For a long time two major deceptions have been perpetrated on dog owners by the multi-billion dollar corporations that make, market, and sell dog food.
THE FIRST DECEPTION is the long-standing practice of false advertising where the ingredients in the dog food are represented by pictures of prime cuts of steak, lamb chops, etc on the bag and in other marketing, implying that the ingredients are the highest quality available and what you would feed your own family.
This deception is far more insidious than it might first appear to be. It is not just an isolated misrepresentation of the truth – quite the contrary – first because it is a deception that is totally pervasive throughout the industry controlled by these multi-billion dollar behemoths and secondly because it creates the illusion that all dog food is basically the same in quality, that their dog food provides your dog with nutrition equivalent to the best dog food out there.
This kind of false marketing creates the illusion that you can get something for nothing. Maybe you can from a dear friend occasionally, but not day after day from a company making Billions in profit each year (Billions is not a typo). The pet food divisions are often the most profitable divisions in these multi-billion dollar corporations and their huge profits are dependent on getting you to believe THE FIRST DECEPTION – that there is little difference in the quality of dog food – that the stuff they sell is the same quality as the best dog food on the market.
Does it make sense that these companies are making billions in profit each year giving their customers the highest quality nutrition possible at one-half the price it would actually cost just to make it? Are we to believe they are giving us the best dog food at a steep discount and generously absorbing the loss? They’re not giving us something for nothing and staying in business. The main thing they’re selling, to make the incredible profit margins they’re making, is the illusion of quality – and the illusion doesn’t come cheap either.
I’m not against big business and the jobs created by their industriousness, and I can appreciate the creativity behind the marketing they have engineered to be this successful at cornering such a huge percentage of the dog food market, which is over 90%. However, I do think it’s time that everyone in this industry be held to a higher, more consistent, standard of truth in representing the dog food they are selling, especially since the quality of food is so crucial to the health and well being of our beloved pets who consume it.
Marketing firms use images and words to create a perception of a product that is designed to replace reality with something more appealing. Perception, they will tell you, is everything.
Perhaps “Perception is Everything” is true if the only goal is to get the customer to buy the dog food. But the fatal flaw in this money-making scheme occurs when your dog eats the food and “perception”, stripped of its disguise, becomes an ugly reality for the beautiful dog who loves you unconditionally and relies on you to provide healthy food – not just the perception of healthy food. By creating the illusion their food is of a much higher quality than it actually is they sabotage your ability to make informed decisions about the dog food you are feeding your dog and as a result, the overall health of your dog as well.
Recently, Dr Wysong of Wysong Corp, maker of premium quality Wysong Dog Foods, brought suit against 6 large corporations that together own about 90% of all dog foods in the US. He has courageously taken on 6 Goliaths at once, whose combined earnings exceed that of many countries.
You can see all 6 lawsuits that Wysong filed in their entirety by entering the following URL into a Google Chrome Browser.
Dr Wysong does a superlative job outlining the deception, its extent, and the obvious intention of the manufacturers to deceive the public to gain a competitive advantage over smaller companies who market their products truthfully.
He even breaks down the cost difference between what they probably spend for the meat they put in their food and what the quality cuts of meat actually cost that they are falsely claiming to put in their food, which I’ve copied from the lawsuit and put below in blue type. Just look at the difference in prices between the highest quality meat that these companies are claiming to be using and what these companies are actually using, which Wysong has delineated in the lawsuit. This is no small deception – it’s outrageous!
Chicken – $0.12 versus $1.50
Beef – $0.14 versus $4.00
Lamb – $0.43 versus $6.50
Salmon – $0.13 versus $3.50When Wysong filed the lawsuit these corporations filed a motion with the court to attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Any questions regarding the intention of these companies to deceive were removed by the absurdity and audacity of the argument they put forward in an attempt to have the lawsuit against them dropped. These multi-billion dollar corporations did not deny the charges at all, nor could they. Instead, they attempted to get the case dismissed by claiming that the deceptions were so egregious, so blatantly false, and so completely exaggerated that no reasonable person would ever believe them.
The court found their argument to be ridiculous, and stated that if that were the case then they were asking the court to believe they spent tens of millions of dollars on advertising that they didn’t expect the public to believe. The court denied the motion to dismiss. The case will be going to court. The FIRST DECEPTION has finally been confronted and will hopefully be rectified, thanks to Dr Wysong.
THERE REALLY IS A DIFFERENCE in the quality of different dog foods. The difference between the worst and the best can be huge – far more than any possible difference in the human food chain. You need only do a little research on “Rendering Plants” that reprocess euthanized dogs and cats among other repulsive meat sources, to be used in dog food, to begin to get an idea of the extreme range possible between poor dog food and great dog food.
Right now this article is addressing the need for accurate representation of the quality of the ingredients in dog food but there are considerations of substantial importance in addition to the quality of the food ingredients such as the inclusion of PreBiotics, ProBiotics, and Enzymes that are equally or even more important in determining how nutritious a dog food can be.
There can be a huge difference in the overall quality and effectiveness of dog foods and a high quality dog food can make an enormous difference in the overall health of your dog.
Next week I’ll address The SECOND DECEPTION which is hidden in plain sight and how it disguises how much you actually pay for inferior food. Much of the time you end up paying more for the junk food than it would cost to feed the best for the same period of time. They’ve reduced the nutritional quality of their food to the point where you have to buy up to 2 times as much of it to feed your dog for the same period of time that one bag of a highly nutritious dog food like Brothers will nourish them. Basically you’re paying the full price of a new Lexus but getting a 5 year old Chevy
Richard Darlington, CO-CEO , Brothers Complete Dog Food, LLC