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"Ever get hungry watching a commercial, then realize it's a commercial for dog food? Oh, those ARE savory chunks of beef... Wait, why are they giving it to the dog?! Thank God for packaging..."

When commercials sell pet food they know that it won't be Fido or Fluffy that makes the final purchasing decision. It's the pet owner who must be sold. So commercials for pet food will present their product as something the pet owner would want to eat.

Consider the following: Processed ground meat and meat byproducts would generally be gray in color, if cooked properly. But open a can of meat dog food, and it's usually a nice bright red. The food coloring is added strictly for the benefit of the pet's owner; the pet will neither notice nor care. Ironically, food coloring is one of the most common food allergies in dogs. By buying colorful food, a dog owner is increasing their pet's chances of becoming allergic.

Commercials will film pet food with the same loving attention they would the board of fare at a five star restaurant. It will be served up on fine china instead of the plastic or metal bowl pets normally eat from. It will be garnished and served by candlelight.

Actual, non-gullible pet owners know the reality of what animals like to eat. Most of what they drag in from the yard is anything but appetizing to human palates. Before they were domesticated, cats and dogs were wild carnivores that killed or scavenged raw (and sometimes rather ripe) organs and flesh. Most animals will eat what's in front of them whether you want them to or not. Pet food comes from vegetable and (small amounts of) meat byproducts from the human food industry; even the gourmet pet food is mostly meat left over from processing.

Examples of Gourmet Pet Food include:

  • Fancy Feast cat food is a repeat offender. Delicate portions of delicious looking meat are served in a crystal goblet to a fabulously white longhair cat which deigns to leap (in slow motion) off its personal chaise lounge where it has been sunning in what appears to be a Mediterranean villa. After a few bites it licks its lips and stares solemnly at the camera as if to say "I am a cat and I am richer than you."
    • There was one in particular that showed a professional chef in a restaurant kitchen preparing a sumptuous Tuscan meal, plated on fine china, which is then whisked away to the dining room. As the waiter carries it through the kitchen doors, it turns into a plate of cat food...what kind of Blessed with Suck transdimensional portal ARE those doors!?
    • Possibly the most Egregious is the Tender Turkey Tuscany In A Savory Sauce With Long Grain Rice And Garden Greens. My cat eats better than I do.
      • They're actually advertising that they put vegetables in these things? God, pet owners are dumb.
    • A recent Meow Mix commerical parodied this by having a owner serve a nasty can shaped brick of meat to a cat in a glass goblet, only to have the cat break the goblets, by knocking them to the floor.
  • A recent dog food commercial (99% certain it's Cesar) shows the whole block of dog food on a plate being carried out to the appetizer table at a party. A guest picks up a cracker and uses it to scoop up some of the food, but just before he can eat it he is interrupted by the hostess, who starts conversing with him as she picks up the plate of food and sets it on the floor so her dog can eat it.
    • Yah, pretty sure it's Cesar. Speaking of which, that stuff used to be called "Mr. Dog," a far more suitable name for the stuff. Our dear old Eddie Izzard explains how that happened.
    • Apparently, Cesar now has its "Sunrise" line, with such ingredients like bacon, eggs, steak, etc. That's right, special breakfast entrees for your dog.
  • This is taken to an extreme with many treats for both cats and dogs. Semisolid snacks are especially Egregious offenders: colorful and fancifully shaped (into bacon strips, little burgers, hearts, fish, et al.), they clearly are made to appeal to the owner's aesthetic sensibilities. This helps to hide the fact that they are usually little more than overpriced soy- or wheat flour.
  • Some of the highest-end commercial dog food is actually delicious-looking, decent-smelling, and can contain things like sweet potatoes, salmon, cottage cheese, rosemary, quinoa, zucchini, amaranth, blueberries, sage and duck. It's usually human-grade and organic, so go nuts. You won't see it advertised on TV, though.
    • All pet food has to be "human-grade", by law (at least in the US and EU). It's just made of icky parts of the animal?as are sausages.
      • Unless you make your own sausages (it's not hard). At least then you know what goes into it.
  • A UK dog food ad recently aired which contained chicken, vegetables and pasta. Honest to god penne rigate.
    • Might as well make the cheap starch-based filler look palatable to the pet owner.
  • Similar to the above, there was a dog food commercial in which the food being advertised had carrots in it. Like, visible chunks. And I think potatoes, too, and it was shown presented on a plate... with a fork in it. Mmmm.
  • FreshPet Select had a mother feeding her children dry kibble out of a bag marked "Dinner." The obvious implication being, "You wouldn't serve this to your kids, why should you give it to your dog?"
    • Altho this troper can't be the only one who tried out some dog biscuits...
  • This scientific study concludes that "although human beings do not enjoy eating dog food, they are unable to distinguish its flavor profile from other meat-based products that are intended for human consumption."
  • Parodied in a recent Saturday Night Live sketch where the elegant packaging illustrations and elaborate descriptions are intercut with actual cat food cans opened onto plates complete with glopping sounds as the meatwad comes out of the can.
  • Averted in an early The Simpsons episode where Marge opens a can of "Carrot Cat Food" which is advertised as 88% ash 12% carrots. They are actually quite common ingredients, though certainly not in those proportions. Snowball II is understandably disappointed when the food lands in her dish with a puff of gray dust.

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