Do you seek your vet’s advice on dog food?
I wonder just how many dog parents every year take their new puppy to the vet for advice on how to feed their new family member? I wonder how many realise that their vet is not trained in dog nutrition? That their vet is simply going to encourage them to feed the brand of commercial dog food with which his or her practice is affiliated. The brand that pays them the most money. How many of them realise that vet approved dog food is nothing but a sham?
Imagine taking your newborn child to your doctors surgery for the first time for a check up. How would you react if your GP took from the cupboard a bag of dried food with a shelf life of 18 months and recommended that you feed that and nothing more to your child for the rest of his or her life? Would you accept it? Would you question it? Or what you promptly pick up your child and rush out to find another GP?
Vets are not dog nutritionists
I am shocked and dismayed that vets are both willing and able to misinform their clients when it comes to feeding their clients’ beloved pets. Dried commercial dog food is junk food. It’s rubbish. It’s made with the by-products of human food production and held together with powdered cellulose. Sawdust. Yes, some of the biggest, most popular and most expensive dog food brands on the market are made with sawdust. That’s how much commercial pet food manufacturers care about your dog. That’s how much your vet cares about your dog because he or she knows it when they encourage you to feed dry dog food to your new best friend for the rest of his or her life.
The veterinary profession should stand up and lower their heads in shame for what they are doing to today’s dogs. They are the reason an estimated 60% or so of UK dogs are overweight. They are the reason today’s dogs are living shorter, unhealthier lives. While they make money like never before, the nation’s dogs are the ones who are paying for it. By in some cases prescribing knowingly unhealthy food. By insisting on annual injections when the whole world and his dog knows that annual injections are not only unnecessary, they are positively deleterious to the health of man’s best friend.
Problems with the UK pet industry
The UK pet industry needs taking apart and reassembling in a considerably more ethical manner.
- Education establishments should not be sponsored by commercial pet food companies who use their own reference material to educate veterinary students.
- Commercial pet food companies should not be able to provide the very limited nutritional training provided to trainee vets. (Yes, the few hours training your vet has on small animal nutrition was provided by the companies whose products he or she now promotes).
- The Kennel Club should not be in bed with commercial pet food companies in terms of promoting their unhealthy products as the best way of feeding our beloved pets.
- Insurance companies should not be promoting vets as the arbiters of healthy nutrition for dogs knowing that vets are not trained in nutrition.
If you want to know how to feed your dog, ask a dog nutritionist
If you want to know how to feed your new pup, ask a dog nutritionist. Ask someone who is trained in dog nutrition. Someone who cares passionately about nutrition and the health of your dog. Not someone who is advising you to feed your dog food which, further down the road, is going to increase the revenue for his or her practice when you have to take your sick dog back to them for a consultation they caused. Your dog who is sick because of the food they themselves recommended you feed your new best friend.
Vet approved dog food? As a good friend of mine is very fond of saying when confronted with something he simply doesn’t comprehend. “They’re having a laugh, aren’t they?”