Prescription Diets…Do I HAVE To??

Many times when we go to our vets and our dog has a problem, there is a push to put them onto a prescription diet.  You know – those bags of kibble made by Hill’s and Purina, only sold in a vet’s office as if they are medicines, absolutely necessary without exception to help our animals through various ailments…Are they always completely necessary?  Personally I have my doubts.

Keep your dog’s energy up during and through any illness by feeding real food that gives him what he needs and none of what he doesn’t

Recent example – a friend of mine was in a panic because her dog, a male mix, presented at the vet with a urinary tract infection which showed struvite crystals in the dog’s urine.  Antibiotics, of course, were the main treatment BUT at the same time, she was told that switching the dog from a raw diet to a prescription diet was another part of her dog’s “medicine”.   It threw her for a loop – it was going to cost lots of money and she really didn’t want to do it.  Honestly, there isn’t any reason FOR her to do it.  Struvite crystals have nothing to do with diet and everything to do with the fact that the dog has a UTI.  Cure the UTI, cure the crystals.  Prescription food?  Diet didn’t cause the crystals and diet wasn’t going to make them go away either.  Unfortunately many pet owners simply do, they never question.

Many dogs find prescription foods unpalatable and stop eating as a result while dogs fed the right REAL foods keep their strenghth up with good nutrition

Countless times I have people tell me that their dog has allergies and that they HAVE to be on a prescription allergy food…When I suggest switching to raw for ease in dealing with the dog’s condition they are appalled – no way, he’s allergic.  If your dog has a food allergy there is no better way to control what he eats than feeding real raw food – no surprises.  Kibble of any sort is full of surprises and not always good ones.

Dogs with kidney problems, cancers, IBS, diabetes, heart conditions, skin conditions and almost anything ELSE you can think of can, in my opinion, do better on a raw diet.  Often the prescription diets are unpalatable and dogs who are already weak from illness become weak from poor nutrition as well simply because they have no interest in eating food that tastes  like and has the same ingredients as a piece of cardboard.

You should trust your veterinarian – of course.  Its important to remember that you are your pet’s only advocate.  Nutrition is not something that many vets have any strong education on, if you ask them, and they are honest, they’ll tell you exactly how much.  Its up to you to do the research and find the best way to feed your pet and jumping immediately to a prescription kibble is rarely as necessary as one might lead you to believe.