Thursday, June 4, 2015

a tour at Mars #sponsored

Mom got an invitation before Blog Paws asking if she would like to be part of a group that got to go out and see the new Mars Petcare Global Initiative Center near Nashville. Mom moved some things around and got to Nashville on Tuesday in order to catch the bus on Wednesday morning. They got a bag of goodies - dog stuff, cat stuff, other stuff and one thing that got mom pretty excited - a Wisdom Panel test. She didn't know Mars owned them, but is pretty excited to use the test on Grandma's little brown dog. We will let you know how that goes and the results when it happens.

There aren't many pictures on this one - a lot of their information and facilities are proprietary and we respect that.

Anyhow, the team at Mars was great. They talked about how they are family owned and that is how things in the company are how they affect the family. From creating to testing to developing to production, the consumer and their pet are first on their minds. All of their suppliers have to let Mars associates into their facilities for reviews and testing. If suppliers refuse, they are no longer used. Associates have the right - and are encouraged - to stop any part of the process at any time if they feel something is not up to standard. It was interesting to hear that each step of the process - from development to implementation is tested - no food or treat even gets near an animal until they are SURE it meets their standards and is safe.

But let's be honest - mom was interesting in the taste testers. They have dogs and cats on site....they aren't quite full yet but will be soon. Most of their pet associates (and that is what they are called - with name badges and everything) come from local shelters, though some from reputable breeders and some even came from here in Ohio. Each animal is generally on the younger side and helps taste test for 2-4 years before they are available to associates or the public for adoption. All the animals are chosen for being "picky" eaters.

The dogs are in pods that have outdoor space as well as indoor space. They have activities each day - from walks to agility to running around the outside play rings. And....each dog is taught basic obedience. Which only makes them even more adoptable. And they will run a Wisdom Panel dna test on the dogs so that they can cater some interactions (as well as food and vet care) to the predominant breed. Dogs are picked and separated by size.

This is Ruby - she is about 3 years old and has been with Mars for about 5 months. She was excellent on leash and very well mannered as she met everyone.

Representing the cats was Whisker Biscuits. Like the other cats, he is being taught a targeting technique using a clicker. The cats live in the upstairs of the pet facility. But you never heard any noise from the dogs downstairs. Each room has 10 cats in it - there are themes to each room with murals on the walls. There are bed and cat trees....and even a catio to allow them a chance to catch a breeze. There are interactions each day with staff and associates as well. The cats are chosen by coat length.

Mom was impressed - not just with the process they go through to develop and test each product, but by the enthusiasm of each person she met....not just out at the facility but all weekend at Blog Paws. At one point Dr Tiffany met Queso and mom thought she was going to put him in her pocket and take him home.

Mars owns Nutro (which we just switched to here), Temptations, Pedigree, Iams, Eukanuba, Cesar, Sheba, Greenies, and Banfield (we didn't know that - mom was surprised), along with other brands.

*We were compensated for our trip out to visit the Mars facility. However, that didn't influence mom's opinion (or her enthusiasm). We only share info we feel is relevant to our readers. Mars Petcare is not responsible for the content of this article.


  1. Thank you for this great recap! That was great that you got to attend their facility. Dakota was particularly thrilled because the Greenies dental bones for dogs are his faves!

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  3. My human was bummed she didn't get to Nashville early enough to go on this tour. Since she was flying, she couldn't change her plans.

  4. Oh, that was VERY interesting! We eat and enjoy several Mars products!!! It's nice to know more about the company behind it all!

  5. whisker biscuits !!!! we loves yur name...N thatz kewl shelter petz R inclooded in this...its nice ta noe de food iz act shoo a lee taste tested ....BY petz.....helps ta noe uz petz a proove oh sum thing .....bee fore buying ~~~ ♥

  6. OMC, the kitty was named Whisker Biscuits? That's pawesome! It's good to hear that the company works to be sure that the dogs and cats taste testing for Mars have a good quality of life while they do their jobs there.

  7. What a fun and informative visit. The mom is sorry she couldn't make it.

  8. Cool for you! I heard from other bloggers who were invited to do the tour that it was very impressive! Did we miss each other at the conference????

    1. we must was running around and then entertaining people in her room with the kittens....

  9. That looks really interesting! Cool you got a tour!

  10. Wow, that is really pawsome. Our Mom would have luffed to go on a tour of a place like that. And yeah- Whisker Biscuits is a seriously pawsome name.

  11. well that is interesting. I was wondering what was going on with the Mars tour as I didn't remember seeing anything about it. Were you invited prior to going to BP or were you in the right place at the right time once you were there?


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