It’s no coincidence that you find Science Diet at the doc’s. We found this Wall Street Journal article when looking for information as to why so many vets were promoting Hill’s Pet Nutrition product. The article is almost 10-years-old, but it lays out why Science Diet is so trusted by vets today.
Over examining tables across the country, more pet doctors lately are trashing trusted brand names like Purina and Kal-Kan, calling them “junk food,” and directing people to shell out an extra $20 or so for a month’s supply of super-premium “high science” foods.
Hill’s has spent a generation cultivating its professional following. It spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 U.S. veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly from their offices pocket profits of as much as 40%.
“Vets trust them,” says Janil Norris, a fresh graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. While she was in school, a Hill’s program allowed the struggling student to pay just $3 a bag for a special prescription brand for her cat, Buffalo Sean. A bag normally runs about $25. She also received a small stipend, courtesy of the Hill’s program, to study orthopedic surgery with a Los Angeles vet. “Hill’s was just always around,” she adds.
Our baby came to our home from the shelter with a bag of Science Diet. He enjoyed the food and seemed very happy and healthy. In fact, it’s nice to see Science Diet help out shelters even if the motivation isn’t purely altruistic.
Several reader tips led us to this Harvard law-student’s research paper that condemns the vets and the pet food industry for selling “Ring Dings and Krispy Kremes”(Mmm. Donuts.) and points to a major conflict of interest.
We’re not questioning the value or quality of Science Diet, (wait, we take that back) but we do want to point out that even the best-intentioned vets are susceptible to marketing. Which leaves you, the parent to be the best judge of what your baby should eat.