Food Bullying Podcast

Food bullying in the pet aisle: Episode 65


We’ve all seen the ads for pet food featuring happy dogs with happy owners who buy the very best food for their furry family members. But is that food better? How do you know what is best for your pet? Does grain-free dog food make sense or are you being food bullied into buying a boutique brand that offers less nutrition? Our guest, veterinarian Tammy Lons, gives us the scoop on the facts about pet food.

Tammy Lons is a small animal veterinarian.  She has two degrees from Michigan State University, a B.S. in animal science, and a D.V.M. She is a wife, mom, practice owner, hobby farmer who raises Dexters.

Key points

How to choose the right food for your pet:

  • Talk to your veterinarian:
    • What your pet needs depends on their stage of life, size, and activity level
    • Most pets are overfed – 75% are obese
    • Dogs often get the wrong kind of food
    • Cats don’t need the carbs in kibble and should get canned food most of the time
    • Vets don’t receive kickbacks from pet food manufacturers and will recommend what is best for your individual pet
    • Tammy recommends Science Diet, Royal Canine, and Purina as the top three brands.
  • Stick with food companies that do research (feeding trials)
    • Look for the AFFCO label which gives feeding instructions, calorie counts and a statement about life stage
    • Ingredient lists are a source of misinformation and bullying
      • Dogs and cats like grain.  It tastes good
      • By-products and left-overs from people food and are fine
      • High-protein, grain-free diets are causing heart disease in animals (UC-Davis Study)
  • Ignore the ads for pet food:
    • Ads are all marketing and are not required to provide real nutrition information
    • Companies have big budgets for ads to appeal to your senses
    • Companies sent people to train staff at PetCo and other retailers to recommend their products to customers using misleading claims such as:
      • Meat should be the first ingredient
      • By-products are bad
      • Pets need grain-free diets

Three tips to overcome Food Bullying when buying pet food:

  • Pet food vetFeed one of the top three brands
  • Talk to your vet
  • Ask questions






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