CHELMSFORD, MA and PLYMOUTH, MA (March 20, 2007) - In an effort to encourage portion control as a key tool
in battling the growing epidemic of obesity in dogs, Wellness® and SmartPak™ today announced an alliance to make
Wellness brands of dog food available in custom daily-dose SmartPaks.
According to the US Food and Drug Association, between 25% and 35% of all dogs are overweight or obese, a problem that studies show can have a negative impact on an animal's health. Managing serving size is an acknowledged way to manage a dog's weight.
"Keeping your dog at the right weight is more than just a cosmetic issue," says Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak's Staff Veterinarian. "Recently published research1 has shown that feeding dogs a restricted calorie diet can extend the median life span nearly two years. Not only did the trimmer dogs live longer, the onset of chronic diseases, such as arthritis, was delayed."
"Just as with people, diet and exercise will help to maintain a dog's healthy weight," added Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist Edward Moser, MS, VMD, DACVN. "When you have an overweight dog, pet owners need to control the animal's calorie intake. It is the pet owner's responsibility to measure the food and keep track of the feeding schedule. They should be sure the food is high quality, made with the finest natural ingredients that meet a balanced diet."
It is the dual requirement to feed the right food in the right amount to combat canine obesity that gave rise to the partnership between Wellness and SmartPak.
Wellness has become a leading natural brand by pioneering dog and cat food recipes using the finest natural ingredients, such as all-natural human-grade boneless chicken and hormone-free New Zealand lamb, healthy grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Wellness diets represent the most nutritious ingredients used in the correct proportions and balance. Recognizing the issue of weight management early on, Wellness developed a special weight management formula in consultation with leading veterinarians.
"Wellness foods have consistently received top product rankings by consumers and experts alike. We are delighted to be partnering with them to both raise awareness of canine obesity as well as to offer a comprehensive solution to the problem," says Paal Gisholt, SmartPak’s President and CEO.
Veterinarians find portion control is often the missing link in helping a beloved family dog to reach a healthy weight. With SmartPaks, this temptation is avoided—no matter who feeds. SmartPaks achieve perfect portion control by providing individually packed and sealed portions of food, custom-sized for a dog's needs, and delivered to the doorstep each month.
"Our commitment has always been to the animal first," says Mark Shuster, Wellness Vice President of Marketing. "This latest innovation, offering our products in a SmartPak portion control system, reinforces that commitment."
In addition to facilitating canine weight loss, dog owners across the country have embraced SmartPak for its convenience. SmartPaks put an element of pet ownership on auto-pilot. They make it simple to travel with a dog, to board a dog, to use a pet sitter and to have children feed the family dog correctly. Wellness recognized the importance of convenience and has made its entire canine product line available in SmartPaks, including the Simple Food Solutions allergy line.
The convenience of SmartPaks is affordable too: A 28 day supply of Wellness' Weight Management food fed at a rate of 2 cups per day costs just $29.80/month. Orders may be placed on the company’s website at www.SmartPakCanine.com or by phoning toll free (800) 461-8898.
1Influence of Lifetime Food Restriction on Causes, Time, and Predictors of Death in Dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:225-231.
About Wellness® Live Well. Eat Well. Be Well.®
The Wellness brand of Natural Food and Treats for Pets was founded on the belief that, "You are what you eat!" and that incorporating a holistic approach to a healthy, nutritious diet is the foundation of wellbeing. With this mission, a committed team of vets, nutritionists, and animal lovers has spent decades creating the very best in all-natural nutrition for both dogs and cats. All Wellness food and treat varieties feature recipes using human-quality ingredients without the use of meat by-products, fillers, potential allergens, artificial colors, flavors or artificial preservatives. Wellness is proud to be a part of the Old Mother Hubbard pet food family, which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2006. Wellness is sold exclusively through knowledgeable independent pet stores and natural food stores in North America. For more information, please visit www.wellnesspetfood.com.
About SmartPak Equine
SmartPak Equine was founded in 1999 with the purpose of simplifying the administration of nutritional supplements and medications to horses. The patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system has been adopted by thousands of barns and horse owners across the country, who value knowing that their supplements will be fed correctly. It has been embraced by riders from all disciplines and all levels, including seven Olympic medalists. In addition to the SmartPak supplement system, the company offers a broad line of horse health and rider items, dog supplies, and equine and canine pharmacy items sold through the company’s catalog and Web site. In 2006, SmartPak was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing private companies for the second straight year and is the only equine company ever named to the list. The company has also been honored with a Best Bosses award presented by Fortune Small Business and Winning Workplaces. SmartPak also operates a retail store in Natick, MA. For more information, visit www.SmartPak.com.