Feed Purina, Royal Canin or Hill's?
My vet says feed Purina, Royal Canin and Science Diet. Why don’t we think it’s a good idea?
While we love our veterinarians, unfortunately some veterinarians may not be unbiased when recommending those foods and this is why:
- Unlike human doctors, veterinarians sell pet food at their practices. As of recently, they have been also offered a commission for foods that their customers buy online directly from the manufacturers. We have seen advertisement in veterinary publications to encourage them to add additional revenues streams by selling those foods.
- Vets don’t get a nutritional education from independent sources. Instead, their education on nutrition and food comes from representatives of Nestle (Purina), Mars (Royal Canin) and Colgate-Palmolive (Hill’s Science and Prescription Diets). Many times, they are so busy treating our pets that they don’t actually have the time to verify the information those companies present to them.
- Vets school’s nutrition classes are sponsored by those companies (see the back for a list of what schools they go to)
- Some companies like Purina build entire nutrition centers in these universities to have more of an influence on vets and gain more credibility to keep a university on their side.
Nestle (Purina), Mars (Royal Canin) and Colgate-Palmolive (Hill’s Science and Prescription Diets) are big consumer packaged goods companies. A few facts about those companies:
- They need to grow the profit margin on the products as required by all public companies. Since they must cover huge marketing costs (sponsoring vet classes, nutrition centers, sales reps visiting vets, advertisement), they’re forced to cut back on somethings like ingredients and their product’s quality. See next point on ingredients.
- Those companies influence AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officers) and WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) on pet food requirements to adhere to their standards. Those regulations allow them to use low-quality ingredients such as diseased animals transported in open trucks without having to reveal it to the consumer. If you want to learn more about it follow Susan Thixton’s website at: https://truthaboutpetfood.com
- Contrary to common belief, those companies have multiple records of issues related to quality control. See Hill’s recall due to an overdose in their prescription food that is known to cause kidney and heart failure (and have caused deaths). Or, look up info on Mars Petcare plant in Joplin, MO.
- Some of them don’t necessarily show high ethics in their actions. Look it up: both Mars and Nestle supply chains used companies involved in forced labor, human tracking and child labor. Mars purchased cocoa beans from farms notorious for children's labor. Mars has Federal Trade Commission charges for making false advertising health claims. Hill’s didn’t recall all their foods with vitamin overdose right away, but rather it seems they tried to cover the issue.
Look at the ingredients of those foods.
The dry dog food is usually a mix of meat (or rather some meat by-products that are not always classified as meat), vegetables and fillers.
AAFCO Nutrient Requirements for dogs don’t list minimum requirements for carbohydrates or fiber. It’s because they are not needed for dogs or cats’ diet and in fact, overload of carbs and fiber may cause health issues.
Why would those companies use carbohydrates in their pet food?
The high carbohydrate content is needed for the extreme heat and high-pressure extrusion processes in order to hold the kibble together. That’s why kibble is typically 30%+ carbohydrates and the main reason for adding carbs. It also makes the food’s shelf life stable, lasts longer without freezing or refrigerating and allows for cost savings (corn cost is very low compared to the cost of meat).
Your pets pays the price for it! High carb diets may lead to issues related to the overproduction of yeast, itchiness, red staining, ear infections, skin issues, altered gut flora, obesity, and bad breath. Metabolic and endocrine issues, including diabetes, have also been related to high-carb diets among pets. We know from human nutrition that an overload of carbs create certain health issues in the human body, so why would we believe that they don’t create the same issues in dogs, especially if dogs have no genetic requirements for eating carbs?
Read the examples of ingredient lists and see if this is what you want your dog to eat.
- Royal Canin Cavalier King Charles Adult Dry Dog Food: Brewers Rice, Wheat Gluten, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Chicken Fat, Wheat, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Pea Fiber, Dried Tomato Pomace, Vegetable Oil – you can see that there is no meat in this food.
Other ingredients to compensate for missing nutrients from food: Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Silico Aluminate, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement], Fructooligosaccharides, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Dl-Methionine, L-Arginine, Taurine, Potassium Citrate, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Choline Chloride, Salt, Marigold Extract (Tagetes Erecta L.), L-Tyrosine, Trace Minerals [Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate], Glucosamine Hydrochloride, L-Carnitine, Magnesium Oxide, Green Tea Extract, Chondroitin Sulfate, Rosemary Extract, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid
Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Dry Dog Food: Brewers Rice, Corn Starch, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Flaxseed, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Pork Flavor, Lactic Acid, Ginger, Soybean Oil - you can see that there is no meat in this food.
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food: Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, Vegetable Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil Preserved with Tbhq, Powdered Cellulose, Corn Oil
Other ingredients to compensate for missing nutrients from food: Potassium Chloride, Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Salt, Magnesium Oxide, Lecithin, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Garlic Oil, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite
You now have the facts so why would you feed those foods to your dogs? We certainly wouldn’t.