- Kelsey Hansen
What's in Prescription Diets?
Prescription diets can be a sensitive subject to talk about with veterinarians and veterinary technicians that support and sell these foods. I want to discuss prescription diets in a logical way that breaks down each ingredient for everyone to easily understand.
Unfortunately, prescription diets for pets are made from incredibly unhealthy ingredients that aren’t meant for a dog or cat’s consumption. Prescription diets are filled with countless unhealthy, non-species appropriate foods. These items are listed in red and in order shown on each bag. Prescription diet foods and the ingredients they contain are also very similar to the low quality foods found in big box stores like Petco and Petsmart. Therefore you're paying a lot more money for foods that are lower quality, yet more expensive than a high quality kibble.
The first 3 ingredients shown on any bag are what will be in the majority of the food. The first ingredient in these prescription diets is brewers rice. Brewers rice is just a carb and filler with no nutritional value to a dog or cat. If your pet has digestive upset, such as chronic diarrhea, this food will “fill” your dog’s digestive tract and your dog’s stool will become firm. The reason why your pets stool is larger on dry food compared to raw food is because they are not absorbing the nutrients in kibble, so the body expels what it doesn't need. So on the outside this food appears to have helped your pets digestive issues, it has only masked the problem through the use of ingredients that are bad for your pet. However, a healthy probiotic (such as Primal raw goats milk), feeding cooling and neutral proteins to counteract inflammation, and feeding a balanced species appropriate diet will not only improve your dog’s digestion, but their health as well without the unnecessary fillers.
Corn, also a filler, is very hard to digest for dogs, cats, and even humans. It’s cheap and that is why pet food manufacturers purchase corn.
Chicken meal is a by-product, meaning it is the ground up leftovers of the chicken that wasn’t approved for human consumption and would otherwise be thrown away. What are these chicken parts that make up chicken meal? Is it mostly bone? Skin? Feathers? Unfortunately, the answer is unattainable because it will be different every time. Chicken is the #1 most common food allergy in cats and dogs today. Chicken also increases inflammation in the body. This further exacerbates food or environmental allergies, certain health issues, can lead to dry, itchy skin, and cause digestive upset.
Grains cause inflammation as well and will make UTI’s, digestion, and other forms of health issues become worse. Grains also metabolize into sugar, which your pet should not be consuming, especially in the large amounts that are found in these kibbles.
Corn gluten meal is a by-product of the corn once it’s off the cob. In other words, it’s the part that the humans throw away after eating corn on the cob. This is not edible by humans and is usually used for either pet food or fertilizer and herbicide by farmers.
The items that are in red are all fillers and essentially left overs that aren't fit for human consumption.
Taking a logical, critical-thinking approach to prescription diets tells us that these ingredients won’t improve a pets health, but rather mask the health issues (not cure or improve them) and in a lot of cases, make their health problems even worse, as well as creating entirely new issues. Your pets need fresh, moisture filled foods to improve their health and truly thrive, not dry food.
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