Why is my Veterinarian Selling Me This Pet Food?

You may also want to think of this as “Things your Pet food company does not want you to know”.

It may surprise many pet owners to know that their veterinarian may be selling them overpriced, poor quality, pet food. While I am not a veterinarian myself, I have spoken to many and they all pretty much say the same thing. While in school the most any of them actually received on ingredients in pet food was probably no more than 30 minutes. Some got no education at all on ingredients, or brands, except for the visit by a Representative of a particular food company, usually Hills Science Diet. Most vets had no other eduction on what makes a pet food good or bad

Of course the Science Diet rep (or any rep for that matter) is going to talk about their food, and why it is the best. They are not going to point out any faults of their food, or compare it to anything other than lower grade foods.

In Hills Science Diets case, this food has a clever plan, first they pump oodles of money into offering scholarships to students at certain Veterinary Universities and Colleges, and offer funding for certain programs. Thus the schools are likely to invite them back to do promotions for their food. What vet student is not going to feel indebted to a food company that helped pay for their education?

Additionally Science Diet paid for their food to be put through a Food Trial. Again this was something the food company paid for, not something vets did on their own and determined this to be a good food.

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All foods have to meet minimum standards, unfortunately in Canada, and the USA, these standards are not particularly high. Many pet foods can, and do, contain known problem causers, particularly the preservatives BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin, which is a chemical pesticide often not included in the ingredients list but is use to preserve by-products. By-products themselves are not actually full of nutrition and can even be cancerous tumors, beaks, and so forth.

Another trick these foods use is to market themselves as prescription diets. Typically there is not any special ingredients in these foods to set them apart from any of the premium pet foods a person can purchase on their own. One only has to be familiar with what ingredients should be avoided in certain circumstances and what ones to favor.

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  1. I liked the article which confirmed what I had believed. Last month my brand reduced the weight of their large bag by two pounds and raised the price by a dollar. Oh, well.

  2. this is a well researched article enjoyed reading it

  3. very informative b… thankfully there are still a few areas that i like it and comments still work

  4. Purina has stayed pretty stable as to cost and weight; but I won’t say they are a wonderful food. They just happen to be the best that will meet my budget and the animals usually do well on it. My critters loved Aims when I could afford it, but it is completely out of my price range now. I wasn’t impressed with science diet, and neither were my animals.

  5. I am with Daisy, Purina has always been my brand. My dogs do well with it. As they have aged I now buy it for senior dogs. Well done, well researched article.

  6. Not a subject I know much about to be honest, and no pets in years. I’m sure this has been very useful to those who have though.

  7. I am just totally confused about all I am hearing about Science Diet, and not happy about it. I am going to do some serious researching myself, and find a better food for my two.. This is just wrong.

  8. Amanda, in case you didnt see it, read this about Science Diet, it shows directly what poor quality ingredients are used in a prescription cat food.

    http://therealowner.com/health/hills-science-diet-prescription-diet-feline-cd-dry/

  9. I’m tired of reading articles that state this “Vets have little or no training on dog food…30 minutes at the most. They’re not nutritionists” And? So what? Any person with any know-how at all can go onto the web and in about an hour have a great knowledge of dog foods that are good for dogs.

    If I was a vet trying to make my money off of my private business I’d invest that hour into researching dog food. This is such a common question from owners, and it frustrates me to no end to see all these vets recommend crappy foods because they’re sell outs! Because they didn’t learn about it in Vet school is simply the most garbage excuse I’ve ever heard of. I’ll find a vet someday that recommends from the heart and not the back pocket…

    My opinions…
    Best Dog Foods on the Market:
    Blue Buffalo
    Nature’s variety
    Orijen
    Taste of the Wild

    If ya can’t afford those go with these:
    Kirkland Dog Food (Costco)
    4health Dog Food (TSC)

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