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Pedigree NZ’s latest programme urges kids to read to dogs

Auckland, New Zealand – With the belief that dogs bring out the best in humans, pet food brand Pedigree in New Zealand has launched a new reading programme ‘Dogphonics’, which consists of five books specifically designed to be read to a good listener, someone who’s extremely patient, full of love, and never judgemental – a dog.

According to a study co-created by Pedigree and The Waltham Petcare Science Institute, dogs as a listener can improve children’s sense of confidence, moderate feelings of anxiety, and provide support.

The reading programme, which was developed in partnership with creative agency Colenso BBDO, aims to help boost the confidence and literacy of children by encouraging them to read to a dog. It will be launched in New Zealand, with titles such as ‘It Was Not Me, I Did Not Eat The Alphabet’ and ‘Where Are My Pants?’. 

Fabio Alings, Mars’ global brand director for Pedigree, noted that they have a long history of creatively celebrating not only how we as humans literally ‘feed the good’ in dogs, but how dogs also ‘feed the good’ in humans, as their lovable innocence brings out the best in people. 

“The Pedigree Dogphonics book set perfectly captures the essence of that purpose – Dogs boosting the confidence of children who are learning to read, and young readers returning that favour by helping shelter dogs find a loving home to call their own,” said Alings.

Meanwhile, Maria Devereux, Colenso BBDO’s CIO, shared that reading anxiety is common, especially at an age when children are going through behavioural changes and developing their own emotional processes. 

“The Waltham Institute has given Pedigree Dogphonics books the science to succeed and the commitment to design craft and storytelling from the Colenso team,” said Devereux.

The book set will be made available at selected bookstores, with digital versions available from Amazon.com. All proceeds from book sales go towards rehoming shelter dogs.