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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Vets opinion on Orijen (and other "big price tag" foods)

Well, I had an interview at a vet clinic today, and was asked about my views on nutrition. Instead of singing the praises of Hills and Science Diet like a good little potential employee, I mentioned Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo and *gasp* Orijen.

In a nutshell, his response (after looking quite skeptical and somewhat disgusted) was "Well...those foods, despite having a big price tag and apparently high quality ingredients, are not good. People need to use common sense. They have done no clinical trials on those foods. Sure, whitefish sounds great, but can the dog digest it properly? Can it really absorb all the nutrients? They have NO idea. That's what happens with a lot of the small companies. They say 'Oh, we have amazing ingredients, human grade stuff you know, way better than the veterinary recommended food!' but really, they can't support that. They aren't big enough to do the trials that Hills or Medical are doing. We will always recommend Hills/Science Diet and Medical to our clients, because it is the best food out there. Not Orijen or any other big price tag foods. They just aren't good quality"

A few years ago I worked at a pet store and was told that Hills funds vet schools. In their many years of school, they receive about 8 hours of training on nutrition, in which they are taught "Hills! Hills! Hills!", end of story. At the time, I thought "Oh that's just a silly conspiracy theory, how can that really be true?". Then I started working at a vet clinic, and saw first-hand how much they really do preach the benefits of Hills over all other brands. After looking at the ingredient list on a lot of their foods, and doing some food analysis research, it really doesn't appear to be any better than say, Iams or Pedigree. They list a lot of grains, corn, etc. Things that I have been told to stay away from when choosing a dog food.

I feel sort of torn. I know there are a lot of opinions to be found on this board with respect to food and quality. I just want to know if this is true... Has Orijen not done any 'clinical trials' to ensure the quality of their food, or is he just being another "my way or the highway" vet?

Rebecca
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:30 PM
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Oh you poor thing, I'm sorry you had to sit through that! I have heard that plenty of times from veterinarians but to me, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. I believe in common sense over dog food company-backed studies any day. Besides that, their "clinical trials" only prove that a dog can survive off of the food without losing or gaining too much weight during a significant period of time. They don't test for anything else. So basically, by feeding those foods, you know your dog won't drop dead on the first bite. Does that mean that they aren't going to suffer some other serious effects such as skin allergies, diarrhea, and diabetes (to barely skim the surface) later on? Nope.

Some of these foods do work well for some dogs and sometimes the highter quality foods don't work well for some dogs, that's a mystery to me! All I can really say is that there is no one kibble out there that is going to work perfectly for every single dog on the planet.

When choosing a dog food, review the facts: dogs are carnivores, so the more meat the better; corn, wheat, and soy are common allergens so avoid those too; chemical preservatives, artificial colors, etc. are not safe ingredients to feed your dog long-term.

Trust me, that "conspiracy theory" is, sadly, actually true.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:40 PM
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Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble

I agree about the proof being in the pudding. My blue dobie (Tabi)is very food sensitive. It has been trial and error through several different dog foods. Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul is just fine for my black and tan (Deuce) but wreaks havoc on Tabi. Hills and Science Diet were no good for her. California Natural has been the best for her so far, but still not ideal. I thought Deuce could eat anything until I found one that gives him hives. None of the dog foods I tried were lower quality brands.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:49 PM
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Oh I completely forgot to mention, I have seen way too many dogs on Science Diet who poop giant stools several times a day which is way excessive! And most of the dogs on these "veterinary recommended" foods shed and have dandruff and all sorts of other health issues. To me, that does not mean that it is the best thing they could be eating.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:57 PM
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I don't know about Orijen in particular, but other foods that are grain free chicken, beef, etc... I'm not sure what could possibly be wrong with giving dogs meat with as little filler as possible..
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 12:04 AM
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and not all of these foods are super high priced.

I only pay ten dollars more for TOTW... and I don't have to give as much because it has more nutrients than say, Purina... so you might actually be saving money.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 01:14 AM
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I agree, my dogs eat less "good food" (they are on Solid Gold) than they would need to on other foods. Kind of like the Total commercial.... did you know it would take 10 bowls of this cereal to equal one bowl of Total.

Less food, less waste, less money spent. Also, less time spent out in the yard picking up poo. There is not a ton of "extra" coming out their back end.

I was surprised with Saya's poos. She was on Purina, then when I got her I switched her to Solid Gold. On Purina her poos were large and extra stinky, even for a Doberman Once we switched, the poos were much smaller, even thou she was growing & the smell was not near as bad. I've learned the hard way, vets rarely keep up with the "actual" latest. I mean why use so many fillers, so you have to buy more food? The vets have to get a $ for pushing and advertising certain companies. Human doctors can't do that any more with meds.... Corn and preservatives, really they are ok for dogs??? Ka my first Dobe, liked corn on the cob, but would have taken a steak first That's enough testing for me, their nose knows

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 01:47 AM
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The only "perk" that I know of for having Hill's food as their "house brand" is that employees get half price food, or at least used to when i worked there.
I fed hills prescription c/d cat and dog food with little to no issues other than Jed's ears flaring up, since he has been on blue buffalo his ears have significantly improved and when he is witched to a different food his ears flare up again.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 07:26 AM
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Since no one has actually addressed the question - yes, it is true. Hills has done clinic trials, and no they are not the trials that dogs haven't survived without gaining and losing weight (those are the trials that other foods go through via AAFCO). Hills, Purina and Iams/Eukanuba actually have scientific testing behind the foods that they put out that no other food on the markets have - there is contradictory studies, but these studies go into the digestibility of the ingredients, how they affect the kidneys and other organs, and work to prove how the prescription diets work. These trials far supercede any AAFCO feeding trial, and are not all created equal, but they have a very large amount of research behind all their diets and I *can call up their veterinarians and speak to someone and discuss a dog with multiple medical problems and work out a diet for him based on his nutrient needs because their diets are 100% analyzed and known - it's out there in the public. Look at some companies where you have to beg to get copper content!


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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 08:24 AM
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To add to this....my daughter is in vet school right now, and they do not get Hills for free....they are getting Innova. So her dog is eating EVO for free.

They don't cram their info down your throat, but if you are a student and have a pet, you can sign up for the monthly drop off of kibble. For a kid living on student loans it is a great bonus.

I would think a vet student could sign up for as much nutritional knowledge they would like in their 4th year rotations?

Secondly, my vet in Georgia sold Nature's Variety in their clinic. I don't think we should paint everyone with the same broad brush.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:01 AM
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I have found that many vets push the foods that they sell in their practice. I am lucky that my vet is well educated on nutrition and listens. I had one vet actually tell me that Orijen was bad and was causing Roxy's bacteria infection when after taking her in to a Specialist confirmed that the infection by this time was covering her body was due to the way the spay took place. I never stepped foot in that practice again.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:46 AM
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My dobe's former vet told me that purina puppy chow (the regular plain purina) was just as good if not better than Blue Buffalo, innova, or any of the higher priced foods.

HUH? I don't think so!

Seriously I don't understand where some vets get their info from.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 10:59 AM
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I just wanted to comment on the price. To get a 40lb bag of Science Diet Adult dog food at my store it's 84.99! The regular Adult Orijen is 68.99. Still pricey in my opinion, but Eukanuba and SD have gone up rediculously high amounts where I live. They are not cheap foods here!
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by naturaldobe View Post
Oh you poor thing, I'm sorry you had to sit through that! I have heard that plenty of times from veterinarians but to me, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. I believe in common sense over dog food company-backed studies any day. Besides that, their "clinical trials" only prove that a dog can survive off of the food without losing or gaining too much weight during a significant period of time. They don't test for anything else. So basically, by feeding those foods, you know your dog won't drop dead on the first bite. Does that mean that they aren't going to suffer some other serious effects such as skin allergies, diarrhea, and diabetes (to barely skim the surface) later on? Nope.

Some of these foods do work well for some dogs and sometimes the highter quality foods don't work well for some dogs, that's a mystery to me! All I can really say is that there is no one kibble out there that is going to work perfectly for every single dog on the planet.

When choosing a dog food, review the facts: dogs are carnivores, so the more meat the better; corn, wheat, and soy are common allergens so avoid those too; chemical preservatives, artificial colors, etc. are not safe ingredients to feed your dog long-term.

Trust me, that "conspiracy theory" is, sadly, actually true.
Tell me about it.
$38 for a 10 pound bag of "prescription food" for Odin's [former] diarreha and the top 4 ingredients were CORN.

I could've gone to Wal-Mart and bought 25 pounds of cheap "diet dog food" with "firming fiber" for $10.

I'm using Halo and Buckeye.

The Ibizans get straight Buckeye while Odin gets a 50/50 mix.

He never has runs any more.

[and I've tried literally everything *but* Origen because it's not available anywhere near here]

I could justify a prescription food if it's necessary for kidney failure or somesuch thing but wouldn't touch it, otherwise.



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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 11:21 AM
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I didn't know vets were getting Innova (at least at that school), that's cool. I have, however, talked to several vets who have confirmed this so-called conspiracy theory so even though it may not be true of that one school in particular, it is still true. Heck just check out Science Diet's website, they have a whole section for veterinarians and vet techs about all of the money they can offer them. I had a vet working at a shot clinic telling a guy that his dog had flakey skin because the ingredients in Kirkland dog food were sub par and he needed to switch to ProPlan, Royal Canin, or Eukanuba because they were "premium" foods. She also told him that Kirkland is made by Diamond who are the same people who make Blue Buffalo so BB is crap too. Well 1) Diamond actually doesn't make BB at all and 2) BB is not crap. It may not work for all dogs but I've seen it work wonders on tons of dogs on it. The woman had no idea what she was talking about besides what the pet food companies had brainwashed her to say.
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 11:23 AM
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To add to this....my daughter is in vet school right now, and they do not get Hills for free....they are getting Innova. So her dog is eating EVO for free.

.
About 10 years ago, Science Diet used to give kickbacks. I don't know if they still do or not. My vet is NOT a SD fan and refuses to sell it. But she openely admitted they offered kickbacks, but again this was about 10 years ago or so.

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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 12:10 PM
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one of my owners is a vet tech and feeds Science Diet, they know I'm not thrilled about this, but I know it's a money thing, and I have to say that dog does not have the shiny coat that his litter sister does. I'll stick to my raw evening meals and grain free kibble in the morning. I know the big companies are trying to produce better foods, b/c of the grain free competition but they still won't give up the grain fillers.

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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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one of my owners is a vet tech and feeds Science Diet, they know I'm not thrilled about this, but I know it's a money thing, and I have to say that dog does not have the shiny coat that his litter sister does. I'll stick to my raw evening meals and grain free kibble in the morning. I know the big companies are trying to produce better foods, b/c of the grain free competition but they still won't give up the grain fillers.
I actually saw that President's Choice came out with a corn free food, it sounds alright but there are a lot of grains still listed. I think I'd definitely be more comfortable feeding Orijen or the like...at least they are committed to grain free 100%, it's not just a side business.

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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:02 PM
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I actually saw that President's Choice came out with a corn free food, it sounds alright but there are a lot of grains still listed. I think I'd definitely be more comfortable feeding Orijen or the like...at least they are committed to grain free 100%, it's not just a side business.
I LOVE the cat food by presidents choice, i have a hard time finding a food my cats wont vomit back up it is this and TOTW and they dont like TOTW, my mom put Jed on it to see how he would do and unfortunately his ears got bad almost immediately.

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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 08:24 PM
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A few years ago I worked at a pet store and was told that Hills funds vet schools. In their many years of school, they receive about 8 hours of training on nutrition, in which they are taught "Hills! Hills! Hills!", end of story. At the time, I thought "Oh that's just a silly conspiracy theory, how can that really be true?". Then I started working at a vet clinic, and saw first-hand how much they really do preach the benefits of Hills over all other brands. After looking at the ingredient list on a lot of their foods, and doing some food analysis research, it really doesn't appear to be any better than say, Iams or Pedigree. They list a lot of grains, corn, etc. Things that I have been told to stay away from when choosing a dog food.

I feel sort of torn. I know there are a lot of opinions to be found on this board with respect to food and quality. I just want to know if this is true... Has Orijen not done any 'clinical trials' to ensure the quality of their food, or is he just being another "my way or the highway" vet?
I don't know anything about Orijen, BUT your vet has no clue, sorry. Hill's is GARBAGE plain and simple. And yes that is true about the vet schools. Most are funded by Hill's or Purina. The petstore i work at Hill's sponsors something ( dont know what) so we had to do Hill's nutrition training and OMG. My boss told me the day I had to take the test ( hadnt even done the workbook lol ) just answer oposite to everything you know about dog food and you will pass.... He was right. I then looked through the book, it was awful, saying dogs are more likely to be allergic to the meat content rather than the corn or wheat, all kinds of CRAP. Luckily our company at the time we had to do this "training" they also decided to have training on all natural foods, right after, because lets face it, not everyone is dog food smart. Luckily the store I work in most on the people know their stuff when it comes to food. If you are going to feed science Diet you may as well save money and feed pedigree, its the same thing, nothing but corn, fillers, and low quality " meat" sources
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post #21 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 08:27 PM
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Oh you poor thing, I'm sorry you had to sit through that! I have heard that plenty of times from veterinarians but to me, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. I believe in common sense over dog food company-backed studies any day. Besides that, their "clinical trials" only prove that a dog can survive off of the food without losing or gaining too much weight during a significant period of time. They don't test for anything else.
EXACTLY! Dogs can also live off garbage from the dumpster but that doesn't mean they should. You can also live off McDonalds and nothing else but just because you dont fall over and die right away doesn't make it a good choice. And that is what I compare those foods to, fast food.
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post #22 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:33 PM
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Of course vets will recommend a certain type of food ... they need your pets to get sick ... otherwise ... who is going to keep them busy ... or where will their patients come from ... it's not like their practice is funded by the government ... they need your pocketbook Just my 2 cents worth!
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post #23 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:36 PM
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you guys are hilarious - and i sit here and recommend good foods to my clients and they bitch and moan about how its expensive and they would rather feed alpo, beneful and little cesars.

we're damned if we do, damned if we don't. better to listen to the internet than your vet!!! the internet knows all!!!!!!!!!!

*im* just trying to poison your pet so i can keep paying off my loans! you figured it out.


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post #24 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:50 PM
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Come on, vets don't push Science Diet to make pets sick. Some may push it to make extra money if they sell it, but saying they do it to make pets sick is like saying a doctor puts their patient's on a fast food diet to make them sick so they will go to the doctor so they can make an extra dollar!
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post #25 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Doberkim - I'm glad there are vets out there who are willing to recommend the good stuff! I've read all your information about raw too, it's nice to see a vet who is open to people feeding various diets, not just Hills or Medical. Unfortunately, this has not been my experience with ANY vet. Most will laugh in your face if you even mention raw or, like in my OP, a grain free high-quality diet.

I think it's important to realize that what works for one dog won't necessarily work for another. It's all about being able to try out various things and see what works best. I have seen some dogs to well on Hills, others....not so much. I will agree with their specialty prescription diets, or at least the ideas behind them. It is essential to tailor your pet's diet to its individual needs, and I think that's what Hills is going for...even if they kind of screwed up with the grains and fillers. But when you're looking for a good, specialized diet (say, for a pet with renal failure or liver problems), there aren't many other options.

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