Ahhh pet food sponsored animal shelters and vets - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Ahhh pet food sponsored animal shelters and vets

I'm a volunteer at my local humane society. We had a dog who was rescued from a really, really bad puppy mill and had been at the shelter for a year and is heartworm positive. She is also obese. She was adopted the other day


So we're in the room talking to the family about how she needs to lose weight and I'm like "Bertha is going to need high quality food." And the animal shelter employee interrupts immediately and says "Yeah a good one is Purina Pro Plan and that's what we feed our dogs here. Our vet has approved it and everything," and then she adds "I'm not going to lie. We are being sponsored by Purina but it really is the best brand. And never feed dogs canned food. Eating canned for them is like eating doritos everyday. Dry food is much better." Can you imagine how I feel at this point? This chihuahua, who is around 18 pounds right now, was 10 pounds when she was rescued. She's been eating Purina Pro Plan all along...why would you recommend that to her adopters?

I wish I could say something but these are the type of people that won't listen to reason. They have four vets and they're getting all this information from those vets. There's literally like 20 or 30 employees there and whenever I say something to promote canned food to anyone, they lash out at me. I don't even know people in real life who feed their dogs anything but dry food. And I meet hundreds of people at the shelter once a month.

Just because Purina sponsors them, they're recommending that crappy food to people without even doing ANY research. It's going to be so sad if those people continue to feed poor Bertha Purina Pro Plan...I already know they'll feed her dry food. I wish I could say something but since I'm so young and just a volunteer against all those employees and four vets, my opinion doesn't count.

It's just an annoying feeling. When you're surrounded by all these people who recommend Purina Pro Plan and you know it's unhealthy. I wasn't so upset before because I thought they were just uninformed so they were recommending Purina. But the other day I found out they're sponsored! So now it's all because of money. Why can't Wellness sponser people?

Phew sorry for the rant. It's just that I always heard over the internet how vets/animal shelters were sponsored by companies but now I know it's true. Oh well, at least Bertha finally got adopted by a good family. She spent 3 years in a really bad puppy mill and then came to a shelter where she spent about another year. If I would have jumped in and tried to go against her remarks then I'm sure we would have gotten into a mini argument and I didn't want to get into an argument in front of the family who was going to adopt Bertha.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 12:07 PM
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That's not ethical! Pro plan is better than regular Purina, but I wouldn't care if it was filet mignon! It's not ethical...unless it really IS the best food for the dog. I understand that you cannot say anything. What a shame.




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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 12:41 PM
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Oh I know, I feel your pain! I'm so sick of Hill's being the be all and end all and all we are allowed to recommend.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 01:19 PM
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You're likely not in a position to argue with your co-workers and doing so might make things worse. Like you say, it's good that Bertha finally found a home, and perhaps the people themselves will subsequently do their own research. When I adopted Muffs, I was given various food recommendations (as I recall, Royal Canin and Pro Plan), which I used initially. But, after a few weeks, I started doing my own research and quickly switched her to grain-free, higher-quality foods. Of course, if you ever get the chance to speak to the potential adoptive parents of a cat, you could always say something along the lines of, "If you ever have any questions about your cat, I can recommend a very good online resource that I have found to be very helpful", and then recommend the CatForum, where they'll quickly learn to distinguish good food from bad.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well they are all opposed to feeding wet food at the shelter. They don't want to talk about it. They have good customer service skills but know nothing about animal nutrition. I can assure you I would have gotten into an argument with her in front of the family if I would have said anything. That's the last thing I wanted. It was suppose to be a happy moment because she was getting adopted after a year at the shelter and having a chance to live a good life so I didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable in the room by starting a fight. It has happened in the past. I'll say something to promote wet food and she jumps in and tells me to stop and says "I'll take care of it. Stop. You can go now." Anyway, at the end, when the lady left the room, I sneaked in and said to do a lot of research on the internet. So I hope they will do that.

Pretty much everyone I know in real life is set on the idea that wet food is very bad. Heck, a lot of vets I know think wet food is really bad. And the people listen to those vets. They say it's better for the teeth. Well then why does Bertha only have 9 teeth left? She was on dry food her whole life. Oh well. Those people will return in 30 days for the first heartworm shot...if I see them ever again, I will definitely talk to them about food.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 09:11 PM
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I know that wet food is better for cats than dry, but I have never read anything suggesting the same for dogs. All the dog forums I am on are full of very educated people regarding canine nutrition, and I have NEVER seen anyone suggest canned food. There are a lot of RAW/BARF proponents, but the general consensus is that if you cannot/will not do RAW, a high quality kibble is best.

Do you guys have different resources I don't know about? Or is it an assumption since the same is true for cats? (I actually ask that politely out of curiousity, not with any sarcasm)

I work at a pet store and am constantly having to deal with people telling me their vets recommended some corn-filled food or another... we have to be very careful about how we approach that subject, because we're not allowed to tell them their vet is full of bs and taking kickbacks. We also have Purina AND Hills sponsored adoption events, where those brands get heavily promoted. Blech.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 09:26 PM
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The nutrition in kibble is more concentrated than in wet food, dogs over 30-40 pounds will have a hard time consuming the quantity of wet food needed to meet their caloric needs. So larger dogs must eat kibble if they're not eating raw.

Eating kibble is not as much of an issue with dogs as it is for cat. They don't have the thirst drive issues that cats do...they will consume enough water to offset the fact that their food doesn't have it. They also don't need the same protein levels that cats do, it's about 10% less than a cat.

Dogs do experience the same issues with diets with simple carbs as cats do. But putting a dog on a grain free high protein kibble (high for a dog is 35-40% vs the 40-50% foods for a cat) with an appropriate caloric intake will be more successful than with cat.

A dogs biggest enemy when it comes to weight management is an owner who gives too many treats, whereas with a cat it's the owner who provides the never ending kibble bowl.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebug View Post
Eating kibble is not as much of an issue with dogs as it is for cat.
Oh OK then that makes me feel a little bit better. Since I don't have a dog I don't do much research on canine nutrition. I just thought the same thing applied to dogs.

And I completely forgot...dogs don't have thirst drive problem. They're constantly drinking water.

I feel much better now because the family that adopted her was amazing. They donated $1000 toward heartworm treatment for other dogs. I am sure they're going to go to Petsmart or Petco and try to find the best dry food for Bertha. They also acknowledged the fact that it would be high quality. Phew.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by catlady2010 View Post
Oh OK then that makes me feel a little bit better. Since I don't have a dog I don't do much research on canine nutrition. I just thought the same thing applied to dogs.

And I completely forgot...dogs don't have thirst drive problem. They're constantly drinking water.

I feel much better now because the family that adopted her was amazing. They donated $1000 toward heartworm treatment for other dogs. I am sure they're going to go to Petsmart or Petco and try to find the best dry food for Bertha. They also acknowledged the fact that it would be high quality. Phew.


Cool. This is good info, too: Little Big Cat


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:07 PM
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OK, well then I need to be blunt and say that you shouldn't be trying to provide advice if you haven't done the research. Every species has their own nutritional requirements. Just as it's wrong to apply human nutritional requirements to cats and dogs, it's also inappropriate to apply cat nutrition to dogs and vice versa. There are a lot of similarities but the differences are very important.

Wet food is not bad for dogs, but telling someone with an 80lb Lab to feed wet food would bad advice. The dog can't possibly consume the calories it needs and the family would likely go broke trying to do it. Other than for very small dogs, wet food is typically used as toppers for kibble to provide variety.


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