Travel consideration provided. MomStart is a proud Purina partner. Most photos courtesy Purina.
Our family have been using Purina products for some time now. When it comes to feeding Bob, it’s important that we trust what we give him, so the quality of Purina’s products have made us fans. So when I was invited to tour Nestle Purina Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the company and how they make the products that we use every day.
The first thing you notice when you enter Purina HQ is how everything has been set up for pets. The employees are encouraged to bring their pets with them into work, so every office is filled with puppies and kittens. Dream job, right? Our visit started with a tour of the beautiful grounds outside, which have been set up as a welcoming spot for employees to take breaks with their furry friends. There’s even a Koi pond where you can feed the fish!
Since Purina HQ is all about being pet-friendly, the bloggers were also invited to bring their pets along for the trip, so we were joined by some extra special friends during the tour!
Over the course of two days, we were completely immersed in everything Purina, from in-depth panels going over research to a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities.
To give us an idea of how Purina got started, we watched an interesting presentation about the history behind Purina, which was founded by William H. Danforth as a farm feed company in 1894.
As we learned through Purina’s history, research and innovation have been key factors since the beginning. Purina is always looking for new and better pet food solutions, like the personalized food I create for Bob with Just Right by Purina, and I had no idea just how many pet food “Firsts” Purina had pioneered until my visit. I also had the chance to set foot into Purina’s Research Lab, which was so cool!
Of course, we may care about what goes into Bob’s Blend, but all he cares about is the flavor! That’s why we were treated to a special lunch at the Purina Culinary Center by Chef Amanda Hassner, who explained how she develops flavor combinations for pets inspired by trends in human food.
Manufacturing & Quality Control
While at Purina HQ, we learned about the steps that go into manufacturing pet food, along with a look at the quality control process. We sat in a room filled with dog and cat food, and watched the procedures for testing and checking Purina products. I volunteered to help with one of the demonstrations by inspecting kibble!
Purina set up a special brand immersion for their different pet food divisions, which gave me the opportunity to meet the Just Right team in person. As you know, we’ve been a Just Right partner for over a year now, so it was great to put faces to the names of the people that I’ve been talking to! They even had a cute bag with Bob’s picture waiting for me.
I also had a chance to step into the social media office, and say hi to the people that post Bob’s adorable photos on the Just Right Instagram page!
Purina is also committed to the well-being of the whole community – both human, and animal. In addition to discussing research indicating the positive impact that pets can have during times of stress, we also learned about the various community programs that Purina supports to help with both animal and human welfare. I had the privilege of meeting the team behind URINYC, the Urban Resource Institute, who told us about their efforts to help victims of domestic violence. One area of need which they have identified is the necessity for shelters that can accept pets, as research has foud that up to 48 percent of domestic violence victims will stay in an abusive situation because they don’t want to leave their pet behind. This is a barrier to accessing help and very tragic for the families affected, as well as their pets. That is what inspired the launch of URIPALS – URI People and Animals Living Safely. They’ve launched a groundbreaking shelter program where victims of domestic violence are allowed to bring their animals with them, and Purina donated funds to create two dog parks within these shelters. Check out this factsheet from URINYC.org about their amazing organization:
Take Your Dog to Work Day!
To wrap up our trip, we celebrated “Take Your Dog to Work” day, where Purina had set up a variety of activities, including some amazing performances from very talented dogs!
We gathered in front of Purina HQ in an attempt to break the world record for most pets in a workplace, with a drone flying overhead to capture the action! I’m hidden somewhere in the crowd, just like Where’s Waldo!
I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up my trip to meet Purina than celebrating Take Your Dog to Work day with Purina’s employees and their pets!
Purina shot this fun video documenting the Meet Purina event – be sure to check it out and watch for what I had to say after my visit!