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What Royal Canin Reps are Selling to Vets

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  1. John Willliams

    So hard to believe that Vets buy this nonsense. In a few hours of research if you are feeding your dog anything other than human grade you are doing your pet a disservice.

    1. Jason

      I agree John, my dogs went on this for a short while and it didn’t take long for other symptoms to start showing so I took them off it and they cleared up!

    2. Suz

      A friend got a new bulldog and a 50# bag of Royal Canin- First ingredient-RICE! Not what a bulldog or any dog needs as their primary food source. Read the ingredients people 🐶

  2. Johanna

    This is so insane I don’t even know what to say, but sadly it’s not surprising. It is beyond maddening that so many pet food companies try to paint “human grade” food as unhealthy- and then put pictures of human grade foods on their packaging! Chicken, carrots, and rice? Ever look at a Purina bag? These people are speaking out of both sides of their mouths here, and the real damage is that owners are consequently terrified out of their wits at the prospect of switching to REAL FOOD, because big pet food says it can be “dangerous”. And bamboozled veterinarians repeat these lies to their clients with a false air of professional expertise and authority. Wow- just so wrong! Real science shows fresh, real foods are what make the difference in pet health and in preventing disease, but of course they’ll never admit to that because it won’t line their pockets. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Susan. Hopefully nobody will be fooled by this propaganda garbage. Keep up the excellent work!

  3. Mary

    I am curious what the ingredients really mean from them in the hydrolyzed protein diet. My dog has IBD and this food she has done amazingly well on and we haven’t needed to switch her from it like other foods because of this allergy. I’m hoping it’s better because it’s processed in an entirely different way, but obviously this concerns me. it’s my baby girl, i want her to live a long, healthy live despite her Inflammatory Bowel Disease (allergy to protein). Any experience or knowledge with this product from Royal Canin? I’m very sad to see this video and hear how they are pitching their products in such a misleading and false way. 🙁

    1. Pacific Sun

      If you call Hills they will explain hydrolyzed protein, but in lay terms, its completely disgestable and doesn’t aggravate an “allergy” to the protein. While I wouldn’t keep my dog on it more than temporarily, Hills Z/d did allow my dog’s system to return to normal from a bout of serious colitis and IBD. He now eats all kinds of food, including raw, whole, home made and commercial. I don’t know why Z/d (or I/d) works …. but it does.

      1. tallen

        It allows a “leaky gut” to heal. Once healed you can often go back to eating foods that were previously causing problems, unless they caused the leaky gut in the first place! Lots of info online about leaky gut.

      2. Bev

        Hills ID had helped my Emily so much. She is 13 and runs like a pup again and even looks better out of her eyes. That said I am always looking at the ingredients and have extensively questioned my vet who says he toured the plant and it’s good food, egg based, he told me although from the bag I would think corn based. All I know is Emily has no sign of her chronic pancreatitis and really likes this food. I always fed her grain free her whole life prior to this so I’m very conflicted.

        1. inkedmarie

          Bev, if Emily likes the food & works for her, keep her on it!

        2. Tryniti Thresher

          Many of the foods do work to calm down or even mask the symptoms, for a time, at least. I prefer to tackle the originating issue by feeding a biologically appropriate, easy to digest food. I can’t tell you how many people have come into my pet store, bewildered as to why their prescription food suddenly isn’t helping their cat with urinary issues, or their dog with IBD, etc. Hydrolyzed basically just means it’s “predigested”, via a chemical process. You can get similar results using prebiotics and digestive enzymes, in a much more natural manner, that actually help to stabilize the gut long-term. That being said, your dog is 13 and is doing ok right now, and I wouldn’t recommend worrying about it now. Just know what’s best for your next doggo 🙂

    2. Tracy

      I went to a holistic vet and tried cooking for my dogs, following his recomended diet, spending hours a day cooking, prepping etc for my dogs food, and my dog nearly died because of it, then tried raw diet but that didn’t solve the problem either. The Royal Canin HP saved his life and despite challenging the diet with about a dozen other protein sources, remains the only thing he can/will eat and thrive on. It isn’t what I would have chosen to feed him, but if it keeps him healthier and happier for the last years of his life then I am thankful it is available despite whatever is in it.

    3. Mary

      I did a little research and see that my Hydrolyzed Protein is from Soy..which has a whole slew of issues for human I’d be surprised if it didn’t for dogs too. I’m considering switching to Stella & Chewy’s raw food diet. I already give her bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, apple, brocolli and green beans when I eat them… but the IBD is doing so well on the soy hydrolyzed protein that switching her actually worries me. I know it shouldn’t, but I loathe making her sick again. She hasn’t had a single flare up that in the last 3-4 years on this food, though. Am I worrying for nothing?

    4. landsharkinnc

      IBD is not always an histamine reaction to protein. Glad you girl has been doing will – but IBD is sort of a catchall phrase for idiopathic lower intestine irritation that causes sporadic diarrhea.

      1. Mary

        I think you may be confusing human IBD/IBS with canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In my dog’s case, it’s an allergy to protein that causes the intestines and esophagus to swell up and cause her to hack and try to throw up continually if she has something like chicken (a protein she has been exposed to and has developed an allergy to). At it’s worst, she was actually eating leaves and twigs nonstop when I took her outside trying to ‘throw up’ food that wasn’t really making her sick quite the way she was trying to treat it by instinct. I had to take her to a internal medicine vet specialist to figure out what was actually going on since a bland diet was not healing her. Traditionally it has been treated (and it’s not all that common) with switching the protein to another exotic protein as the dog becomes allergic to it, about every two years in my case. So far, there are enough exotic proteins she wouldn’t have had, to do this for her entire life. However, the introduction of hydrolyzed protein is a relatively new thing, but it is supposed to work with it being partially broken down, her body can’t react to it. So far she has been doing great on it for 3+ years, the longest I have ever been able to keep her on one food without the inflammation reaction. This is all very different than causing diarrhea. That was never her problem.

        1. Linda Mangham

          Hello Mary, you are the first person to tell me their IBD dog doesn’t have diarrhea. Our 16 month old Lacy was recently diagnosed with IBD, only had diarrhea once in her life. She too would eat twigs & leaves daily till she saw the IMS who put her on Royal Canin HP. It’s a daily struggle to get her to eat it. Plus, she does not like the big pieces and will not chew them. She tries to swallow the pieces whole. She’s refused the prescription Hill’s brand all together. Not sure which other dry food to try as we have tried all that her vet recommended. Also, Having a problem locating a exotic meat proteins locally. But on upside since she’s been on Royal Canin and her meds only thrown up 3 times in a month as compared to her doing it 3 times per week. I am still researching and trying to learn other options for food to help her have the best quality of life possible. She’s our baby.

  4. Julie

    The date at the end of the presentation is 2015, prior to the AAFCO updating ingredient definitions for “Human Grade”. I doubt the sales rep is even aware of that update. After all, AAFCO hasn’t updated their webpage. For clarification though, is it “Human Grade” or “Human Edible” that carries the legal AAFCO definition? I noticed the website for a pet food I intend to purchase uses the term “Human Edible” not “Human Grade”. But maybe this is because not all of their products are produced in human food facilities?

  5. Pacific Sun

    Yeah, Mars / Royal Canin puts on a good front. All those stupid “breed specified” dog formulas scam consumers. You can’t tell me a Rotti needs a different vitamin/mineral array than a Yorkie. And isn’t quantity addressed by the volume of food served? While I would stand up for Hill’s (backed by research) Royal Canin is just cashing in on the Rx market. And no manufacturer EVER addresses the 4D problem … which negates any “benefit” they could possibly be offering!


    1. Woof99

      You do realize that royal canin has the largest research family in the world, Waltham nutrition centre. The breed diets aren’t sold in vet clinics. Just like Hills that has indoor cat diets, the pets store diets are marketing based. At the vet level the majority of the diets are health specific. I’ve sold both with success but royalcanin usually has more omega 3’s, they have probiotics, zeolite, more antioxidants than Hill’s so I do tend to prefer them. Depends on the condition though.

      1. Pacific Sun

        I did not realize that, and so stand corrected on my assumption!

        All these value-adds would be wonderful enough, as long as they’re not offset by inferior ingredients to begin with. Guess I just have less trust in a Mars owned brand than I do in the others.

        1. Ms. B Dawson

          Do you know that Hill’s is a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive?

          1. Pacific Sun

            I didn’t, but do appreciate the information!

            The ownership of PF by big business which is accountable to stockholders, certainly isn’t our preference. But having to wash down my (very long-haired) dog 4 times in 24 hours due to extremely loose stools wasn’t either. It had to stop. I know the product (on a temporary basis) allowed him to recover (without medication, steroids and worse) and he’s back to normal. Hills provides Vets with consultation services. They also speak with owners. If C-P’s bottom line is truly profit, then results and consistency will sell their products. Whereas if Vets discovered (and were able to prove) intentional and serious downsides to that line of products, then Vets wouldn’t take a chance on the liability. Most owner’s think an Rx product is equivalent to a medical prescription intended for humans. Instead, it’s a restricted product … for a reason.

            We should keep in mind that Evangers is independent and yet was involved with one of the biggest PF mistakes in history.

            I’ve always said OTC “Science Diet” is a whole different ball game.

          2. Pacific Sun

            Mars already had/has the bad (one of the worst) reputations in the world of PF. C-P specialty is not pet supply products, just a parent corporation.

          3. Ms. B Dawson

            As you pointed out in another post, many people read this site and information should be provided that illuminates different sides. Consumers make buying decisions based on multiple parameters. Corporate involvement is important to many. That was my only intent in bringing up Colgate-Palmolive.

            And I see no difference between the quality of Hill’s prescription products and the OTC ones. Almost every formula contains corn gluten meal, soy meal or grain mill runs. Yes, Hill’s vet formulas require a prescription because they are restricted diets and do not meet AAFCO standards for a “complete” diet. Vets need to monitor the pet for possible nutritional deficiencies – an acceptable risk in short term situations. But both products are manufactured by the same company – one that has no issue with corn gluten meal and grain mill discards.

            In the interest of fairness Hill’s has had it’s share of recalls over the years too, including some vet formulas. Those recalls included the 2007 melamine contamination (which means they used Chinese rice protein concentrate), high levels of iron and salmonella. No company is exempt from QC errors or even outright deception.

            At the end of the day, we all make decisions about what’s best based on resources available. Sometimes we have to compromise. Prescription foods are one of those compromises.

          4. Pacific Sun

            You know, it’s really interesting! When I first started with TAPF a decade ago, the comments here were mainly about disagreeing with the author’s content! People would argue about anything, based on their personal disbelief! usan spent a lot of time combating these dissenters and reinforcing her research! It is totally different now, where the majority, not only agrees and appreciates the service, but are incredibly grateful! IMO the comments which add information (from a history of reading all the articles) and also from some contributing experience, goes a long ways to making the site even more interesting! And so I add here, not for the purposes of being “argumentative!”

            Number one, we shouldn’t expect anything “more” of Hill’s and an Rx kibble, than what the proper application of “whole foods” would truly offer! The problem is, health issues are complicated and resolutions aren’t simple. EXACTLY as you’ve stated: “ …decisions are based on resources available. Sometimes we have to compromise.”

            It’s good to know about Colgate-Palmolive; but dang hard to avoid C-P products in the marketplace. Of no more concern, than running for the hills (ooops), regarding ANY Mars product, having had their own share of recalls! The recall of “2007” was indeed a global disaster for the PFI! Brands which weren’t exempt, were in the minority. The real question is, which brands changed for the better??

            Rx formulas modify symptoms (true). They “can” offset a PH imbalance, modify carbohydrate intake (and so on) but don’t fix the illness! Any more than we would expect a diet of chicken broth and Jell-O to support a long distance runner!

            Every ingredient has two issues. (One) whether it’s appropriate and quality. But a perfect ingredient is never intended for singular, repetitive, long term feeding. Corn is not an entirely horrifying ingredient unto itself. But it’s heavily GMO, improperly stored (toxic) and dominates recipes to the exclusion of protein! The best kibble is always insufficient, because of waste ingredients and high heat processing. Therefore rotation (among all formats of feeding) is always the key! For short-term use, I switched from Z/d (corn/chicken) to I/d (potato/venison) for the red meat and to avoid corn. While I would’ve preferred Sweet Potato to White, it is what it is.

            My bag of Hills I/d does indeed have an AAFCO statement. The percentage of guaranteed analysis are equivalent to an “average” kibble. It helped me though, to use limited ingredients, to reduce variables. Hill’s offers reliability and research (available to Vets). (And yes, all studies have a built-in bias). I believe most PF kibble products need some kind of AAFCO statement, to be sold in the US. Vets are extremely wary of liability, and I was never told that the prolonged use of (at least I/d) would lead to a “specific” deficiency (any more than a kibble itself).

            The product is restricted (1) to monitor for effects and results, and (2) to prevent using the wrong product for the wrong condition. Returning a pet to its own normal, is every Vet’s goal.

            Science Diet’s use of corn (wouldn’t be my pick) but if I was stuck with the product, would augment my dog’s diet with plenty of whole foods! And rotate with raw. People just need to use their brains!

            Everything is relative, and we here, all too often state things in only black and white. Such comments can make us appear as extremists, purists and being unrealistic. But if PF advocacy has taught us anything, it’s about how to negotiate within the real world!!!

  6. I gave up buying Royal Canin anything a long time ago. This is just another nail in their coffin and I REALLY don’t want to exhume their remains. I hope the Association of Veterinary Nutritionists sees this as a red alert for the need to include veterinary nutrition as a mandatory course in the core curricula of all veterinary schools.

  7. tallen

    Maybe Honest Kitchen will sue them for false advertising…

    1. Regina

      Oooooh, I’d love that!!!!! Libel, Slander. Honest Kitchen jumped through hoops to get the “human” designation on their foods. Royal Canin is out-and-out lying. Honest Kitchen can say RC is harming their sales by their lies.

  8. Zia

    What SO diet, IS healthy and good to feed your cats? Because as far as I know, only 3…and yes they are all kibble. An uneducated person would like to know what is healthy to feed my cat for the urinary tract issues. Thanks for any advice.

    1. Sarah Jones

      Try Eden cat food.fantastic food.seems expensive but will heal your pet and also last ages as it’s 85% meat and no grains.grains are linked to urinary tract issues plus other diseases.i feed my dog Eden dog food.i buy from Amazon but is cheaper if buying direct from company.xx.

    2. Ms. B Dawson

      No need to spend an entire pay check on imported food from the UK. Look into Stella and Chewy’s, Bravo or Primal freeze-dried. These formulas that take 3 minutes to rehydrate with warm water. The food is shelf stable, requires no freezer space and is simple for pet sitters to feed, if necessary. As an example, Stella & Chewy’s recommends about one cup daily (one ounce dry) for an 8 pound cat. That comes out to about $2/day. I have rarely found a cat to need that much, however. Initially cats (or dogs) may crave more because the food is so tasty!

      The formulas are meat, organs and bone with a small amount of fruit/veg. Because they are moist, they promote urinary tract health. People don’t realize that big cats only drink water if they haven’t recently made a kill. They get their water from eating prey -muscle meat is roughly 60-70% water/20% protein the rest is fat and trace minerals.

      When we feed our cats dry kibble, we force them to drink unnaturally large amounts of water that the kidneys, designed to process small amounts of water, then need to deal with. This stresses the urinary tract and can lead to dis-ease.

      You should be able to find one of these brands at your local independent pet food store – you will NOT find them at big box stores. If it’s not on the shelf, your independent should be able to order it in for you as most US distributors now stock these brands.

      1. Jared

        Royal Canin foods sold in the US are made in the USA actually…

        1. Ms. B Dawson

          Sorry for not being clear, I was referring to Eden brand recommended by another comment.

        2. Lin Dallas

          Made in the US doesn’t guarantee all ingredients are sourced in the US

    3. Tryniti Thresher

      Zia, the best thing you can do for your cat is to feed her a moist diet, with a highly digestible animal protein. Our domestic cats tend to get FLUTD and other urinary issues because of the *dry*, sugary diets we feed them – kibble (i.e. meat cereal). They actually come from a desert cat, and therefore have a very low thirst drive. Our cats will potentially become 8% dehydrated before actively seeking out water, (doesn’t sound like much, but at that point a human would be on an IV!) and that is because they are built to *eat* their water. Since dry food is so, well, dry, (most kibble is 10% moisture only), that means your cat is always dehydrated, and many cats keep eating and eating, trying to get their moisture, but only gaining weight instead.
      The reason why moisture is so important for urinary issues, is that you must flush your bladder and kidneys to keep them healthy. A full bladder is a flushing bladder, and when a bladder is flushing more often, you don’t get concentrated urine, you don’t get a small amount of urine sitting around in the bladder, irritating the bladder wall, causing inflammation and bleeding, allowed sediment to form into crystals and stones, and you don’t get bacteria traveling up an unused urethra.
      You want your cat to eat a food that is much closer to what they are biologically built to eat – other animals. Animal bodies are around 70% water. So is canned food. They are also very high in protein, and fat, and natural nutrition, and extremely low in carb (around 2%, which is much lower than that 30, 40, or 50% + carb content of kibble). Extra sugar is also bad for urinary issues, which is why I also don’t recommend cranberry (cooked cranberries – as well as all other fruit – are partially broken down into sugar) for urinary issues – though many would think that I would, being a firm advocate for the efficacy of a biologically appropriate diet and natural remedies.
      I hope that helps. A seriously great resource for you is It’s written by D.V.M. Lisa Pierson, and she is nutrition savvy and specializes in cats and their most common issues. I have learned most of what I know from her, Elizabeth Hodgkins, my in-staff vet at my work Dr. Katy, and even Dr. Karen Becker – voted top ten vet in Chicago. Their information is based on your pet’s biology as well as thousands of cases that prove time and time again that nutrition is the most key role in your pet’s health, and that a fresh, moist diet is the most healthy.

  9. Nancy W

    My vet recommended Royal Canin RX Selected Protein canned cat food. I contacted Royal Canin with questions regarding ingredients, where they were sourced and why they were included. Also asked them why an RX was needed to purchase when there was nothing in the food that would require an RX. Also questioned the premium price for not so premium ingredients. They sent a lengthy reply and apparently thought I was stupid. Their reply didn’t answer most of my questions and was mostly a letter of praise for how great their food is with nothing to back it up. They even suggested I try the dry formula. Apparently these people making foods for cats don’t know that cats shouldn’t eat dry food. I could tell it was no use pursuing the matter any further. I was sure I wouldn’t get anywhere with them. I just decided to never purchase anything from them.

    1. max

      Why can’t cats eat dry food…………..

      1. Lin Dallas

        A cat’s body is designed to conserve as much water as possible, it concentrates urine by pulling water out of waste products and recycling through the body where necessary. They need to have water in the food to compensate for the water they don’t naturally drink. The high volume of salt among other ingredients in the dry food promotes excessive amounts of drinking but it’s never enough to compensate for the dehydration caused by the dry food. A feral cat would eat mice, birds, bugs getting their food & water from their prey, not a bag of krunchies & a bowl of water.

      2. Tryniti Thresher

        Max, see my comment above explaining a cat’s ancestry and how their body works. Wild cats don’t get urinary issues, and your domestic cat’s digestive system is the same as theirs.

  10. Ms. B Dawson

    This falls in line with the current “anti-science” insult hurled at anyone who dares challenge profit generating “facts”.

    Did anyone notice how closely those label mockups look like actual holistic brand labels? Similar fonts, graphic style, etc. Or for that matter, the subtle message sent by a black and white presentation? Oh yeah. There’s a difference between human and animal nutrition, but there’s no mistaking psychological manipulation.

    Sorry, Mars, I don’t buy it (literally!). This biologist will continue to hurl stones at sacred cows and feed raw human food to my rescue crew.

  11. James H. Cohen

    What Truth About Pet Food totally misses is ISO sourcing and it appears they either purposely deleted that, ignored it or are merely unaware. I can’t take this site seriously without real info sourcing and a clinical bases for the claims that on the surface seem to be biased.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      The video shows a graphic image with the words “ISO Food Safety and Handling Standards” for seconds at the end of the video. No explanation to this is provided, no details of ‘food safety’ is provided. Perhaps you work for Mars Petcare and are familiar with their safety standards. I don’t work for Mars, but over the years I have spoken directly to many Mars Petcare employees. Many that worked at the Pedigree plant that used to be in Joplin, MO. They have told me a very different story than ‘safety’. I also have been collecting over the past several months multiple Freedom of Information Act requests specific to lack of ‘safety’ at Mars Petcare (still waiting on more FOIA requests). So…I know much more than you realize.

      Biased? Best I can say is I don’t have much good to say about any pet food company that misleads and lies to consumers.

      1. Regina

        Excellent response Susan. I thought it was laughable that Mr. Cohen questioned your info sources, when you were showing an actual Royal Canin video!!!!!

        Any regular follower of your work would NOT be defending Royal Canin and slamming you!

  12. Regina

    I hate Royal Canin with a passion. They just make my blood boil. I am a label reader. I will just read a bunch of labels for fun if I have time to kill. They make a cat food specifically for Bengal cats. Bengals are a very active breed. There is NO MEAT in the food for them! I mean, come on, folks! Active carnivores NEED meat!!!!! That is just one recent example I saw, most of their cat food based on corn and by-products. They lie and they lie, and I just wish they would stop. Stop lying, stop making pet “feed”, stop everything.

    This whole thing about “human” food being bad for pets is just ridiculous! The “pet food industry” hasn’t been around all that long, commercial pet foods were not even a thing when my grandparents were young. What the heck does RC think people fed their pets before commercial pet food/feed were put on the shelves at the stores????
    Human food, unprocessed (no “long list of ingredients”) foods are what people used to feed their pets long before RC was around. I think it’s perfectly fine to give my pets something I’m eating, as long as it is not WHEN I’m eating, so as to not promote begging.

    1. Dianne & Pets

      Not to forget that when baby formula first came out, the spiel to doctors and mothers was that it was better than breast milk and you were risking your babies health choosing to breastfeed. After all, a rigid schedule and measured amount of formula was “scientifically proven” to be better and safer. Fortunately, and I really don’t know why though I am sure a little laziness was involved, but I could not face the cost of formulas, boiling and sterilizing bottles and nipples, mixing formula and heating at feeding time, especially since I apparently had some postpartum depression, I breastfed all my babies. After the tide started turning in north America, nestle then went on a push to get mothers in third world countries to use formula.. Criminal, those mothers often diluted the formula and supplies of clean water, not to mention proper storage, were scarce. If a company like that could sacrifice the health and welfare of babies for their profit, there is absolutely no reason to expect them to have any real concern for the health and welfare of our pets.

  13. Michelle

    This video is infuriating !!!! Anyone with half a brain knows that “REAL FOOD” is healthier than “MANUFACTURED FOOD”! Its time for vets to get nutritional education with their medical educations. The problem is that pet food companies are buying up the pet hospitals (Banfield ect.) and training their own vets!!!!!!!!!! So what do you think they are going to teach them? They will tell pet parents to buy the crap food. Pets get sick, hospitals and vets make more money. It is a vicious circle! This INFURIATES ME!!!!!! BE AWARE PEOPLE!!!!!

    1. Regina

      so many people don’t know that the people who make the “food” are also the ones that make money off of sick pets. It would be great if they had to disclose that connection. Sometimes you’ll be reading something, and they disclose that whatever conglomerate they are talking about actually owns the magazine or whatever.

      THIS should be standard practice with everything!!!!!!

    2. Maria

      Our Toby was part of the Banfield Wellness Program. He developed lumps and we had a few removed. He then developed soft tissue “cancer” on his leg. We finally quit Banfield 2 years ago. His lump is getting bigger and it breaks my heart to see it. We had a large lump removed last year, but it grew back on the same leg, but in a different location.
      We’ve been feeding him fresh foods in hopes that this cancer may reverse itself.

      1. Johanna

        Maria, you might want to check out the Keto Pet website. They are a nonprofit animal rescue that focuses on healing dogs with cancer naturally through diet, and they just released a free ebook that is packed full of awesome info. I think you just need to sign up with your email and they’ll email you the free download link.

        Also, Dr. Dressler’s Free Dog Cancer Diet e-Book is another free resource that’s full of good information.

        Some of my favorite sources for information on natural cures for cancer are also and which are not necessarily about dogs, but can apply (you’ll need to do some extra research, but there’s TONS of amazing info there). Specifically for dogs, I love the site click menu at the top and scroll down, there’s multiple pages on cancer and natural cancer cures/treatments. I known specifically things like broccoli sprouts and Essiac are supposed to be great for fighting cancer.

        Just wanted to share this info in hopes it might somehow be of help to you and your pup. Prayers for you both, hoping your guy gets well soon!

  14. Schnauzersoc

    Sadly, Nutrition in Vet School was taught to us by none other than Hills Science Diet.
    I broke the ranks. And most of what I do as an Integrative Veterinarian is deal with nutrition issues.

  15. Julz Kolar

    I work with dogs and humans after they have become sick and unhealthy. To sum it up…the cause of illness and disease is due to the body being too deficient in enzymes and becoming too acidic due to the foods and toxins that it is given. I have yet to see a commercial dog food out on the market worth purchasing. If you want your dog to be healthy they should be eating primarily REAL human, organic RAW fruits and RAW vegetables. Yes, they need some real RAW meat, but not even close to the amount of meat that most people are feeding to their dogs. After the body digests and processes meat the body breaks meat down into an acidic ash. The proper acid/alkaline balance is how you keep the body healthy. Doesn’t matter if you’re a dog or a human. Here is a bit of information that we provide to individuals that we work with when it comes to just one of many of the so-called dog foods by Royal Canin……Royal Canin Urinary SO is very commonly prescribed and considered by your vet to be the best food for bladder health. In our opinion, it is one of the worst. Royal Canin SO is like a medicine. A medicine most often will clear up some symptoms short term but causes more harm to the body (side effects) and a medicine does not address the causes of the problem. It actually will contribute to an overly alkaline urine pH. So once the medicine is stopped, then the problem will come back twice as bad. In the case of the Royal Canin SO, if a dog is given this diet long term, then you will start to notice symptoms that may indicate intestinal tract, liver and kidneys deterioration as such organs are the ones that have to deal with processing such a diet. This is a highly acidic diet that will have negative side effects on the liver and kidneys. By acidic we mean the diet has no organic minerals (minerals that have a protein bond around them for ease of assimilation). The red color ingredients are not real nutrients but chemicals and that puts a huge burden on the liver and kidneys. The body has been designed to use natural forms of these nutrients and often does not recognize the synthetic forms and does not know what to do with them. Nutrients are best utilized by the body when they come in whole food forms. Living things are designed to get nutrients from foods, not from chemicals cooked up in a lab. We marked other foods in red because they are processed down to such low quality that they become nothing more than waste product or they are native to a dog’s diet and cannot be digested well. The main enzymes in their mouth and in their gut, are protein digesting enzymes for high protein foods like meats. A dog with any kind of health issues needs a low animal protein diet due to their poor digestive, bladder, kidney, health. Royal Canin SO dry kibble brings down the amount of animal protein by adding Powdered Cellulose which is another name for sawdust or ground up cardboard. **Picture every ingredient below highlighted in red

    Royal Canin Urinary SO dry ingredients: Brewers rice, corn, chicken fat, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, natural flavors, salt, egg product, wheat gluten, potassium chloride, vegetable oil, Powdered cellulose, monocalcium phosphate, fish oil, calcium sulfate, DL-methionine, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, L-lysine, taurine, choline chloride, monosodium phosphate, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals [zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.

    There is not one ingredient in this so-called food that promotes any kind of health whatsoever to the body. For those who have seen positive results and keep feeding this to your dog…the time will come when you will see your dog’s body still not healthy. For now, if the food appears to have helped or healed them – it’s only because it is suppressing symptoms. The symptoms you suppress today will be your biggest nightmare someday. One day hopefully everyone will come to the understanding that suppressing symptoms will in no way heal the body.

    1. Eve

      Excellent Julz..she’s is completely correct.

    2. Toree karley

      You’re so right there is nothing nutritional and that list of food you just posted.

    3. Regina

      Julz, thank you for such a well-written comment. The point you make about “medicine” is so true. There have been times that I have needed medicines, but, such medicines were not meant to be taken long-term. I would take them for a short-term period of time, and then get the hell off of them. I have respiratory issues, and occasionally, Prednisone would be prescribed. Prednisone would clear up the immediate problem of breathing, which is a necessity, but, taking it long-term would lead to a whole host of other problems. I cringe when I hear people giving their pets steroids long-term. In a nutshell, you have explained that so that pet owners can hopefully grasp that concept. In so many cases, medicines are a temporary way of resolving a problem. That does not mean it should be taken forever.

      This is just my one example of your explanation. Hopefully, keeping our pets healthy would mean they would not need to be medicated.

      1. Regina

        I forgot to mention, as for my respiratory issues, temporary fixes are just that. Temporary. I have had to make changes in my life so that I am not subjected to the shit that would make breathing so hard for me. I had a job I loved, LOVED, and I put up with the respiratory problems for waaaaaay too long. Did so much damage to my lungs, that I’m more sensitive than ever to things that will cause breathing difficulty. . . . So, just treating the symptom, but not dealing with what was causing it, ended up doing more damage than good.

        You really nailed it with your explanation. Thank you.

  16. Eve

    S@it in a packet and can…dare to try it? AVOID ALL processed pet feed…YOU KNOW YOU CAN. Now the truth is out there, pet food companies can’t be blamed any longer (to a certain point) it’s the pet feed consumers CHOICE to pass the buck…”PETS are NOT lazy it comes down to pet owners obligation to feed their pets according to their innate species appropriate diet. Like McDonalds fast food industry was shown to the world so too is the pet feed industry. Bottom line is PREP and FEED your ‘beloved pets’ UNCONDITIONALLY the way its meant to be NOT processed feed. No body forces pet owners to buy this s@it.

  17. Dan Thompson

    Susan, why do you refer to the AAFCO since it is not, to my understanding, a legitimate governm not body that oversees pet foods in an unbiased manner? As I understand, it was formed by the pet food makers and established its guidelines after the pet food companies tell it how to do that…. If I am incorrect please tell me. Being an unregulated and recognized body by the FDA, USDA, etc makes the AAFCO a more insidious part of an untruthful industry.
    Dan Thompson, Geneva

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      AAFCO is an independent organization that consists of State Department of Agriculture and FDA members. Industry participates has advisors – so do a small number of consumer advocates. Advisors have no voting power. AAFCO writes the legal definitions of pet food/animal feed ingredients (FDA accepts these definitions under a contract with AAFCO) and writes state laws. So even though it is an independent organization, it is very much involved in the regulatory system.

  18. Eve

    Incredible RUBBISH what a load of BY-PRODUCT CRAP./
    I have a Veterinary background and have worked in Veterinarian Practices, The Zoo, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation for Wildlife and Domestic Pets – Cats, Dogs, Avian, Reptiles and insects. I am now studying Holistic Pet Companion Nutrition – Holistic Pet Nutritionist. Let me assure every pet owner out there this advert is COMPLETE and UTTER LOAD OF LIES LIES LIES and is an absolute JOKE. We need to work on MARKETING PET FOOD LAWS to make ONLY TRUTHS be told…and if that was the case NO PET FEED would sell…unless some people choose ignorance over intelligence. Look this ad is bogus crap and nonsense…and actually pet feed DOES contain ANIMAL CRAP and that’s NO JOKE…SERIOUSLY!

  19. Toree karley

    How can his company produced such a false video and so much lying. I am shocked that video could be no more true been saying white is black or black is Blue

  20. Lin Dallas

    “Royal Canin stands behind the quality of our food” have they forgotten the melamine poisoning in their food in 2007? I haven’t.

    1. Jared

      Every company is 2007 had malamine poisoning…. I think you forgot that. The man in China who sold it to the entire pet food market also sold it to companies that made BABY formula abroad. At least Royal Canin offered to pay the bills for all the pets effected… other companies didn’t.

      1. Lin Dallas

        Royal Canin refused to pay the full amount of all the vet bills I incurred during four (4) years of treatment for my cat’s kidney failure and lymphoma caused by their greed before she passed away. My love & dedication to Duffy brought her kidney values to near normal through daily at home fluid injections & homeopathy until the cancer took her away. They refused to cover the full Homeopathic Vet visits, or any homeopathic formulas & raw food, they would only pay a *small portion* that which was conventional treatment – she would not have thrived on conventional treatment like she did homeopathically, and they wanted her on the same food that made her sick in the first place, I went into debt well over $10,000 that took me six (6) years to pay off. I had fight hard for the small amount of compensation I got from this massive multimillion dollar corporation who doesn’t give a damn what’s in their petfeed just what profit they get from it. The bags that contained the contaminated rice protein were not white but pink with “melamine” written right on them if this company cared so much what’s in their food they would’ve seen that. Just because it says made in the US doesn’t mean all ingredients are US sourced.
        No not every company was involved in the melamine poisioning.
        Duffy was less than 1 month from her 20th birthday when she passed away. I have forgotten nothing.

      2. Ms. B Dawson

        “Every company is 2007 had malamine poisoning….”

        Not true.

        I realize that the massive number of products recalled may have made it seem that way, but only brands that used rice protein concentrate or wheat gluten were affected. Of the dozens of brands on my shelves, only Natural Balance Venison and Rice was recalled.

  21. Woof99

    As a vet tech working in the field for 20+ years, all I can say is that we have over 1000 pets including our own pets eating these vet diets. And they look amazing, they have beautiful fur, healthy muscle tone, nice stools and they live very long lives. Technicians and veterinarians feed these diets to their own pets, if the diet weren’t good, it wouldn’t take long for us to recognize it! We aren’t blind! I am obsessed with my own pets and I compete in agility with my dogs and they are my life! All of my pets have been extremely healthy and have lived a long and healthy lives eating these veterinary diets. I find it so insulting when people think that I’ve been feeding a diet that would make my pet sick, when the proof is in front of me every day! Hills and rc make diets based on science, I’ve met with a nutritionist who has been studying animal nutrition for over 15 years, and i’ve chatted with her about why don’t these companies choose better looking ingredients, and she says it’s all about the nutritional parameters it based on science. It doesn’t look good on the label however the results are there with the pets. I’m sad to see all the comments from people saying how well their dogs are doing on the vet diet however they still want to change them, that just breaks my heart! I’ve had friends feeding raw and some of their dogs have frequent diarrhea and dull fur and yet they are convinced they are doing what’s best for their pet. It’s not normal for pets to have diarrhea! It’s not normal to have dull fur! If you see this in your pets please try something different! I don’t care what people feed, as long as their pets look great!

    1. Ms. B Dawson

      I appreciate your comments from the standpoint that some can be a bit shrill in their criticism of packaged foods. I’m a biologist, so I understand science – including it’s limitations. And that’s where my comments are focused.

      It is no defense at all to say that vets, techs and those educated in science feed foods that contain corn gluten meal or by-products and therefore it is “good” food. How many MDs, & nurses smoke or are overweight? These individuals will cite healthy blood tests or activity levels as proof they aren’t impacted by their actions. Are we to infer that they, because of their science education, are doing the right thing and we should follow their lead? Of course not. They are making poor choices in spite of their knowledge.

      Science only works when it takes things apart and analyzes them. Multiple variables cannot be resolved. A carbon molecule is identical no matter if it comes from a blade of grass or a drop of oil. This is where the indifference to quality of feed ingredients has it’s roots. It is easier to create a food in a lab from shelf stable fractionated ingredients than to deal with the perishable nature of fresh whole foods. The former creates a food that is cheaper and, frankly, more palatable to animals in the same way that french fries are more delectable than a baked potato. Both, it can be argued, contain the same fibre, minerals, carbs, even the same %fat if you count the butter and therefore should be equivalent nutrition. Human nutritionists wouldn’t buy that argument.

      The argument that ingredients in their whole states are more healthful than disembodied molecules re-combined into an identical structure will never be resolved. Science sees no difference. Those accused of “anti-science” do.

      Being fair, no “premium” pet food is dropping whole chickens into grinders. They are using “meaty carcasses” that are the result of the deboned chicken we buy at the grocery. The apples, kale and other veg is second quality – there are cosmetic issues that consumers won’t purchase. The grocery store brands are using spoiled veg and grain that CAN”T be sold to consumers under USDA law. This has been admitted openly in AAFCO meetings. The meat they use can, under law, come from diseased animals that failed USDA inspection for human consumption. Processors and AAFCO argue that any pathogens or mold is effectively killed during processing. They deny that any toxins – which can survive high temperatures – produced by these pathogens/mold are a health risk.

      Rendering and by-products are misunderstood words. Looking at the most basic definition, rendering is the breaking down of a material into a usable product. It does not deal with the quality of what is being rendered. Lard is a rendered product. The objection from those on this site is that the term can also applies to spoiled meat and animals who died other than from slaughter – road kill & euthanized animals. AAFCO definitions disallow the “other than by slaughter” meat but the lack of oversight and regulatory enforcement leaves the door open for cheating. There is no way to tell. It’s a game of Russian roulette.

      By-products are merely cast off bits like beaks, feet, pancreas and represent things that animals might naturally consume. AAFCO’s definition is “animal parts other than meat, exclusive of feathers”. Again these parts can be spoiled, contaminated or diseased. Oversight just isn’t there. As an aside, the exclusion of feathers is purely economic. Feather meal is a highly marketable product.

      We all know folks who consume a fifth of Jack Danels a week or smoke a pack a day and appear to be healthy. Some dogs will do the same on any quality of food. You cited observations from your experience over the years but that’s not science, that’s anecdotal. You have attempted to fortify science with the very thing science uses to attack herbal medicine, raw diets and holistic lifestyles. From my anecdotal files comes 25 years of experience fixing skin, digestive and “smelly dog” syndromes by adjusting nutrition to something closer to fresh. How many dogs in your clinics over the years were on chronic doses of prednisone for low-grade skin issues and flea allergies. My training is in TCM and those issues are nothing but lung/large intestine meridian imbalances, usually resolved by adjusting digestion with better food.

      Science has it’s own blind spots. One of them is believing it holds the “truth”. I saw an interesting quote the other day attributed to Thomas Edison, a consummate science-minded individual. “Until man creates a blade of grass, nature laughs at your science.”

    2. Pacific Sun

      Being in a profession that uses science and statistics to treat conditions, then you already appreciate the value and necessity of controlled studies and published studies. But measuring their unbiased objectivity as well.

      If your dogs are doing well the way you’re already feeding them, think how much better they’d be doing on an optimal diet! Susan wrote an article a long time ago about how a dog’s natural lifespan is genetically much longer than what we’ve come to expect. We’re also speaking about quality of life. And what does the dog finally succumb to.

      Again, there are many potential benefits from what manufacturers have learned through the decades about diets! As well as what they’re in a position to be providing! No brand is going to outright kill a pet in the short-term. Except, that a few mistakes (Evangers) actually have. So it’s both a game of opportunity and risk. It only takes a batch or two to negate a lot of opportunity.

      We also don’t see truly independently published, objective, life-long, third party studies directly comparing methods of feeding among dogs (of same litters, background, environments, etc..) and wouldn’t that be really interesting!? Including commercial, raw and homemade!! Especially the value of rotation. Heck, we don’t even see studies amongst brands of dog food! Even though some commercials have claimed to be adding 3 years to a dog’s life.

      So what we’re really looking at is “best practices” being the most consistent feature amongst all manufacturers. It IS about formulation, as well as the quality and stability of the ingredients comprising the formula! Is there enough control over sourcing and processing? Because either aspect can undo the other. For specific situations, my preference happens to be Hills Rx and your preference seems to be RC. Mars just happens to have a worse track record (as demonstrated) over time.

  22. Julz Kolar

    “I don’t care what people feed as long as their pets look great!” Just because your pet looks “great” doesn’t mean your pet is healthy. We can’t see what’s going on inside the body and all the current testing we have available doesn’t tell us a complete picture either. What testing do we have that tells us how our cells are communicationg and functioning and how much acid is inside of the body? Health is so much more than how one “looks.” All these pets that you talk about that were fed toxic chemical ingredients for years…they seriiously lived about 15-20 years without any problems whatsoever until one day they just drifted off to sleep and didn’t wake up – hmmmm really? Spend some time looking up every ingredient in Royal’s food and what ingredient in that food brings nutrition to the cells of one’s body?
    “Nutritional parameters” “Based on science” confuse the mind as if it is all difficult to understand when in reality it isn’t. Health is simple. Our pets are living beings, therefore they need to eat food that is alive…alive with enzymes. A real food is defined as a food substance which is compatible with the body, that in no way takes from the body, but lends itself to the building up of health and maintaining life. It contains nothing that is harmful, toxic or non-usable by the body. A real food meets the following requirements: 1) It must be something edible, grown in the natural world. 2) It can be eaten without processing in any way. 3) An entire meal of just that one substance can be eaten, thoroughly enjoyed and be completely satisfying. It is not offensive to the taste buds. Real foods come to us from nature as “complete packages.” This means they have everything in them necessary for the body to process and assimilate that food for use by the body.

    1. Pacific Sun

      Interestingly enough I have a wise Vet who puts a lot of stock into how the dog looks (based on the owner’s experience and observation). The first question he often asks (and sometimes in terms of a phone triage) is, does the dog look bright!? In other words, in terms of his normal condition (sight, responsiveness, interest, attention, resting state, mental status) is he stable, or worse than? So appearances really can be useful in beginning the diagnostic process. Confirmed through testing.

      A lot of people read this site even though they don’t leave comments. So it’s important to keep things fair and balanced. Or visitors are going to think we’re looney toons. I understand your principle. But real food to a dog is different than for humans. Your concept is really about bio-availability delivered to each species, and there are various levels involved. Raw protein is most immediate, lightly browned ground turkey can’t hurt, neither could a can of meat (made for humans) except for excessive sodium.

      Foods are also based on complimentary status, meaning how they interact and don’t contradict or negate each other. PH balance is one “indicator” but is also relative to existing conditions. Nutrition is complicated. And while the 3 points provided in the post, can offer a summary, it’s not always that simple. For one thing, we live in an imperfect world and have to deal with it. Unless you grow it yourself nothing is truly free of toxins, just some of the worst kinds. It’s all a matter of degree. Sure, I can eat strawberries all day long, they’re tasty, vitamin C, minor amount of fiber, natural sugar. But a continuous diet (or an imbalanced diet) can create an issue. (I know, it’s happened to me). While a strawberry is good, it’s not a complete package.

      So a dog’s diet, in particular, benefits from variety and rotation. Nutrition “can” be administered in different manners (for the chronically ill, very elderly, extreme athletes, sensitive conditions, etc., etc.). It’s about adaptation, right. I can go a week eating “Carnation Breakfast Bars” but also need to rotate in those eggs and fresh fruit, most likely.

      The take away is that owners shouldn’t be discouraged it they can’t do all or nothing. Ranch/farm dogs survived on the healthy (non-toxic) scraps of what people ate (probably along with what they forged, including road-kill and prey). But value-added supplementation (properly sourced and wisely administered) can also help dogs who are in need of more balance. We have the benefit of science now to make these improvements. Keep in mind that while the body begins with everything necessary to assimilate food, our optimal ability begins to degrade, and life-stages may require adjustment. Which is certainly where an enhanced product (plus wholesome food) can help make up the difference. Good health, is not always “exactly” simple. But informed common sense should override a continuous desire for fast food and shortcuts. Just as it should be when feeding our dogs.

      1. MARIA

        I’ve taken my dog off of kibble. I don’t mind feeding him fresh chicken, steamed white rice, small amounts of white potatoes, fresh carrots all mixed with the chicken broth.

  23. ManifestingChanges

    I don’t think these companies will change until they are forced to change. And they will try to trick people with some new tactic or ingredient combo. They will never learn and need harsher consequences until they accept that it will be easier if they just do the right thing for once, and stop with the sneaky crap. Hopefully karma (or a curse) happens so they will know how it feels to go through what they caused pet parents to go through because of their greed. Pets are our family members.

  24. jude

    My dog has been 100% vegan for eight years and she is in top shape.Vegan is the best and saf
    est diet for dogs

    1. Ms. B Dawson

      The only “best” diet is the one that works for your dog. There is no one diet that satisfies nutritional requirements unequivocally, including the commercial diets that claim “100% nutritionally complete”. Some breeds such as Chows are able to do well on a vegan diet but given free will no dog would eschew meat. They are opportunistic carnivores.

      I’ve been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for 30 years and respect the reasons people choose to be vegan. I’m glad your dog is doing well but, but you are imposing a philosophy on a species which does not have the same concerns.

  25. RJ

    Thank you for posting this Susan, It is just scary to think that vets are convinced that these terms are what they need to be teling their pet parents and wondering why our little loved ones have so much medical problems that did not exist with our grandparents pets. The only two things I agree with the video on are these: 1) Humans and animals have far different nutritional needs. 2) That we food our pets based on scientific facts and not advertising claims.

  26. Dianne & Pets

    This seems like as good a thread to leave this as any. My vet retired and I have a new young vet, I really like her, but when I asked about her view of nutrition (it is a particular interest of hers) she said she wants food scientifically proved to be safe. Then she waxed poetical about the Royal Canin plant (in Canada) that she had a tour of and was trying to get to see others. I suspect there are show facilities to show vets.

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