TOPEKA, KAN. — Hill’s Pet Nutrition shared big ways to support the health and wellbeing of small and miniature-sized dogs this holiday season. The company’s team of veterinary experts, one global science-led nutrition leader, and celebrity groomer Jess Rona collaborated to provide a list of wellness tips for small dog owners.

"Small and miniature sized dogs are projected to be the fastest-growing breed size over the next 5 years," said Karen Shenoy, DVM, US chief veterinary officer at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. "With this breed size group on the rise, it's a great time to remind pet parents that these larger-than-life small dogs have their own unique physiology compared to large breeds, have different energy needs and can sometimes live 16 years or more – up to 75% longer than large dogs which means they'll consume almost twice as many meals over their lifetimes as their larger counterparts."

According to a study conducted by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and YouGov, more than half of small dog owners are less familiar with their bite-sized pups’ unique nutritional and physiological needs. For example, studies have shown that less than half of small dog owners are buying food designed for smaller breeds, according to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, despite 44% of the US dog population being considered small dogs weighing 25 lbs or less. Shenoy reiterated the importance of selecting a diet that meets the nutritional needs of small dogs, including containing more antioxidants and vitamins C and E.

"Our dogs are as much a part of the holidays as any other family member," Shenoy said. "This holiday season is a great time to reinforce the importance of providing proper nutrition optimized for small and mini dogs to meet their unique requirements, provide energy to help fuel play time and to contribute to a photo-ready, radiant coat."

This focus on small dog nutrition and health is underpinned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Small Paws Innovation Center, which it claims is the only facility in the United States dedicating to researching the needs of small dogs and developing solutions tailored to them. The company employs state-of-the-art technology to develop specialty nutrition for smaller breeds at the Small Paws Innovation Center, which officially opened in June 2021.  

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