Companion Consultancy

Hill’s Targets Obesity with Healthy Weight Challenge

Press release   •   Mar 13, 2018 18:35 GMT

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc has launched an innovative program to help veterinary clinics and pet parents tackle obesity in dogs. Called the Healthy Weight Challenge, the initiative uses Vetrax® wearable technology to give clinics and pet parents the opportunity to track achievements for set activity goals and weight loss milestones in overweight dogs over a 12-week challenge period. In addition, for every pound that each participating dog loses, Hill’s will donate a week’s worth of food to a shelter pet.

To participate in the Healthy Weight Challenge, veterinary clinics are asked to enroll ten overweight dogs to take part by April 15 2018. During the challenge, each dog must be given a healthy weight target by a clinician and adhere to a feeding plan with Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic or Metabolic+Mobility products. Each dog will then be fitted free of charge with a Vetrax wearable sensor. The sensor will be used to track his or her performance, both in achieving fun weekly activity challenges set by the clinic and in losing weight. Dogs will earn points as they make progress, unlocking badges and milestones for their pet parents, who will also be able to compare the performance of their pet with others taking part in the Healthy Weight Challenge. Hill’s will offer recognition, promotion and other rewards to those clinics whose patients are the most successful participants in the Healthy Weight Challenge.

The Vetrax sensor, worn on a dog’s collar, enables clinicians and pet parents to monitor aspects of the animal’s behavior. Data gained from the sensor are analyzed by Vetrax and accessed via an easy-to-use cell phone app.

Commenting on the launch of the Healthy Weight Challenge, Jesper Nordengaard, Vice President and General Manager at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, said: “Obesity is the biggest challenge to the health and welfare of our much-loved canine companions with more than 50% of dogs in the USA already obese. At Hill’s we want to enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets and helping dogs to achieve a healthy weight is an important step along the way.

“We created the Healthy Weight Challenge as a fun way to enable clinics and pet parents to help obese dogs to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Our collaboration with Vetrax also offers clinicians and pet parents the opportunity to learn more about the behaviour of participating dogs through monitoring data from the wearable sensor. Its use has been reported as helpful by veterinarians in monitoring a range of behaviors such as physical movement, scratching, head shaking and sleep quality.

“Finally, of course, while helping their own dogs and patients to become healthier, pet parents and clinicians will also be helping less fortunate animals as we will donate a week of shelter meals for each pound lost by a participating dog.”

“We are looking forward to supporting clinics taking up our Healthy Weight Challenge and are excited at the positive feedback we are already receiving.”

More information on participating in the Healthy Weight Challenge is available at: www.HillsSmartCare.com/challenge

About Vetrax

The Vetrax® wearable sensor, app and online portal combine to provide accurate and detailed monitoring of a dog’s specific behaviors to help pet parents and veterinarians to monitor, evaluate and manage treatment plans. It is the first wearable technology for dogs to go beyond basic activity tracking to monitor the specific behaviors, including shaking and scratching, that can impact medical treatment.

Vetrax was developed for veterinarians and is available through their recommendation and oversight. The technology enables them to work collaboratively with pet parents to enhance the overall health of their patients by ensuring that the most effective medical care is being provided. Full details are available at http://www.vetrax.com/

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Press contact: Susan McKay, BVMS, MRCVS, MBA  Tel 01284 388702 or 07887 515870 (Susan) Email susan@companionconsultancy.com

About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, Hill’s’ mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. The right nutrition combined with the devotion of veterinary professionals can transform the lives of pets; and healthier and happier pets can transform the lives of pet parents. Hill’s is dedicated to pioneering research and groundbreaking nutrition for dogs and cats based on a scientific understanding of their specific needs. HILL’S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods, HILL’S® Science Diet® and HILL’S® Ideal Balance™ wellness pet foods are sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about Hill’s, our products and our nutritional philosophy, visit us at HillsPet.com, HillsVet.com or Facebook, keywords “Hill’s Pet Nutrition.”