Kathy Gross

Animal Nutritionist since 1985; joined Hill's in 1990

What kind of pets do you have?

Two dogs, two house cats (plus a menagerie of barn cats), five horses, a herd of cattle.

How did you become interested in pet nutrition?

I’ve always been an animal lover and grew up with many dogs and cats as pets. I became interested in nutrition in college. I was fascinated with understanding how what you eat can affect your whole body's function and metabolism. I started to truly understand what “you are what you eat” means.

Why do you think nutrition is so important to pets?

I think nutrition is just as important for pets as it is for people. Pets are dependent on us to provide them with all they need to be healthy and happy. Through my years of studying the effects of nutrition on pet health and well-being, I know that what pets eat can make a difference in their health today, but more importantly, what you feed can impact the future health of the pet too. I want my pets to live as long as possible and be healthy, so what I choose to feed needs to meet their needs today and be best for maintaining long-term health.

How does your expertise play into the foods you create?

As a nutritionist, my expertise helps me carefully select ingredients to balance key nutrients for a complete meal, the pet’s sole source of nutrients. So for every recipe I create, I include nutrients that are important to help pets avoid serious health issues like obesity; reduce risks for chronic kidney, bladder and urinary tract problems; and protect pets from the effects of aging by adding the right levels of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins.

What do you love about your job?

As a pet nutritionist working for a global pet food company, I love having the ability to make a difference in the lives of so many pets. I also enjoy the challenge of making pet food products that are not only healthy, but are recipes that pets love to eat and that make a visible difference in how pets look and feel.