Association for Pet Obesity Prevention welcomes first industry partnership


Partnership with Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets is APOP’s first collaboration since starting in 2005

Ershova Veronika /

Ershova Veronika /

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) has announced its partnership with Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets to enhance veterinary education with the trajectory of pet obesity trends and the importance of obesity prevention and management. According to a company release from APOP,1 Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets will help equip the association to continue its obesity research and deploy communications resources to expand outreach efforts.

“Since we began tracking pet obesity incidence rates in 2006, the percentage of overweight and obese pets has steadily increased,” noted APOP president Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT in the release. “Turning this trend around will take the combined efforts of veterinarians, veterinary staff members, pet owners and the pet food industry itself.”1

From the 2022 APOP pet obesity report, pet obesity rates in the United States have been steadily increasing for decades, reaching 59% of dogs and 61% of cats classified as overweight or having obesity in 2022. For reference, APOP defines “obesity” as 30% above ideal body weight.2

The study also found that 36% of dog owners considered their pet’s body condition “normal” when their veterinary professional classified it as BCS 6-9 (overweight to obesity).2

APOP is now shifting its organizational focus from awareness to treatment. APOP is currently working with nutritional, pharmaceutical, and technological companies and organizations to accelerate the innovation of pet obesity treatments and improve overall quality of life.2

According to the release, Purina is committed to understanding both the causes and the consequences of pet obesity. In the early 2000s, the company published its landmark Life Span Study, which consisted of a 14-year study yielding extensive scientific data about the effects of lean feeding versus free choice feeding for dogs, as well as the serious consequences of excess body weight on health and longevity.1

“Given our knowledge of pet nutrition and its role in the pet-owner relationship, as well as our commitment to reducing the incidence of pet obesity, we look forward to supporting APOP in their expanded efforts to reach veterinary professionals and pet owners,” said Jason Gagné, DVM, DACVIM (Nutrition), director of veterinary communications for Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. “Through our combined efforts, we hope to make a measurable difference in pet obesity awareness and implementing practical strategies to address it.”1


1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets joins forces with Association for Pet Obesity Prevention to tackle weighty problem. Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. September 7, 2023. Accessed September 11, 2023.

2. 2022 State of US Pet Obesity. Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Accessed September 11, 2023.

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