Will the Most Media Visible Veterinarian Step Up?
Dr. Marty Becker appears as a regular on many television shows and has a blog on Huffington Post. While many things Dr. Becker advises pet owners about are helpful, it seems pet food isn’t one thing that Dr. Becker seems to understand very well. Perhaps Dr. Becker needs a bit of pet food education. It is time for Dr. Marty Becker to step up, learn the truth and in turn share his new truth with pet owners everywhere.
In a recent Dr. Marty Becker article on Huffington Post, the celebrity veterinarian provides advice to pet owners with overweight pets. Though it is questionable if all of this is good advice.
“Change foods. The food your pet had as an energetic youngster make not be right for a quieter, middle-aged animal. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s diet. As I always say, pet food doesn’t have to be the most expensive to be “the best.” No matter what your budget is or where you shop, your veterinarian will be able to help you choose a healthy product for your pet. And don’t forget that the perfect match may be food provided by your veterinarian: Therapeutic diets available only from a veterinarian may be what’s needed to get the weight off. These aren’t just “light” versions of regular diets, but are specifically formulated to increase lean muscle mass.”
Dr. Becker, you might not be aware that – although pet foods fall under the protection of federal food safety laws (Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act), the FDA has provided the pet food industry with loopholes to bypass safety laws. Pet foods are allowed, via these Compliance Policies, to include meats and meat products that have been rejected for use in human foods due to animal illness, euthanasia (euthanized animals), drug resides, and more. FDA testing found that common pet food (and prescription pet food) ingredients animal fat, animal digest, meat and bone meal, and generic meat meal were associated with the finding of pentobarbital (euthanizing drug) in pet foods. Certainly an overweight pet would not benefit from the consumption of rendered diseased animals. As with humans, quality food directly relates to quality health. I encourage you to research the FDA Compliance policies and as a media popular veterinarian speak out against recycled waste in pet foods.
“Shrink the portions. No more handfuls or scoops — measure your pet’s food accurately with a measuring cup. Feed smaller meals more often to help prevent hunger pangs; offer the same total amount of food, but break it up into smaller meals throughout the day. You can also add a low-cal filler to bulk up the volume — green beans are often suggested by veterinarians, and they work to fill your pet up without piling on the pounds.”
Great advice Dr. Becker. Especially the green beans (people food). I’ve got an eager eater myself (Echo). I’m confident I could place a 40 pound bucket of dog food in front of her and she’d eat every bite in one sitting. I home cook for her, but I intentionally give Echo more lightly cooked green beans, and other healthy vegetables to fill her always eager appetite. She’s never been overweight.
“Consider a prescription. Talk to your veterinarian about Slentrol, the first FDA-approved medication for weight control in dogs. It works by keeping some fat from being absorbed in the small intestine, which helps the dog feel more full on less food. It may be just what your pet needs.”
Oh please no. The side effect of this drug – from the Pfizer website states…
“The adverse reactions associated with treatment with SLENTROL include vomiting, loose stools/diarrhea, lethargy, and anorexia. The SLENTROL-treated dogs generally had an increased frequency and duration of vomiting and diarrhea compared to the control dogs. In addition to the adverse reactions listed above, there were other abnormal findings. Many control and SLENTROL-treated dogs had dental disease, abnormal skin and ear findings, and lameness/arthritis. A 5 year old Beagle with no medical history of seizures in the SLENTROL treatment group had a seizure on Day 52 of the study. The dog continued to receive SLENTROL until additional seizures occurred 11 and 12 days later. The investigator referred the case to a neurologist and the seizures continued approximately twice weekly. The neurologist found no lesions that support the causality of the seizures. Some dogs treated with SLENTROL displayed a mild to moderate elevation in serum hepatic transaminase activity early in treatment that decreased over time while treatment continued. Hepatic transaminases generally returned to normal when treatment was discontinued (See Precautions for further information).”
Certainly a more natural approach to pet weight loss would be far healthier for the animal than a drug with such serious side effects.
Dr. Becker please…you are the most media friendly veterinarian in the U.S. – don’t your followers deserve more from you than pitching highly processed pet foods and drugs? Please, do a little pet food investigating. Become one of a growing number of veterinarians that stands up to the old school of thinking.
We’ll be watching to see if you’ve done your homework.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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