August 11, 2021

The Pet Lovers Behind ACANA® Pet Food Announce Collaboration with Jess Sims to Support Successful Pet Adoptions as Part of Forever Project

Peloton Instructor and passionate “dog mom” Jess Sims to offer tips for prospective and current rescue owners through livestream class and online resources FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Company: Champion Petfoods
Media Contact: [email protected]

AUBURN, Ky., August 11, 2021 – The pet lovers behind ACANA® pet food announced a collaboration with well-known Peloton Instructor and enthusiastic “dog mom” Jess Sims for its Forever Project, an initiative created to support rescue pet parents and the launch of the new food, ACANA Rescue Care for Adopted Dogs.

Jess Sims will offer her expert personal advice and help families integrate activity into both their own lives and their newly adopted dogs’ lives, reinforcing the critical role physical and mental activity plays when animals are adjusting to moments of significant change. This is just one piece of the brand’s Forever Project designed to give newly adoptive pet parents the best start possible through premium pet food, and a suite of training resources and behavioral tips – all created because the pet lovers behind ACANA pet food saw a need for a truly comprehensive program to ensure pet adoption success.

A recent survey conducted by the ACANA team found three-fourths of dog owners (77%) say they have a stronger bond with their pet now than before the pandemic. Forming that bond is particularly important when rehoming a dog. While the pandemic likely contributed to spending more time together overall, establishing an exercise routine between parent and dog is a great way to bond. In fact, nearly three out of four dog owners (72%) agree they are more physically active since adopting a dog.

“Regular exercise and routine play an important role in acclimating a dog to its new home, addressing potential behavioral issues and can also have tremendous health benefits for their owner,” said Jess Sims. “I’m thrilled to work with the pet lovers at ACANA pet food to help new pet parents establish a fun, regular exercise routine with their dog so they can adapt, bond and stay fit together.”

On August 25, Jess will host a livestream class focusing on how pet owners can build a strong bond with their dog and share key tips on how to create a solid routine, ways to get active and answer live questions from the audience. She will be joined by pet trainer Marissa Sunny, a canine behavior specialist, Dr. Darcia Kostiuk, the in-house veterinarian who helped formulate ACANA Rescue Care for Adopted Dogs, and Jen Beechen, vice president of marketing for ACANA pet food.

The livestream class can be found on Youtube.

Pet Behavior
As part of the Forever Project, the pet lovers at ACANA pet food are engaging Marissa Sunny, CPDT-KA, who is a canine behavior specialist at Best Friends Animal Society® with a focus on working with aggression, rehabilitation, and rescue dogs to offer training support and transition advice for adoptive dog parents to help them build and maintain a strong bond particularly through times of transition such as joining their new home or adjusting to new family schedules.

The survey also found pet behavioral issues are one of the top three challenges new adopters face when bringing home a new dog. Some of the top challenges dog owners experienced after first adopting their dog included separation anxiety (32%), potty training (32%), barking (30%), and their energy (28%). Additionally, 38% of dog owners say they wish they knew how to properly train a dog prior to adopting one.

Establishing a go-to routine with regular fitness and taking steps to reward good behavior and redirect anxious behavior will help pets adjust to their new surroundings and bond with their owner, which can ultimately help lead to a successful adoption long-term.

“Time to decompress and socialization will truly help cement pet adoption success. When bringing a new rescue dog home to the family, give them time to come out of their shell and blossom,” said Marissa Sunny, CPDT-KA, canine behavior specialist at Best Friends Animal Society. “The experience can be overwhelming for a new dog, so socialization is important and giving your dog lots of praise and rewards while trying new things can build their confidence.”

Forever Project
The pet lovers behind ACANA pet food developed the Forever Project to support the launch of ACANA Rescue Care for Adopted Dogs, a new first-of-its-kind dog food in the U.S. formulated specifically for the unique needs of rescue dogs and their transition from shelter environments to their new forever homes.

The project includes the official multi-year pet food sponsorship with Best Friends Animal Society, an organization that works with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide. In fact, Jess Sims adopted her dog from Best Friends Animal Society partner, Muddy Paws.

The ACANA pet food team also created a library of resources to help new rescue pet parents on its website.

About Champion Petfoods

Founded in a small town in Alberta, Canada, Champion Petfoods’ purpose is To Earn Pet Lover Trust Every Day so Pets Thrive for a Lifetime. At Champion, we have been pioneers in crafting premium food for dogs and cats since 1985. We specialize in making foods that are Biologically Appropriate to nourish as nature intended. That means we start with the finest WholePrey ingredients from both fresh and raw animal sources. All of our ingredients have been selected from carefully curated suppliers whom we know and trust. Our foods are crafted by passionate nutrition and health experts in world class kitchens, and as Pet Lovers ourselves, we strive for the highest quality and safety in every ORIJEN and ACANA product we make. Champion exports to nearly 100 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit

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