Pedigree +: Hard to Read, Harder to Believe

Pedigree + dog food ad

If you missed my blog post where I explained that most dog food contains roadkill, dead zoo animals, and dead cats and dogs, you can read it here.

Today, I’m going to talk about this ad for Pedigree + dog food.

First things first. Whoever made the decision to create an ad using white type on a yellow background should be fired. The scan of this ad is easier to read than the actual ad—the glare on the glossy paper added to the low contrast of the type and background make this ad all but impossible to read.

Let’s get to the gist of this ad. The Pedigree company is saying that dogs lick and eat things that humans find disgusting. Since humans find these things to be disgusting, the argument goes, they must be bad for dogs. Because they’re bad for dogs, we have to add something to the dog food that will boost your dog’s immune system.

This is garbage. And speaking of garbage, your dog can eat garbage right out of the can and it probably won’t make him sick. You know why? Because he’s a dog!

Dogs are predators and scavengers.

…They like nothing better than trotting along, nose to the ground, sniffing for any morsel of remotely ingestible material. Dogs come by this trait honestly. One theory of how and why dogs evolved was that their ancestors survived and thrived feeding off human waste and refuse. Indeed, the majority of the world’s dogs are not pampered pets, they are feral creatures that hang around human settlements cleaning up the garbage. Dr. Ray Coppinger jokes that dogs aren’t man’s best friend; they are man’s best scavenger! So it’s perfectly understandable that dogs find treasures in things that turn our stomachs.


In short, dogs can eat all kinds of things that would make humans deathly ill without feeling any ill effects.

Having said that, if your dog is used to eating a diet of dog food and he eats a three-day old hamburger that he found on the sidewalk, he may experience some kind of gastric problem. I’m not a veterinarian, but I doubt that any additive in Pedigree + is going to prevent your dog from getting sick if he eats something that is going to make him sick.

The claim here is that this dog food contains a “special blend of antioxidants proven to boost his immunity.” I would be interested to know what the antioxidants are and what the proof is that they will boost the immune system of a dog. Let’s just say that I’m skeptical.

By Marc Librescu


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