TOPEKA (KSNT) – A one-of-a-kind facility is opening its doors in Kansas. Hill’s Pet Nutrition unveiled a $30 million Small Paws innovation center. It’s a 25,000 square foot facility that will focus on small dogs, a rapidly growing segment of the dog population.
Small dogs represent about half the pet dogs around the world. Hill’s will study 80 dogs under 20 pounds to see what they like.
“Continue to learn and understand the differences in physiology in terms of their preferences and taste and aesthetics so that we can have the very best nutrition,” said Yvonne Hsu, vice president of global marketing and innovation for Hill’s.
She said the company is doing this to try and lengthen and enrich the lives of pets and pet parents.
“This is a really important space for us as it’s the fasted growing demographic for dogs are breeds under 20 pounds,” Hsu said.
The center is an addition to a complex north of Topeka where Hill’s studies cats and larger dogs.
Governor Laura Kelly attended the ribbon cutting. She touted the animal health corridor between Manhattan and Columbia, Missouri.
“With the new Small Paws Innovation Center, this great Kansas company has cemented its reputation and ours, as a leader in the Animal Health field,” Kelly said in a statement. “We’ll continue to support our businesses like Hill’s to grow the Animal Health Corridor and bring new jobs and expertise to our state.”