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lizard S asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

How do we as pet owners save other pet owners from Hills Science Diet?

I live in Kansas were Hills is owned and produced. I work at a natural pet food store and I have gone to Kansas State and worked at the vet school. Every were I turn people feed science diet or prescription diet without blinking an eye or reading a label. I am only 22 years old and I find the money to feed my dogs good food (Merrick and honest kitchen or urban wolf). I know that at K-State vet school the first year students get a backpack on the first day of class with the Hills logo and a note saying that they would be "teaching" nutrition to the first year students. If I heard that my doctor had been taught nutrition by Oscar Myer I would find a new doctor. Besides the moral concerns, the food sucks. It is full of by-products, grains and cancer causing agents like BHA, BHT and ethoxiquine. And don't get me started on beet pulp. Now they have a "natural" food which is about as natural for a dog to eat as a shoe. My question is, how do we convince other pet owners that Hills is bad?

Update:

Obviousely hills is not the only culprit but I live in KS so its everywere. Nutro, Euk, Royal Canin and many others are horrible too but they arn't "teaching" the vets. And as to those saying that hills is great, you prove my point. Read the label.

Update 2:

Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Gluten Meal, Brewers Rice, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), DL-Methionine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract

Update 3:

Azmira

Beef Meal, Whole Ground Barley, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Grain Sorghum, Flax Seed, Canola Oil, Alfalfa Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Natural Flavors, Dehydrated Carrots, Apple Pomace, Potassium Chloride, Garlic Powder, Dried Kelp, Choline Chloride, DI-methionine, Mixed Tocopherols (natural antioxidant), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin Supplements (E,A,B2,B12,D3), Niacin, Calcium Ascorbate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Inositol, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid, Biotin, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Cobalt Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite

14 Answers

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  • bob ©
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    that is an excellent question and one i have pondered many times. not just with hills but other foods as well. most people i find are just unaware of what they are actually giving there pets and some just dont care. unfortunatley, hills, eukanuba, and ivd (now royal canin) are the only ones that make diets for specific purposes. i have found that the majority of people do not want to put that much effort into their pets nutrition. they want convinence. if they have to cook it forget it. or by the same token, if they have to research, forget it. for example. say your pet is diabetic or has kidney issues. you want a diet that is either high protein low carb or low protein high carb depending. most people dont want to look up nutritional values when they can get a prepackaged diet from their vet. and if the vets sells it, then it must be good, right.

    all you can do is try and educate. i do think however, that with more and more americans becoming health concience and since we went through the food recall then more people are starting to become open about researching their pets food. i myself will talk someones ear off about nutrition. i think it is extremely important for pets to be on quality diets and i try not to feed mine anything that i myself would not eat. beet pulp? my horse eats that. why would i want to give that to my dog or cat? horses are herbavoires, duh. also, people see the word "natural" and automatically assume that it is good food. natural can mean anything. corn and animal by products are "natural" but i sure as hell am not feeding that to my pets.

    kudos to you for delving further into pets nutrtion.

    Source(s): sorry, spell check not working.
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  • cs
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I saw this on another veterinary site, and thought you should ask these questions to the company you recommend. By the way, we recommend Royal Canin, Hills and Purina prescription diet. I know their answeres to all these questions, do you?

    1) Do I have experience with the product.

    2) Does the company have a veterinary nutritionist working specifically for them.

    3) What is their quality control and monitoring (not available to all but I have a very good assessment of it)

    4) Do they make the product or co-pack?

    5) Do they know everything about their products? Can I call and ask them what the selenium level of product x is and not only do they know (most small companies don't), they will tell me right then. I can tell you this is a real biggie for me. If I call and can't get nutrition info - I won't recommend the food.

    6) Do they feed the diet to animals within the companies facility. Small companies may or may not do feeding trials and if they do it is almost always at another location. Their nutritionist may not have seen a group of dogs or cats that ate that diet for any lenght of time.

    7) Does the company do nutrition releated research (I know then are up on the issues and contributint to the science).

    Source(s): er vet tech
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  • 1 decade ago

    Showing people is the easy part. Actually convincing them is harder. I don't know, probably the best ways would be something on the news exclusively about Science Diet, have you noticed that all the recalls and stuff skate right over Hill's? God, I could swear that they're paying those people to keep it on the shelves.

    If someone made a YouTube video about the production of Hill's and it became popular, a lot of people would become interested.

    Edit: Actually, what amazes me is that my vet is educated and does not recommend Science Diet and thinks foods like Innova is great. That vet is awesome and he's great, the animals just love him. I guess it's 'cause he has 6 dogs of his own!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First of all the vets that carry it must know what an awful product it is, but it is easy money for them and more business when the animal gets sick. Just like the pharmacy companies and the drs. Everyone seems to be on the take. You have to be careful about defamation charges and not get into a lawsuit. People need to be educated to purchase foods that have NO byproducts or corn in them for sure as it is just a filler. What's with rice hulls I saw in a recent holistic food. There certainly is no food value in that. It is like eating hot dogs every day. Sure you can live on it, but it is not healthy and can expect problems later on. To be safe just tell people to start reading the ingredients no matter what they have been told or what the brand is. By-products, corn, wheat, rice hulls are pretty much fillers and just make the animal poop more. Check into the Ultra-dog food sold at Petsmart made by Nutro products. It is great. Have had my dogs on it for over 3 years..But of course first read the ingredients. You will be pleasantly surprised.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i can't agree more. and most vets don't get a very long course on nutrition. and the science diet is what they are told is the best of the best.

    i feed a local dog food and cat food. its not the best but its not crap and they only use local grown products but thats why i give raw with it..or home cooked things.

    the thing is EVERYONE has a thought on what to feed. and reading a label is not easy if u don't know what all those odd names for things mean.

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  • 1 decade ago

    EXCELLENT question ! Not only that, vets stock and plug their products because they can win sales contests and don't know any better. Most vets don't know squat about nutrition unless they've gone on to further study on their own. But because a vet recommends this food, the customer thinks its the best. Not so.

    Whole Dog Journal does a good job of comparing dog foods and has done a number of articles in the last few months because of the food recalls.

    This website rates various foods and shows that Science Diet failed. Seems Hills are better at marketing than nutrition.

    http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/ratingpetfood.htm

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  • 1 decade ago

    Science Diet is what we feed the dogs at the Humane Society shelter, because it's donated to us, but I've NEVER continued to feed it to my adopted dogs after they've come home with me. In my experience at the shelter (and until I could wean my dogs onto something better) Science Diet makes them unbelievably flatulent, itchy, and it makes their poop smell horrendous (I know poop never smells nice, but this stuff makes it so much worse). I seriously thought one of my dogs must've had coccidia when I first brought him home, because his poop was so foul, but the vet told me it was the nasty Science Diet he'd been fed at the shelter.

    I'm currently using Natural Balance potato and duck for my dogs, and I've seen a huge difference in their coat, skin, and they aren't nearly as gassy. It's not the most expensive, but it's good quality food, and when you're going through a 25lb bag of dog food every week like we are, it's the best we can get for the money.

    Each time I send a newly adopted dog home with their forever family, I send one 5lb bag of Science Diet home with them, and I ask that they please let that be the LAST bag they ever feed the dog (and of course, I explain why!). I give them instructions on how to wean them off Hill's, and I recommend a higher quality dog food. You don't have to get the most expensive brand, but there are so many other brands that are tolerated better.

    That's how I'M personally trying to get people away from Science Diet.

    Source(s): Humane Society shelter volunteer, proud owner of 3 shelter dogs
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  • 1 decade ago

    well u could take the label from a science diet bag and a label from other bags of dog food and ask people u see buying science diet which one they think is the science diet label. make sure it the labels arent marked with the name of the food. and just see which one they think and then when they guess the other food that is good tell them they r wrong. or just simply say that it is crap.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know, but you have me convinced! How about some of those pet blog sites, get it going thru there. If you search under "pet blogs", there's a bunch of them, look them over.

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  • 1 decade ago

    thank you.... do your research, not just for this brand but all others...

    and in the future i will look for your show on discovery, part science and fact/ part pet care....

    it is really hard for most of us to understand all the labels, and even tho we try not all brands are equal, and not all brands are good. i understand most dog foods are actually advertised to humans, with pretty pictures and foolish words on the package...

    so if you can do the research, and share what you learn with the rest of us, it would be much appreciated...

    right now we use beneful, i know not the best, but it is what we can afford right now....

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