DogRisk Seminar in Helsinki 23-24 September 2022

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE FOR 2023: 15-16 September 2023!

The topic is "How to keep an aging dog healthy". This very timely subject is brought to you by several internationally known lecturers. This yearly evidence-based seminar is as always open to everyone.
The program, registration, cite, cost...

This year part of our lectures will be virtual and it will also be possible to follow some of our lectures virtually. However, as it is important to talk and mingle, we hope to fill up the whole lecture hall. The event info can be found here and the registration link here.

On Friday morning we have 3 lectures on feeding dogs (e.g. one on vegan food for dogs by Professor Andrew Knight), in the afternoon we will look at the aging dog (e.g Researcher and Smart Dog Test developer Katriina Tiira talking about age and cognition). The virtual lectures will be shown on large screens.

On Saturday morning we will have more lectures on the associations between raw feeding and various diseases from the DogRisk group as well as on the diet of the aging dog and in the afternoon we will be spoiled by having the authors of the #1 New York Bestseller book "The Forever Dog" Rodney Habib and Dr Karen Becker (OBS that these last two lectures are not streamed nor recorded so these you can hear only by coming to the lecture hall!).



Friday 23th September 2022:

8.00-9.00    Registration: Lecture hall Aurora 230, Siltavuorenpenger 10, Helsinki center.

9.00-9.15        Program, welcome - Anna Hielm-Björkman, DVM, PhD, Docent, PI, Leader of the DogRisk and WiseNose research groups; Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki (UoH)

9.15-9.45        The role of animal derived fermentable substrates in pet health (Virtual from NZ) -  Dr Nina Butowski, PhD, post-doc (animal nutrition), Food Informatics Team, Smart Foods & Bioproducts Innovation, Centre of Excellence, AgResearch, NZ

9.45-10.45      Should dogs and cats go vegan? (Virtual from the UK) -  Prof. Andrew Knight, University of Winchester

10.45-11.15    Coffee and interaction

11.15-11.45    Differently processed dog foods and their research (Virtual from USA/Spain) – Nicci Cammack, PhD student, USA

11.45-12.15    The effects of puppyhood diet on Chronic Enteropathy (CE) and Hip Dysplasia (HD) incidences later in life – Kristiina Vuori, PhD (Animal Physiology), DogRisk Post-doc researcher

12.15-12.45    The panel will discuss and answer questions on this morning’s topics.

12.45-13.45    Lunch (find your own lunch place nearby or BYO)

13.45–14.15    The genetics and epigenetics of cognitive decline in dogs – Dr Kathleen Morrill, Dog genetics in the dog aging project and the Darwin’s ark project

14.15-15.00     Aging and dog cognition – Katriina Tiira, PhD, Docent of Animal Behaviour, developer of the Finnish SmartDOG test. 

15.00-15.30    Coffee and interaction

15.30–16.30   Presenting the Dog Aging Project (DAP): An Open Data Community Science Study of Aging in Companion Dogs (Virtual from USA). - Prof. Daniel Promislow, University of Washington, USA. PI of the DAP,

16.30-17.00    The 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 24th September:

8.30-9.00    Registration: Lecture hall Aurora 230, Siltavuorenpenger 10, Helsinki center.

9.00-9.15        Program, welcome, etc. - Anna Hielm-Björkman, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UoH 

9.15-9.45      Nutrition of the geriatric dog– Susan G. Wynn, DVM, DACVN, Tailored Veterinary Nutrition, BluePearl Veterinary Specialists, Assistant Professor Affiliate, Auburn University, Director of Scientific Affairs Nature’s Variety, Inc. Saint Louis, MO

9.45-10.15      The role of the canine diets in different life stages in controlling the prevalence of inflammatory/allergic diseases – Manal Hemida, DVM, Ph.D. (animal nutrition), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UoH

10.15-10.45    Exploring the relationships between canine diets and canine mammary cancer – Robin Moore, PhD student, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UoH

10.45-11.15    Coffee and interaction

11.15-11.45    How breed risk of disease plays out in mixed-breed dogs – Dr Kathleen Morrill, Dog genetics in the dog aging project and the Darwin’s ark project

11.45-12.00   The panel will discuss and answer questions on this morning’s topics

12.00-13.00    Lunch (find your own lunch place nearby or BYO)

13.00-14.00    My practical practices to support a healthier and longer life for aging dogs – Barbara Royal, DVM, Chocago, USA. The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center, Co-founder of the Royal Animal Health University, Adjunct Prof. California State University

14.00-15.00    Building the Next Generation of Healthier, Happier Companions: How food choices and food processing influence long-term health – Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, Co-author of the New York bestseller “The Forever Dog”, PLEASE NOTE; THIS LECTURE IS NOT STREAMED VIRTUALLY, NOR RECORDED; only on stage!

15.00-15.30    Coffee and interaction

15.30–16.30   The Forever Dog Formula: Surprising new tools you need for raising the oldest dogs in the world – Rodney Habib, blogger, film-maker, co-author of the #1 New York bestseller “The Forever Dog”, owner of the page “Planet Paws” etc. PLEASE NOTE; THIS LECTURE IS NOT STREAMED VIRTUALLY, NOR RECORDED; only on stage in Helsinki!

16.30-16.50    The panel will discuss and answer questions on this afternoon´s topics

16.50-17.00    Thank you and see you soon again! – Anna Hielm-Björkman



Friday and Saturday, September 23-24, 2022. The University of Helsinki main building is under renovation so we are having the lectures at Lecture hall Aurora 230, at Siltavuorenpenger 10, Helsinki center. 



Veterinary and human health practitioners and nutritionists, nurses, students, dog and cat owners. Anybody with an interest in multidisciplinary research on healthy aging, relationships between diet and disease, in pets and humans (as dogs are good models for human diseases). Part of the Veterinary curriculum course “Eläinten pidon perusteet, etologia ja eläinsuojelu II”.

️ LANGUAGE: English.


Please, only one name per registration, with name, e-mail, telephone etc. and which day/days each of you will participate. If you want to register several, please fill in as many registrations as persons attending as all have different names, titles, dietary info etc.

Please register here below, also if you come for free as we have coffee and snacks in the mornings and afternoons. Also remember all lectures are not streamed or recorded.



▪️The seminar is FREE for all from the University of Helsinki, (not only from the Veterinary faculty): all students, vets, MDs, PhD students, nurses, faculty, staff...

▪️Students from other teaching facilities will pay 20 € + VAT per day (40 € + VAT for Friday and Saturday)

▪️Animal professionals/others from outside Academia (pet owners, dog breeders, pet shop professionals etc.) will pay 50 € + VAT per day (100 € + VAT for Friday and Saturday).

▪️The Dog Food industry can pay 500 € + VAT for a table in the coffee area outside the seminar hall and have 1-2 persons talking about their products there and have the same persons following the lectures.

Payment of seminar fee: An invoice will be sent to your e-mail 1-2 weeks after you register (*).

For more info: Please contact Anna Hielm-Björkman, Docent, DVM, CVA, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Dep. of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, Surgery, P.O.Box 57, 00014, University of Helsinki (UoH), FINLAND ; Tel: 358-(0)44-3270462; (e.g. invoice, receipts…)

Our seminar fee pays for the lecturer, the lecture hall, the coffees etc. so 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. Please observe: The fee covers only lectures and coffees, but NO TRAVELING, LUNCH OR DINNERS, OR ACCOMODATION. 

(*) If you are not faculty or a HY student: 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.

Please also register for the dinner on the registration form when you register through the links above. 

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


Did you know that Finns have been voted 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 an even better reason!

️ AirBnB's in Helsinki:

️ Hotels & hostels:

For cheap hostels close to the lecture hall, try Sky hostel Helsinki, Hostel Diana park, Eurohostel, or Arcadia hotel & hostel (can also be found on

See you soon!