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Deborah E Linder - DVM, DACVN

Deborah E Linder
Clinical Nutrition, Obesity Clinic
Head of Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals
Clinical Nutrition Service
Dr. Deborah Linder is a 2009 graduate of the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school, she completed a one year internship before returning to the Cummings School to complete a residency in clinical nutrition. She is board-certified in nutrition by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. Dr.Linder's interests include obesity management and effective client education. Dr.Linder has focused her research on safe and effective weight loss strategies for pets as well as how human-animal interaction affects health and wellness. As the head of the Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals, she works to help overweight animals live longer and healthier lives. In her leisure time, Dr. Linder volunteers with the Tufts Paws for People Animal Visitation Group and enjoys hiking and running with her rescue dog, MD, and attending local sporting events.


  • MS - Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences - 2016
  • DVM - Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine - 2009
  • BS - Duke University - 2005

Board Certification

  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (DACVN)
  1. Linder, D., Cardamone, C., Cash, S.B., Castellot, J., Kochevar, D., Dhadwal, S., Patterson, E. 2020. Development, implementation, and evaluation of a novel multidisciplinary one health course for university undergraduates. One Health.
  2. Jalongo, M.R., Linder, D.E., Rotz, F., Schultz, D. 2018. Future directions in canine-assisted activities, education, and therapy. Children, Dogs and Education: Caring for, Learning Alongside, and Gaining Support from Canine Companions.
  3. Linder, D.E., Mueller, M.K., Gibbs, D.M., Alper, J.A., Freeman, L.M. 2018. Effects of an Animal-Assisted Intervention on Reading Skills and Attitudes in Second Grade Students. Early Childhood Education Journal.
  4. McCullough, A., Ruehrdanz, A., Jenkins, M.A., Gilmer, M.J., Olson, J., Pawar, A., Holley, L., Sierra-Rivera, S., Linder, D.E., Pichette, D., Grossman, N.J., Hellman, C., Guérin, N.A., O’Haire, M.E. 2018. Measuring the Effects of an Animal-Assisted Intervention for Pediatric Oncology Patients and Their Parents: A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing.
  5. McCullough, A., Jenkins, M.A., Ruehrdanz, A., Gilmer, M.J., Olson, J., Pawar, A., Holley, L., Sierra-Rivera, S., Linder, D.E., Pichette, D., Grossman, N.J., Hellman, C., Guérin, N.A., O'Haire, M.E. 2018. Physiological and behavioral effects of animal-assisted interventions on therapy dogs in pediatric oncology settings. Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
  6. Linder, D.E., Siebens, H.C., Mueller, M.K., Gibbs, D.M., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Animal-assisted interventions: A national survey of health and safety policies in hospitals, eldercare facilities, and therapy animal organizations. American Journal of Infection Control.
  7. Linder, D.E., Mueller, M.K., Debra, G., Siebens, H.C., Freeman, L.M. 2017. The role of veterinary education in safety policies for animal-Assisted therapy and activities in hospitals and nursing homes. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.
  8. Linder, D.E., Sacheck, J.M., Noubary, F., Nelson, M.E., Freeman, L.M. 2017. Dog attachment and perceived social support in overweight/obese and healthy weight children. Preventive Medicine Reports.
  9. Abood, S.K., Linder, D., Morgan, S. 2017. Possible effect of diet on stress and neuroendocrine parameters in dogs with behavioural disorders. Veterinary Record.
  10. Linder, D.E., Parker, V.J. 2016. Dietary Aspects of Weight Management in Cats and Dogs. Veterinary Clinics of North America - Small Animal Practice.
  11. Lenihan, D., McCobb, E., Diurba, A., Linder, D., Freeman, L. 2016. Measuring the Effects of Reading Assistance Dogs on Reading Ability and Attitudes in Elementary Schoolchildren. Journal of Research in Childhood Education.
  12. Prantil, L.R., Markovich, J.E., Heinze, C.R., Linder, D.E., Tams, T.R., Freeman, L.M. 2016. Nutritional analysis and microbiological evaluation of commercially available enteral diets for cats. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
  13. Sapowicz, S.A., Linder, D.E., Freeman, L.M. 2016. Body Condition Scores and Evaluation of Feeding Habits of Dogs and Cats at a Low Cost Veterinary Clinic and a General Practice. Scientific World Journal.
  14. Johnson, L.N., Linder, D.E., Heinze, C.R., Kehs, R.L., Freeman, L.M. 2016. Evaluation of owner experiences and adherence to home-cooked diet recipes for dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
  15. Johnson, L.N., Heinze, C.R., Linder, D.E., Freeman, L.M. 2015. Evaluation of marketing claims, ingredients, and nutrient profiles of over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  16. Linder, D., Mueller, M. 2014. Pet obesity management: Beyond nutrition. Veterinary Clinics of North America - Small Animal Practice.
  17. Brooks, D., Churchill, J., Fein, K., Linder, D., Michel, K.E., Tudor, K., Ward, E., Witzel, A. 2014. 2014 AAHA weight management guidelines for dogs and cats. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.
  18. Linder, D.E., Freeman, L.M., Sutherland-Smith, J. 2013. Association between subcutaneous fat thickness measured on thoracic radiographs and body condition score in dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research.
  19. Linder, D.E., Freeman, L.M., Holden, S.L., Biourge, V., German, A.J. 2013. Status of selected nutrients in obese dogs undergoing caloric restriction. BMC Veterinary Research.
  20. Yu, M.K., Freeman, L.M., Heinze, C.R., Parker, V.J., Linder, D.E. 2013. Comparison of complication rates in dogs with nasoesophageal versus nasogastric feeding tubes. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

General Research Interests

  • Obesity Management
  • Client Education & Communication
  • Human Animal Interaction (HAI)

Selected Research Projects

  • Optimal nutrient profile of weight loss diets

Research and Clinical Interests

  • Obesity Management in Dogs and Cats
  • Collaborative Obesity Projects in Human and Animal Health
  • Human Animal Interaction (HAI) in Clinical Practice and Research¬†


  • Small Animal Medicine course (Obesity lecture)
  • Adventures in Veterinary Medicine (AVM)

Research Interests by Area

Spontaneous Animal Disease Models
  • Obesity, nutritional support of the cancer patient, and renal failure.

Research Interests by Organ System and Disease

Human Animal Interaction (HAI)
  • Research and clinical practice of HAI

Professional Organizations

  • ISAZ Member (International Society for Anthrozoology)
  • AAVN Member (American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition)
  • BNORC Member (Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center)