Friday, September 5, 2008

More on RX Food

I told you the other day about this customer I have, who approached me about the food her vet prescribed for her cat suffering from kidney disease. While one concern of hers is the high cost of the food, the other worry she has is if the food is right for her girl. Though she has no complaints about the progress her cat made since eating this diet. But she just can’t shake off this feeling that this may not be the ultimate solution and on a long term basis have negative impacts on her cat’s overall health and well being.
Her concerns don’t surprise me. After all, especially since the recall, we hear every day new and more horror stories about commercial pet food, its ingredients and many other details. It seems as if pet owners are becoming more health conscious (or should I say “should become more health conscious” ) and are no longer blindly falling for the marketing hypes. Additionally, many pet food manufacturers offering prescription diets were also involved with their products in the recall, which didn’t help their prescription leg of business..
I admit. the business about pet food is very confusing. Reading and understanding pet food labels are two different things. In order to understand the true meanings of what a label says, one has to do some quite extensive studying. But this is where people like me and I myself would like to come in and try to help. By providing insight and details, by alerting of pit falls, educating and informing you and by making you aware of other resources available to you just in case you don’t believe me or simply feel more comfortable when you get a second opinion. I mentioned before, and will repeat it every time I have something to say: I am no vet and you certainly should not rely on what I say. My writings are solely MY opinion. See my disclaimer plastered all over my publications, website and communications. Always consult your veterinarian when it comes to the well being of your pet. However, I promise you one thing for sure: I do have common sense.
So, coming back to my customer, after I started reading the labels I have to say that I would have my doubts too. My customer didn’t even investigate what the labels mean, she just acts upon her suspicion that something doesn’t quite add up. I am going into the label next time, but today I want to know how you feel about prescription diets. If you have experience on this subject, what is it about? Did the prescribed diet work for your pet and did it get rid of the health condition, which is obviously the most important factor. Do you think it may have been better to do some sort of short term medical treatment (such as for example pills or shots) rather than making your pet dependent on one food for a life time? Do you really know what you are feeding and of what ingredients it is composed? Do you feel comfortable with feeding your pet this one diet only? Because remember, this is what the manufacturers say in general about their food: Never again feed anything else. However they put the fear of god in you even more when it comes to their prescription diets. As I read in one particular case and I am not kidding: “(feeding anything else but our XYZ diet) may cause (all kinds of detailed problems…) and … death.” A pretty strong and scary statement It probably works in most cases. But I just think a “We control your pet’s life now and you’re ours, you depend on us!” would have done it too and been a little less drastic. I can’t wait to see your comments. And you should stay tuned to see what I have for you related to the outcome of my further analysis. Talk about surprises and more scary thoughts…, just wait ‘til you hear the end of it (that is, if I ever find the end…).

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