May 01 2012

Pet Food Companies Combat Obesity

Two pet industry manufacturers are hoping that pet weight loss will continue to be a hot topic as they pair up with well-known fitness gurus on some creative pet nutrition promotions.  Nestle Purina PetCare Co. has teamed up with Jenny Craig for “Project Slim Down,” designed to encourage pets and owners to lose weight together.  The obesity epidemic is not limited to people.  While approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, more that half of U.S. pets are considered overweight.

The program offers discounts from Purina and Jenny Craig to those who enroll.  It also includes feeding software that enables veterinary professionals to calculate feeding recommendations for 1 percent to 2 percent weekly weight loss, client education,  pet weigh-ins, and product coupons and rebates.  Pet owners can track their pet’s progress online and chronicle the whole journey on Facebook.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. announced a collaboration with Alison Sweeney, host of NBC’s television show “The Biggest Loser.”  In January, they launched the Million Pound Pledge, a national call to action for pet owners to help their cats and dogs get in shape.  “Living a healthy lifestyle is important for my dog,” said Sweeney. “One out of every two pets is overweight, and my dog Winky is one of them.  I started using Science Diet (a product of Hill’s) pet foods to help Winky lose weight and now I want to share my personal experience to inspire owners across America so they too can achieve the same success.”  The program includes rebates and weight-loss tips, as well as weight and treat comparisons that translate pet weight gain and feeding into human terms.

The greatest challenge with weight management is making the right decisions about food and exercise.  Both the Hill’s/Biggest Loser and Purina/Jenny Craig partnerships aim to educate pet owners and promote the idea of pets and their owners getting fit and healthy together.

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Exerpts from Veterinary Practice News: March 2012


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