For most of the millennia that humans and canines have cohabited, we all ate the same stuff. Dog sustained themselves by scavenging our dumps. Natural mutation played its part helped –the cuter they were, the better chance they had that a nice human might feed them from the table.
The commercial dog food industry is really only less than a century old. But that century has also been a big one for another industry: advertising.
Pet food is a weird subcategory of advertising; humans are being sold on something they’ll never eat (with due respect to the Beales of Grey Gardens). But with all the lush closeups up meaty bits and the focus on how the stuff tastes, you’d think people were going to load on it for themselves.
Dogs, of course, don’t need adverts in order to make them take an interest in our food. Ditto theirs.
Here are some old TV and print ads that range from weird to wonderful to gross, and help us look at what companies thought would speak to the dog owners of their times.