Hey guys I've heard some stuff about vet kickbacks on dog foods and it makes sense due to the fact that they are recommending some of the most awful food. Just for kicks and to get some info. to back up this stuff I was looking on the internet at various sources and found something that irritated me a bit. Yes it was just one of those answer sights that anyone can type in but it was irritating. Here is what one of the responses said:
"vets do not get kickbacks from these companies. they are recommended brands because they are some of the few companies that back up their diets with research to show they they are good. And more and more vets do get training in nutrition now a days. And what is this with asking a behaviorist for diet recommendations---where the hell do behaviorists get training in animal nutrition. Every one says iams/science diet/purina are bad diets and recommend other things, but where did they get their nutritional education? Enjoy the salmonella and parasites from the raw diet."
I know some people are not educated on the truth about dog foods but this is like the complete opposite. It's not just uneducated, it's advocating lies and falisies. Is she really trying to say that the poor quality foods do a lot of research on dog nutrition. I'm pretty sure they spend most of their big bucks on money-making research and marketing campaigns. In addition, raw food and salmonella in dogs?! They have developed to be carnivorous creatures.
What do you guys think of this?
What's the deal with vet kickbacks? Do they really occur that often as I suspect? What are the details?
Here's the scoop. Vets are taught nutrition in vet school--their last year, and for 2-6 weeks depending on which school. Who teaches those classes? Hills, Purina or Royal Canin. When a vet goes into practice, reps from those companies show up to sell their wares. The vets, fully knowledgeable about the companies and familiar with the studies buy the foods. They also make profits from the sale of those foods. And the companies *do* have incentives like cars and vacations for vets who sell a lot of product. Vets, per the education they pay for, are quite underpaid. They try to make up for the lack of salary by adding stuff like food sales to their business.
All three companies *do* do scientific research and studies, which in conjunction with teaching vet school classes makes them the preferred foods for vets. A lot of it is inhumane, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsOoChqZ8ZE shows Iams and what they do. Vets are scientists and prefer solid data, and those companies give it to them. Smaller companies who use good ingredients just don't have the money or footing to do the large studies done by the big Three, so vets dismiss them as being 'dangerous' (mostly due to the brainwashing from the large companies). It's also the classic allopathic vs. holistic battle we see in Human medicine. They both distrust one another. Allopaths have no use for 'old wives tales' like good nutrition being the basis of good health. Or the use of herbs or treating dogs as a whole rather than treating symptoms. (yes, I am firmly in the holistic camp). Holistic folks tend to be overly suspicious of allopaths as well.
This info comes from my best friend who is a vet, BTW. Makes her sick as she's gone on to get further (independent) nutritional education. She is in major debt, still paying off her education 6 years later. It's the same cost to go to vet school as it is to med school, though you have to be smarter to get into vet school
hope that helps. I have more to say on this but i have to get a move on!
So this BIG research the major companies do, what do their findings say? Do they get the same information as the little guys get about what is healthful and simply choose to ignore it. How do vets think that color additives, carcinogenic products, and by-products are healthy for a little pup. Also, I was under the impression that smaller companies don't market as much because their money goes more into research and higher quality foods. How in depth do they actually get with their research?
I've heard of this before and asked an old vet of mine if it was true and he said it was. It's no different than many of our regular human Dr.s though. Drug reps go in to see them all the time offering kick backs and saying why their product is the best thing out there. Quick story my girlfriends aunt has a dog with severe allergies and the vet sold her a food to help with them. It's over $50 for just over a 5 pound bag. I brought up the kick back thing to her and said she should look into the food and decide whats best for her dog. She was almost offended and said there's no way her vet would do that to her blah blah blah. So I looked into the food for her. The food is not intended for long term feeding because it doesn't contain enought nutrients to sustain a healthy dog. It's meant to be a treatment and not used more more than a month. Her vet has had her dog on it for over a year. It contains products "thought to be carcinogens". She has a list of things that her dog is allergic to but her vet has her brainwashed to trust what he says. It's such a shame that someone in a field to take care of our animals can neglect looking into somthing enough to know if it is bad or good. Sorry about the rant and being so long.
They believe that ingredients aren't important--that the final result of the nutrients in it is. Royal Canin says something to that effect on their site. Purina just completed a huge longevity study that found if you don't overfeed your dog, they last a couple of years longer (!!!??) They also study allergens and such--the H/A foods are hydrogenated and are theoretically allergen-free (despite having soy in them) because they have found that if you hydrogenate the protein molecules, they become so small that they body doesn't recognize them as allergens. Royal Canin has a lot of articles probably supported with their research (not that I like them--I can't stand their food!) http://www.royalcanin.us/library/petnutrition.aspx
I liken their research to that of drug companies and food companies--they draw conclusions that they want to highlight and ignore harmful other things (don't you just love the side-effects of the drugs advertised on TV??). That and it seems that a lot of big industry is so interconnected that they have to ignore stuff like GMO's in foods--downplay their harm because it's bad for business if all of America suddenly woke up and stopped using their dollars on those foods. Imagine if Americans boycotted corn-fed beef for a week?? Bedlam. Especially if Wal-Mart shoppers did that...
The smaller dog food companies do research, btu not the large studies done by the big three. And they'd never be able to get their findings into major vet schools due to the strangle hold the big three have there, too. So they work on providing good food, I guess.
Uma's vet was pretty honest and told us she's not a nutrition expert and to ask our breeder what they use. We did a ton of research on our own. I liked her honesty and the fact that she didn't just make stuff up to sell us their food.