Sorry, Fido: Dog Food Is Not the Fountain of Youth

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The FTC goes after a company for advertising claims that its brand of dog food could dramatically extend a dog's life.

Turns out using a particular brand of dog food will not make your dog live longer. The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Eukanuba over the company’s claims that its food would do just that.

The ads cite a 10-year study during which a Labrador that ate Eukanuba lived to be 17, while typically dogs of that breed only live to about 12. The implication was that the food was responsible for the dog’s unusually long life span.

The FTC provided an excerpt from one of the ads:

“10 years ago, we launched a long life study. What we observed was astonishing. With Eukanuba and proper care, dogs in the study were able to live beyond their typical lifespan.” The ad then showed a dog named “Iowa” who was 17 years old, while “the typical Labrador lifespan: [is] 12 years.”

The FTC complaint said that the longevity claims were unsubstantiated and the claim the longevity was backed up by science was false. The commission has proposed an order which would prohibit Mars Petcare, Eukanuba’s parent company, from making misleading or unsubstantiated claim in the future.

Under the terms of the proposed order, Mars Petcare does not admit or deny the allegations that the ads were misleading.

The proposal is open for public comment through Sept. 6.

Did Mars Petcare get off too easy, or is it enough that they stop using the ads? Share your thoughts in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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