It’s All In The Label: Thoughts on dog food from the vet
Bloo had a little stomach upset over the weekend, where she woke up and immediately started dry heaving and threw up bile with small flecks of blood. I booked the first available appointment with the vet. I love the people who work at her primary veterinary practice. (She has two vets, because I like second opinions.) They all care so much and love Bloo. Bloo got probed and fed some treats, and got a clean bill of health. We just need to make sure she isn’t going to bed on an empty stomach.
The vet recommended that Bloo try out some easy to digest food and maybe switching over to it. I was a little wary of going home with any more Hill’s Prescription food. They gave me a sample bag of the dental kibble. I read the ingredient list and gave the bag away. After asking how necessary this easy digest food was, I went home with the $45 bag of 8.5lbs of dog food (and a can of wet food). I know they want what’s best for Bloo and they have her best interests at heart. But, they have their biases and I have mine.
I went home and did some research.
I want you to consider the following three food labels and tell me which one looks best to you.
I’m not a dietician nor a nutrition expert. But neither are vets. I know millions of dogs survive on less and many can be just find off any commercial dog food, but I can choose what I feed the one dog I’m responsible for. Bloo can’t speak for herself and she relies on me to feed her. I try and get her the best I can afford. At the end of the day, I want to know that I did the best I could for my dog and be able to live with all my decisions.
The third label is the one I was sent home with from the vet. After doing some online research and looking into the label, in my gut, I just don’t feel good about feeding this stuff to my dog. (Seriously, WTF is liver flavor?)
I was even wary about the food the breeder recommended when we brought Bloo home. I’m always a little suspicious when people try and up-sell me on stuff. I did a lot of research, but at the end of the day, after comparing it to other brands, I decided there wasn’t any reason not to buy it. (Doesn’t it feel like everyone is trying to sell you something these days?) However, I’m even more suspicious of big corporations trying to sell me stuff, especially CPG companies. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve always had ethical practices (or malpractice) pointed out to me, or if it’s because I went to business school, or if it’s because I read the label for everything, but I just can’t trust CPG companies. When corporations get too big, people get too greedy, and the ends justify the means. I just don’t understand the thinking that goes on in those companies.
Hill’s is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, and to me Colgate-Palmolive is one of those big corporations.
As a consumer, I have a voice. Perhaps a small one, but a voice all the same. I use my voice by choosing where I spend my dollars. I try to be an aware and knowledgable consumer. Today I choose to support local Canadian companies. I choose to support companies that are transparent about their suppliers and transparent about their ingredients.
Links to the Dog Food Advisor site to foods that I feed Bloo:
TLC Dog Food Review (This is the bulk of Bloo’s diet.)
Acana Dog Food Review (I buy a small bag of this to garnish her TLC kibble)
Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free Dog Food Review (More garnish kibble)
I garnish with different kibble so as to keep her regular kibble interesting. When she’s stayed with friend’s she’s gone crazy over the other dog’s food, so that’s how I started buying her garnish kibble. I researched to make sure that the new stuff was as good, if not better, than her usual kibble. She loves the Acana Pacifica stuff so much that I can use the kibble as treats. Bloo usually eats her breakfast with a couple small pieces of banana. She eats about a quarter of a banana each day and she gets it throughout the day as a treat. We will also treat her with pieces of pear, apple, mango, blueberries, and watermelon, depending on what’s in season.