WALTHAM Heritage

  • 1960s

    Our first nutrition facility is founded in the UK.

  • 1961

    We publish our first scientific review of the nutrient requirements of dogs.

  • 1963

    Our first original research paper is published in the Veterinary Record, investigating the iodine requirements of budgerigars.

  • 1965

    We open our first nutrition research facility on the Mars Petcare site, Melton Mowbray, UK.

  • 1970s

    Our nutrition research centre moves to Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Leicestershire, UK.

  • 1973

    The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition opens at our current site.

  • 1975

    We help determine the amino acid requirements for dogs.

  • 1980s

    Our research is used to help define the National Research Council (NRC) guidelines for cats.

  • 1982

    We determine the levels of taurine required in wet and dry pet food to meet the nutritional needs of cats.

    Chemical Structure of Taurine    


    We publish the first edition of the WALTHAM Book of Cat and Dog Nutrition.

  • 1990s

    Our purpose-built pet facilities designed to enrich the lives of our pets are opened.

  • 1993

    We publish the second edition of the WALTHAM Book of Companion Animal Nutrition.

  • 1994

    Princess Anne (HRH The Princess Royal) opens our latest cat care unit.

  • 1995

    Working with Mars Petcare product development teams we demonstrate that that one diet can help to control the formation of both struvite and oxalate stones in cats.

    100% Struvite stone removed from 5 year old neutered female cat.    
  • 1997

    Our scientists determine the levels of zinc and linoleic acid required to maintain good skin and coat condition in dogs.


    We develop the first real time, non invasive measure of odiferous flatulence in dogs and the first nutritional supplement to reduce it.

    Labrador wearing a coat to capture flatulence    


    Our researchers demonstrate the use of chicory for gastrointestinal health.


    We demonstrate that the natural dietary carotenoid lutein, enhances the colour in common goldfish.

  • 1999

    With Mars Petcare product developers we demonstrate that a diet supplemented with green lipped mussel is beneficial for joint health maintenance.


    We demonstrate that a diet low in phosphorus and protein doubles the lifespan of cats diagnosed with chronic renal failure.

  • 2000s

    A sensory garden for our elderly, convalescent and juvenile dogs is opened and our state of the art laboratory is built.

  • 2000

    Our scientists demonstrate the positive effect of dietary antioxidants on puppy and kitten immune health.

    Cellular DNA damage demonstrated using the Comet Assay.    
  • 2002

    Working with Mars Horsecare we support the launch of the first scientifically proven respiratory support formula for horses.

  • 2003

    We determine that cats prefer approximately 50% of their daily calorie intake from protein, 40% from fat and 10% from carbohydrate.


    Together with the University of Liverpool and Royal Canin, WALTHAM established the first pet weight management referral clinic in Europe

  • 2005

    In collaboration with Monell Chemical Senses Center our scientists determine that cats do not have active taste receptors to sugar.

  • 2006

    Our researchers determine the macronutrient profile of food preferred by dogs. Approximately 60% of their daily calorie intake from fat, 30% from protein and 10% from carbohydrate.


    Our new people and pets facility is opened.

  • 2007

    We develop a body condition score guide for budgerigars.


    As part of a global scientific collaboration, we determine that a single gene is a major determinant in dog size.


    We receive the pioneer award from the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organization (IAHIO) for our contribution to the field of human-companion animal bond.

    Associate from Mars receives the Pioneer Award from Dr. Dennis Turner, IAHAIO    
  • 2008

    Our new laboratory facility is opened.


    We establish a partnership with the National Institute of Child Health & Development (NICHD) to support further research into Human Animal Interactions (HAI).


    With external collaborators we determine the genetic switches linked to stereotypical canine characteristics.

  • 2009

    With the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) and key academics, we establish a new safe upper level of vitamin A for puppies.

  • 2010s

    In collaboration with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) we publish books highlighting the benefits of pet ownership.

  • 2010

    WALTHAM opens new Aquacentre.


    With the National Institutes of Health (NIH) public private partnership we co-edit two books on the interaction between humans and animals.

  • 2011

    WALTHAM co-author a book on the benefits of dog walking for people and pets.

  • 2012

    In collaboration with external research partners we discover that when obese dogs lose weight, their owners notice significant improvement in their quality of life.

    Yorkshire terrier before & after weight loss (total weight loss 3.7kg)    
  • 2013

    WALTHAM celebrate 50 years of science

  • 2014

    WALTHAM publishes two landmark studies that shed light on the bacteria associated with oral health in dogs

  • 2015

    WALTHAM opens new purpose built care facility for small dogs


About the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition:

The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition is a leading scientific authority in pet nutrition and wellbeing and has been advancing the frontiers of research into the nutrition and health of companion animals for over 50 years. Located in Leicestershire, England, the state-of-the-art laboratories and animal facilities at the  institute focus on the nutritional and behavioural needs of companion animals and their benefits to humans, enabling the development of innovative products which meet these needs in a practical way. WALTHAM has pioneered many important breakthroughs in pet nutrition, and in collaboration with some of the world’s foremost scientific institutes, supports leading Mars brands such as PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, CESAR®, NUTRO®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES™.

Sign up for WALTHAM news