Starting our journey with Pedigree

Mumsnet and Pedigree have asked us to record our nutrition journey with our pet.

My husband attended the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition this week to find out more about Pedigree products for dogs. He had a tour of the facilities followed by some talks and had the opportunity to ask questions.

We have a pet Beagle named Stan and we are keen to ensure he is looked after well. Over the next few weeks, we will be trying out a range of Pedigree products and reporting back our findings on the blog.

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I asked my husband about his day.

What were your overall impressions of the event and day in general?

“The centre surprised me in that although it is a science based facility, it is very friendly and open. It is animal and people friendly. The first principle seems to be that we do testing in laboratories before trying out on dogs. The accommodation and good ratio of handlers to dogs was pleasing to see. It was clear that feeding, grooming, exercise, socialisation and health needs are well looked after. I highly approved of the reward based methods of training.”

What did you learn about dog nutrition and behaviour?

I was aware that Pedigree was a premium brand of dog food. I learned that intensive research is carried out to ensure that the dog’s needs are met.

An example is how they take dog stomach cells and test different ingredients on the cells to see whether they inflame to make sure it isn’t going to cause an adverse reaction in a dog. Waltham recently found out that puppies need a higher level of Vitamin A in their diet and they shared it across the industry. Pedigree aim for 85% of their food to be digested and 15% to come out as waste and they can track that easily.

I was very interested in learning about oral health of dogs. Dry food is useful here because it is abrasive. However, throwing stones and sticks for dogs can damage the dog’s teeth so care needs to be taken.

Pedigree are able to test different things on different bacteria found on the dog’s teeth to see whether they will help reduce gum disease.

What interested you most about the event?

“I was impressed with the scientific research carried out. I was very interested to hear about the specific ingredients that go into dog food.”

I hadn’t realised how research goes on before the dog food is put in Stan’s bowl. Pedigree have a lot of vets working with them and specialist nutritionists. I find this very reassuring.

It was also great to hear that Sandra McCune had talked about dogs and children. Instinctively, I have always believed that dogs add to family life. It was good to hear that research backs this up. Different studies have shown that children’s mental and physical wellbeing is enhanced by having pets like dogs. Of course, I was delighted to hear the presence of dogs can improve learning too especially as we home educate and Stan likes to get involved.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have
volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not been paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. We will be compensated for assisting with filming.

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