I would like to think that a doctor that I would go to would recommend what they know would work for whatever reason I was there, and that they would be educated in nutrition and all these other topics that are often discussed on this board for our dogs.
For instance, I have heard over and over how poor Science Diet really is, or Iams, or whatever brand that may be overly marketed.
The connection I can't make is this: if a bunch of people who know a lot about dogs KNOW it isn't the best, then why would a vet say that it is what you should feed your dog? Why don't they say "well, how much are you willing to spend... get such and such ingredients.... watch out for such and such.... tell owners about things to think about like ingredients? Do you think they just assume they are smarter than the owners? Like we would never understand a conversation about protein needs, so they better just stick to a brand we can remember?
I am NOT trying to talk crap on vets. Because they are people, and each of them has different ideas. And I know that. And I don't really want to go into how Science Diet pays them and has the vets in their pocket. Because while it may be true, so it is for most things in our society. I can't accept that either. I just want others opinions. I am sure you have talked about it, and probably posted about it a million times. So.. someone help my brain make this connection.
I would LOVE to go to a vet and have them suggest Coconut oil, or flaxseed, or whatever, if those things really work for whatever ailment, Instead, you see those things mentioned in forums while your vet suggests prescription steroids. Know what I mean?
***Edited By: kdubbs27 on 11/11/2005 9:44:48 PM*** Reason: spell
Yep my vet also recommends flax....he doesn't sell SD and hates Iams. He also does 3 year vaccines and has no problem with me doing my own vaccines. He also sells me strongid at his cost. Great guy. Now you know why I drive almost 2 hours one way to go to him. Not to mention he is very reasonible with his prices. And will work with you if run into money problems.
I have come to realize that most of the times it just comes down to the mighty dollar. I think vets get "gifts" from the products they recommend. I think it is a "you scratch my back, I scratch yours" kind of thing.
I have learned to think on my own and not trust any vet/doctor/mechanic/etc. 100%. I always try to do my own research and I decide what is best based on my research, common sense, intuition and last but not least Divine guidance/trust.
You can't be to hard on most of them though. My vet still offers the foods for sale in the office but only because people are convinced it is the best,they are not going to be convinced by anyhting but a pretty bag. Without using yearly shots as a min income I think selling the food really keeps them afloat.
kdubbs I have always wondered the same thing. I don't know too many vets who don't push Science Diet - but it is poor quality.
I have asked people in the know and the answer I get over and over again is "kickback". I hate to believe that is the answer but I can think of nothing else. I am sure that there are vets who DO recommend good quality food but I haven't found one yet.
Count me in. I have wondered as well. I used to be one those people that thopught if the vet sells it, it must be the best thing for my pet! LOL...yeah right. This summer we were on vacation in a very expensive area, I decided to stay extra time but needed more food for Baxter....so a relative told me to go to their vet, they MUST sell it. So off we went. I walked in to find a HUGE display for science diet. That's all this vet sold was SD. My own vet pushed purina (pro plan and One) and as I said before, one of the vets in his office after I told her we'd tried Nutro, Royal Canin and were planning to switch to Natrual Balance (duck and potato) asked me if there was a reason I was feeding these "novelty foods"
I'm not all that sure "kickback" is the real reason.
Any store that sells Science Diet gets a "kickback. For that matter, any store gets a "kickback" on any brand of dog good itsells. Yes profits may be higher or lower depending on the item, but no matter what a store sells, a profit if made. Otherwise the store would go out of business if it sold items for the price it paid for them.
I have given my pup Science Diet in th past. which I did get from the vet, but I never had to pay for a bag of. It was always with a "free" coupon, so I seriously doubt they get a kickback when it's given away free, especially since the coupon must be turned back into the manufacturer.
I didn't read all the posts but I just wanted to say something about Science Diet, we have had a few animals who had to be on it. Mercedes was the last one I remember and she had SEVERE food allergies, she was throwing up a few times a day, we tried different foods finally we had brought her in and had her blood tested as another vet thought it sounded like liver disease and not anything with her food. My vet said we could test her blood but he just wanted me to try Science Diet (can't remember which one though) but her throwing up stopped almost immediately. My vet says that the Natural Balance that my dogs and cats are on are great for them. I trust my vets very much.
This is a little off topic, but the vets, God love 'em, sometimes do things with the bottom dollar in mind. I breed Doberman Pinchers, have 3 and 2 are champions, so I'm not a "breed them for the money" breeder. I crop my puppies ears befroe I sell them,my vet is a wonderful vet and does a great job. My customers are new to the Dobe world and do know that the ears are in the healing phase when they buy their pup. When they take the pup in for the post purchase exam, and ask about the ears, cause it does look kind of raw, I have 60 % of these vets tell my clients that this was a horrible crop and that if the ears are going to stand, they must have immediate surgery to "repair" the damage. The first few times a customer would call me in hysterics, I freaked out and called MY vet back. She asked me if MY dogs ears looked like post op and didn't they heal just fine? Then She said this is a common money grab with vets who play on the emotions of a new owner, who is afraid that their Dobe will have floppy ears. As for the food issue, I have always used Purina Dog chow, I switched about 6 months ago to Kirkland Signature cause it was supposed to be so much better. Guess what? I'm back to Purina. I had a pit bull mix that never ate any "foo-foo" dog food and he lived to be 16 1/2, I put him down just this past August 20, I honestly feel that Purina is the best and has been over the years. Try everyting and stick to what works for you.
having been in vet school i can tell you honestly that they do NOT teach you anything about foods. We got a 1 hours seminar from Hills and one from Iams Co (before P&G) bought them) These seminars were-- sell our food and we will give you our food to feed your animals pretty much for life-- at the time i had 2 chinese cresteds and Hills and Iams GAVE us a 40 pound bag per dog we had per MONTH. My dogs ate Euk Lamb and Rice then. I gave more food away while i was there than my dogs ate. I kept a ton in 3 seperate large deep freezers between 3 family members houses. My parents even went and bought an additional large deep freezer just for the food i was bringing hom. I didnt know much better and neither did most of the other vet students. ( i did know that i didnt like hills due to the corn and BHT & BHA though) What i learned about dog foods and nutrition i learned on my own. I do remember getting a nutrition book but now that i think about it it was from Hills and Euk and was all about their RX formulas. That was it.
So for some vets, its a ignorance issue when it comes to food, for others they can claim laziness, while others actually do try to learn more about dog/cat nutrition.
People think that vets learn all the need to know while they are in vet school-- thats bull doodles. I can personally attest to that. I cant tell you how many vet students went to school with me with whom i would never trust my animals care. Veterinary medicine is an ever evolving science, art even if you will. You can never learn enough.
harley I don't get a kickback on any food I sell. The profit margin is approx 30%. In other words, I sell a bag of food for $8.99 and my profit (not kickback) is $2.70 for that bag. That means that I PAID $6.29 for that bag.
There is basically very little profit to pet stores when it comes to food. And you are right about the going out of business part. If my customers only bought food, I wouldn't be able to stay in business.
But I also refuse to carry poor quality food (like SD) or Iams. I won't carry any food that contains corn since it has no nutritional value and cannot be digested. I also don't carry any products with by-products (beaks & feet for chicken).
I have people come in on a daily basis asking for help. They have had their dog to the vet 5 or 6 times and paid out obscene amounts of money to try to figure out why their dog is scratching themself raw. The vet has no answers. Once I know that the dog has been vetted, I ask what type of food they are on. "My vet put him on Science Diet" is usually the answer. Why not try another food? Long story short, once they switch to Chicken Soup, Canidae or Wellness, the problem corrects itself. Why wouldn't the vet tell them to change food? I am serious and would really like to know why. It doesn't take brain surgery!