Fact Check: The Truth About Pet Nutrition

Thank goodness the presidential election season is over. How many times did you catch people offering statements as truth, without facts supporting them? In some cases, the loyal followers of the candidates take everything told to them by their candidate, a person they feel is an authority, as truth. In fact, NPR reported a new study that said the majority of misinformed people, don’t change their opinions even when presented with the facts. (Notice how we cited the study?)

The same sorts of rhetoric and spin can be found in the pet food industry, right down to the pet stores and their employees. With so many falsehoods that are being presented to the public by the big brands through sales reps and advertising, I always tell the many veterinary students that go through our practice to be critical thinkers. Do your own research. Be careful which sites you look to for information, because there is no editor on the internet! I could write an article dispelling all the myths I’ve heard repeated from pet parents, but how would you know if I am telling you the truth or just some more propaganda? I want you to read the results of the research yourselves. Here are some reliable websites:

If you want to read more on the myths of grain free foods, raw diets, holistic foods and others, I recommend this article by Lisa Freeman DVM, PhD, DACVN.

Every veterinary college also has veterinary nutrition departments (one of the biggest myths is that veterinarians aren’t educated on nutrition), and they will be able to help you.

So in closing I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes by Neil deGrasse Tyson:

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”


Dr_RiggsDr. Rex Riggs grew up in Wadsworth, Ohio, near Akron. Dr Riggs is co-owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is also on the board of the North Central Region of Canine Companions of Independence, a board member of The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and Small Animal Practitioner Advancement Board at The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Riggs lives in Lewis Center, OH with his wife Nancy, their dogs Maggie and Ossa, and cat Franklin. Outside of work, Dr. Riggs is an avid golfer and cyclist, and enjoys travel and photography.

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