Population pharmacokinetics can be defined as a study of the basic features of drug disposition in a population, accounting for the influence of diverse pathophysiological factors on pharmacokinetics, and explicitly estimating the magnitude of the interindividual and intraindividual variability. It is used to identify subpopulations of individuals that may present with differences in drug kinetics or in kinetic/dynamic responses. Rooted in procedures used in engineering systems, population pharmacokinetics methods were conceived as a means to determine the pharmacokinetic profile in populations in which a sparse number of samples were obtained per individual, such as those in late stage human clinical trials. This is the situation commonly encountered in all aspects of veterinary medicine. The exploratory nature of this technique allows one to probe relationships between clinical factors (such as age, gender, renal function, etc.) and drug disposition and/or effect. Similarly, the utilization of these techniques in the clinical research phases of drug development optimize the determination of efficacy and safety of drugs. Given the observational nature of most studies published so far, statistical methods to validate the population models are necessary. Simulation studies may be conducted to explore data collection designs that maximize information yield with a minimum expenditure of resources. The breadth of this approach has allowed population studies to be more commonly employed in all areas of drug therapy and clinical research. Finally, in veterinary medicine, there is an additional field in which population studies are potentially ideally suited: the application of this methodology to the study of tissue drug depletion and drug residues in production animals, and the establishment of withdrawal times tailored to the clinical or production conditions of populations or individuals. Such application would provide a major step toward assuring a safe food supply under a wide variety of dose and off-label clinical uses. Population pharmacokinetics is an ideal method for generating data in support of the implementation of flexible labelling policies and extralabel drug use recently approved under AMDUCA (Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act. 21 CFR Part 530).