The USDA, however, requires that the margin be calculated based on the dog’s age. The USDA has not updated this rule for the last decade. So how much profit was made on the commercial sale of dog food by the two brands tested by the FTC, PetSmart Dog Food and Purina Pro Plan (from about $2 each to $9.50)? We have plotted the profit margin. In this chart, the numbers refer to price paid by consumers for the dog food products. Because the price of dogs is typically higher than the market price, this meant that the profits could be much higher than the price that the FDA required, but it’s difficult to be sure.
These numbers do not factor that many dogs are sold in pet stores, which may provide a much larger margin on the retail purchases.
The figures above are just the margin, not the profit for each dog food product. There were two brands tested during the trial that were offered in stores and were tested individually: PetSmart dog food and Purina Pro Plan. All prices shown are based on a cost of $9.50 as opposed to the cost of $2.
To calculate the profit margin:
Determine the price paid by consumers for all the ingredients, divided by the number of dogs tested (2). The total price paid by consumers was $9.50. Divide the price by the number of dogs tested to obtain the profit margin.
If the number of dogs tested is between 1 and 60, take the profit margin of $2 per dog divided by 60 times the total number tested.
If the number of dogs tested is 50 or higher, multiply the profit margin by the number of dogs tested times 50. The profit margin for PetSmart dog food is calculated by subtracting $2 from the number of dogs tested to get the price paid by consumers for the dog food.
For Purina Pro Plan, the margin is $1.09 per dog tested divided by the number of dogs tested.
We are not sure yet if the profit margin included in the FTC trial exceeded the profit margin reported in the original FDA study. If PetSmart failed the FTC test, it would have been difficult to get the FDA to approve the product if the profit was much lower.
How the FTC study compares with the scientific data
The FTC study does not come close to measuring all the possible advantages or disadvantages from dogs feeding Purina Pro Plan. The FTC did not compare the products in terms of dog
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