Is Your Dog’s Food Feeding Your Dog’s Brain?

The following post is sponsored by Purina Pro Plan. For our sponsored post policy, click here.

I can’t believe we’ve had our dog for almost nine years. Nine years! It seems like she was just a puppy yesterday, romping in the snow and demanding endless rounds of fetch in the backyard, but it’s true. In October, Siena will turn nine, putting her well into her senior years. (Fun fact, dogs are considered “senior” once they hit the age of 7.)

And, she’s definitely slowed down. Squirrel chases don’t go on for quite as long. Fetch only lasts a round or two. Our three-mile runs have turned into longer walks or maybe just a few quick fartleks up and down the street. A few pounds have been added to her frame. She doesn’t find her hidden treat ball as quickly as she used to. She prefers snuggling on the couch to a puzzle.

In the past two years, in addition to aging, Siena has also recovered from a torn ACL in one leg and she’s added the title of big sister to her doggie resume. We affectionately call Siena “the nanny” because she is pretty much constantly keeping an eye on Gwen and herding her when necessary. (Siena will seriously block her from going upstairs if we’re not right there!) Her storm phobia has also ramped up this summer — even with the slightest amount of rain, she’ll be upset.

So, what I’m saying is that, yes, Siena has slowed down — and she’s also had a bit more stress in her life. Stress that, quite honestly, she’s had trouble coping with from time to time.

And then we got the chance to try a bag of Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.


Siena was immediately intrigued. (In fact, getting the photo above was a challenge because she would. not. stop. sniffing.)


The Science Behind BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ and Dognition

I really, really care about the food and activity that Siena gets. I know I feel better when I eat right and exercise, so it makes sense that she would, too. But, I’d never really thought about her cognitive health much (beyond keeping us up at 3 a.m. because of a thunderstorm) until now. Turns out, at about the age of seven, the glucose metabolism in a dog’s brain begins to change, which can affect memory, learning, awareness or decision making.

Um, whoa.


And scientists at Nestle Purina have been looking at aging pets for decades and found that nutrition can help improve their cognitive health.

Um, yay!

Which is how BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ came to be. Made with enhanced botanical oils that have been shown to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs seven and older and a proprietary blend of brain-supporting nutrients, you’re supposed to be able to see visible results within 30 days of using the dog food (that doesn’t include a food transition period of seven to 10 days to switch your dog over to the new food). Results like differences in owner-dog interaction, interest in play and the ability to adapt and cope with change.

Um, yes, please.

Our BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ and Dognition Results

You pretty much know our “before BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ story” (tired, stressed doggie). But here’s the after of our 30-day trial.


A happy less-stressed pup who seems more like herself. As in: she caught an opossum last weekend. She regularly brings me toys to play with her with. She’s been calmer with our daughter — but still alert and “nanny” like. And she’s just, well, brighter. She’s not a puppy, but she’s more like the Siena of 2013 than of 2016. And that’s darn awesome. I kind of feel like I have my dog back. And she — as the photo above shows — certainly enjoys the taste of her new breakfast and dinner.

In addition to the new food, our trial also included a free Dognition assessment, which was fascinating. Through a series of interactive games (like seeing how much your dog yawns or will hold eye contact with you), you can basically learn more about how your dog sees the world — which ultimately helps you to build a deeper connection with your him or her. It was really, really cool! You can find more info on it at

Fun Dog Brain Facts

Here are just a few fun things we learned through the BRIGHT MIND Adult 7+ and Dognition trial, plus a few extra fun doggie facts. I’ll never see Siena’s yawns the same way again!


A Giveaway for You and Your Pup!

Want to win your own free trial of Dognition? Leave a comment below with your pup’s name and age, and we’ll select one lucky reader to win a free Dognition Assessment ($19 value) so that you can try the same interactive games Siena and I did. Winners will be announced in about a week directly via email and in the comments.

Who knew that nutrition could make SUCH a big difference in cognitive health for dogs? I’m a believer!Jenn

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND. The opinions and text are all mine.


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1 Comment

  1. The goal should be to give our dog the nutrition to be his absolute best. Brain food like humans, dogs can undergo changes in their brain. It is our duty to give them the best we can. Very informative and interesting topic.