They were probably happy to do the veterinary diet because they wanted the best for their pet. Upon realizing a lot of vet diets have a lot of useless ingredients(which stress the system with no benefit) like by-products, rice, glutens, wheat, beet pulp, etc etc, they wanted something better and found Acana, which is about as species appropriate as you can hope to get from commercially prepared food, with minimal indigestibles.
“Useless” ingredients are a common misconception unfortunately. People love to say our diets are garbage because of the marketing done by these pet store brands and help from Dr. Google. But a lot of research and science goes into veterinary diets and everything included is there for a reason.
By-products, for example, are not these awful inedible evils, I promise. Those bully sticks or pigs ears that dogs love so much, or those marrow bones or even antlers that pet owners rave are so good for cleaning their teeth, those are…Guess what? By-products. Everything included in pet foods by law has to be edible…That is why organizations like AAFCO exist, to ensure quality ingredients and to enforce this rule. There are no bones, horns, hair, hooves, etc etc and in fact, these things are singled out and fully removed. Instead by-products refers to organs like the liver and the stomach and the heart, which are actually packed full of more nutrients than just the muscle meat, and if we’re going for the biologically appropriate angle are exactly what a dog or a cat would eat in the wild. They don’t just eat the muscle and say eww, the rest of this is gross! We eat by-products all the time too…Milk, cheese, chicken wings, ribs, sausage…If we as humans were to have a by-product free diet it would be a pretty boring one!
Grains also get a pretty bad rap but they are full of essential fibres and oils that are first processed to be easily digestible. Meat by itself does not have every single nutrient needed for a balanced diet and the grain and rice are used to supplement it and add those missing nutrients. As for beet pulp, it’s simply fibre…It is added to help with proper and healthy digestion. How many times have you heard stories about cats vomiting everywhere, or a dog who has diarrhea on every single food they eat? Or even worse yet, a dog who has horrible gas? Odds are the food they are being fed doesn’t have enough fibre in it. I see cases like this on a daily basis, as well as a lot of angry, painfully constipated cats come trough my clinic and it is a lot of stress not only for them but for the owner as well.
All pet owners want what is best for their animal…And so do we. That is why we chose to be in the veterinary industry. However what’s best isn’t always what Acana or Blue Buffalo or the other big pet store brands use for their marketing. We are not here to poison your pet, or to pump them full of garbage…We want them to live a long and a healthy life just like you do.