Recently, an article written by Dr. Sarah J. Wooten of dvm360 criticized the film Pet Fooled for containing “a lot of misinformation designed to alarm you”. Really, Dr. Wooten? Are the veterinarians with dvm360 sincerely trying to help animals or is it part of your practice to lie to pet parents?
What’s alarming is Dr. Wooten then wrote a follow up Q&A for fellow vets who are approached by clients who have seen the film.
After all, if we have valid questions about the health and wellbeing of our pets, we should be able to trust our veterinarians to give us truthful (unscripted) information – right?
The dvm360 article she wrote was full of “misinformation” that does alarm me as a health conscious pet parent.
From the dvm360 article:
“First, although this movie says dogs are wolves and eat the same things, this is not true.”
Tell that to the DNA research conducted by Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Institute of Zoology showing that dogs and wolves are genetically 99.9% identical. (You can find this information on Snopes.com too)
But we don’t usually write much on dogs… So let’s see what she had to say about cats.
“The movie says that feeding dry kibble to a cat can cause kidney disease. Am I killing my cat with her food?”
No, you are not killing your cat. Dry food does not cause kidney disease in cats…”
Dr. Wooten -while I understand that it’s difficult for medical doctors to accept any evidence outside of scientific research (which is hard to find on this subject), it doesn’t take a PhD, DVM or advanced education to use common sense:
- Dry kibble is… DRY. This means it’s void of moisture.
- Dehydration causes stress to both the urinary tract and the kidneys.
- Decreased flow of urine to the kidneys is one of the “potential causes of kidney disease in cats”, even according to the “reputable” Hill’s Science Diet website. (Didn’t they teach your veterinary nutritional courses, Dr. Wooten?)
Telling veterinarians and pet parents that dry food is fine for cats and that it won’t affect their kidney health is a lie. Maybe dvm360 should look for new authors?
THIS is my favorite:
“The movie showed that they put road-kill, euthanized animals and diseased animals in my pet’s food! Is that TRUE?”
That is false. It is not legal for a pet food company to do so.
Dr. Wooten! It appears that it’s YOU who has been fooled.
Susan Thixton wrote an amazing and comprehensive response to this on TruthAboutPetFood.com. Read this to understand how pet food compliance policies actually do allow this practice in pet food. (Incidentally, these policies were available to research long before Dr. Wooten wrote her articles.)
I did some of my own research…
You see, my father used to work at a rendering plant in Tennessee that used road-kill, dead farm animals, scraps from slaughterhouses and restaurant waste to make pet food ingredients for companies like Pedigree and Purina.
It was the most disgusting and disturbing job he ever had and the stories of what actually went through that plant would make you vomit. However, knowing the facts about pet food compliance policies, this plant was (and is) operating within compliance to provide these ‘quality’ foods.
I decided to contact the company to see if these pet food companies are still their clients…
Here’s that online chat conversation:
Me: Hi! I’m from Union City, TN and have been familiar with your plant there for many years. My father used to work there, in fact, and I was wondering if Pedigree or Purina are still clients of the plant?
Representative: I do believe Pedigree and Purina are both still clients. Let me check on that so I can give you a more definite answer.
Me: Thank you 🙂
*Likely asks a manager if it’s okay to give out this information*
Representative: Unfortunately, I do not have access to that customer database at the moment – but will have someone get in touch with you. Is there anything specific I can help you with regarding Pedigree and Purina?
They still haven’t gotten back to me (as expected), but this response leads me to believe that those Pedigree and Purina trucks still roll in there every night – just like they did when my dad worked there.
Veterinarians with dvm360 need to acknowledge the truth about this subject and stop hiding behind “laws” that are clearly not being enforced. Trying to tell pet parents that these foods are the best diet for our pets is the real ‘misinformation’.
Veterinarians with dvm360 should also be required to take a good, hard look at any new evidence or body of research (such as the film, Pet Fooled) that exposes a potential threat to any animal – before they start publishing articles that try to dismiss the risk. That Dr. Wooten’s article was published on dmv360 without even reading the current policies regarding pet food manufacturing is truly alarming.
It is our hope that more vets will begin to pay attention to the current state of affairs regarding the pet food industry and embrace the best interest of the animals in their care – regardless of kickbacks or scripted responses. To take the complacent path of hiding behind a “law” that is not being enforced is deceiving to pet parents and is, in fact, endorsing this practice for pet food manufactures.