Help to Reduce the Risk of Pet Obesity through Collaborative Prevention Programmes
By 2023, our top 10 markets across Europe will be supporting prevention partnerships and programmes to help reduce the risk of pet obesity.
Our achievement to date
In 2017, we launched "Healthy Love", a programme designed to help equip vets with the right information to have conversations with pet owners about maintaining a healthy weight for their pet.
The programme focuses on:
- Preventing obesity (maintaining a healthy weight) in all pets, with a focus on high risk normal weight pets.
- Correcting obesity - simplified weight loss programme for overweight pets.
- Avoiding rebound weight gain - healthy weight for the long term - after successful weight loss, maintaining healthy habits.
During 2018, the Healthy Love Programme has also been launched in 4 of our top markets. Unfortunately in 2020 The Healthy Love campaign could not be run from March due to local COVID related restrictions on vet clinics. However we helped support university research into obesity treatment and prevention, and the results were communicated via media campaigns in 5 of our top 10 markets.
Our Point of View
Pet obesity is an increasing problem, reaching 51% in dogs and 44% in cats in 2018. We know that improving diet and daily habits is as hard for pets as it is for people. Looking beyond nutrition, Purina is therefore working with scientific partners to analyse how behavioural science can help support pets and their owners to improve the quality of life for pets. Modern lifestyles and a tendency to over feed pets with snacks and treats (out of ‘too much love’) are some of the root causes of problems. Education is also key: another study, conducted by Purina in collaboration with experts from five universities, revealed 33% of pet owners could not correctly identify when their pet was overweight. This epidemic of overweight pets is resulting in health problems, which not only put enormous pressure on joints and internal organs but also have a severe impact on quality of life.
At Purina, we have a long history in promoting a healthier diet and lifestyle for our pets, and bringing breakthrough innovations to the pet food industry – many of which have redefined industry standards. These include our clinical diets, the first diets on the market specially formulated to help with weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy weight.
We have also pioneered the "body condition score" – now widely adopted and used not only in scientific studies, but also by vets and pet welfare charities as the gold standard to evaluate the body condition of pets as to whether they are overweight or obese. We continue to work closely with vets to help pet owners better understand how they can make a positive change to their overweight pets’ health by changing their own behaviour.
Our goal is to help reduce the risk of pet obesity through collaborative prevention programmes – working with key players in pet nutrition and public health to affect real change.
We recognise that the depth of the problem means we can’t do it alone. We need to work within our industry and with other key stakeholders to make a difference.
Building on Nestlé CSV
Just as we are committed to improving the lives of pets and the people who love them, our parent company Nestlé is committed to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future for individuals and families, our communities and the planet.Read more about Nestlé in Society
Because actions speak louder than words, take a few minutes to discover our achievements related to this commitment.
Obesity Prevention Round Tables
One of the largest and most significant events for the veterinary community in Russia and the CIS countries - ‘Purina Partners’ – took place virtually in December 2020.
Purina research was presented and key opinion leaders from the vet community concluded that one of the ways to solve the problem could be to train owners in methods of self-diagnosis of overweight and obesity in pets.
Promoting dog’s exercising with friends
In 2019, Purina Ukraine partnered with a local organization called ‘Run Ukraine’5 to encourage pet owners to run with their dogs in a safe environment and in a community. Owners and their pets were able to run either 3 or 5 km distances. At the event water points were made accessible for pets along with education materials for the owners to learn more about healthy nutrition for dogs.