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Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND: Meet Ellie and My Son

My son and his wife adopted Ellie, a Brittany,  Heeler mix, through a rescue group a year ago. She seemed a great fit for their current pup, Roo, also a Heeler mix, who needed the interaction of another pet. But Ellie turned out not to be the young, high-energy dog the rescue group described. In fact, we often wonder if the pup we got is actually the Ellie that was abandoned somewhere in Phoenix and not some other look-alike pup, because the description of her lifestyle and behaviour doesn’t come close to the real-life dog that’s joined our family.

Roo's ready to play. Ellie would rather be petted or lay in the shade. - Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND - Can it Help Our Ellie? #BrightMind #CollectiveBias

Roo’s ready to play. Ellie would rather be petted or lay in the shade.

The pup that arrived was a scared and timid dog who was wearing two harnesses because of her “high-energy” designation. But Ellie is far from capable of keeping up with Roo and is more likely to be found curled up in a corner or under something her 50+ pound body shouldn’t be able to fit under. This little girl can crawl under and curl up into the tiniest spaces making her the best at hide ‘n’ seek!

My son and his pups - notice he's the one fetching the toy?

My son and his pups – notice he’s the one fetching the toy?

But while Ellie isn’t the young and energetic dog that was promised, she’s still loved.  She’s a grandma’s girl and will spend hours curled up next to me while I work, only moving now and then to force her head up under my arm to impede my typing and to insist on being petted. She does play with Roo, but she’s much older, somewhere between five and eight, and doesn’t have the stamina to keep up with a truly high- energy dog. She’s also headstrong. We try to train her – simple commands like come, heel, and whoa – but Ellie does her own thing. She gets this strange, blank look on her face, and you just know she’s not listening anymore. Is she just headstrong or has she lost cognitive function?

Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND: Losing Cognitive Function as We Grow Older

As we grow older, our bodies change and so do those of our pets. Like us, they become gray, their eyesight fails, and they suffer from a loss of cognitive awareness. In dogs, these changes begin at around the age of seven, the age at which most breeds are considered to be seniors. It’s when the glucose metabolism within the brain starts to change, and that can affect the dog’s memory, awareness, learning, and decision making. It’s likely you have a dog in or near her senior years because there are about 87 million US dogs, and 44% of those are age seven or older.

Purina Pro Plan - Ellie

Ellie the Wonder Dog (we’re still wondering about her!)

But there are things we can do to make our dog’s senior years better and one of them is to feed them Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND. It’s created with enhanced botanical oils that have been shown effective in senior dogs in promoting mental sharpness, alertness, and trainability. Pet parents who feed their senior dog Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND food that includes these enhanced botanical oils may just notice a difference within the first 30 days in the ability to cope with change and their desire to play and interact.

Purina Pro Plan Senior Dog food

To find out if Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND would help Ellie, I recently took her shopping. Since I wasn’t confident that she wouldn’t lunge at another dog, I put her in the shopping basket. I’ll admit, it was pretty darn funny seeing her riding around and, for the most part, she loved it. At least until we got to the checkout stand where people were exciting her by talking to her. She got nervous and decided to hop from the basket. Boy, that caught me by surprise. especially since she’d been content to ride for so long. Thankfully I caught the cart just as it was about to go over on its side from the force of her lead being yanked as she hit the ground. Thankfully everyone was fine and this grandma learned a lesson that day –  keep a tighter hold on Ellie’s leash.

Transitioning to Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND

Will Ellie benefit from Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND food?

Will Ellie benefit from Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND food?

We’ve been transitioning Ellie from her current dog food to Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND food for a few weeks. While some dogs transition smoothly between foods, Ellie takes a little bit longer, so we mix her current food with the Pro Plan® gradually. We started with a 90%/10% mix and then monitored her bowel movements for loose or runny stools until her digestive system stabilizes. Then we mixed the food 80%/20% and so on until we get to 100% of the new food. For most dogs, this transition is about seven days. For dogs who’ve got a sensitive digestive system like Ellie, the change can take longer.  There’s no rush, and it’s better to move to the new food slowly.
Purina Pro Plan - Anticipation

We’re going to keep Ellie on this new diet to see if it helps her become more focused and since her younger brother loves to steal it probably isn’t a bad thing. Though Roo is much younger, I have to wonder sometimes how well his brain is functioning when he runs into the deck repeatedly throughout the day. His parents think he’s brilliant, I’m of the mind that he can use a little brain boosting as well!

Purina Pro Plan - the kids

We’ll let you know soon if Ellie is showing any signs of improvement on her new food. Until then, do you have a senior pet that could benefit from some Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND food?

Learn more about the entire line of Purina® Pro Plan® dog food as well as details about the Purina® Pro Plan® BRIGHT MIND variety.