Approximately one in four dogs develops cancer during their life, with that rate increasing to one in two among dogs over 10 years old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Cats have a one in five chance of developing cancer, according to Colorado State University. As cats’ and dogs’ average lifespans increase, so does the likelihood that pet owners will need to care for a dog or cat with cancer. Owners of older dogs and cats bought prescription pet food at higher rates than other pet owners, 22% compared with 7% of dog owners overall, in a 2016 Packaged Facts survey. To meet the dietary needs of pets suffering from cancer, Hill’s Pet Nutrition developed Prescription Diet ONC Care therapeutic dog and cat foods.
“The formulation provides support that helps support pets’ daily activity, body condition, weight, and quality of life while they are living with cancer,” Karen Shenoy, DVM, U.S. chief veterinary officer of Hill’s Pet Nutrition told Petfood Industry.
General nutrition goals for pets with cancer include preserving lean muscle, minimizing metabolic disturbances and GI intolerance to food, and optimizing quality of life. However, these goals can be difficult to meet. Pets with cancer often exhibit lethargy, inappetence, and weight loss.
To address these issues, Hill’s Prescription Diet ONC Care is highly digestible with a very high energy density, Shenoy said. The pet food is available in dry and wet forms and is made with Hill’s proprietary prebiotic formulation ActivBiome+ to help provide consistent stool quality. The dry kibble itself is softer, making it easier to chew. This food also contains highly digestible protein to help maintain strength & energy, as well as added omega-3 fatty acids.
“As veterinarians, we need as many tools at our fingertips as we can possibly have in order to be able to help support pets that are encountering these different disease processes that we manage, and also need to be thinking about the connection between the pet parent and the pet,” Shenoy said. “And it's unique to veterinary medicine that both of those factors matter. Something like a therapeutic diet really helps the pet parent have a solution that they can easily implement that helps support their pet. It certainly is a convenient and easy way to help support the animal through their cancer. Pet owners can really feel empowered and like they're doing something that’s truly making a difference. Whether they're able to pursue more advanced therapies or not, and it's appropriate for pets with any type of cancer.”
Available in the U.S. beginning March, the Prescription Diet ONC Care is the result of five years of research. The formulation will continue to roll out globally throughout this year into 2024.
Tim Wall covers the dog, cat and other pet food industries as a senior reporter for WATT Global Media. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Live Science, Discovery News, Honduras Weekly, Global Journalist and other outlets. He holds an M.A. in journalism and an M.S. in natural resources, both from the University of Missouri - Columbia, along with a bachelor's degree in biology.
Wall served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2005 to 2007, where he coordinated with the town government of Moroceli to organize a municipal trash collection system, taught environmental science, translated for medical brigades and facilitated sustainable agriculture, along with other projects.
Contact Wall via https://www.wattglobalmedia.com/contact-us/
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