Corporate America and pet care

I want to share part of an email newsletter from Dr. Peter Tobias Holistic Veterinarian and how large corporate owned veterinary clinics place profits over pet care.
“For the past few years, I have been observing an alarming trend of processed pet food giants purchasing veterinary clinics. Slowly but surely, many veterinary facilities have been acquired, after their owners received irresistible offers from large corporations with very deep pockets.
Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the health of pets, these new “clinic owners” focus mainly on generating profits and paying their employees as little as possible to improve their bottom line!
These new corporate owners eventually sell out to even bigger multinational corporations that manufacture human food products, processed pet food, veterinary clinics, medical supplies, drugs, and medical equipment.
They are also keen sponsors of education at veterinary colleges, professional conferences and organized nutritional research conducted by “not so unbiased” experts that are paid by them.
Like it or not, we are living in an era of monopolization of veterinary healthcare which puts the health and wellbeing of our beloved pets in danger!”
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Peter Tobias, DVM

My two bits

corporations profit over pet care?
Do huge corporations in the veterinary services place profit over pet care?

One example of this is Pet Smart and its veterinary services Banfield. As a Certified Veterinary Technician or animal nurse, I applied for and did a half day unpaid working interview, typical for this field,  at a local Pet Smart/Banfield store which offered veterinary services.

It didn’t take long for me to see that company policy was focused very highly on profits.
This is not to say that staff and doctors are not caring compassionate people, who do not advocate pet care.  But they must adhere to company policy as does any veterinary clinic/hospital including privately owned.
Veterinary clinics/hospitals are a business, as such, they must make a profit to remain in business.
Part of the Mars, an incorporated family of companies, Banfield owns clinics in the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1955, the company operates many of its 800 plus clinics inside PetSmart stores. Banfield is the largest privately owned veterinary practice in the United States. (Wikipedia)

Here is a list by Dr. Tobias to help you choose wisely.


10 essential questions you should ask when you choose a product or a service for your dog.

1.  Does the company have clear values that they adhere to? Here are our values.

2.  Is the company’s communication focusing on “You and Your Dog?” or do they waste your time by blowing their own horn and using the words “we” and “I” more often than “You?”

3.  Do they put down other brands in order to show how “superior” their products are?

4.  Do they do their best to help and understand your needs or do they hide behind “the company’s policies” and focus on their needs instead of yours?

5.  Are their online product reviews positive and freely accessible? How do they respond to negative reviews?

6.  Is their customer service easily accessible, genuinely caring about you and your dog and is the shipping well organized and streamlined for your convenience?

7.  Do they focus on the quality of their products and ingredients?

8.  Is their packaging eco-friendly or do they use cheap plastic packaging?

9.  Are they confident in the quality of their product by offering a no-hassle return policy?

10.  Finally, what does your intuition tell you about them? Do they sound like they care about you and your dog?



Raw, cooked, or commercial?

affordable pet care - food
Choose the best food you can afford

Boy, mention this topic on a pet care Facebook page and watch sparks fly! This is a highly debated topic.

Many Holistic Veterinarians highly suggest preparing your dog’s, and cat’s food at home. Namely, a raw diet, but if you prefer to cook for your pets there are many recipes and websites out there.

So many in fact that it could become confusing. In addition, many are by well-meaning but maybe not fully educated folks who post recipes.






Here are some of the natural pet care experts I trust.

Dr. Peter Tobias – Holistic Veterinarian offering great holistic pet care information, to help your pets live naturally plus he offers a course to help you create  BALANCED home-prepared foods.

Dr. Karen Becker – Well respected Holistic Veterinarian who offers tons of information to help our pets naturally. Dr. Becker advocates feeding raw and offers recipes and more, including videos.

Dogs NaturallyDana Scott‘s website offering lots of great pet care information to keep your pets healthy naturally. In addition, she offers a nutrition course for you to learn from.

PlanetPawsRodney Habib advocates natural pet care, including raw feeding. There is tons of great information to be found on his site.

Dr. Andrew Jones – Holistic Veterinarian offers among other pet care tips and tools, a free DVD of how to perform an at-home exam to spot signs that could mean trouble for your pet.

Be sure to check out these experts Facebook pages as well.


Do what you can within YOUR financial means

We love our pets and consider them family members. We choose to do what we can to help them live longer and healthier. There are folks out there in internet land who are so passionate about this topic that perhaps they are a tad close-minded.

They feel that if a pet guardian doesn’t feed raw, or home cooked, or maybe doesn’t follow veterinary guidelines, I said guidelines NOT rules to a T, see their vet regularly,  we are bad guardians. I feel if you do the best you can within your financial means, you are doing a great job. Veterinary care can be expensive.

If you have rescue animals as I do, I figure at least they have a loving home which is a WHOLE lot better than being homeless.


Prevention is key!

Finally, doing what we can to prevent disease, including exercise, feeding the best food you can afford, giving them a home safe from toxins,  love, companionship, a warm bed, limited vaccinations, and veterinary care when needed will help your pet live longer, healthier. And save you money.



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Child of the '70's - passionate about natural health for people and pets, Baby Boomer health, herbs and oils, green living, vegetarian, treehugger.