Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the list to find a wealth of information commonly requested by Pet Parents of Hill's pet foods. If you don't find what you are looking for, please contact us with any questions.

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Top Questions - Hill's Puppy School

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is puppy school?

A. Puppy school is a safe, secure environment that provides structured opportunities for puppies to learn during the socialisation period and for puppy parents to learn about caring for their puppies and develop their training skills.  Read more

Q. When should puppies go to puppy school?

A. Puppies should go to puppy school as soon as possible but not until they have had at least one vaccination. This is usually around 8-9 weeks of age. Read more

Q. Why should I attend puppy school?

A. Knowledge about dogs, dog care and dog training is evolving all the time. Puppy school provides you with information and skills based on the latest scientific research. This gives you the best chance of having a long and happy relationship with your dog. Read more

Q. Which puppies should attend puppy school?

A. All puppies should attend puppy school! Irrespective of breed, shape or size, puppies between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks should be attending puppy school so that they can learn important life skills and socialise with other puppies and people in a safe, secure environment. Read more

Q. How do you select a good puppy school?

A. Choosing a good puppy school is very important for laying the best foundation for you and your new puppy. Important features to look for are the right trainer, a safe space and well-structured classes. Read More

Q. Why attend a Hill’s Puppy School?

A. At Hill's Pet Nutrition our mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets. We are therefore not only dedicated to helping pets reach their full potential through quality nutrition and healthcare, we also care about your puppy’s social growth and development which is why we sponsor a number of reputable Puppy Schools. Hill’s Puppy School instructors have qualifications that enable them to provide safe, fun and informative classes. 

Q. Is puppy school compulsory?

A. Although puppy school is not compulsory, we at Hill’s Pet Nutrition think it should be! Read more here, here and here to find out why.

Q. I have 3 other dogs at home, why does my puppy still need to go to puppy school?

A. Although your puppy will have the opportunity to socialise with your dogs at home, this is not the only reason puppies should attend puppy school. Puppy school also allows them to socialise with other people and be exposed to different sights, sounds and situations. More important, however, are the life skills that your puppy will be learning at puppy school. Read more​

Q. I’ve owned dogs my whole life, why do I need to take my new puppy to puppy school?

A. Society is evolving all the time and our relationships with our dogs is also changing. Our knowledge of dog cognition, behaviour and healthcare is also growing and evolving. Attending puppy school will be beneficial no matter your experience with dogs. Read more

Q. Who should attend puppy school?

A. Anyone with a puppy between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks should be attending puppy school with their puppy.

Feeding and Treating with Hill's Pet Foods

My pet is a finicky eater, how can I enhance the taste of my pet's food? Can I feed people food or table scraps?

Taste tests show that pets prefer Hill's pet foods to many other leading brands, however we realise some pets can be picky eaters. To help you in this situation, we suggest following one or more of the tips below to encourage your pet to eat.

  • If you are starting to feed your pet a new food, refer to the 7-Day Transition Schedule for dogs or cats. A gradual transition from the current food to a new food helps wean your pet from one food to another.
  • Meal feed your pet by measuring the appropriate daily feeding amount of food and placing it in your pet's bowl. If you are feeding your pet more than one meal during the day, divide the amount into the number of feedings for the day.
  • For dogs, allow 10-20 minutes for your dog to eat, then remove the remaining food and wait to feed your dog until his next meal. Remember, food tastes much better when we have an appetite!
  • If you are feeding your pet dry food, try hand-feeding by holding the kibbles of food in your hand and feeding it to your pet in small portions for the first few feedings.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of warm (not hot) water to one serving of your pet's dry food. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to soften the kibbles, then serve. Moisten enough food for one meal feeding at a time so the food doesn't spoil. Do not leave moistened food out more than four (4) hours.
  • You can make pet food gravy to mix with the dry food by adding a few tablespoons of warm (not hot) water to the equivalent canned pet food. Spoon the gravy over the dry food and serve. Be sure to only make enough for one serving at a time so the food doesn't spoil.
  • To help enhance the flavour of both dry and canned food, add a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or the liquid drained from tuna canned in water. Only make enough for one serving so the food doesn't spoil. (Do not use this tip for Prescription Diet z/d or d/d pet foods.)

We do not recommend feeding people food or table scraps. Veterinarians strongly believe that feeding pets table scraps or "people" food can lead to excesses or deficiencies of nutrients in your pet's nutrition which over time may lead to health problems for your pet (like obesity). Feeding table scraps or “people” food can also result in a more finicky pet.

How do I switch / transition pet foods for my cat or dog?

Pets are creatures of habit and may need some help in switching to a new food. Unless recommended otherwise by a Veterinarian, gradually introduce any new food over a seven-day period. Mix the new food with your pet's former food, gradually increasing the amount until only the new food is fed.

Most pets readily accept these foods, but some are more reluctant than others to give up what is familiar to them. If your pet does not easily switch, you may want to try one of the following suggestions:

  • Warming the food or adding warm water enhances the food's smell and flavour.
  • Do not leave food available at all times. Consider meal feeding every three to four hours, 15-20 minutes each time.
  • To help enhance the flavour of both dry and canned food, add a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or the liquid drained from tuna canned in water when transitioning your pet from one food to another. (Do not use this tip for Prescription Diet z/d or d/d pet foods.)

Can I make my own treats and snacks?

Using your existing Hill’s products, snacks and treats can be easily prepared at home.

Whether used for training or as a well-deserved reward, treats are an important part in the pet-parent relationship and there are many benefits to using a tried and trusted product like Hill’s as the core ingredient when making your own delicious homemade treats.

Benefits like:

  • Being assured of top quality ingredients
  • Having balanced nutrients
  • Using food your pet is used to
  • It helps avoid stomach upsets
  • If your pet is on a therapeutic food, you can treat without risking their health

So no more feeling guilty or uncertain about the treats we give to our four legged loved ones. With these handy Hill’s Pet Nutrition recipes, true happiness is only a few messy, handmade, fun hours away. Enjoy!

What do I need to know about snacks and treats?

Treats and chews should always be given under supervision in case of swallowing or getting stuck.

Treats should not exceed 10% of your pet’s total daily intake, because heat alters the nutritional characteristics of the food.

Store baked treats in the refrigerator and discard leftovers after 5 - 7 days.

Do not freeze homemade treats as it could alter the consistency and texture and nutritional characteristics of the food.

The following are not recommended to be used in baked homemade treats:

  • Prescription Diet a/d Canine/Feline food
  • Prescription Diet s/d Canine foods

Pet friendly fruits & veg:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cubed melon
  • Cubed watermelon
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Peeled cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Coconut
  • Beans
  • Peas

Things to avoid

  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Raisins

Clever ideas

  • Scatter kibbles around the house and garden for fun surprises
  • Keep kibble in a small container (like our snack tins) and keep this separate from regular food, so that it feels like a treat

How to make your own Training Treats?

Who’s a good boy or girl? Quick and delicious baked nibbles that are the perfect reward.


What you’ll need


  • Hill’s canned loaf dog food


  • Knife
  • Oven tray

What to do

  • Open your choice of canned loaf and shake out the whole loaf of food - careful not to break it!
  • Cut it into 0.5 cm thick slices and then into bite-sized pieces.
  • Bake in the oven at 80 degrees for 20 minutes for a semi moist treat that is ideal for training; and 30 min for a crunchy treat.
  • Voila!
  • Store baked treats in the refrigerator and discard leftovers after 5-7 days.

How to make Snack Biscuits?

Transforming kibbles into the ultimate treat! The only limitation is your own imagination... and maybe your cookie cutter shape collection.


What you’ll need:


  • Hill’s dry dog or cat food
  • Water


  • Cup
  • Oven tray
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cookie cutter

What to do:

  • Blend 2 cups of dry food and grind into a powder. Pour into a mixing bowl, gradually adding about 1 to 1.5 cups of water and stirring until it forms a dough consistency.
  • Shape into individual “treats” or “cookies” and flatten the dough (the cookies will not flatten like standard “people cookies” do.)
  • Place treats on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until crispy.
  • Store baked treats in the refrigerator and discard leftovers after 5-7 days.

How to make Frosty Treats?

Rewarding in so many ways! These delicious frozen yummies are probably the most fun your dog can have with a treat!


What you’ll need:


  • Hill’s wet dog food
  • Dog-safe fruit and vegetables (see list above)


  • Knife
  • Ice cube trays
  • Spoon

What to do

  • Let’s start by making some pet friendly broth! Add 2 spoons of your desired Hill’s wet dog food to a cup of boiling water and stir.
  • After the broth has cooled down, pour it into ice cube trays. Be adventurous with quirky shaped ice cube trays.
  • Get some colour! Add pieces of fruit, vegetables, chews and even chew toys. Have fun with it!
  • Put it in the freezer for an hour and serve to waggy tails!

How to make Layered Frosty Treats?

A tantalising twist on our regular frosty treats, layered and flavoured for extra enjoyment.


What you’ll need?


  • Hill’s wet or dry dog food
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Peanut butter*
  • Dog safe fruit and vegetables (see list above)


  • Plastic container
  • Spoon
  • Kitchen knife

What to do

  • Line any container with 2 spoons of snackalicious Hill’s wet dog food.
  • Add a few pieces of dog-safe fruit and vegetables.
  • Add a dollop or two of peanut butter to the mix.
  • Top your masterpiece with some plain yoghurt and a sprinkle of kibbles!
  • Place the bowl in the freezer until set.
  • Once it’s properly frozen it’s good to go! Remove from the container and serve up a tail-wagging good time!
  • Don’t be afraid to go big! As this treat is to keep pups busy, the size can be quite large; so for large breed dogs a 2l container is ideal.


What you’ll need

*Please note:

Check the label for artificial sweeteners: specifically Xylitol, which is extremely poisonous

Can I give my cat a treat although she is eating Prescription Diet pet food?

We suggest making a homemade treat using the Prescription Diet food you feed your cat and following this recipe. Also consider using Prescription Diet Stews, pouches or cans to treat your cat.

Pet Care questions

How can I tell if my pet is overweight?

With more than 50% of the pet population being overweight, it's important to be aware of your pet's weight. There are several signs you can look for to determine if your pet is becoming overweight. These warning signs include:


  • Can't feel ribs anymore
  • Loss of discernible waist
  • Pads of fat over hips and base of tail
  • Waddles when walking
  • Finds it difficult to move
  • Short of breath
  • Bad tempered


It's important to be aware of your pet's weight, as proper growth and weight can help prevent many diseases and disorders associated with obesity, as well as growth-related skeletal disease.

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