WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition opened its doors as a dedicated science centre for Mars Petcare in 1973. The name reflected the commitment to understanding the nutritional needs of pets to improve the health for cats, dogs, horses and fish globally.
In 2019 and looking to the next new decade, the breadth of the research at WALTHAM is expanding. Investigating the impact of the microbiome on wellbeing, hunting for biomarkers of health and disease, searching through data points for hidden insights and delving deeper into understanding new taste perceptions are just some of the areas that excite us today. All of which reflect how science is uncovering new ways in which we can support pets’ health and deliver on our Purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.
From our past…
For over 50 years, we have been sharing the findings of our work. We have now published more than 900 peer-reviewed journal articles. These studies have led to better nutrition for our pets, such as through setting new amino acid requirements for dog food to ensure optimal growth and development, determining the levels of taurine necessary in diets for cats to better support their cardiovascular health, fertility and vision, and identifying the nutrient levels in food that enhance dogs’ skin and coat condition. We have a better understanding as to how pets can make our lives better as they may help us address issues like loneliness, social isolation, health, and mental health challenges.
… to our future
Our curiosity runs through everything we do. How can we continue to improve the health and wellbeing of pets across the world? By placing data science at the core of our work, we are finding new and exciting insights that will benefit pets. Through our unique position in the Mars Petcare family, we have access to data from research centres, pet hospitals, diagnostic platforms and nutrition teams. This enables us to identify biomarkers for more tailored, efficient interventions and understand how a pets’ microbiome impacts their overall health.
By using machine learning and advances in computing power, we have already uncovered the science that led to the first AI-driven tool to predict if a cat will develop chronic kidney disease two years before the illness would be clinically diagnosed.
This heralds a new era in pet care and our next chapter at WALTHAM as we continue to ask – and answer- some of the most challenging questions to support happy healthy pets.