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Pet Food Industry Sponsorship

TulipRoxy
December 17th, 2008, 04:54 PM
I doubt many on this board have any doubts about how much pet food industry sponsors and promotes their products to veterinarians I wanted to share my recent haul. I complete a animal nutrition class this semester. As part of the course I had to take an online course with Hill's and one with Purina. These courses are designed to educate you about pet nutrition and sell you on their products. I knew you got a prize for completing the programs but I was floored by how much stuff I got. Here is the list of my haul.

Purina
Travel Mug
Stop watch
T-shirt
Pens, notepads

Hills
T-shirt
Travel mug
doggie scarf
notepads, stickers
business cards/ name tag with "Hill's Veterinary Nutritional Advocate" and my name and phone number on them ?!
balloons
calculator
Fridge magnetic board
The Healing Power of Pets by Dr. Marty Becker

Eveything is of course with their name all over it... and I'm not even studying to be a vet, I won't be perscribing the stuff!!!! We also had representatives come to our class. One gave everyone a free bag of food and one bought pizza for the class!

It just amazes me that they would put this much money into promotion.

hazelrunpack
December 17th, 2008, 05:11 PM
How do you think they win over the vets? :o Promotion! :rolleyes: I suspect a large part of their budget is promotion. Smaller companies with a higher quality product but a smaller customer base can't afford the same...

sugarcatmom
December 17th, 2008, 07:41 PM
Funny you should bring this up. I found a Hill's website explaining all the "benefits" that one receives upon completion of their various "education" (ie propaganda) modules:
Veterinary Nutritional Advocate Program (http://www.hillspet.com/zSkin_2/hlp/hlp_vna_more_info.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=140847 4395209511&bmUID=1229034206062) (note the photos at the end displaying the wealth of Hill's merchandise):
Level III: Personalized name tag and business cards, certificate, Prescription DietŪ record labels, key ring, note pads, window decals, calculator, tumbler, cloth tape measure, bookmark, auto plate, padfolio, pens, local newspaper news release, children stickers, buttons, luggage tag, dry erase board, mints, balloons, client awareness materials, and the ability to "re-commit" yearly with additional awards

Hey kids, who wants a Hill's balloon? How 'bout some Hill's mints? WTF?

Oh, and here is their "Hill's on Campus" (http://www.hillspet.it/zSkin_2/company_info/company_info_general.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=253 4374302051875&bmUID=1229560516398&bmLocale=it) blurb where they talk about all the great things they do for veterinary students. :rolleyes:

cell
December 17th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I'm no expert on foods (since I don't have a dog or cat so I'm not up on my brands) but I did work at a animal shelter and since it was the largest of the province (NS) there was a lot of foodies donations and we could get to pick what we wanted and then send the others along to the needier shelters, and we would send off the kibbles and nibbles and vet foods.From the ingredients I never could understand why people used "vet food" sure it has all the nutrition and vitamins and minerals, but its ingredients are not good and the nutrition is all supplemented. It would be like me eating bread injected with multivitamins?

TulipRoxy
December 18th, 2008, 09:03 AM
Funny you should bring this up. I found a Hill's website explaining all the "benefits" that one receives upon completion of their various "education" (ie propaganda) modules:
Veterinary Nutritional Advocate Program (http://www.hillspet.com/zSkin_2/hlp/hlp_vna_more_info.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=140847 4395209511&bmUID=1229034206062) (note the photos at the end displaying the wealth of Hill's merchandise):


Hey kids, who wants a Hill's balloon? How 'bout some Hill's mints? WTF?

Oh, and here is their "Hill's on Campus" (http://www.hillspet.it/zSkin_2/company_info/company_info_general.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=253 4374302051875&bmUID=1229560516398&bmLocale=it) blurb where they talk about all the great things they do for veterinary students. :rolleyes:


Yeah seriously.. Thats the program I did. I got all that. Also a huge sign that says "Ask Miranda about your Pets Nutritional Needs". I put that up on that wall in my apartment put on the name tage and blew up the balloons. So yeah.. if anyone comes to my apartment I'd be glad to educate them on Hill's diets... its just might not be the education Hill's wants.

Literally this is how bad the modules are. At the end of each unit you have to do a quiz to be able to go to the next level. Seriously this was one of the questions.

What diet would be appropriate when switching a kitten from Hills Science Diet Kitten formula?

a) homemade food
b) grocery store dry food
c) fish
d) Hill's Science Diet Adult formula

wow...thats all I can say

Jim Hall
December 18th, 2008, 09:09 AM
rmemember wonder bread ? "builds strong bodies 8 ways "

sugarcatmom
December 18th, 2008, 12:13 PM
wow...thats all I can say

It truly boggles the mind. The other thing that makes me insane is that supposedly smart individuals buy into it all so easily. Why can't they see how huge this conflict of interest is?

My message to all up-and-coming vet students: "DON'T DRINK THE KOOLAID!!!"

bendyfoot
December 18th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Literally this is how bad the modules are. At the end of each unit you have to do a quiz to be able to go to the next level. Seriously this was one of the questions.

What diet would be appropriate when switching a kitten from Hills Science Diet Kitten formula?

a) homemade food
b) grocery store dry food
c) fish
d) Hill's Science Diet Adult formula

wow...thats all I can say


:eek:

wow. I have to say, though, I can see how it works. I worked in the veterinary industry for about 5 years. The sales reps for these big manufacturers are a hardworking and awfully convincing (and obviously on commision) bunch of people. They will drop EVERYTHING to come over with samples and freebies and pens and notepads and other crap.

I must admit that, uninformed (brainwashed??) little ol' me used to actually TELL people that H-lls was a superior food and they should switch their cat/dog from xyz to H-lls etc...and *hangs her head in shame*.

Doing my own research finally opened my eyes. Unfortunately, I had long left the vet clinic and didn't have the opportunity to tell those clients what I'd learned.

Me, the formerly "oh goodness I'd NEVER feed my pets something other than H-lls!!!" gal, was very happily throwing chunks of raw veal at my dogs this morning, along with a raw chicken back chaser.

cell
December 18th, 2008, 05:55 PM
too bad: corn meal, meat flavor, and multivitamins wasn't on the list...

want4rain
December 18th, 2008, 06:44 PM
"DON'T DRINK THE KOOLAID!!!"

in a truly pregnant way,.... koolaid sounds soooooo goood. food dye and sugar!! yum!

-ash

Khari
December 18th, 2008, 08:00 PM
I was a suckered in client at my vets office for years. I was so scared to question my vets logic. Thinking he knew best. I spent an atrocious amount of money each month on calorie control and sensitivity foods for my cats b/c the vet said so. They both never lost weight on the food and my one cat had diarrhea for years. I was feeding Royal Canin (and before that Medi-cal) until I found out Royal Canin is owned by Mars Inc...and I have heard that Mars Inc. performs invasive tests on animals. So, I started reading up on a raw food diet for my cats and after a month on the raw diet my cat was diarrhea free. I am so happy I made the switch. I also have since switched vets and the new vet supports a raw food diet for my cats. He admitted to me that most vets get very minimal training on nutrition. And they all get huge kickbacks from selling commercial pet food by the companies who's food they sell. Since all the research I have done I am very against Commercial pet food. I am no longer a money machine to my past vet...lol! :cat:

want4rain
December 18th, 2008, 08:15 PM
uh-huh, my kitties went from Iams to barf free, trim sleek bodies and perfect poops doing the raw thing. stupidly happy with it. my vet keeps asking me what we are feeding them they look and feel so healthy.

-ash

flipgirl4
December 19th, 2008, 01:30 AM
I just started working at an animal hospital which promotes Medi-cal and Hills. Many of the clients buy the prescribed food and it's not cheap. One of the people training me said that Hill's is one of the best foods and you'll never see a shinier coat on a coat or a healthier dog. Hmmmm...as people cash out and the bags and cans move off the shelves, I am thinking, is the food so bad that it causes problems to make them come back to the hospital? Is it all a scam? It's kind of like what movie theatres do, make their popcorn so salty that you have to buy a large drink? I've looked at the ingredients and the analysis of some of the foods and the second ingredient is corn. Whether a dog is a carnivore or omnivore, it doesn't matter; corn is just a cheap filler.

bendyfoot
December 19th, 2008, 09:31 AM
I was at the vets last night with Heidi, she's in the midst of treatment for demodex mange and we were in for a recheck...I made some off-the-cuff remark about how she can crunch up half a raw chicken back with gusto, and oh. my. gosh. the technician's/receptionists eyes all darted up from their paperwork and looked at me with something akin to horror!:eek::laughing: I didn't say anything else, but the reaction was priceless!:laughing: