Is this Fair Pet Food Advertising?
A Purina Puppy Chow and Purina Dog Chow commercial tells pet owners “You have the power to extend his healthy years”. Learn the whole story and decide if you think this is fair advertising.
First, watch the television commercial.
From the Purina website, the Life Span Study was conducted at a Purina Pet Care Center in Gray Summit, MO by a team of scientists between 1987 and 2001. It is the “first completed diet restriction study to encompass the entire life span of a larger mammal.” The ‘subjects’ were forty-eight Labrador Retriever dogs. The dogs were separated into a control group and a lean-fed group.
It is important to note that all dogs were fed the same diet. “All dogs consumed the same diets, which were 100 percent nutritionally complete and balanced (first a puppy formula, then an adult formula) — only the quantity provided was different.” The control group of dogs were fed an unlimited amount of food during 15-minute daily feedings for the first three years, after years they were fed the recommended amount for their size. The lean-fed group were fed 75 percent of the amount eaten by it’s paired littermate (in the control group). http://www.longliveyourdog.com/twoplus/methodology.aspx
The Life Span Study Findings were amazing. “Treatment for certain health conditions was delayed in the lean-fed Labrador retrievers who received 25% less food than their littermates in the control group. The median age at which 50 percent of the dogs required treatment for certain health conditions was 12.0 years among lean-fed dogs, compared to 9.9 years for the control group.” http://www.longliveyourdog.com/twoplus/Findings.aspx
My interpretation of this study is that dogs that are fed less than the recommended amounts (lean-fed) remain healthier. Because all the dogs were fed the same diets, this study does not prove any particular type of pet food could extend a pets life. The Purina website does not state if all the dogs were fed Purina Puppy Chow and/or Purina Dog Chow; the only information provided was that all dogs were fed the same diets.
This Purina research is of benefit to pet owners, no question there. But the question remains, does the television commercial properly explain the Purina study and do pet owners benefit from the Purina research by watching the commercial? Does the Purina commercial imply anything other than what the study actually discovered? Is this Purina Pet Food commercial fair advertising?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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