What is it about human beings and their pets? Only humans support other animal species from birth into old age. Recent surveys indicate that they spend more on toys and accessories for their pets than they do on their own children. Revised statistics indicated that Americans spent a whopping $58,000,000 on pets in 2014. And they are quicker to get those pets to the doctor for medical checkups or for treatment for illness or injury than they are themselves. And when it comes to pet food, they’re downright obsessed with it, especially since the pet food poisoning scandal of a few years ago. To save money and to ensure quality ingredients in the foods that their pets are consuming, many owners have turned to “home cooked” or “raw” foods.
But many of these well meaning owners don’t realize that such efforts can actually sicken pets, or deprive them of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Fortunately, where dogs are concerned, one of America’s leading pet food manufacturers has come up with a better solution. In 2001, Purina began marketing a dog food called Beneful that focused more on balanced nutrition for canines than similar brands. Beneful‘s ingredients to that end included meat, vegetables, and whole grains. The food’s debut was accompanied by a multi-million dollar television campaign, the largest in Purina’s history.
Beneful was an instant hit. It is the company’s single biggest dog food seller, and the third biggest seller on the market today. Its staggering sales forced the company to make multi-million dollar upgrades to a facility for the sole purpose of manufacturing this one brand. When Beneful debuted, the brand was available as a dry kibble, or as a “wet” or canned one. Today, Beneful is available as a vegetarian meal in addition to eight different “prepared” dishes. The brand debuted new and improved foods in 2010 that look more like human foods, as studies have shown that dogs are more excited about eating what their two legged parents are. Beneful brands now include varities that target a dog’s teeth, coat, and weight, in addition to a special brand for puppies. Indulgent owners can also purchase various Beneful treats, some of which help to remove tartar from dogs’ teeth.
Since 2011, Beneful has sponsored a “Dream Dog Park” contest in which the winning video earns its creator $250,000 to put towards building or renovating a community dog park. For more on Beneful, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.