A proposed federal class action lawsuit against Nestle Purina Petcare Co alleges that the company misled dog owners into believing that its Beggin' dog treats contained bacon, when, in fact, they did not.

The proposed lawsuit -- which was initiated by West Highland terrier owner Paul Kacocha -- alleges that Kacocha and other plaintiffs paid extra money for Nestle Purina's Beggin' products because they believed they contained mostly bacon. However, as it turns out, bacon only appears in the dog treats in minuscule amounts. Plaintiffs submitted the lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday.

Lawsuit Claims That the "Beggin'" Name and Marketing Were Misleading

The suit says that Nestle Purina misled its customers through the name "Beggin'," which sounds like bacon, and because the product smells and looks like real bacon. Furthermore, the package displays a picture of actual bacon and says that Beggin' is "made with real bacon." According to plaintiff court documents, the dog treat is primarily comprised of ingredients that are not bacon, which include: soy, water, corn and wheat.

As most consumers are aware, there is a popular television commercial for Beggin' showing dogs asking their owners where the bacon is, and getting very excited for Beggin' dog treats. The lawsuit cites the ad as ironic considering that, indeed, there is only minuscule amounts of bacon and the dogs were correct to ask the question, "Where's the bacon?"

Lawsuit Asking for Unspecified Amount of Compensation

The lawsuit is asking for unspecified amounts of compensation for dog owners who were misled by Nestle Purina's advertising. The lawsuit is citing violations of New York state's consumer-protection laws governing false and deceptive advertising as a basis for its claims.

According Purina spokesman, Keith Schopp, his company has always maintained transparency with regard to advertising its Beggin' product. "The notion that anyone would actually think we're selling bacon is nonsense. Consumers get it, and dogs love it," he said.