Hill’s, K-State partner to end pet obesity

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) – Hill’s Pet Nutrition has partnered with Kansas State University to help bring an end to pet obesity.

Kansas State University announced on Thursday, Dec. 7, that its Veterinary Health Center helps both students and clients realize dreams thanks largely to longtime support from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

“For the 2023-2024 school year, we are celebrating an improved standard of education for our students and services for our clients,” said Elizabeth Davis, associate dean of clinical programs. “Since 2018, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has consistently provided us with opportunities to enhance our state-of-the-art primary care for small animal patients while training extraordinary graduates.”

K-State noted that Hill’s, a global pet nutrition company in Overland Park, provides resources and facilities at the university through a partnership meant to enhance medical and nutritional care for pets.

“Beginning in the third year of instruction, students take a core class in clinical nutrition, and, in their fourth year, students take one of the core clinical-education rotations in the Hill’s Pet Health and Nutrition Center,” Davis said. “We believe Kansas State University is unique in its ability to provide this type of advanced nutrition education. Ultimately, it will result in graduates who better understand how to deliver dietary recommendations to their clients and provide proper nutrition guidance.”

University officials noted that Hill’s has served as a home for nutrition consultation. Beginning in 2022, the Vet Health Center partnered with the University of Tennessee to recruit and hire an American College of Veterinary Medicine clinical nutrition resident whose 2-year commitment will enhance nutrition expertise and services.

Currently, K-State said Amanda Nascimento is the Hill’s clinical nutrition and primary care intern as she consults at least weekly with two American College of Veterinary Nutrition board-certified clinical nutritionists from Hill’s. Flavia Vaduva is the current clinical nutrition resident.

“We have a shared passion for ensuring nutrition is integrated into the veterinary school curriculum,” said Karen Shenoy, chief veterinary officer for Hill’s Pet Nutrition US. “At Hill’s, this is especially important because of our commitment to supporting veterinary professionals. The hands-on learning helps develop students’ skills in making appropriate dietary recommendations. It provides an opportunity for them to practice effective client communications, ultimately preparing these future veterinarians to better address client and patient needs.”

University officials indicated that other benefits of the partnership include a focus on animal welfare like Fear-Free design features for the best routine pet care, young pet care for puppies and kittens, annual visits with preventative health care, senior pet care and nutrition for all ages. The Hill’s Pet Health and Nutrition Center has already provided care for more than 2,500 patients in 2023. Meanwhile, the Healthy Weight Clinic – one of the services in the center – sees about 200 to 300 patents each year.

K-State noted that both Davis and Shenoy emphasized that an important long-term goal fo the clinic is to help end pet obesity. The goal is to ensure that each patient gets a customized nutrition plan that is best suited for that animal to obtain optimal results.

The University said the partnership also includes the 2023 Hill’s Pet Nutrition Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Continuing Education Conference where attendees can earn five hours of continuing education credit. It will be held in person between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, in Boehringer Ingelheim Auditorium at the veterinary college. This symposium features experts from the college an professionals from the industry who will lecture on veterinary critical care and small animal nutrition.

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