Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt 💕

3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

There are lots of disagreements when it comes to what food is best for your dog. Most confusion comes from what vets tell you. You’ve probably seen many articles about how it’s important to have healthy meat sources and no fillers in your dog’s food. However, many of the brands vets recommend contradict this healthy advice. Why is that?

When Molly takes me to the vet, they usually talk badly about how I eat a grain-free diet. However, we have researched it very thoroughly, and we haven’t found any real proof that grain-free is bad. However, there are plenty of clear reasons as to why the products they recommend are.

What Do Vets Usually Recommend?

Many vets recommend Hill’s Science Diet and Royal Canin as their preferred brand. In fact, many even try to say that they are prescription diets. However, if you take a closer look at the ingredients, both brands are actually very low-quality and have had a higher number of recalls.

On Dog Food Advisor, both Hill’s Science Diet and Royal Canin foods receive between a 2.5 and 3 rating. It seems odd that vets would recommend anything below a 5-star rating.

When you read the ingredient list, you’ll also notice that many of the top ingredients in these foods are grains and other fillers. Ideally, the first few ingredients should be a quality meat source, followed by other beneficial ingredients. However, a lot of these “prescription foods” just have cheap fillers in them.

I even read an article recently that did a study with some vets. The vets were given 4 different ingredient lists and asked to rank them from best to worst quality. Surprisingly enough, the food that the vets ranked last was the one that was most similar to Hill’s and Royal Canin.

So, if many vets know that their recommendations are not the healthiest, then why would they recommend it? It just doesn’t seem fair to all the poor dogs out there.

Why Would Vets Promote Unhealthy Products?

In general, dry kibble is the unhealthiest way to go. Some kibble is definitely a much better quality than others, but most of it is like junk food for dogs. So, there has the be a reason as to why vets would recommend the unhealthiest junk food possible.

This whole problem began way back in the 1980s. Colgate Palmolive is a company that creates a wide range of products, one of which is Hill’s Science Diet. In the ’80s, they used dentists to promote their toothpaste, which worked really well. So, they decided to also work with vets to sell their dog food. The same goes for Royal Canin, which is made by Mars.

To this day, these types of partnerships continue. Vets are essentially paid to promote these specific brands, which is why they will often try to encourage you to buy them. However, that still doesn’t make it right if you ask me.

Sadly, a lot of the dog industry is all about making money. A lot of dog food is created just for profit and not for our well-being. That’s why Molly always looks at the ingredients before deciding if a food is good or not. If a brand only uses healthy, beneficial ingredients instead of cheap fillers, you can tell that they put your dog’s health as a number one priority.

So, while you should trust your vet on all other health aspects, food just isn’t one of them. Do your research before blindly agreeing with your vet about food. It’s not fair that money has so much control over dog products, but it’s the sad reality that we live in. Hopefully things will be different in the future!

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9 thoughts on “Why Do Vets Recommend Unhealthy Dog Food?

  1. There is less pressure here in the UK. Certainly the vets that Lenny and I visit (infrequently thankfully) do not push certain foods upon us and our pawrents when we are in there. In any case, we would always do our own research to see what is best for us, and then see if we can get it cheaper as the vets often try to charge top dollar.

    It has always struck me as a strange marriage between some of these huge manufacturers of many products including dog food, and some vets. Some of these companies test some of their other products on animals such as beagles, so I do wonder how vets can ethically justify their “jumping into bed” with these multinationals. I suppose its greed at the end of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that it’s better where you are! In the US, it seems like every vet is trying to sell low quality food for a high price, so it can be confusing for many dog parents. I also always make sure to do my research before choosing a food for Mabel!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. P says:

    This topic is EXTREMELY important and I am so grateful for this well-written article. My 11-ish year old dog is my best friend, and unfortunately I have been trusting my vet’s recommendation re: his “prescription diet” food for too long now and I have recently been motivated to change his food. I really appreciate this article and think more pet owners need to know about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the article! I’m always surprised by how many vets recommend low-quality brands, so I thought it was an important topic to discuss.


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