Mark Morris

A leader in promoting veterinary
nutrition education


The Mark Morris Institute (MMI) is dedicated to being the leading resource in nutritional education for the veterinary profession with the goal of promoting optimal companion animal health.

MMI is a non-profit organization [501(c)(3)].


The Mark Morris Institute was founded to honor Dr. Mark Morris Sr., a pioneer in the field of clinical nutrition who helped improve the quality of life for millions of beloved pets around the world.

MMI provides pet nutrition education for veterinarians and students of veterinary medicine around the world through publications and university veterinary nutrition courses.

Mark Morris Sr and Jr
Dr. Mark Morris Sr. (left) and Dr. Mark Morris Jr.(right)

Dr. Mark Morris Sr.

In 1929, Dr. Morris built one of the first hospitals for the practice of small animal medicine, in Edison, New Jersey.

Dr. Morris's contribution to organized veterinary medicine helped shape the profession and establish high standards for veterinary hospitals, equipment, and personnel. He was one of the founders of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and served as its first president in 1933. Dr. Morris also served as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 1962. During the 1950s, Dr. Morris worked tirelessly with the nation's veterinary schools to encourage the teaching of clinical nutrition.

In 1948, Dr. Morris founded the Morris Animal Foundation, which today is the largest non-governmental sponsor of companion animal health studies in the world. It has funded over 2700 animal health studies at veterinary colleges around the world since its inception, and has contributed to vaccines for the prevention of canine parvovirus, feline leukemia, and Potomac horse fever, as well as new treatments for canine and feline diabetes, bladder stones, heart and kidney diseases, and equine colic.

Dr. Morris is perhaps best known for his work in the development of animal foods for the dietary management of diseases in dogs and cats. His first contribution was a restricted protein diet for canine kidney patients called Prescription Diet® k/d®, first marketed in 1948. His early success with this product led him to study other dog and cat diseases, such as liver and heart diseases, pancreatitis, and obesity. He and his son, Dr. Mark Morris Jr., developed other breakthrough Prescription Diet® products. They later added the Science Diet® brand, a line of products specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of healthy dogs and cats.

Dr. Mark Morris Sr. died in 1993, at the age of 93, but he left a proud legacy of accomplishments in veterinary medicine that spanned five decades.

His work was carried by his son, Mark Morris Jr.

Dr. Mark Morris Jr.

Dr. Morris Jr. received his DVM from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as as an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1963.

Dr. Morris Jr. expanded the Prescription Diet® line of products and introduced the concepts of lifestage nutrition and wellness nutrition in Science Diet® which is sold around the world today for healthy dogs and cats.

Dr. Morris Jr. also became a worldwide authority on companion animal nutrition, and his passion to improve the health and well-being of all animals through better nutrition led him to mentor and teach others in his field. He was a charter diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. As president of Theracon, Inc., he was dedicated to pet food research development, testing and education of the next generation of veterinary professionals.

Most notably, he is the co-author of Small Animal Clinical Nutrition through its fourth edition, which has been translated into five languages. It is the standard textbook on clinical nutrition used to educate veterinarians throughout the world. Dr. Morris Jr. also contributed extensively to the AAFCO and NRC nutrient guidelines for both dog and cats.

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 5th Edition is available on this website in both electronic and textbook form.

The sixth edition of Small Animal Clinical Nutrition is now in development, with portions of becoming available online as they are written.

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