Are Health Conscious Pet Parents Jaded By Veterinarians?

Don't be jaded by veterinarians

Recently there was an article published online that mentioned a survey conducted by raw-feeding pet parents. The survey results suggested that health conscious pet parents were less likely to use or trust veterinarians. This is a sad reality, but true in many cases. Those of us who’ve been jaded by veterinarians time and again often stop looking…

Have You Been Jaded By Veterinarians?

A while back, one of our customer’s vets called Animal Control on her because she was making her own raw diets for her cats and dog. If you haven’t read that write up yet and are prepared to be a little miffed, click here.

I felt compelled to write about this situation because Mrs. V is just one of many pet parents that have faced a confrontation or adversity with their vet. Those of us who are health conscious when it comes to our pets ask more questions, we do our own research and we feed the best diets to our pets that we possibly can. We take issue with the fact that big brand pet manufactures have infiltrated the veterinarian field because they see the opportunity to promote profits, not healthier pets. It makes a difference to health conscious pet parents that Mars owns all Banfield vet clinics and that Hills Science Diet teaches nutritional courses in vet schools.

When the film Pet Fooled came out earlier this year, more and more pet parents were exposed to the inner workings of the pet food industry. It revealed more than a few startling realities about the business of ‘nutrition’ as it pertains to our pets. This opened up a can of worms and upset a lot of traditional veterinarians who’ve been taught to believe that the foods they promote and the prescription kibbles they carry are healthy. Since the release of Pet Fooled, many of these traditional vets are facing more and more questions from their clients.

One veterinarian wrote an article trying to discredit Pet Fooled and then wrote a follow up article for fellow vets to help them answer all these new questions from clients concerned about the foods they’ve been recommending. Here’s an excerpt from her article:

“The movie says that feeding dry kibble to a cat can cause kidney disease. Am I killing my cat with her food?”

Her answer: No, you are not killing your cat. Dry food does not cause kidney disease in cats just as crackers do not cause kidney disease in people. Protein also does not cause kidney disease. Kidney disease in cats—and dogs and people—may be caused by many things and it’s likely a combination of these insults occurring over time.”

Shall I assume that her doctor suggests she eats nothing but crackers for her entire life?

Now, most of you know that we are not kibble-haters, but we do not recommend anyone feed their cat a dry food only diet. Why, you ask? Because, over time, a kibble only diet WILL cause kidney disease, thyroid problems, tooth decay, urinary tract infections, and the list goes on.

So am I jaded by veterinarians? A little, yes.

Our Experience

I had a vet become visibly upset with me because I wouldn’t accept the antibiotic prescription she wanted to give my cat… because he was constipated. “Does he have an infection?” I asked. “No, but this is just a needed precaution.” I never went back to her.

I had another vet who reprimanded me when I wouldn’t accept her recommendation for a “prescription diet” for our oldest cat.

One vet nearly black-listed me when I pointed out that he wasn’t looking at the root of my cat’s skin issue but merely trying to treat symptoms and make money (I realize that was a rude thing to say, but I was at the end of my rope that day). We tried different proteins and found out that he’s allergic to fish. One problem solved.

Sadly, I know that these situations are not isolated. Certainly not when it comes to ‘prescription’ diets and the over-use of medications like antibiotics and steroids. These kinds of interactions with traditional vets can leave us feeling frustrated – or worse – helpless.

So the question is… how can we NOT be jaded by veterinarians?

The good news is that more and more vets are learning integrative and healthy ways to treat animals before, during and after their schooling. There is so much more and new information available to any doctor that takes the time to look… and the fresh-food movement is opening minds and changing lives. In addition, many traditional vets that are facing new questions from their clients aren’t just looking for a scripted response. They’re looking for answers.

The bottom line when it comes to having a healthy relationship with your vet is: if you don’t have one, keep looking. There are good vets out there that continue to learn new, healthy ways to treat animals and aren’t ‘owned’ by major conglomerates. We just found one last week. Finally. So, don’t give up.

 

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