We’ve all seen it, veterinarian offices full of Science Diet, Eukanuba, or Purina Pet Foods.  How does that make you feel?  Knowing that most of these foods, prescription or maintenance, contain by-products, animal fat, and even risk chemical preservatives, does that change your opinion of your vet?

It’s almost as if veterinarians, as a whole, are the last holdout to climb on the quality ingredient pet food band wagon.  Why is that?  According to a Houston Heights veterinarian, the long stated excuse of dog and cat nutrition classes taught in veterinary school by the very pet food companies they pitch just doesn’t float anymore.  Pet owners have been brainwashed by pet food for decades, yet a growing number of us have learned the benefit of quality pet food.  Sadly, many of us have learned these pet food lessons because of heartache; our pet sickened or killed by a pet food.  But, our veterinarians have seen ten times…a hundred or maybe even a thousand times more pet death and illness that they had to connect to a pet food.  So why are most of them still recommending pet foods that contain known less than optimal ingredients such as by-product meal, animal fat, and risky chemical preservatives?

There are a few veterinarians that have seen the light, there are a few that only sell Rx foods; however, the greatest majority of veterinarian offices have stacks of Big Pet Food sitting in their lobby and the same openly urge pet owners to feed dry or canned foods that contain some (if not all) of the following ingredients…

By-Product Meal. By definition, by-product meal is NOT meat.  This ingredient is left over bits and pieces of slaughtered animals not suitable for human consumption.  There is little to no consistency to this ingredient as one batch of by-products might contain a majority of healthy internal organs and the next batch might contain a majority of intestines and diseased animal parts.

Animal Fat. This common to pet foods recommended by veterinarians ingredient was determined by the FDA to be likely to contain euthanized animals and the drug pentobarbital.

BHA/BHT. These chemical preservatives, again common to pet foods recommended by veterinarians, have a long scientific history linking them to serious illness.

When I walk into a veterinarian's office (which thank heavens I don't do very often because I feed healthy foods to my pets) and see numerous pet foods for sale that I know contain less than optimal ingredients - even Rx foods - I immediately become guarded.  Instead of engaging in trusted conversation regarding the health of my pet, I find myself only half listening to his/her advice, the other half of my brain is scrambling with questions of doubt.  What's he/she going to advise me to do to my pet that I disagree with?  How can I advocate for my pet while being respectful of his/her education and training?  What am I going to say?  How can I trust the advice of him/her while knowing what pet foods they recommend to clients?  If he/she is so ignorant of the truth about quality and inferior pet foods, are they behind the times in other areas of care for my pet?

With me, the entire balance of respect and participation in working with a veterinarians is off-balance as soon as I lay eyes on 'that' food.  I know many of you have similar feelings.  So...

How do you feel about your veterinarian selling pet foods that contain less than optimal ingredients?  How do you feel about veterinarians that are not up to date on health promoting pet foods and pet food ingredients?  How do you feel about veterinarians that continue to prescribe Rx foods that contain little nutrition and risky chemicals?  Even when the illness must be addressed and there are little to no options for Rx foods except formulating a home cooked diet?  Should practicing veterinarians work closely with a educated nutritionist instead of prescribing (and endorsing) these foods?

Tell veterinarians how you feel.  Post your comments below.  Maybe we can get someone to 'hear' us.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report