Food decisions: The Growing Divide Between Vets and Pet Owners

In a recent survey, pet owners and veterinary professionals were sharply divided on pet food ingredients and types of dog and cat diets.

  • 61 percent pet owners and 25 percent veterinary professionals felt grain-free diets are healthier for dogs.
  • 35 percent pet owners and 15 percent veterinary professionals agreed that raw diets are healthier for dogs and cats.
  • 43 percent pet owners and 23 percent veterinary professionals agreed that organic pet foods are healthier.
  • 73 percent of pet owners disagreed while 48 percent veterinary professionals agreed that corn is healthy for dogs.

Only 42 percent of pet owners agreed their veterinarian should recommend a maintenance diet, while over 64 percent of veterinarians felt they should give dietary advice. Only 39 percent of pet owners recalled their veterinary clinic recommended a maintenance diet, while about 48 percent of veterinary professionals stated they offered routine diet recommendations. When asked where they obtained the best sources of dietary recommendations for their pet, over 46 percent of pet owners rated online advice as the best method.

Obviously, there is a pretty strong divide here. Veterinary professionals are not on the same page as pet owners. Unfortunately, most veterinary nutrition training is sponsored by or taught by large pet food companies. My stance on the above statements:

  • Grain-free may or may not be healthier - it depends on the dog
  • Raw diets are definitely healthier for many dogs and cats, but not all
  • Organic food is better for everyone if you can afford it for yourself and your pets
  • I am not a fan of corn in pet food (molds, aflatoxins, pesticides, GMO's, the list goes one...)

I am asked on a daily basis which foods are the best. While Susan Thixton has done the research and can provide you with her list, I am willing to give you the short list of foods I am willing to feed my pets. My list is not nearly as complete as Susan's, as I use high quality foods that have worked well for my pets, but I do not research every food on the market.

So here's the list of foods available in my home:

  1. Allprovide (first choice always)
  2. The Honest Kitchen
  3. Dr. Harvey's
  4. Primal
  5. Stella N Chewy's (rabbit only/allergy dogs)
  6. Puploaf made by me or Hue

I do not allow dry dog food in my home, so don't ask me to recommend any please.

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