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New Purina ONE® Nutritional Breakthrough Helps Old Dogs Learn New Tricks
Special Blend of Enhanced Botanical Oils Helps Improve Brain Function in Older Dogs

What if you could help your older dog remember things that he knew like when he was younger, regain his interest in his surroundings and improve his ability to be trained? What if you could actually help your old dog learn new tricks and improve his quality of life during his senior years?

Purina ONE brand dog food is unveiling a nutritional breakthrough discovered by Purina scientists that will be available exclusively in the Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Senior formula in July 2009. The breakthrough centers on a special blend of enhanced botanical oils that help improve the brain function in older dogs. The technology behind this innovation is neuron (brain cell)-targeted nutrition which provides an alternate energy source to help the older dog's brain cells work more like when they were younger.

"Purina ONE is dedicated to transforming the lives of pets by using optimal ingredients that work with a pet's body the way nature intended," said Chris O'Neil, Purina ONE brand manager. "The number of older dogs in the U.S. is increasing and we take great pride in developing a nutritional solution that helps improve brain function and promotes overall quality of life for aging dogs."

Nearly half of the U.S. dog population is over age six, which is the age when dogs begin to show age-dependent decline in learning and memory. According to a Purina survey of senior dog owners, one-third of the owners reported that their older dogs were less active and slept more. And, 40 percent said their dogs had more trouble getting around, forgot where their water bowl was and forgot how to go outside, so were having more accidents in the home.

"Dogs start to show cognitive function decline around middle age," said Dr. Mark Roos, director of product development for Purina. "Some older dogs may eventually develop aging behaviors including memory loss, disorientation, reduced social interaction and learning impairment."

According to Dr. Roos, there are many factors that may contribute to the cognitive function decline in middle-aged and older dogs. "One reason is that the neurons (brain cells) in middle-aged and older dogs have reduced ability to utilize blood glucose," explained Dr. Roos. "Our goal was to find a nutritional solution that would provide an alternative energy source to naturally nourish the older dog's brain."

Dr. Roos says the normal energy source for most cells, including the brain, is blood glucose (or blood sugar). As dogs age, their brains use these energy sources less effectively. Neuron-targeted nutrition supplies an alternate source of energy to brain neurons. The nutritional breakthrough discovered by Purina scientists is a special blend of enhanced botanical oils that helps the dog's brain cells work more effectively -- like when they were younger.

Purina scientists conducted a feeding study with 24 senior dogs over the age of seven to confirm this nutritional breakthrough enhances the cognitive abilities of older dogs. In a series of cognitive tests, the research confirmed that the 12 dogs who ate a super premium dry dog food formulated with the special blend of enhanced botanical oils showed improvement in their brain function, including memory, learning and reasoning compared to senior dogs in the control group.

"The dogs who ate the formula with the enhanced botanical oils had a greater ability to remember things, such as where a hidden object was located, and learn new behaviors in a series of tests," said Dr. Roos. "They also had a greater ability to adapt to new situations and use reasoning compared to the control group."

The enhanced botanical oils will be available exclusively in the Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Senior dry dog food formula, which also provides additional nutritional benefits for senior dogs:

  --  Real chicken contributes protein for strong muscles and mobility;
  --  Natural sources of Glucosamine help maintain healthy joints;
  --  Antioxidant-rich nutrition contributes to immune health;

  --  Omega fatty acids and vitamin E help maintain healthy skin and coat

"Purina nutritionists and scientists understand how a pet's body works, and how to unlock the power of nature to promote optimal pet health," said O'Neil, "They have spent many years discovering the true nutritional potential of nature's ingredients. And, their use of enhanced botanical oils as a nutritional solution to help improve brain function in older dogs is an example of the innovation Purina continues to bring to pet health."

Purina ONE offers a variety of super premium pet food formulas to meet the needs of puppies, kittens, adult and senior dogs and cats. The product is available in grocery stores and mass merchandisers nationwide. For more information, visit

About Nestle Purina PetCare

The North American headquarters for Nestle Purina PetCare is located at Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Missouri, where Ralston Purina was founded more than a century ago. Nestle Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. One of the leading global players in the pet food industry, Nestle Purina PetCare is part of the Swiss-based Nestle S.A. - the world's largest food company.

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SOURCE: Nestle Purina PetCare Company

CONTACT: Julie Kahn of Nestle Purina PetCare Company, +1-314-982-1036,