Hills goes small: nutrition center expansion to focus on petite pups
The addition will focus on nutrition for small and miniature dogs as well as veterinary community and caregiver engagement.
A beagle breaks ground at its future home. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. has begun construction on a $20 million addition to its Global Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka. The 25,000-square-foot expansion will include Small Paws, which will be home to an 80 dogs, all weighing less than 12 pounds, and an Engagement Center, intended for interaction with veterinary professionals and pet caregivers through a variety of education seminars and CE programs.
“Hill's is excited to announce the expansion of our world-renowned pet nutrition center to focus on the special needs of small dogs and also to enhance our involvement with those who care for pets through the new engagement center,” said Hill's President Jesper Nordengaard in a press release announcing the expansion. “We are always investing in research and development to serve the nutritional needs of pets as well as learning from veterinarians, customers and caregivers through their experiences. This is how we fulfill our mission to transform lives.”
According to the release, more than half of owned dogs in the U.S. today are small and miniature breeds. It is this growing popularity of smaller dogs that prompted the company to expand its facility.
“Our investment in this specialized facility will help us develop food with the taste and aesthetics that small dogs prefer and that works best with their distinctive behaviors and unique physiology,” said Dave Baloga, vice president of science and technology at Hill's. “The Small Paws center will allow us to better understand their needs and discover new ways to help them lead happy, healthy lives.”
The existing facility houses about 450 dogs and 450 cats. There is no word on construction timing for the new facility.