Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition
|Motto||A better world for pets|
|Legal status||Private company|
|Purpose||Scientific research into pet nutrition|
|Pet nutritionists, veterinarians|
|Affiliations||International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations, International Veterinary Information Service|
The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition is a research organisation owned by Mars, Incorporated located at Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire, United Kingdom. Waltham conducts scientific research into pet care and nutrition, and works with a number of animal breeds including dogs, cats, birds, fish and horses.
The Pet Food subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated (Mars Petcare) began research into pet nutrition in the early 1950s, formally founding a Nutrition Research Unit in 1965. Originally the institute was housed at a nearby location but was moved to an old stud farm at Waltham-on-the-Wolds in 1973.
Since 2001, a non-charitable organisation called the Waltham Foundation has funded a number of humane scientific research projects dedicated to furthering the health and nutrition of companion animals.
- In July 2005, in collaboration with the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Pennsylvania, Waltham discovered that cats cannot taste sweet food because they have a faulty gene. Lions, tigers, leopards and pumas (Felidae family) have the same defective gene.
- In April 2007, in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute of Bethesda, Maryland, Waltham found that the genetic variation of dogs' size is due to mutations in the IGF-1 gene. This was discovered through research on the Portuguese Water Dog. This research was preparatory work for similar studies on the human genome.
- In August 2011, with work with the University of Aberdeen they found that cats gained less weight when fed a moisture-enhanced diet.
- Waltham originally published the magazine Waltham Focus four times a year. This has since been renamed as Veterinary Focus and is distributed in more than fifty countries and is published in several languages.
- The Waltham Book of Companion Animal Nutrition, 15 July 1993, Butterworth–Heinemann, 136pp, ISBN 0-08-040843-5
- The Waltham Book of Human Animal Interaction, 30 September 1995,Butterworth–Heinemann , 148pp, ISBN 0-08-042284-5 HC 0-08-042285-3 PB
- Waltham pocket book of essential nutrition for cats and dogs. 2nd edition, 2012
- Waltham pocket book of human animal interactions, 2012
- Waltham pocket book of puppy nutrition and care, 2012
- Waltham pocket book of healthy weight maintenance for cats and dogs, 2010
Waltham houses and cares for around 150 dogs, 230 cats and 250 birds. Many of the companion animals involved with the organisation are adopted after a period of time. The UK headquarters of Mars was built next to the Centre in 1981.
- "WALTHAM Heritage Awards".
- "Mars UK History".
- "About the Waltham Foundation".
- "Why cats don't go for sweet foods". BBC News. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Skernivitz, Stephanie (Aug 1, 2011). "Just Add Water". DVM Newsmagazine. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Veterinary Focus". ivis.org. International Veterinary Information Service. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- The Times, 1 November 1997, page 16
- The Independent, 10 June 2001, page 20