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New clinical foods launched to support cats and dogs with cancer


Prescription Diet ONC Care aims to help combat inappetence and provide high-quality nutrition for feline and canine oncology patients

A new therapeutic food formulated to provide promote food intake in pets living with cancer was launched this week at the North American Veterinary Community’s 2023 Veterinary Meeting & Expo (VMX) in Orlando, Florida. The Prescription Diet ONC Care foods by Hill’s Pet Nutrition will be available on the market in March, according to a company release.1

Hill's Pet Nutrition

Photo courtesy of Hill's Pet Nutrition

Designed for cats and dogs, these foods will come in wet and dry forms. Like any therapeutic nutrition, use of Prescription Diet ONC Care requires veterinarian direction and supervision.

General nutrition goals for pets with cancer include preserving lean muscle, minimizing metabolic disturbances and gastrointestinal intolerance to food, and optimizing quality of life2; however, these goals can be difficult to meet, according to a company release. Pets with cancer often exhibit lethargy, inappetence, and weight loss. Risks of malnutrition include significantly decreased response to treatment protocols and time of remission, increased mortality and morbidity, and an overall detrimental effect on quality of life.

Currently, there is not a veterinary standard for managing the nutritional needs of oncology patients, nor is there a therapeutic food designed specifically to meet their needs, according to Hill’s Pet Nutrition.1 The new Prescription Diet ONC Care product line is designed to empower pet parents—whether they plan to pursue cancer treatment for their pet or not—by providing a highly palatable food that delivers maximum nutritional benefit with every bite.

This nutrition includes highly digestible protein to help maintain muscle mass, strength, and energy, and is made with Hill’s proprietary ActivBiome+ technology, a blend of prebiotics that nourishes the gut microbiome and is shown to provide consistent stool quality. It is also designed with a unique, easy-to-chew, softer kibble.

“Conversations with owners whose pets have cancer are complex and emotional. With Prescription Diet ONC Care, we provide veterinary professionals with a powerful new tool they can confidently recommend to pet parents to keep their pets eating and to help them maintain good quality of life for their pets,” said Karen Shenoy, DVM, US chief veterinary officer of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, in the release.”

Prescription Diet ONC Care is the result of 5 years of research and development to better meet the healthcare needs of pets diagnosed with cancer. Additional studies are underway to explore further clinical benefits of the new food, according to Hill’s. The product line will continue to roll out globally throughout this year and into 2024.

“As Hill’s celebrates our 75th anniversary this year, we continue our relentless focus on impacting the lives of pets through the power of nutrition. Quality nutrition is so critical to supporting pets with cancer. This innovation will help pet parents keep their pets eating, and therefore keep them fighting,” said Shenoy.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is displaying ONC Care products at VMX, in the exhibit hall at booth 2004. The VMX conference runs through Wednesday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

For more VMX coverage, visit dvm360.com/conference/vmx.


  1. Hill’s Pet Nutrition Announces Prescription Diet ONC Care, New Clinical Nutrition Dedicated to Support Cats and Dogs with Cancer. News release. Hill’s Pet Nutrition. January 13, 2023. Accessed January 16, 2023.
  2. Saker, KE. Practical approaches to feeding the cancer patient. Today’s Veterinary Practice. 2014. Accessed January 17, 2023. https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/nutrition/acvn-nutrition-notes-practical-approaches-to-feeding-the-cancer-patient/

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