It's no wonder pet owners everywhere are concerned about what they are feeding their dog, and it's for good reason. But you would assume that with a "prescription" diet that you bought from your veterinarian you could have peace of mind.
Not so. Hill's recalled 26 of their "Prescription" formulas at the end of January due to toxic levels of vitamin D. This started with one dog dying, now pet owners are coming forward in their hundreds and predicted to rise to thousands - of dogs that have unexpectedly and suddenly become fatally ill and passed away while being fed these products. The recall has come too late…. Read the summary here
How will the vets who prescribed this formula react to this? How has the producer responded? Hill's Pet Nutrition, owned by Colgate-Palmolive is facing a class action lawsuit and their response is " This was a third party supplier error". JUST like other huge recalls - Take the Melamine contamination of 2007 - due to third party products from China. THOUSANDS of families lost their beloved pets because they chose to feed leading brands.
With their third party blame card does Hill's expects to be absolved of blame when it is their responsibility to ensure the foods that THEY market and sell are safe? Who is to say the other Science Diet product lines and competitor prescription diets are not potentially affected in the same way as they do not have full control and transparency into their third party suppliers? Yet smaller brands who source all their products in the USA without "third party suppliers" get shunned for not being "WSAVA Compliant"??!! (that's a whole different story for another blog post!
Loving pet owners trust their vet and "leading" pet food suppliers to provide their pets with the best nutrition - and they pay a fortune for these "prescription" diets. But are these diets really suitable or in fact therapeutic? It's true that short term they can relieve certain symptoms. But the highly inferior and generic ingredients combined with the highly processed nature of the production of these foods means they have to be dredged in vitamin mix in order to make the end product you feed your dog is nutritionally complete. This vitamin mix is highly likely to be purchased in China and the recall from Hill's just goes to confirm that the source of their "nutrient and vitamin supplements" cannot be guaranteed for neither integrity nor quality.
Below you'll find a bit of further reading on why we are so skeptical of these diets, and the cases of death reported so far only prove that the manufacturer is irresponsible and does not have clear visibility nor control of their supply chain. Our vet's have trusted these producers too, but this needs to be a wake up call to vets to look at recommending truly therapeutic diets for pet's with medical problems that can be addressed with diet.
Should this not make us wary of all such prescription diets including Royal Canin and Purina, given they all follow similar supply chain sourcing practices?
How will you respond as a consumer? If your dog has been recommended a prescription diet then we suggest you read the following articles: