Okay, I will have to be honest – I have only one time fed my dog what the vet suggested. I am NEVER doing it again! Cassy is a sensitive gal, and was doing fairly well on Dog Lovers Gold. I asked the vet if he recommended it, he shook his head and said “only food I recommend will be Hills.”
I don’t understand why vets mislead SO many people, who already are overwhelmed by nutrition but want the best, into getting this pure garbage! It’s quite frustrating, because I’d like to have a personal opinion on a good food, based on my dog’s qualities, but still all the vet will suggest is Hills…
Are there actually vets out there who agree that Hills is junk, or will I always be stuck researching out my own kibble? It doesn’t seem to be /just/ my vet either, everyone in this area rec Hills.
At least they were a little more helpful on my cat’s raw diet. I think all they said is to give her organ meat – try to feed her a whole small bird whenever possible.
They really believe in Hills. They are not trying to mislead you, they have been misled. Just about the only vets that don’t fall for Hill’s are holistic vets or vets who have studied nutrition on their own.
Ah, I see. Thank you for the info… Don’t vets take a course that’s sponsored by Hills, that’s why they think it’s the best?
They get reading material from Hill’s, free lunches from Hill’s, continuing education courses from Hill’s, free pet supplies from Hill’s, their instructors were trained by Hill’s, on and on and on. But the big thing is that Hill’s does tons of research to “prove” that their foods are “great.” Vets like to think of themselves as scientists, so all that science holds a lot of weight with them. The one nutrition class that most vets get in school is Small Animal Nutrition, all small pet animals lumped into one class, cats, dogs, ferrets, iguanas, mice, rats, hampsters, guinea pigs, snakes, lizards… Are you getting the idea that this class can’t be much more than “It’s important to buy a complete and balance diet.” kind of class. You would be right.
Very interesting… At least I still have this awesome website to make sure the foods I feed are quality! 😀
Shasta220….my old vet (who I will never recommend to anyone) used Hills, Royal Canin, and Purina prescription diets in his clinics. When asked once what I was feeding my Cavalier, I responded Wellness…they had never heard of it!!! WHAT!? I should’ve left them right then and there but it took a little longer, to my regret. Anyway, we’re with a holistic vet now and I say, “what took so long?!” (maybe that they’re an hour from my house, but it’s been worth it!). My holistic vet carries in his clinic, and feeds to his dogs, Nature’s Variety kibble/canned/treats/premade raw and Real Food premade raw. He also uses Standard Process religiously and also Vetri-Science. He may have the odd bag of Hills or something but I’ve only seen this once. I’m thinking a patient must’ve insisted on it?! There are actually 2 vets in the practice (man and woman) and I see them both. They recommend titer testing, offer acupuncture and chiropractic services and are versed in Chinese herbal medicines. I’m never made to feel like I don’t know anything (which happened with my old vet…he had no bedside manner whatsoever!). Sometimes they even ask for my opinion on a food! I highly respect them and they are both just awesome!
I listen to my holistic vet but not my regular vets. They know it’s not up for discussion.
Mom2Cavs, that’s great you found such a wonderful vet! I’m not even sure how far it’d be to find a vet who actually knows /real/ nutrition, but it’s probably too far to be worth it. So I will just avoid the topic of “food” at our vet from now on. Luckily, they’re fine about it… They’re always asking “how many treats? Any table scraps? Careful about obese dogs!” He said that after weighing my recently rescued shelter dog, who gained 2lb and could easily get another 5lb without looking tubby, LOL! Yeeeeah, my one biscuit a day and occasional rice/meat/fruit is gonna make my working Aussie obese.
I’ve come to look at this issue differently. I’m open to the idea that the criteria PhD nutritionists and veterinary nutritionists use to evaluate foods leads them to conclusions that may differ from our own. Veterinarians may be following the lead of these specialists. For example Susan Wynn DVM, an integrative/holistic practitioner, board certified in nutrition, recommends Hill’s Science Diet http://susanwynn.com/Literature.php click on large breed puppy nutrition.
When zoo nutritionists choose to feed commercial foods Hill’s is often on the menu. Some on this site have suggested that zoos use Hills only because they get the food for free. However, the Hills rep I spoke to said as far as she knew Hills has never had a zoo feeding program. Additionally, she confirmed that many zoos have accounts with them. The local zoo said they purchase Hills from the manufacturer.
When surveying vets, all 5 reported that their nutrition classes were taught by PhD’s and DVM’s without any food industry ties. Three said the only contact from Hills was a free copy of Small Animal Clinical Nutrition which was left on a table to take if they wanted ( the book was not used in any formal way in their classes). The 4th said in addition to the book she could purchase food at a reduced rate. The 5th said that Hills reps were at the school for free lunch/ presentations. She said faculty attended too and afterwards they led discussions on how to critically evaluate the material presented.
After evaluating the education of these vets, talking to zoos (I spoke to 2) and finding recommendations for Hills SD from people highly educated in nutrition I’m finding I need to be open to the idea that those highly educated in nutrition use different criteria to evaluate diets.
Sorry, had to smile wondering how feeding your cat a whole small bird as a regular diet is working out for you?
@ajchavis, I don’t give her whole birds… We don’t have the resources for it. Instead? We slice the skin/meat off of a chicken leg, then put it in the food processor with some liver/heart, and let her eat the whole bone. Goodness she is a picky cat!!! If I add any supplement powder to the mush, she refuses. If I add too much liver, she refuses. Why did we start raw with her? Ever since we rescued her (5wk old), she refused to eat ANY type of cat food. Canned, bagged, frozen, kibble, you name it – she hates it.
I work in a veterinary clinic (not a vet) and I’ll be honest, I don’t know what makes Hills, or any other prescription food for that matter, any better or worse than a quality food from a regular store. I have seen many patients have success with Hills, but I don’t know why. For that matter, I don’t think the vets in our practice could tell you why. And that is the best question to either get the right answers or really humble them. Simply ask what ingredients in either the food they’re recommending or any food from any source will do to improve the condition and why, and ask to see a bag or can and have them go over it with you. If they don’t know and they’re good vets (because they really don’t get enough training in nutrition), they will want to know for themselves and say they want to look into it more and consult back with you. If they insist you stay on a certain diet and only that diet for the rest of their lives, find a new doctor. We carry several brands of prescription food and I know a lot of their recommendations come from seeing great results in their other patients, but they don’t say “must use Hills”… Their wealth of knowledge is valuable, because they see so many different animals with the same issues as yours and have seen the results of their treatments, but a good vet is willing to admit when they need to look into it further and do that. (And ours do!)
I agree with you, but my old vet didn’t look into things and wanted me to keep my Mix Breed on the Royal Canin SO for life when she had a uti with struvite crystals. Well, it said right on the bag that is was supplemental and not to be used for a long period of time! Let’s just say that anitbiotics killed the uti and the struvites went away. She has been on RC SO since then and that was years ago. Anyway, my vet now, a holistic vet practice, knows quite a bit about canine nutrition. He even does podcasts on onevetmed (or something like that lol). Very knowledgeable. Like I said before, he believes in raw feeding and carries Nature’s Variety, all forms, and Steve’s Real Food in his clinic and that is what he feeds his Goldens.
I have the best vet and he tries to help me with food but he admits he needs to know more. He wants me to do what’s best for my animal. He knows I don’t like or use flea protection, steroids,etc and he works with me. In fact he’s thinking about taking an acupuncture course in Fl. which will cost him $10 thousand dollars. Love my Dr. Mac.
@ Mom2cavs, good to hear you have a better vet and a good regimen going. Wow, SO for life after ONE UTI? That’s ridiculous. We have an acupuncturist at our clinic and many of our clients swear by it. It does wonders!
@ weezerweeks, what do you use do prevent ticks? I’ve just seen a lot of dogs come in with tick-borne illnesses having to go through expensive treatment, and my mom’s dog got lyme disease AND rocky mountain spotted fever that way. Tick-borne diseases scare the $%&* out of me. I live in a huge apt. in a pretty urban area, but found out while picking honeysuckles behind our parking lot that they are COVERED in ticks. So scary! Huge lot of tarmac, road behind, and in between a skinny strip of trees and brush where I swear half the ticks in the area live.
Just reading that gave me the shudders. We’re pretty fortunate, ticks are heavy in well defined areas here and nearly none existant elsewhere. All of my animals put together, 4 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 5 goats, plus all the others, have probably had 4-6 ticks the entire years.
When I reread my post I meant to say she HASN’T been on Royal Canin SO since then lol….whew! Actually, my gang just transitioned to Dr. Tim’s Kinesis from Annamaet Option (both will be in my rotation). The other 2 foods I’m planning on using in my rotation are Victor and Fromm Salmon a la Veg.
Btw, the main vet is an acupuncturist and the other vet is well versed in Chinese Herbs. I’m so lucky to have them!
- This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Mom2Cavs.
He does get ticks sometimes during our walks but I check him as soon as we get home and take it off. I do use a shampoo and conditioner called herbal defense organic I also have the herbal defense spray too and I spray him when we leave to walk.I order it from the natural pet store.so far no fleas.
Crud.. I pulled three ticks off of ME this past summer and two off of dogs in the fall. One dog then tested anioplasmosis positive…and the other anio neg but weak lyme positive. My part of NY is crawling with them Certain times of year the damn things will fall on you out of trees .This spring we are going to treat for them as its getting out of control for the humans.
I was just at the vet with my french bulldog for an ear infection.
he asked what food I was feeding and I said earthborn which is a holistic food.
He proceeded to say Holistic means NOTHING….organic means a little more,,,
he wants me to feed my dog royal Canin which im not really sure about…
Also mentions Science diet and i was just talking to my sister in law about science diet and how it has corn in it.
I think for now I will keep my dog on earthborn holistic for now….any opinions on this????
Catherine, Earthborne is a good brand. RC and Hills really are very very low in quality, so I’d just stay where you are with food.
Oh geez, that’s horrible about the ticks! I’m so fortunate to be in an area where parasites are minimal. When I first got Shasta as a pup (he was a giveaway – like those puppies you see for free by the corner of Walmart.), he had horrible worms (he had horrible living conditions…his mom actually died of the simple roundworm), so we gave him some wormer. He has had 4 ticks in his life so far. None of our other animals have ever had a tick. The dogs rarely suffer from fleas anymore since I sprinkle a little Borax underneath their kennel bedding, vacuum regularly, and give them regular baths. The vet tries to make me feel so guilty for not giving them preventatives, but I’ve heard all those nasty stories about reactions to those chemicals. I’d rather stick with my routine since it doesn’t seem to /not/ work.
Go with your gut feeling. I’m sure that SC and RC are complete and balanced with all the nutrients needed to maintain life and give a dog soft fur and they have tons of research and do feed testing, but I like to feed better ingredients, not just a concoction of nutrients.
We have two male JRTs (5 & 7 yrs) and a female Labrottie (9 yrs). After seeing ads and getting some samples from a local rep, we tried the Blue Buffalo–dogs rejected it outright. We tried the Wild stuff, various flavors, and inevitably at least one of the three turned up their noses at each flavor of the food. Talked to vets, who sell canned Canin and Hills, about allergies, food ingredient quality, flavor variety. Went back to Fromms, tried three different flavors (chicken, beef and pork), and all three dogs are happy with the dry pork & applesauce formula. They’re energetic, different vets are all REALLY happy with all 3 of their overall health, especially weight maintenance vs activities levels, and their coats, teeth and skin are all great. None smells, they all sleep and BM on schedule w/o problems. We looked at MANY of the so-called ‘holistic’ and ‘organic’ foods. Local pet store guy recommended some ‘natural’ and raw foods, but it made no sense to change from what’s working now. Fromm’s is US made, only US ingredients, and no recalls we know of. We don’t feed them ANY human food, and they almost never get snacks or treats–so no threat of allergic reactions. Labrottie came to us from a poor-quality non-US food diet, and she’s a much happier, healthier, energetic dog now.
My vet has not really discussed food with me. Honestly, the only 3 times I have seen her were for Bruno’s microchipping; to get his annual shots; and for his neutering/cherry eye/canine teeth extraction. I have mentioned to her that I feed grain free to which she replied that even if it’s grain free, it doesn’t mean it has no carbs in it. I knew that. But that was pretty much it. Later on I researched her and saw that she is somewhat holistic – she has a certificate for animal acupuncture healing/Chinese medicine practices. So maybe she knew not to talk about food with me (although I was NOT as knowledgeable about dog nutrition at the time. I just knew that I wanted to feed Grain Free, I liked the Wilderness and Bruno was doing great on it, and then I found this website, so… here I am now, constantly learning!) 🙂
That’s good when the vet doesn’t get too picky about the topic of food. My vet said the only food he recommends is Hills and one other (maybe RC? I don’t remember). At that time, our dogs were on Dog Lover’s Gold (4 stars) and Nutra Nuggets (3 stars), he said he didn’t recommend anything that didn’t have an AAFCO statement, including those foods. I went home and looked at the bag….pretty sure I saw a statement on there lol! But the vet doesn’t scold you or anything, he sees how healthy the dogs are and can’t complain.
It’s annoying how much they ask about eeeevery food though. They ask how many treats, what type, any people food, cooked or raw, etc etc. Then I said that Loki gets a few raw scraps occasionally, and he just said “scraps lead to an overweight dog…” (He probably noticed that Loki went from 41lb at the shelter to a whopping 43lb after we had him. He still has a thin waste line and could gain 2-5 more lb without a problem…) yeeeeah, I’m reeeeally worried now that giving Loki a chicken leg once a week will make him fat! LOL!
Our old vet prescribed Hills when one of our Pugs, Minni, had Struvite issues. After a bit of research, we switched her to prepared raw with absolutely no more problems. Both Pugs have been on a raw diet for around four years and are thriving. We rotate proteins and manufacturers to ensure they get all of the different macro-nutrients. The AAFCO standard is a minimum standard, and does not differentiate for bio-availabilty of nutrients. Low quality food with nutrients/vitamins that cannot be absorbed by the animal’s GI tract may meet the standard.
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