Pedigree tackles canine obesity with doggy diet app

Pedigree is looking to do its bit to tackle dog obesity with the launch of Tracks, a personalised app which creates tailored menus and monitors activity levels for dogs, in Mars UK’s first push into the mobile pet care category.

The free iPhone, Android and Windows app looks to address the lack of awareness around the amount of exercise and food a dog needs through an activity monitor, an exercise plan and a feeding menu which are tailored around a dog’s weight, breed, age and preferences. It also offers training tips and videos.

Jo Ladbrook, dog portfolio director for Pedigree told Marketing Week: “It’s certainly a first for Pedigree and Mars in the UK. What makes it unique is it brings together being a dog owner and being a responsible dog owner, which hasn’t been done before, through exercise and nutrition.”

Ladbrook says the app is based on 2014 research commissioned by the brand which shows that 43% of the UK’s dog population is overweight.

“Obesity is becoming so prevalent with dogs, and Pedigree has a responsibility to help,” she says. “We want to engage people so they can understand if they’re exercising their dog enough, and know that little things can make a difference.”

The brand hopes to highlight the nutritional value of wet food, which is four times less calorie dense than dry food, and will also provide guidance around the amount of treats and dental care products dogs should be fed.

Ladbrook says the app provides the perfect opportunity to talk about the brand and its role in nutrition for dogs.

“Pedigree wants to make sure we provide high quality nutrition at highly affordable prices, but we also want to make sure we’re doing it in a way that’s consumer-centric.

“Dog wellness is at the heart of what we do, and exercise plays a key role in that.”

The app will be promoted through in-store activity as well as on the brand’s social media channels, while Pedigree has also partnered up with the BBC’s Sara Cox to drive PR around the launch through BBC Radio.

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