Ken-L Ration was the name of a brand of canned and dry dog food. Ken-L Ration was owned by Quaker Oats, but the brand was sold to H. J. Heinz Co. in 1995. The brand's name was a play on the World War II-era K-ration, and featured a yellow dog named Fido on its labels.
The product is no longer manufactured; the original trademarks have been cancelled or expired. Since being sold, the brand has faded into obscurity, although vast amounts of Ken-L Ration memorabilia can be found on eBay.
The dog food's main ingredient was "U.S. Government Inspected Horse meat", advertised as "lean, red meat".
In the 1950s, Ken-L-Ration was the major sponsor of a local TV show in New York City called, "We Love Dogs." Each week a dog or puppy was featured as the prize in a contest. Viewers were invited to write and send letters to explain why they should win the dog. The next week, the winning letter was read and the winner appeared on the show and was given the dog. One of the winners was a 10-year-old from St. Albans, Queens and he won a black & white pedigreed English Springer Spaniel that he and his family named Chips
The brand is most notable for a popular advertising jingle from the 1960s. The jingle was based on the song "My Dog's Bigger Than Your Dog" written by Tom Paxton. The advertisement consisted of two children, one of whom was a young Richard Marx,, singing
- My dog's faster than your dog,
- My dog's bigger than yours.
- My dog's better 'cause he gets Ken-L Ration,
- My dog's better than yours.
This jingle is now being used by KIA automobiles. It says:
My van's bigger than your van, My van's bigger than yours, My van's better cause it's a KIA, My van's better than yours.
Like several other dog food brands, Ken-L Ration issued a yearly award to brave or heroic dogs, entitled the "Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year Award". The last known year this was issued was 1996.
The product is discontinued and the original US trademarks have expired. Any current registrants are non-manufacturing entities with no ties to the original product or its manufacturer.
Ken-L Ration in Popular Culture
- In the 1996 film Freeway, the film's star, a young Reese Witherspoon, is seen singing along with the jingle while watching TV just before the police come in to arrest her family.
- In the 1993 film, "The Sandlot," a painted Ken-L advertisement is seen on the side of a building in the scene just after they all throw up on the carnival ride.
- In the 1993 film Demolition Man, the jingle for Ken-L Ration is featured along with jingles from Armour and Green Giant as "oldies", popular music in the future society of San Angeles.
- Ken l Ration has lean red beef,
- And lots of other good things,
- When my mum goes to the store,
- She buys a million cans or more...
- Dressler, Catherine (1995). "Quaker Oats Sells Pet Food Business to H.J. Heinz Co.". Findarticles.com. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- Famous Dogs E-L
- "Ken-L Land at Yesterland". Yesterland.com. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- US Patent and Trademark Office registrations search at http://tmsearch.uspto.gov