In the article Doctor Lonsdale discusses the influence of corporate brands Hills and Royal Canin on veterinary studies. These corporations influence veterinary students at the start of their career by providing lab gear and subsidised pet foods, but what’s most concerning is their influence over curriculum and what our vets are taught.
It’s easy to teach a veterinary student a cat with renal failure needs a low protein (arguable), low phosphorous diet, with the commercial solution being Hills k/d. It’s a fallacy – a cat with renal failure shouldn’t be fed a dry food, period, regardless of what scientific percentages it adheres to. Veterinary professionals aren’t taught why the food is low protein, with the reality being it contains less meat (an expensive ingredient). That’s not a staple diet for a carnivorous animal to retain health.
The involvement of corporations into veterinary studies means they can influence what and what isn’t researched in their favour, which is largely the problem with the pet food industry today. If vets are trained during their studies to sell particular brands, then it grooms them to sell products to consumers without any real knowledge of the food itself.