Unfortunate Food

fortified water for adult dogs
rating: :)

Bottled water, for dogs.

Let us pause for a moment to get our collective heads around this concept.  Bottled water... for dogs.

Peanut-butter flavored bottled water...

...for dogs.

God, I love western civilization. :D  I mean, come on, where else would a soft-drink manufacturer think they actually had a shot at marketing flavored vitamin water especially for dogs?  I'd love to know just what kind of product-development brainstorming went into this... how, exactly, do you go about convincing your CEO that your soft-drink company (the same company which owns RC Cola's business outside of North America, oddly enough) should produce an entire product line catering to the Canine-American demographic?  Let's face it, dogs are not exactly gourmets, and somehow I suspect that if you could ask your dog what luxury item he desires most in life, his own special brand of botted vitamin water wouldn't exactly be at the top of his list.  They also don't generally have a lot of disposable income for frivolous items like this...

...but of course, their owners do, and that's who products like this are really targeted at.  Your dog really couldn't care less whether his doggy treats actually look like miniature T-bone steaks, cookies, or bagels, as long as it seems even remotely edible (and dogs are generally not all that fussy on that point, either) – it's we humans who care; we figure that since most of us would prefer steaks, cookies, or bagels to a bowl of crunchy reddish-brown nuggets, obviously Fido would too, so giving him these things makes us a better Pack Alpha.  Or something.

FortiFido actually comes in four different flavors, each with its own supposed benefits: in addition to the peanut-butter flavor, which is calcium-fortified for "healthy bones", FortiFido also offers a parsley-flavored water with zinc for "healthy skin"; a lemongrass flavor with magnesium, manganese, ascorbic acid and glycine for "healthy joints"; and a spearmint flavor with niacin and other vitamins for "fresh breath."  None of these, except maybe the peanut butter, sound like flavors which a dog would actually choose if asked their opinion on the matter.  After all, would you introduce fortified water for humans in pork chop, chicken gizzard, or pizza-from-the-garbage flavors?  Of course not.  So what's with the weird herbal flavors?  It's not like your dog is going to lap up some of this, then turn to you and say "Wow, that mint flavor was really refreshing, boss!  And hey, just a suggestion here, but I'll bet that lemongrass water would go really well with that chicken-and-liver-flavored kibble you bought me last week.".  Dogs don't do garnishes.  Your average dog would probably prefer flavors like "steak", "dead squirrel", and "toilet bowl." 

From here, it just gets weird.  According to the "guaranteed analysis" on the back of the bottle, 99.9% of FortiFido is "moisture."  Considering that this is a bottle of water, one would certainly hope that there would be "moisture." in it, but I'm not sure I understand why it's necessary to explicitly point this out.  On top of that, FortiFido is apparently so potent that the label recommends you only let your dog consume a carefully-measured amount of it per day, based on his body weight.  What happens if you just pour the whole bottle into his bowl and let him drink it all at once, I'm not sure; maybe he evolves into Underdog and starts displaying Awesome Cosmic Powers.  And minty-fresh breath.

That being said, the fact that I found this in the "clearance" cart at the local grocery store, marked down to the "somebody please, for the love of God, take this stuff off our hands" rate of 25 cents a bottle, plus the fact that fortifido.com no longer points to an active web site and Cott seems to have scrubbed all mention of this stuff from their corporate pages, suggests that sanity has prevailed after all.  Apparently, even though there's no shortage of people gullible enough to spend four-bucks-and-change on a fancy glass bottle full of filtered tap water for themselves, there still aren't quite enough people gullible enough to fork over that kind of money for a 1-liter bottle of flavored, vitamin-enhanced water for their dog.  Especially when the odds are that the dog will ignore his water dish full of expensive, specially-fortified, developed-in-conjunction-with-leading-veterinarians flavored water, and quench his thirst from the toilet bowl anyway.

Verdict:   (Oh, right, like I'm gonna try drinking this.)