WALTHAM® and our Caring Science approach.
Since the 1960s, research into dog care and nutrition has advanced by leaps and, yes, bounds. We’re proud to say that for most of this time, the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Care and Nutrition (named after the Leicestershire town where Pedigree UK has its headquarters) has led the research pack.
We’re even more proud of the way that we do our research. Because we regard the dogs that help us in our research as partners, not specimens. And we’ve proved that our method pays off handsomely. Willing, happy dogs give more reliable results.
Our laboratory capacity allows scientists to carry out world class research across a broad range of areas, improving health through antioxidants, probiotics, and optimal energy intake for example. By collaborating with universities and institutes around the world, we achieve faster results, using fewer dogs, with greater accuracy.
We currently have 150 dogs and 230 cats living in elaborate, environmentally enriched lodges. They’re looked after by more than 100 highly trained carers. Our pets also find time for several hours of socialisation each day, enjoying activities such as agility training, flyball and general off-lead play. We’ve even set a world record for dog obedience: in 2003, WALTHAM got 76 dogs to sit, together, for a whole two minutes.
It wasn’t just a stunt. Getting a dog to sit, relaxed and content, is essential for some research – such as when we needed to learn how much moisture a dog loses through its skin. (This particular study led to foods that promote healthier skin and glossier coats.)
Caring Science can make scientific research more challenging. But it not only sets our research apart, it also makes WALTHAM a truly rewarding place in which to work.
Abigail Stevenson BSc, PhD, MIBiol
Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire,