Sporting Dog Food with Purina Pro Plan Sport
Nutrition For Champions, By Champions
For the Pro Plan team, business is personal
As outdoorsmen know, there are few experiences as peaceful as walking the uplands with your dogs. Watching the mist rise over the fields at dawn, listening to the birds and wildlife begin to awaken, takes us to a place that we have always known. A place that calls to us when we are away and welcomes us when we return.
This deep reverence for the outdoor lifestyle is not only understood but lived by the field team at Purina. It’s the inspiration behind Pro Plan Sport Performance formulas that keeps dogs strong and energized in the field, and it’s the foundation of trust that is shared among the field team, fellow outdoorspeople, trainers, and competitors.
As the food of choice for the most sporting dog champions, including National Bird Dogs and National Retrievers, the secret to Pro Plan’s fervent following is rooted in two pillars: nutritional expertise and real, on-ground sporting experience from both researchers and field members.
No one understands this dual responsibility better than Purina Senior Research Scientist and champion dog musher, Dr. Arleigh Reynolds, DVM, PhD, D.A.C.V.N. Though he’s an academic and scientist, he’ll proudly tell you he wears a white coat but has dog cr*p on his shoes.
“Like fellow competitors, we want our dogs to be their best, and we need them to be in order to compete at the highest level. I’ve fed Purina Pro Plan for 25 years and raised close to 1,000 dogs, many of whom ate it their whole lives. The nutrition is outstanding, the quality of ingredients is really high, and people trust it because it’s always consistent.”
Dr. Reynold’s research in Alaska has directly informed the development and optimization of some of the Pro Plan Sport formulas, as well as Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements like FortiFlora. Learning how dogs recover after exercise, how their immune systems can handle the stress of travel, and how puppies learn and become trainable have all been subjects of his studies.
“One of the things we always strove to do is prove the diet works. We’ve done that by taking everything we learned in our research and applied it in the field of racing. We won 3 world championships and are one of 5 triple crown winners in the sport.” he explains. “It showed we were extremely successful in proving the nutrition. But most importantly, we proved that if it can work for sled dogs, it can also work for other dogs: military, search and rescue, and sporting dogs. It helps them do what they do.”
“We knew it worked. That was the least of our worries!” echoes former Director of the Purina Sporting Field Team, Bob West.
“The first national retriever open that I went to in Georgia in the mid-80’s, there was no professional handler feeding Purina products. When I retired in 2015, the overwhelming majority of pros were feeding Pro Plan. When you want to be competitive, you have to care for the dog, and give them the best nutrition possible. And that’s still true – almost 40 years on.”
That’s why today you’ll meet a field team of experts – many of whom have competed and finished nationally in their segments – not only talk the Pro Plan talk but walk the walk themselves. And they thrive on sharing ways to help sporting dogs be their best in the sports they love the most.
Karl Gunzer, Purina Director of Sporting Dog Programs and a national champion trainer, sums up the field team’s passion and impact perfectly. “Purina’s culture of excellence in nutrition and support of Sporting Dog events and organizations allows me to help promote the sporting dog world, including many events that would otherwise lack the resources to be successful. Through this job, I am able to give back to the sporting dog world which has been such a big part of my life for the last 30 years.”
Today, you’ll meet Pro Plan field members at every major national event, including the Retriever Nationals. In between the introductions, the familiar handshakes, and the exchange of tips and tricks, they proudly speak to the always advancing nutrition of Pro Plan, and celebrate the wins fueled by it.
But if you ask Bob West, Pro Plan inspires loyalty not only due to the quality nutrition, but because it’s got “good people working with good people.” In the more than 30 years since Pro Plan’s debut, that sentiment is as true today as the day it was launched. And by the looks of it, will continue for years to come.