It may be your pet’s annual check-up or it may be an emergency visit, but what you feed your pet will come up in a visit to your veterinarian clinic. How do you handle this conversation with your trusted veterinarian when you’ve just been sitting in their waiting room, surrounded by “vet specific diets” that they now have recommended is the only product suitable for your pet?
We have compiled a list of questions to think about and research on your own to make an informed decision that you can feel comfortable with when faced with a decision about changing your pet’s diet:
- Why has your veterinarian suggested a change in diet? If you already bought food from them and it’s a change in formula, maybe you can be less skeptical, but if it is a change to a diet that you didn’t buy from them before, ask more questions to be sure they aren’t simply looking for new sales from you.
- Does your pet have a short-term illness that a round of medication should remedy quickly but your veterinarian has now suggested a long-term veterinarian diet as well? Ask yourself why. If you go to your doctor with the flu, they don’t suggest you need to eat a special “prescription gastro-intestinal diet” for the remainder of your life that their clinic sells to you directly.
- What are alternative diets that you could explore? What is the criterion that you should be looking to modify (increased/decreased protein, decreased fat, reduced iron levels, possible food allergies, or does your cat have cancer)? A “veterinarian diet” is NOT a prescription as there is NO MEDICATION in this food, so you can find another brand that meets your cat or dog’s food needs outside of the vet clinic or learn to cook at home. Any veterinarian that has your pet’s interest as their first priority will explore options with you for diets outside of what they sell at their clinic. If they don’t offer alternatives or say they will research it for you, question them as to why. This USA class action law suit explains the misnomer of “prescription diet” pet food http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/class-action-filed-for-prescription-pet-food-300401586.html
- If you currently feed a fresh food diet and they are suggesting a kibble or canned food they sell, let them know you have made a conscious choice to feed preservative-free food and ask them to provide the nutrient adjustments required. If they won’t do so or don’t really understand what makes the “veterinarian diets” they sell the only choice, it is likely time to find a new veterinarian for your beloved pet.
- Finally, ask your veterinarian who you can contact for a second opinion. In human medical sciences, this is common practice and often encouraged. In veterinary medicine, this is often seen as challenging their advice and discouraged. We suggest you contact telehealthpets.ca and ask the veterinarians at this service for their opinion as they are not peddling meds or foods and only have your pet’s health and wellness as their priority.
Tom&Sawyer Fresh Prepared Pet Meals exists to provide the best quality foods for your cat or dog’s health and wellness, providing them with preservative-free, all human-edible ingredients, prepared by trained chefs in our open-concept kitchen at our Toronto retail store located at 1247 Queen Street East, Toronto. Come visit us and see the amazing difference real food makes to your pet’s happy, healthy and longer life!
Disclaimer: In no way are we suggesting that your own veterinarian is not providing you with sound advice, we are providing third party opinions on questions and suggestions for you to be an informed consumer of a paid-for veterinary service, just like any other goods or service that is 100% paid by the consumer.