Fat Dachshund Reminds VirtuaVet of a Purina MisLeada’
The Scoop on Fat Dogs and Purina Dog Food
Picture fit, thin, healthy, happy yellow Labrador Retrievers galloping along a sandy shoreline, their paws splash in the surf , their long red tongues lolling out the side of their mouths. Happiness and health exude from their every golden fur on their hairy, shaggy, tail-wagging fit bodies.
That’s a beautiful Purina dog food commercial that implies feeding Purina Dog Food will keep your dog fit and trim and healthy. The narrator states that a study shows that dogs that eat Purina stay fit. You know the ad if you watch American television.
Doc Truli always laughs when that ad comes on with the suggestive voice over. You really think Purina food alone made those dogs so healthy and happy.
Here’s what the study was and what it proved, in a nutshell:
Purina sponsored a longitudinal study to characterize the effects of portion size on obesity in dogs.
A litter of 12 Labradors — the most popular American Kennel Club breed in the United States, the country where corporations test their theories because people seem to buy anything in America — was preselected for the study. All twelve were raised in normal households with normal lives. 6 were allowed to eat any amount of their Purina food they wanted every day. The other 6 were paired with a partner littermate, but sent to different households. Each unlimited feeding puppy was matched with a littermate who was allowed to eat 75% of what his partner ate each day.
The important point is: calorie control led to healthier, longer lives.
So, the eating whatever-he-wanted puppy’s owner would measure the amount, call the partner-puppy’s owners, and that second owner would feed their dog 75% of what it’s littermate wanted that day. Basically 6 ate as much as they wanted and 6 ate 75% of that amount! The study is important to VirtuaVet because it lasted their whole lives.
The puppies that ate 75% of the amount of Purina lived 2-4 years longer and old age diseases like arthritis started 2-4 years later than their fatter litter mates. Same genetics, almost the same family situations. Cutting back and restricting the food helped add about 25% to the lifespan of the Labradors. That’s like adding 15-20 years for a human being!
Of course, Purina just reports in the commercial that feeding Purina food led to 2 years longer, healthier lives! The actual study probably could have been done with any food as the base. The important point was the calorie control led to healthier, longer lives. That commercial is patently misleading.
Next time you see a Labrador looking fit and happy on the television, or at the beach, remember the advertising will tell you what they want you to hear. You need an unbiased professional to help you navigate the misinformation campaign!