Off Topic Discussions

Here’s a place where you can talk about any subject not covered by another article. Well, almost anything. Our Commenting Policy still applies.

  • Crazy4dogs

    We’re doing annuals with blood panels in the next week. Could be a good time to try it. 😉

  • theBCnut

    I understand being leery of garlic, but I’ve been using it for many years without any issues, so I have a lot of confidence that it’s safe in small doses. I’ve also had a lot of experience with blood donor dogs and know that if a few red blood cells are destroyed by garlic, my dog is very able to replace them and many more without issue. Bone marrow is not damaged or worn out by making more red blood cells and has the capacity to replace large quantities of them. And I have never had blood work on any of my dogs come back as anemic or as having any Heinz bodies.

  • theBCnut

    HA, Hyaluronic Acid, is a major constituent of joint fluid, so the thought is that it helps keep joints lubricated, which makes movement less painful and helps to eliminate further wear. I don’t know about current research, but old research used to say that there was no way it could work taken orally, but I’ve had 2 extremely crippled animals that were greatly helped by the combination of MSM and HA, much more than either one individually.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks! I’ll probably start my black lab when he gets a bit older. I’m not sure of his age, but he was neutered as a fully matured adult (at least 3 yo) and has thick bone and great muscle, so I think I’ll hold off on him or do occasional dosing for now. I’m still on the fence on the raw garlic.

  • theBCnut

    I’m currently only using MSM on animals that definitely have issues, but everybody gets garlic, which is supposed to have usable sulfur in it, and other natural sources of sulfur. If I still had large dogs, I would probably consider it though, since they can be hard on their joints. I found that MSM and HA did absolute wonders for 2 of mine that were crippled when I got them and lived long productive lives after that. Now, I just automatically give it to anyone that strikes me as getting close to being old(the biggest issue), which is sort of preventive, just not life long.

  • sharron

    good morning and thanks – with lexee i find it’s easier to give her variety by changing wet food rather than the dry – she’s too fussy when it comes to dry food – have a good day

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi theBCnut! I have seen MSM supplements in one of the natural pet stores I shop at and have read some information on it. Do you give the MSM as a preventative to your other dogs/animals that don’t have issues?
    I am currently giving fish oil supplements to all and a joint supplement which contains both MSM & HA only to the arthritic dog that has torn CCL’s in both knees. You would never know it with the exception of the sloppy sit.

  • Pitlove

    usually Tractor Supply’s brand 4Health which has a 4 star rating on here, but my boss gave me some dented Nature’s Logic cans so hes eating those right now. I try to vary his canned food as well, but lately I’ve had to keep my budget tighter.

    He’s eaten Pure Balance, WellnessCORE, Country Naturals, Solid Gold, Merrick, Whole Earth Farms and a lot more.

  • sharron

    what wet food do you feed?

  • Pitlove

    mine was exactly the same. he went a whole day without eating on his puppy food (Blue Wilderness). he didn’t like Nature’s Variety much either. He didn’t really start eating until i first introduced canned into his diet. But honestly i don’t mind. I feel now that canned should be an essential part of their diet.

  • sharron

    forgot to mention that i am seriously thinking of changing her over to acana light and fit and feed it as for weight management rather than weight loss – her weight is good – she also likes the RC can food – she would love it if i feed her straight can but i found that it is too expensive

  • sharron

    i have to add can to the dry, doesn’t matter what brand of dry it is – she’s never really like straight dry food in all of her nearly 7 yrs – when i think back to when she was a puppy, she didn’t really like it then either

  • Pitlove

    While I don’t find RC to be a quality food, it’s better than the foods I mentioned, which would absolutely be worst of the worst.

    I understand that finding foods that your dog will eat is exhausting. I went through it also. However, changing your dogs diet is very healthy for them, just like you, I’m sure, enjoy variety in your diet.

    My dog became interested in food again when I started adding canned to his diet and when I started giving him a variety of foods he did well on. Now he eats whatever I give him happily with no problem.

  • sharron

    hi and thanks for your comments on my question – i’m not feeding the bottom of the barrel type food – it is royal canin which i always go back to because this is really the only food she will stick with without kicking up a fuss – i’m tired of changing foods – haven’t done it in quite awhile – at her annual check up her vet says she is fine – her vet didn’t ask what she food she is on and i didn’t mention it either

  • Pitlove

    Any dog food out on the market today legally needs to meet certain standards set by AAFCO and the FDA, mainly AAFCO. As long as the “dog food” meets the very minimum requirements your dog can survive on this food. Key word here being survive.

    I have yet to see a feeding trail done for any length of time (I’d like to see 5+ years) to show the long term effects of feeding foods like “Ben’s Best Dog Food” which contains things like cattle feed, or even the infamous “Beneful”. All we have to go on is the testimony of the caretakers of the dogs who fed these foods for years upon years of their dogs lives. Sad thing is because there is no real way, medically, to connect the food to the illness or death of an animal, low quality or mediocre foods remain for sale on the shelves of pet stores across the world.

    Dogs do show signs of illness or of the effects of the low quality food, however the problem is some owners write off the symptoms and assume they have no connection to the food. And most vet’s will too.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yay! Me too, Dori. I saw that exact post was listed on several dog and other disqus sites, so I just had to comment. The sad thing is so many people buy from these type of people.

  • Dori

    I’m glad that poster was deleted. It’s disgraceful what these backyard puppy mill breeders are doing and then coming on to people who care about animals and try to sell them.

  • Crazy4dogs

    This looks like a very good example of “backyard breeder”.

  • Crazy4dogs

    “Rehoming” a litter of “full breed” puppies with a rehoming fee? Let’s get real.
    It sounds like you’re trying to sell dogs on this site.

  • rullins paper

    Hello everyone,
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    There are 5 Girls and 2 boys.

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  • Crazy4cats

    Thanks again, I’m not with familiar with HA. I’ll check in to it. Glad to hear your VBS went well. I wasn’t able to help at ours this year. But, I hear it went well!

  • theBCnut

    Yes, I was “The Big Dummy” again this year. There really isn’t anyone else to take the job and I love how much the kids enjoy having puppets as part of their VBS experience.

    The theory is that the sulfur in MSM helps carry the other supplements where they need to go. My experience is that it definitely made a difference with my arthritic horse, a huge difference. For her, the only supplements that I could actually tell were working were HA and MSM, but I wasn’t trying to prevent anything. I was treating some severe existing problems. Glucosamine and chondroitin made no visible improvement.

    I thought I saw the same improvement in my little old JRT, but I switched her to raw and other better foods just after that and I didn’t see a decline when I took her off the HA and MSM, however, she does get chicken, turkey, and duck necks regularly, which have all that cartilage in them.

  • sharron

    thanks alot for your input – appreciate it

  • sharron

    hi and thanks for the info – i have tried home made and either she doesn’t like my cooking or she just doesn’t like home made period, i know for a fact she prefers wet food which i feed her but i can’t afford doing straight can – both hubby and i are retired now – so i offset the cost of the wet by mixing in dry – and i have tried honest kitchen, weruva and other foods that are shredded and she won;t have anything to do with them – she prefers pate wet and the dry food softened with warm water – she isn’t as near picky now as she was a few months ago – like i said as long the wet is pate and the dry soften she is happy and eats without any fuss

  • Crazy4dogs

    TheBCnut is absolutely right! He was older, so it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause, but I fed kibble only for the first half of his life and he was on an occaisonal low dose NSAID for the later years, which ultimately raised his liver values slighty towards the end and probably helped contribute to kidney failure. By switching to a fresh cooked homemade kidney diet, we kept him going for quite a while.

  • theBCnut

    For prevention, use antioxidants, fish oil, and maybe add a hyaluronic acid supplement. MSM does also provide a usable source of sulfur, which is important for connective tissue to be able to repair damage before it turns into something worse..

  • theBCnut

    When you think about all the things that are sprayed on crops and fed to feed animals now days, you are definitely stacking the deck when you try to make sure the diet is as healthy as possible.

  • theBCnut

    It is extremely rare to actually know the real cause of most of these diseases, except to know that processed is less healthy than fresh, natural is better than artificial, etc. The harder it is on the body to process, the more the kidney, liver, etc. get stressed with, the more likely that a chronic disease will be established. The less antioxidants and ingredients that help the body to resist damage or even heal damage, the more likely that the damage will finally result in disease.

  • theBCnut

    IMO, if you are going to feed only one food, Acana would be my preference, just because Champion has such a good rep. Safest is to use a food like Honest Kitchen, which is made from human quality ingredients. That way you aren’t getting questionable quality(moldy etc.), which is probably a lot of the problem with lesser quality foods, not to mention food coloring and preservatives, etc.

  • sharron

    hi – was this caused by the food your dog was eating

  • sharron

    hi again – in your opinion, which would be a better food to feed, earthborn small breed, acana small breed or NOW small breed – she’s not terribly active, but she does get her 4, 20 min walks/day and i would still have to add can to the dry no matter what dry food i switch her to.

  • Crazy4dogs

    So true! One of my dog’s developed chronic kidney failure which started shortly after a normal yearly blood panel. I know you are aware of this, but I believe the signs don’t show up until 75% of the kidneys are not functioning

  • sharron

    thanks for replying – so if i switch her to a higher quality food would that mean that the chances of her getting an ailment of some kind diminish because the food is better – right now i’m feeding royal canin dry and wet and she’s doing fine on it

  • theBCnut

    Where you would usually see a problem first is in coat quality, so they add ingredients specifically for the coat. Like many chronic conditions in people, you may see nothing at all until it’s too late. Maybe if you were doing weekly blood work, you would see issues as they started to appear, but there are many diseases that you never see until they get beyond a certain point. You can’t see kidney disease until there is only about 1/4 on one kidney left. You can’t see heart disease until the dog is turning blue or passing out. You can’t see liver disease until it is very progressed. You can’t see diabetes until too late. The signs of all these diseases are very subtle even after the disease progresses. People who have a lot of experience with them still often don’t see the signs until they are very progressed and that’s even true with humans who can talk about how they feel, so doubly difficult in dogs.

  • sharron

    it’s been mentioned to me that if i feed a mediocre dog food that my dog can look and act just fine but i don’t know what is going on on the inside.
    wouldn’t she show signs indicating that there was a problem?

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you! I can’t believe they are 4 years old already.

  • Pitlove

    ah my god SO handsome!!!!!!!!!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh, the varying views was not even a question!!!! LOL!

    Thanks for your view. I just worry about joints and ligaments as my previous dog also tore both of his CCLs as well. I’ll think about adding fish oil now also.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi C4C!
    I only do it for the arthritic one because of joint issues due to torn CCLs. I started when the injuries happened. I don’t give them to my black Lab since he doesn’t have those issues. I do give them all fish oil supplements. I will probably start my black when he’s older, but he’s at least 5 now. I think there are varying views on when to start.
    Edit: I’m using therapeutic doses.

  • Crazy4cats

    Here is a link with more information about the Editor’s Choice List:

  • Pitlove

    This is going to be expensive too, however look into Wysong Epigen 90. 70% protein, 18% fat and 4% carbs on a dry matter basis. Completely starch free food. There is nothing like it on the market. It is not an RX food although Dr.Wysong is a vet and it’s not a diet food, though it will keep your dog lean

  • Pitlove

    Hey Lisa- When Dr.Mike and the other editor’s select the foods that will be on the EC list they take into consideration not only the quality of the food and the ingredients, but it gets more in depth than that. Taste of the Wild is a 5 star food in terms of the ingredient list, however they are manufactured by a company called Diamond. Most of us here are aware of Diamonds recall history and how bad it’s been. The trustworthyness of a company and it’s manufacturer is very important when selecting a quality food and since Taste of the Wild is under Diamond, that is most likely why you won’t ever see it on the EC list.

  • Crazy4cats

    That is good news! Along the same lines, I was wondering what you and other large dog owners thought of using joint supplements for preventative measures. My dogs just turned four. They both are around 80 lbs and are lab/golden mix. I’m wondering if I should start adding glucosamine, chondroitin, and/or MSM to their diets just for preventative measures. Or is it best to wait until they are a little older? Thanks!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Many of you may already have seen this, but I wanted to share the link of turmeric effectiveness in an actual study! YAAAAAYYYY! You don’t have to use NSAIDS!

  • Lisa

    I don’t know if this is the place to ask or not? But, I am new to the editor’s choice and I wonder why some of the dry and wet dog foods that are listed with a rating of 5 are not on the editor’s list. ex. My dogs love Taste of the Wild dry and wet foods and some of them are listed with a rating of 5 but you have to look them up to see which ones have the best rating? I am feeding all three of my dogs Taste of the Wild Wetlands formula both wet and dry. Am I missing something? Maybe with the company that makes the food or something like that?

  • Susan

    You need to work out is it environment allergies or food intolerances…normally they have both…What is she eating? most grain free kibbles have potatoes, sweet potatos, lentils, legumes, peas, all starchy veggies, no good for yeasty itchy skin if she has yeasty itchy smelly skin problem, raw or cooked is best a novel protein (meat) that she hasn’t eaten before with blended green veggies (broccoli, Celery, Bok Choy, etc)..have you tried the “California Natural Lamb & Rice” it has just 4 ingredients so less ingredients if it is food intolerances….also Malaseb medicated shampoo is excellent bath every 5-7 days as soon as she starts the scratching & being itchy….You can do the Hair & Salvia testing but they are not 100% but its a starting point & may help eliminate if its mites, foods & grasses etc they test for 100 environment triggers & 200 foods items here’s Glacier Peak Holistics testing it cost $85…

  • Darcey Russell

    I have red nose full blooded pit female she is 3 year old, has itching problem and she is broke out rash also. ive been given her benyral,and change dog food nothing help. what i can do for her ? i feel bad for her . as rite now im using skin so softer oil add water to it spray on her it seem little help for couple hours she started itching again.

  • sharron

    would like opinions please- i need to get more dry dog food – between the 2 which would better – acana light and fit or wellness core reduced fat – thanks

  • el doctor

    Hi Beclu

    This is from;

    “Buying fish? What you need to know”;

    “Buying eco-friendly fish is easier when you know where it’s from and how it was caught or farmed. Our Seafood selector does a lot of the work for you, synthesizing and simplifying the research. But when you’re at the fish counter or restaurant, knowing what questions to ask is key. And remember, an informed consumer requesting eco-friendly fish sends a powerful conservation message.


    There is no universal seafood labeling system for grocery stores, restaurants, or fish markets, so buying eco-friendly fish often requires a little diligence on your part.

    Your restaurateur or fishmonger may not have all the answers, but the more questions you ask, the more they will recognize the need to provide better information to their customers. Here are the best things to ask, especially if labels do not provide enough information:

    What country is it from?

    Is the fish wild-caught or farm-raised?

    If it is farmed, how was it grown? (Was it raised in a polluting open net pen or in a contained tank or pond?)

    If it is wild, how was it caught? (Were long lines used, or was it caught by pole? Long lines often catch extra unwanted “bycatch.”)

    Are populations of this fish healthy and abundant? (Small, fast-growing fish can withstand more fishing pressure, while large, slow-growing species are more vulnerable to overfishing.)

    Are there eco-friendly alternatives?

    Is this fish really a… (red snapper, wild salmon, grouper, etc.)? These are prime candidates for fish fraud.”

    Hope this helps!

  • Beclu

    I’m was so excited to see salmon being used as a food ingredient in dry dog foods, but… I understand it, there is a difference between farm raised (one of the highest levels of mercury on the fish list) and wild Alaskan Salmon (one of the lowest levels of mercury on the fish list), not to be confused with wild caught, which also as I understand it, is another term for farm raised.
    So, how do we know what type of salmon is being used? I’m assuming that it’s the farm raised, because it is so much less expensive to buy. Should I avoid, then, or limit how much of the salmon, I give my dog, Max? Becky in Virginia

  • Dog_Obsessed

    :( Not a huge NB fan, but I’m sorry that he passed.

  • Crazy4cats


  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    What word would you use to describe the THK program? The program is outlined on the THK site but it doesn’t report how many point the Ambassador gets for each coupon redeemed.

    When a pet professional hands someone a coupon and does the recipient know that the person handing them the coupon has a vested interest in that person going to the site and ordering food? I’m not sure that they do.

    Not sure why the use of the word behavior bothers you. taking the coupon and acting on it ,turning on a computer, striking keys, are all behaviors. No devious spin intended.

    No company is perfect including Purina as I have previously posted.

    Vets are hit with all kinds of marketing; antibiotics, pain meds, anesthetics, tests etc etc etc food is no different. For me it boils down to the ethics of the individual vet.

    Therapeutic diets have a place, Many people don’t want to home cook for their pet’s medical problems. I don’t judge a diet by its ingredients I think that the increased cost comes from several areas: extensive quality control and limited sales bumping up overhead.

    You said ” I DO agree with your assesment…” Wow we actually agree on something!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I agree. I actually don’t mind seeing feeding trials done in real life situations as some companies do as opposed to the caged test animals. Have you read the Susan Thixton article about some of the feeding trials? Here’s one:

    I know Aimee wouldn’t appreciate it or find some way to explain it, but I thought you might find some of these links for Hill’s interesting. They’re very generous with their donations. :)

  • aquariangt

    While she listed the dictionary definition of a kickback, I do believe everyone that has any knowledge of business dealings would agree that that is NOT how the word is used. She is either skirting the issue there, or she doesn’t really have a clear understanding of how that works.
    For the record, I am not against using kickbacks for business, it’s usually good practice from a profit standpoint on both sides of the deal.

    However, when someone is supposed to be looking out for well being of something and using it as a way to make money, that’s unethical. Though of course we can’t believe something not released to the general public, because that would never happen.

    I’m also going to jump in and point out even though this has little to do with the topic at hand. My reasons for not being into purina include the very reasons that Aimee is. I’m unsure how you can call all those foods good, when purina continues to make new recipes that get closer to what I consider a good food. That tells me that Purina understands that, and is just trying to get more profitshare of the market. They wouldn’t need to improve their foods if they already had the best one. I’m also fairly against some of these feeding trials that she uses as such a hard selling point, because if you look at them, you are either A. doing it for so short a period of time that you will never even see the long term effects there, or B. you are doing it for long enough that you are undoubtedly going to be putting animals through some levels of discomfort or illness, because with that amount of junk Purina and Hills pump out, how many foods didn’t make it past the feeding trial?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Aimee,

    Let’s start with semantics. THK Ambassador program can’t technically be a kickback, since it’s not a secret and dishonest deal. It’s right on their website for anyone to read. It may be unethical, that I would agree with.

    I don’t understand how a client ordering a free THK sample using the vet’s code “tracks client behavior”

    Basic Defininition: the way a person or animal acts or behaves

    Full Definition of BEHAVIOR

    1a : the manner of conducting oneself
    b : anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation
    c : the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment

    2: the way in which someone behaves; also : an instance of such behavior

    3: the way in which something functions or operates


    THK may track sales of that client, but not behavior. It’s only my opinion, but it feels like you’re putting a devious spin on this.

    I probably am biased on Purina but you are also. We’re just on opposite sides of the spectrum. I realize some of their products could be useful for dogs with specific conditions whose owners are looking for a solution from their vet. I am in complete agreement with losul on the sale/use of veterinary products. I do find it distasteful and unethical that there are marketing programs to increase sales of any RX Diets. If they offered better ingredients in their products, I would be happy to support any of the RX diets. I know this is just my opinion, but I feel many of diets are overpriced and owners can solve many dog health issues by using better, healthier, fresher diets as opposed to bags of cheap ingredients with the correct synthetic vitamin pack.

    I know we will never agree on this subject, so I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • aimee

    I do see them as different as THK tracks client behavior and “pays off” an individual veterinarian based on a prearranged contract. X point’s/ client transaction. Purina’s programs do not so this.

    I screen shot the entire terms and conditions so no one could say I was biased in what I posted.

    Note in the original document Purina didn’t bold “increase sales” but did bold “Sales to eligible clinics…” This indicates what was of importance.

    As I said “I’m sure Purina wants to see pets eating their GI diets vs another company’s diets and there is an implied assumption that if the vet is buying more product he/she is selling more.” Purina readily admits this was a marketing program.

    The Purina rep likely used those words as I used those words when I specifically asked about each of those scenarios.

    You said “They probably pulled the pages so the random person couldn’t view it.” I see this as an example of your bias against this company.

    Definition kickback: an amount of money that is given to someone in return for providing help in a secret and dishonest business deal

    Definition bribe: something valuable (such as money) that is given in order to get someone to do something

  • Crazy4dogs

    So, the UK program is ok but The Honest Kitchen is worse?

    This is such a waste of time since, as everyone else has stated, YOU will never accept that Purina, Hills, whatever uses some pretty unethical ways to up their sales of prescription diets. Are you that naive to believe that Purina is going to admit that their trying to boost client (aka dog owners) sales of their prescription diets? They pulled the pages so the random person couldn’t view it.

    In your screen shots, the first 2 are just legal disclaimers.

    Screen Shot #1 – give them the right to decide if the clinic obtained the prize illegitimately.

    Screen Shot #2 – Legal disclaimer saying they can’t be held liable for the prizes causing injury to anyone. Screen Shot #3 – “Open only to clinics that use/offer Purina Veterinary Products.” I don’t know of many, if any, vet clinics that give the diets away. In the tiers it’s using the terms “increase sales volume of the eligible Purina Veterinary Diets products.

    Screen Shot #4 “increased sales” I believe was just a typo that wasn’t caught. You’re putting unnecessary emphasis on this point.

    I agree with losul and everyone else. If Purina was only interested in selling the product, they would probably use the term increased “purchases”, but I realize that is only my opinion. I never implied that Purina was tracking the client sales. I don’t think the would or actually could legally.

    So what vet clinic would purchase $400 dollars more of Purina’s GI diet to get a $20 dogbag butler only to “give it away” (Purina GI Diet)? It really makes no business sense.
    It’s funny that your phone chat with a Purina contact used your terms that the vet was free to use it sell it or give it away.

    BTW, in regard to your last comment about the UK program link of it being a bribe vs a kickback, do you know the actual definition of a “kickback”? Well, of course, here’s the link:

  • aimee

    I don’t think your cousin “lied” to you, but instead that there is a gross misunderstanding as to what the program was or is.

    If you are not willing to procure the original program details than you shouldn’t post that such a program exists.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Unlike Lily, lol!

  • Crazy4dogs

    That picture really is adorable! ♡

  • Crazy4cats

    Thanks, they were having some fun! They love the water.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    OMG, that photo is priceless!!!

  • aimee

    Hi aquariangt,

    I just called Hill’s 1800 445 5777 and read them what you wrote. The person who took the call said “We sell our food to veterinarians. They then mark it up as they desire and sell it to the consumer. I know of no situations in which Hill’s credits or transfers any money to a clinic account based on the bags of food they sell. If I may put you on hold i will verify this.” After a brief hold she returned and said she verified the information.

    So we have a he said she said situation in which case I ask then for a written document that outlines the program.

    Now I could see Hill’s giving volume discounts just as any business does.And again this would be based on items purchased NOT items sold.

  • aquariangt

    I’ve told you more than once, hence my comment about you ignoring it. I have a cousin who is a vet. Her clinic get money credited to their account from hills for the bags of food they sell. This then makes it cheaper for them to purchase, sell at the same rate, and increase profit of the clinic. Which is exactly what a kickback is in the inventory and purchasing world

    Edit: And yes Aimee, the concept of marking something up isn’t a kickback. That’s called business.

  • aimee

    I do not know of or have ever seen a “kickback” program from Hill’s can you provide the link that describes it.

    I’d imagine all companies have marketing divisions and vets do mark up the cost of a diet purchased through them just as they anything else they sell but that isn’t a kickback.

  • aquariangt

    As mentioned to you numerous times, Hill’s has one too. You just like to ignore it so you can continue to support them and feel good about it 😉

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I called Purina and verified that my understanding of the program was absolutely 100% correct. 1800 879 1266. and that I did not as you claim “twist and turn around a completely obvious promotion to increase sales
    to clients (AKA Pet Owners) into a harmless increasing purchases in one
    time period…”

    I asked “Has Purina ever tracked or
    verified sales from veterinary hospitals? I was told Purina never has
    tracked sales from a hospital but they do track sales to hospitals.

    I specifically asked about the 2 examples I gave. Could a hospital have
    purchased the GI diets, fed them to animals in their care, never selling any of
    the food they purchased from Purina and still have gotten the
    “reward” She answered “yes”

    I asked “Could the hospital have purchased an increased volume in the
    final quarter of the year and then not purchase any product for the next
    quarter and still gotten the “reward” even though over the year there
    was no increased sales to clients” She said “yes”

    She stated (paraphrased), “The program was a simple marketing program no
    different from a buy 3 get 1 free promotion. Purina’s interest lies solely in
    getting the product out and increasing sales from Purina to the veterinarian.
    Purina holds no interest in the sales from the veterinarian
    . The veterinarian
    was free to do whatever they wanted with the foods after purchase from
    Purina: feed it in house, sell it or give it away.”

    Purina verified for me that the program was based in increasing sales to veterinarians, not clients!!

    In regards to the UK program I don’t see the relevance in relation to a discussion about “kickbacks”
    If anything I saw it as a bribe. Purina will “educate” the hospital employees in marketing in the hopes that information will be used to benefit Purina sales in the future.


  • aimee

    Storm’s Mom,
    Purina has no way of monitoring another business’ sales. They would have to be given access by the company.

    I asked the office manager at the hospital and she said venders are never given any access to clinic sales records.

    I talked to Purina and they said they never track sales from a hospital only sales to a hospital. I was told “Purina holds no interest in the sales from the veterinarian”

  • aimee

    As i said before the contest is linked to the rewards program and is based on sales to not from the hospital. This is what is meant by “A clinic sales”

    I’m reposting what I posted in losul in regards to this ” Finally I called Purina 1 800 879 1266 … I asked “Has Purina ever tracked or verified sales from veterinary hospitals? I was told Purina never tracks sales from a hospital but they do track sales to hospitals.

    I specifically asked about he 2 examples I gave. Could a hospital have purchased the GI diets, fed them to animals in their care, never selling any of the food they purchased from Purina and still have gotten the “reward”?” She answered “Yes”

    I asked “Could hte hospital have purchased an increased volume in the final quarter of the year and then not purchase any product for the next quarter and still gotten the “reward” even though over the year there was no increased sales to clients”?” She said “yes”

    She stated ( paraphrased) “The program was a simple marketing program no different from a buy 3 get 1 free promotion. Purina’s interest lies solely in getting the product out and increasing sales from Purina to the veterinarian. Purina holds no interest in the sales from the veterinarian. The veterinarian was free to do whatever they wanted with the food after purchase from Purina:feed it in house, sell it or give it away”

  • aimee


    This topic got started because I posted that the only company I knew of that ran a “kickback” program was The Honest Kitchen.

    In that program the vet gets “paid” via product for recommending THK foods. THK tracks vet recommendations via a coupon code unique to identify him/her.The vet is not vested in the program. I see this as unethical.

    Do I see Purina’s program as unethical? No, I do not. But I can see how others may think it is and I dislike the program for that reason alone.

    The reason I do not see it as unethical is that the vet is vested to the tune of a min of 2000.00 to pick the 300.00 “reward”. In other words the vet paid Purina for the reward when he/she sent money to Purina.

    This is a marketing program and I’m sure Purina wants to see pets eating their GI diets vs another company’s diets and there is an implied assumption that if the vet is buying more product he/she is selling more. However, getting the “reward” isn’t contingent on selling food,only buying it.

    You suggested that reps monitored inventory. Even if that did occur that doesn’t prove the clinic sold product when it left their shelf. It could have been fed or given away.

    I again spoke to the office manager. She said the Purina rep comes into the office 2 maybe 3 times a year and has never been in the stock room. Now this is a large practice that has between 7-9 vets on staff. . So I’d say it is very fair to say in a smaller practice it would be less often. I asked if any company has ever monitored and verified sales from the clinic and she said “no, companies are never given access to their client transactions.”

    This info is from a vet at the practice. Over the 30 years she has practiced, three different clinics, including 5 years as a clinic owner, she has never seen a Purina rep in any of hospital she has ever worked at. WOW!

    I previously only posted the section that specified “sales to..” as the other had already been posted. I saw that certain things in your post were bolded but thought that might have been from the original document as things were bolded in the original.

    I’m attaching screen shots of the official terms and conditions. All bolded text was bolded in the original document. Of interest in the tier one and two it states “increase sales volume” in tier three it simply states “increase volume”

    In the official terms no where does it say that sales from the clinic are monitored.

    Another point that has seemed to be missed, IF increase sales was based on sales dollars from the clinics it would need to be defined in the terms and conditions that those dolllars toward the “reward” were being tracked either wholesale dollars or retail dollars.

    Finally I called Purina 1 800 879 1266. The on line “chat” advisor wasn’t familiar with the program and gave me this number.

    I asked “Has Purina ever tracked or verified sales from veterinary hospitals? I was told Purina never has tracked sales from a hospital but they do track sales to hospitals.

    I specifically asked about the 2 examples I gave. Could a hospital have purchased the GI diets, fed them to animals in their care, never selling any of the food they purchased from Purina and still have gotten the “reward” She answered “yes”

    I asked “Could the hospital have purchased an increased volume in the final quarter of the year and then not purchase any product for the next quarter and still received the “reward” even though over the year there was no increased sales to clients” She said “yes”

    She stated (paraphrased), “The program was a simple marketing program no different from a buy 3 get 1 free promotion. Purina’s interest lies solely in getting the product out and increasing sales from Purina to the veterinarian. Purina holds no interest in sales from the veterinarian. The veterinarian was free to do whatever they wanted with the foods after purchase from Purina: feed it in house, sell it or give it away.”

  • sharron

    thanks – i’ve had her on straight can and the only draw back is that it is getting expensive

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks for the post losul! For awhile there, on the original posts on Eukanuba, I thought I was the only one who saw this differently from Aimee. I’d give you 100 more upvotes if I could! :)

  • Storm’s Mom

    Nature’s Logic Sardine comes to mind. Although, with that combination of requirements, it sounds like raw would be your best bet.

  • sharron

    is there a dry grain free food that is lower in fat, carb, and calories that isn’t a diet type food

  • Crazy4cats

    Woo Hoo! Summer’s Here!

  • losul

    Aimee, apology accepted, but I presented the very same info as above (quotes and links) and disagreed with your position about 2 years ago on this, I have some difficulty understanding why you would think I would be posting this again now to verify your position, particularily when I bolded the words “increase dollar sales” and “A clinic’s sales will be monitored and verified” ? Yes, I also posted the part that said “Sales to eligible clinics of the eligible Purina Veterinary Diets® products
    listed above will be monitored during each of the Quarterly Program Periods (Q3 & Q4). Clinics will receive periodic updates from the Purina Veterinary Diets® sales team via telephone or in-person” Why wouldn’t I post that ?, that was a part, but
    only a part of the terms. Is there something wrong with posting ALL the pertinent info, and not just biased parts? We saw that part and the rest of the pertinent info in the links when the links still worked a couple of years ago. If you find it necessary to see those old posts again, and you can’t find them, I suppose I can dig them up yet again. It’s in the off topic discussions way back then, and that thread was started by HDM.

    Really, I think I’ve already wasted alot of time and energy needlessly, that could be better utilized elsewhere. If not for Rx foods involved and your not presenting all the pertinent info, I would have just left it alone. I presented what I had so that a person could decide for themselves. I did
    not intend, and WON’T get into a drawn out argument over something thats going to go nowhere.

    I have no problem with a clinic making profits on any of the products it sells at all, and not even prescription drugs or products, as long as, 1) the vet believes it’s medically necessary and is in the best interests of clients and pets 2) the vet believes in the product 3) the vet personally understands and articulates why the product is being advised 4) the vet/clinic isn’t severely price gouging a poor customer. In fact, I want to support my vet, want him to do well, will even pay reasonably more than I can get elsewhere for products, as long as I believe he is acting morally and in my pets and personal good interests.

    Purina made it very clear for me, that Purina’s intent was for the clinic to increase it’s sales of the prescription product, in return for rewards from Purina. This I find disurbing, unethical, and distasteful, much in the same way of a pharmaceutical company were to press prescription drugs in the same manner to someone vulnerable.
    “Do you then think that vet hospital’s allow Purina to monitor all the sales they make over years and years?”

    “How would this be done? The logistics seem insurmountable to me.”
    I understand that sales reps visit clinics quite regularly. I’m sure they would have a good handle on what the normal product turnovers are and most likely also the normalized inventories of product on hand. Again, the Purina terms clearly stated “A clinic’s sales and participation in these promotions and activities will
    be monitored and verified by Purina for Professionals sales and distributors, whose decisions are final.” The words should have been plenty enough to forewarn a clinic
    that they would not be allowed to simply stock up now and then buy less/none in subsequent periods. It tells me that if a rep or distibutor thought that that was what was happening, the rep and/or distributor would have every right to disqualify
    the clinic from rewards, if the clinic would not, or could not, verify the clinic’s increased sales of the products.

    I think it unreasonable for you to suggest that a clinic, after reading and knowing the terms, would have even attempted to simply stock up on inventory for those periods and then plan to buy none or much less product in subsequent periods. It’s
    even more unreasonable to suggest that Purina would allow that and then even reward the clinic for that. What would that benefit Purina to front load sales and also pay the clinic to do so, if they thought it would be unsustainable and then detrimental in subsequent periods? In fact, what you are proposing in your “example”, would then seem to indicate a form of channel/inventory stuffing on the
    part of Purina where if that was the intent, is usually a deceptive form of
    financial accounting impropriety, and if it were in the case of a U.S. publicly
    owned company, illegal.

    It wasn’t so long ago that Bristol-Meyers Squibb was fined $150M by the S.E.C. for that sort of thing. I don’t see any of that kind of intent from Purina though, I see a spelled out intent to entice clinics with rewards, gifts, promotions, etc. to SELL more prescription product.
    “As I said I asked the Office Manager to explain this program to me and she said “The program had nothing to do with client sales” Are you saying she was untruthful?”
    I didn’t say that, but since you are outright asking me, and if that’s what she told you, then I would believe her to be beyond belief.

  • Storm’s Mom

    One program says “Sales to eligible clinics…” the other says “A clinic’s sales..” If both were as you say – between the Purina and clinic only – why the different wording that makes the distinction between the two programs crystal clear to apparently everyone other than you, a known heavy supporter of Purina?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, you absolutely amaze me. How you can twist and turn around a completely obvious promotion to increase sales to clients (AKA Pet Owners) into a harmless increasing purchases in one time period to get the “GeeGaw” (AKA Flat Screen TV) is unbelievable. The enormous stacks of Veterinary diet in most vets’ offices and all the people posting on DFA about their dogs being on “prescription diets” for sensitive stomachs, etc. attests to the fact that the end game is to get that product out to the PET OWNERS, not for the vet’s personal use. Vet’s don’t run huge hospitals that are all GI patients. Most dogs that are in the vet clinic (mine included) are in for an emergency situation or a surgery. They are generally out within the day for surgery or within a few days usually after IV support.
    And you still haven’t addressed the UK link that I had on the same post as the Susan Thixton link. I can’t wait to see your explanation of that.

  • aimee

    In the clinic sweepstakes program the clinic could get an entry for buying Purina products. They could get additional entry chances by meeting clinic reward program which we established monitored sales from Purina to the clinic not sales from the clinic to the consumer.

  • Storm’s Mom

    You’re only talking about one of the two programs Losul posted about.. what about the other one, “Clinic Sweepstakes” program, which says “A clinic’s sales and participation in these promotions and activities will be monitored and verified by Purina for Professionals sales and distributors, whose decisions are final.”?

  • aimee

    Yes Yes Yes you got it!! “Purina tracks the sales PURINA makes to all the veterinary offices….they can see if the vet has increased orders of whatever diet” (Bold added by myself)

    In this promotion Purina monitored what they sold to the hospital not what was sold from the hospital!

    The reason the office manager said it has nothing to do with sales was because Purina did not require them to sell the product in the quarter they bought it in or even to sell it all!

    Example 1 There is a I’d guess about 150 capacity boarding facility attached to the hospital. I was told that the hospital feeds an intestinal diet from a different company to the boarding patients if the owners don’t provide their own food (The hospital encourages owners to bring their pet’s diets to the hospital to feed them) The OM said that she could have increased her hospital’s purchases of Purina GI diets by changing the boarding patients from company A intestinal diet to Purina.

    If she had done this, Purina would see the “increased orders” and send the gee gaw. The hospital though wouldn’t have increased sales from the hospital because they fed the diet to animals in their care

    Example 2 Hospital A usually sells say 400.00 of GI diets every quarter.
    The first, and second and third quarter of the year they spend 400.00 each quarter on buying Purina diets. The fourth quarter they spend 800.00 thus getting them food plus gee gaw as they spent 400.00 more than the previous year’s fourth quarter

    Of the 800.00 of food the hospital bought in the fourth quarter it sells 400.00 of the diets in the fourth quarter,just as they had in every other quarter and stores the other 400.00 worth. The first quarter of the next year the hospital sells the stock that it bought in the 4th quarter of the previous year and doesn’t buy any food from Purina. In the second quarter of the year the hospital resumes buying 400.00 of GI diets.

    Overall the sales from the clinic remained the same, 400.00 each quarter. There was no increase in sales to consumers but the hospital got the geegaw because it shifted when the purchase was made.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, of course Purina tracks the sales PURINA makes to all the veterinary offices. It isn’t looking at whatever other diets the vet is selling. There are no insurmountable logistics. By offering the incentives and tracking it (which would be in their system and easily tracked by customer number, etc) they can see if the vet has increased orders of whatever diet they are pushing for that program.
    I personally would not believe your office manager.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks for straightening that out losul. I was confused by Aimee’s reply.

  • aimee

    This looks similar to the Pro club. I sent in weight circles and Purina sent me checks that I could spend at the pet store to purchase food.

    In this case the checks are to purchase veterinary services.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Purina pulled the pages. :( The links say:

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Storm’s Mom:

    Here’s one of the links in the original discussion. It’s from the UK, but I still think it’s valid:

    This was the Susan Thixton link:

    And to keep it REALLY fair and balanced (pun intended) this was The Honest Kitchen link about “Ambassadors”:

  • Storm’s Mom


    $25 Checks for Veterinary Savings!

    Nestle Purina is pleased to offer this excellent incentive to return to your clinic. Your clients can collect Purina weight circles and redeem them for a $25 check from Nestle Purina, made payable to your clinic, which they may use at their next veterinary visit for goods and services.

    So, client buys product but the check that they’d get for collecting, essentially, “Purina points” goes to the clinic. Umm… wow.

  • aimee

    Sorry Losul,

    i really thought you meant that you understood the increased sales referred to the sales from Purina to the clinic since you posted the part that specified what “sales” referred to “”Sales to eligible clinics of the eligible Purina Veterinary Diets® products listed above will be monitored”

    Do you then think that vet hospital’s allow Purina to monitor all the sales they make over years and years?

    How would this be done? The logistics seem insurmountable to me.

    As I said I asked the Office Manager to explain this program to me and she said “The program had nothing to do with client sales” Are you saying she was untruthful?

  • losul

    Aimee’s twisted this around, making it sound like I’m verifying her position. Quite the contrary. The Purina rules state that the clinic must increase the clinic’s sales of the product. I tried replying to Aimee on that, but my reply states

    “Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Dog Food Advisor.” for some reason

  • Crazy4dogs

    It was for a purina gi diet promotion. I have a susan thixton link that was on the gravy train review (I think). I’ll try to link it.