happiest people on earth for at least 4 times in a row now? That Helsinki is one of the most secure and clean capitals to live in? That we Finns are curious and love nature? And that more than every second family has a dog… or many? So, it’s a great place to visit and the DogRisk seminar is even a better reason!

The lectures will be in the University of Helsinki main building (preliminary plan), Fabianinkatu 33, 00100, Helsinki

 University of Helsinki main building on Google Maps

️ AirBnB for Helsinki

️ Hotels and hostels

For cheap hostels close to the lecture hall try:

  • Sky hostel Helsinki
  • Hostel Diana park
  • Eurohostel
  • Arcadia hotel & hostel

These can also be found on


We are happy if you can spread the link as much as possible so that all those that are interested in a healthy diet can take part!

See you in September in Helsinki!