Does your dog really need a prescription diet?
Is a prescription diet really any different to regular kibble in the pet shop other than an inflated price tag?
The answer is NO, it’s all the same.
The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine allows prescription pet food to make claims to treat disease without proving effectiveness and safety.
Veterinarians reportedly place between 35% to 45% of their patients on prescription diet dog food. And dog owners apparently seem willing to follow these directions without questioning anything.
There is a current lawsuit against these big prescription food brands for deceptive acts and practices in connection with the sale and advertisement of Prescription Pet Food. The lawsuit also claims major prescription pet food manufacturers worked together to control the prescription pet food market and prices.
We all know how this story goes….
Your dog is suffering from a health condition, let’s say they are overweight. Your vet has the perfect solution, let’s put them on a prescription diet.
Here is the problem with that, it’s not fixing the root cause, and most likely making it worse. An inflamed dog is a fat dog.
The “prescription food” you are purchasing is manufactured by big multinational companies who also make candy bars and icecream. Trusting my dog’s health with these companies is questionable. The only thing “prescription” about these kibble products is a prescription for future chronic disease.
Your dog is overweight and needs to lose a few kilos, so your vet recommends you put them on a weight loss food. Your dog is already in an inflamed state, most likely malnourished, with a compromised gut.
Feeding a prescription grain-based diet is going to make things worse. Sure they may lose weight, but at what cost to their health?
Below is a very popular brand of prescription food sold at most veterinary clinics for weight loss with the ingredient list provided.
INGREDIENTS: Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Tomato Pomace, Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Coconut Oil, Lactic Acid, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Carrots, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Lipoic Acid, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, minerals (Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene.
This is not food. This is not a species appropriate diet for your carnivore friend.
This is not the sort of diet you want your overweight dog eating.
40% plus of carbohydrates
Inadequate protein 28%
Inadequate fats 11.7%
Not only that, its first ingredient is wheat, extremely inflammatory to our dogs. It contains GMO corn, soy – lots of it, which is a common allergen, synthetic vitamins/minerals, and natural flavours usually mean MSG. Let me also make it very clear when an ingredient says “chicken flavour” it is not from a chicken, it’s a man-made chicken flavour made in a lab.
There is also NO muscle meat or organ meats, just chicken meal.
This is not food, and this is not the answer for weight loss.
Feeding this food, especially long term, is a disaster.
Your dog will likely end up with major gut issues from the large amount of grains, as well as chronic health complications due to the lack of protein and fats. Hello allergies, dry skin, muscle wastage, heart issues.
Let’s now compare the prescription weight loss food to the same brand non-prescription weight management available at pet stores.
INGREDIENTS: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Oat Fiber, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Dried Beet Pulp, Coconut Oil, Pork Flavor, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine, DL-Methionine, Carrots, Iodized Salt, Lipoic Acid, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, minerals (Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Cranberries, Green Peas.
Literally the same thing! If anything, this one is better than the prescription diet as it at least has some chicken in it.
Protein , fats, carbs all similar to the prescription food. Without the inflated price tag.
Prescription dog food is basically a scam. Your dog does not need a prescription diet.
Vets are the only medical professionals on the planet that recommend feeding processed food over fresh food, and can justify your dog eating a processed diet daily.
Let that sink in for a minute…
So, the next time your vet recommends that you feed your dog a prescription diet, ask them to review the ingredients in that bag of dog food, and question how a bag of dog food containing 50% or more of carbohydrates and grains is going to fix the problem?
Question them how a bag of prescription dog food containing wheat, soy, corn, has been proven to help with weight loss?
Remembering dogs have no nutrient requirement for carbohydrates, and weight loss comes down to energy balance. However, a dog eating a fresh food diet very rarely has issues with weight gain.
Prescription diets are a scam, don’t fall for it.
Here is my prescription as a canine nutritionist for a healthy dog.
The only prescription your dog needs is –
- Fresh food lots of variety
- Fresh water
- Good quality supplements for extra support (CEN Nutrition Supplements)
- and Love
The good quality supplement like CEN Oil can reduce the volume of your kibble intake as approx. 30mL of Oil = 100g kibble in calories.
Certified Canine & Feline Nutritionist