If your Veterinarian recommends a pet feed… – Truth about Pet Food


…how will you respond? Veterinarian organizations are instructing our vets to recommend pet food to every client. How will you respond to the push?

With sponsorship from Purina, Mars and Hill’s, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Pet Nutrition Alliance is advising veterinarians to “make a specific dietary recommendation” to each and every pet owner that comes in. These organizations ask veterinarians to recommend a pet food to clients even when the pet is determined to be perfectly healthy after exam:

And…from the same WSAVA and Pet Nutrition Alliance guidelines, veterinarians are told to repeatedly encourage pet owners to give their pets a recommended pet food. Per the WSAVA and Pet Nutrition Alliance recommendations, every pet owner would be ‘talked to’ about pet food eight different times during one veterinary visit – by the front desk staff, the veterinary technician and the veterinarian.

And WSAVA and Pet Nutrition Alliance has some suggested conversations for veterinarians to have with their clients about pet food…

Have there been any changes to what [pet’s name] has been eating recently?

Has [pet’s name] had any problems with his or her current food? With previous food?

What is important to you when selecting your pet’s food?

You mentioned you are looking for what is best for [pet’s name]; can you tell me a little more about what you mean when you say “best?”

WSAVA and Pet Nutrition Alliance provides a conversation script for veterinarians to suggest a new pet food to pet owners:

So, how will you respond if your veterinarian pushes to recommend a pet food as WSAVA and Pet Nutrition Alliance recommends?

My two cents…

My response to any veterinarian to the WSAVA and Pet Nutrition Alliance question:

Q.What is important to you when selecting your pet’s food?

My Answer: The most important thing to me in selecting a pet food is human grade/human edible ingredients. I would not give my pets any feed grade ingredient pet food knowing that the FDA openly allows feed grade pet foods to utilize material from diseased animals and animals that have died otherwise than by slaughter. I’m hopeful you too don’t believe pet’s should be fed as scavengers, consuming basically waste.

Human grade manufacturing standards is also important to me. As you probably know, feed grade manufacturing standards are significantly less stringent than human food manufacturing standards. Several years back a FDA inspection of a Diamond Pet Food plant found manufacturing equipment held together with cardboard and duct tape. And in 2017 an FDA inspection of a Mars Petcare plant found millions of roaches in the production area. That’s unacceptable manufacturing standards to me.

And should a veterinarian question my choice of providing my pets with 1/2 commercial raw pet food and 1/2 home prepared pet food with a statement similar to this:

Q. Raw pet foods are associated with dangerous bacteria that could sicken or kill you/your family. And home prepared pet foods are linked to nutritional imbalances. Do you understand you are putting your entire family at risk by giving your pet raw pet food and might be harming your pet with a home prepared diet.

My Answer: Actually, over the past ten years, significantly more kibble pet foods have been recalled for pathogenic bacteria than raw pet foods. The statistics are about 1,000 pounds of kibble recalled per 1 pound of raw recalled. So, based on FDA recalls of pet foods over the past ten years – kibble pet foods are far more at risk to spread pathogenic bacteria than raw pet foods. Plus, I provide my pets with a raw pet food made under USDA inspection. There are no kibble pet foods made under USDA inspection.

With regards to my home prepared pet foods, I use recipes that are complete and balanced AND I vary the food ingredients I use with each batch to provide my pets a variety of nutrients from a variety of foods. I like that my pets are getting nutrients from food rather than synthetic feed grade supplements added to highly processed pet feeds.


Brace yourself…veterinarian organizations are pushing our vets to push us to feed feed. Share some of your pet food education with your vet should you be pushed too. You got this!

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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