I have noticed since getting a dog here recently, that most vets really don't know much about feeding a dog as you'd think they should. I have called several for a problem I'm having and have got nothing to help me until I found this site. People on here seem to know more than 4 of my local vet offices. Ask your vet about it and tell them, see what they say.
The vets keep the bags in their office because Hill's Corporation, makers of Science Diet, gives them "FREE" sample bags to give out to their clients. It's all in presentation..."if it comes from the vets office, it MUST be good..." People get the impression that their vet would ONLY advertise the very best food...nothing could be further from the truth. Vets don't get paid anything for the food they display, they give away the sample bags out and send people on their way. Yes, if your vet sells the bags of food, Hill's rewards them with a small commission but if IAMS did the same thing, you would see that on the shelves instead.
(At least with the vets around here, this is how it works.)
Friends will step in when the rest of the world steps out.
I'm not sure if the owner of the clinic where I work gets commission from Hill's or Medi-Cal or Royal Canin, but they of course get good deals on food. She of course marks the price up 2.5 times what she pays. Although I believe there should be foods specifically tailored to certain conditions, these foods should be made with quality ingredients, not corn or corn gluten or by-products. Hills argues that by-products are good because they include the organs and muscle meat. But what they don't mention is what the specific by-products are. If they are so good, then why not mention what they are and from what animal? Because they don't know and don't care as long as it comes cheap. All a food has to do to pass AAFCO feeding trials is not kill an animal within 6 months. Not a very long time. And well, I'm sure dogs could subsist on corn and by-products for a while. Many will also argue that companies such as Hill's or Purina are huge and have the resources to do major research but they are not going to publish any results that negates the claims they make of their foods. And FYI, IAMS/Eukanuba does make prescription food. We carry the low residue, maximum calorie, skin support and LB REsponse diets. We also carry Purina Veterinary Diets which include a Diabetic Management, Kidney Management, Joint Mobility and Dental Health formulas just to name a few. Also, remember that Hill's sponsors many vet courses so of course, vets will be inundated with Hills propaganda. I feed my dog raw and when I told one of the vets at my clinic that, her argument was that it wasn't a natural way to feed because they're killed in a slaughterhouse, not out in the forest. She said I should feed canned if I want to feed natural. Uh-huh. Canned powdered cellulose? Canned corn gluten? no thanks! But Hills, Medi-cal/Royal Canin etc have the resources to dominate the veterinary industry. There's a brand called Wysong- created by a vet by the same name. Some hospitals may carry his diets as he makes prescription diets as well as regular OTC diets. His formulas seem to contain meat and are formulated with natural ingredients - according to the label. Some of his diets are dehydrated, canned and dry. However, some of the OTC foods of his aren't that great. I personally, refuse to feed any of the prescription foods but if I had to, I'd opt for the Wysong. Like doctors, vets don't learn much about nutrition in school. Granted, more and more vets are slowly getting more educated or at least willing to accept different information.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland