Why Did Hill's Create a Pet Nutrition Center?

Even if you have the most nutritious pet food in the world, it won’t have much value if pets refuse to eat it.

To address this real concern, Hill’s has enlisted the help of roughly 900 dogs and cats who live in the Pet Nutrition Center, or “PNC” for short.

Inside the 180-acre center located in Topeka, KS, a full staff of veterinarians, PhDs, nutritionists and food scientists focus on each food’s nutritional quality. Meanwhile, taste is tested by a furrier, more discerning set of critics. Here’s how both sides of the PNC work together to ensure Hill’s® pet foods meet our high standards.

THE HUMAN SIDE OF THE PNC

Scientist looking through microscope

Hill's long-term investment in learning, technology and talented scientists has helped develop industry-leading product innovations, including the most extensive range of clinical nutrition products for sick, at-risk and healthy pets.

Approximately 225 people work at our Hill’s Science and Technology Center, including global research, product development, safety, quality and regulatory teams.

Inside the PNC, Hill’s works passionately to create foods that have the power to transform lives. Many of these employees also hold advanced degrees in engineering, sensory, biology and statistics to create a multi-disciplinary approach to pet nutrition.

Our research done by this talented team spreads across a wide range of scientific disciplines, but none of them eat the pet food we make — there’s a different team for that.

THE FURRY SIDE OF FOOD SCIENCE

The dogs and cats of the Pet Nutrition Center start their roles early in life, since puppy and kitten food also needs their evaluation.

Our dogs and cats are enrolled in taste preference evaluations, where they are offered different choices of pet foods. A variety of palatability tests and sensory assessments are used to accurately measure how much food is being eaten, and by which dog or cat. The preferences of each pet are recorded through a number of observations to ensure every pet food from Hill’s isn’t just nutritional — but enjoyable as well.

Maintaining this facility is an everyday process. Hill’s is part of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and participates in routine inspections to maintain the animal hospital’s accreditation. Kansas and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employ veterinarians to inspect the facility annually. These inspections may be scheduled or unannounced at their discretion.

While that may sound technical, the day-to-day for these dogs and cats has been referred to as a “pet’s paradise,” where the health and mental well-being of each animal is our staff’s number one priority. Everything done in the PNC is to ensure Hill’s has the right nutrients — and the right levels — in every one of our products. These important furry employees are given five elements of optimum care: quality nutrition, physical and mental exercise, proper veterinary health care and finally LOVE and affection.

See what life is like for these PNC pets with this 360° virtual tour of the facility.

Related Pet Care Articles

  • Discover if your dog or cat actually hates you, or the reason why they seem to have a standoffish personality.
  • If you're struggling with the future of an empty nest as your kids go to college or move away, pets can help ease that transition.
  • Learn about the signs of aging in dogs and cats and how they compare similarly to those in humans so you can provide the best care for your aging pet.
  • By one year old, you puppy will be an adult dog – some behaviors may not change any time soon, but his needs in many areas have changed.
  • Puppies can grow into adolescents much like humans grow to become teenagers. Learn the challenges associated with this change in your puppy.
  • Many dogs shed, so you might believe a hairy house is an absolute if you want to adopt a canine companion. Learn how to keep your house clean.