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If your pet has experienced previous urinary health issues, perhaps stomach sensitivities, skin allergies, diabetes or any other host of medical condition, you were most likely recommended by your veterinarian to switch your pet to a prescription food made specifically for that condition.
However, there are unfortunately some serious negative repercussions of feeding these prescription diets to your pets. Although the diets do typically help alleviate symptoms of whatever the current condition in question is, these foods come with high potential for increasing the risk of other health issues long-term, and with overall reduced life-span for your pet!
The biggest factor to consider is that all of these prescription diet foods are processed canned or worse dry foods. This alone is not a health-sustaining diet for your pet; our pet's just like us need to eat a variety of FRESH foods, either fresh gently cooked, or raw foods. (find our list of top recommended foods HERE)
Also, the list of ingredients in these prescription veterinary diets unfortunately are only about mid-grade, there are hundreds of other pet food brands which make better quality canned and or dry food diet formulas. Let's take a look at one of the example brands ingredients list:
NGREDIENTS: Pork Liver, Pork By-Products, Water, Chicken Fat, Brewers Rice, Corn Starch, Whole Grain Corn, Soybean Oil, Calcium Sulfate, Powdered Cellulose, Guar Gum, Calcium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Iodized Salt, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Beta-Carotene.
Let's look at the problems with this diet:
1. By products: unspecified parts of the animal.
2. Brewers rice: a cheap filler, no nutritional value, raises glucose levels.
3. Corn: no nutritional value, inflammatory, damaging to the GI system, often GMO.
4. Guar Gum: cheap thickener, difficult to digest.
5. soybean oil: a highly processed oil, soy is a top allergen, and inflammatory.
6. No vegetables or fruit of nutritional value.
7. All synthetic vitamins/minerals.
8. Highly processed, cooked rendered at high temperatures.
So what should you do if your pet is struggling with one of the diagnosed conditions. First, switch to fresh cooked or raw diet, which that alone is often enough to resolve the health condition, (find our list of top recommended foods HERE) and if condition continues, work with a certified pet nutritionist who can help you with simple changes to your pet's fresh diet to alleviate the symptoms, often reversing the condition altogether. Most conditions do not in fact have to be chronic life-long as veterinarians, and prescription food companies would like you to believe. They simply want you stuck relying on their products or services.
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H.