Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity Welcomes First Industry Partnership

Ershova Veronika /

The Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity (APOP) announced its partnership with Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets to improve veterinary education by addressing evolving trends in pet obesity companionship and the importance of obesity prevention and management. According to a press release from the APOP company,1 Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets will help the association continue its obesity research and deploy communications resources to expand its awareness efforts.

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

According to the APOP 2022 Pet Obesity Report, pet obesity rates in the United States have been rising steadily for decades, reaching 59% of dogs and 61% of cats classified as overweight or obese. 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 veterinarian classified it as BCS 6-9 (overweight to obese).2

APOP is now shifting its organizational focus from outreach to treatment. APOP is currently working with nutritional, pharmaceutical and technology 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 consequences of pet obesity. In the early 2000s, the company released its landmark Lifespan Study, which consisted of a 14-year study providing in-depth scientific data on the effects of lean versus free-choice eating for dogs, as well as the serious consequences of excess body weight on dogs. health and longevity.1

“Given our knowledge of pet nutrition and its role in the relationship between pet owners, as well as our commitment to reducing the incidence of pet obesity, we are look forward to supporting APOP in its increased 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 raising awareness of pet obesity and implementing practical strategies to address it.”1

The references

1. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets partners with the Pet Obesity Prevention Association to tackle an important issue. Association for the Prevention of Obesity in Pets. September 7, 2023. Accessed September 11, 2023.

2. 2022 State of Pet Obesity in the United States. Association for the Prevention of Obesity in Pets. Accessed September 11, 2023.


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