In the May issue of WDJ, you’ll see an article about prescription dog foods, as well as some tables that list information about all of the prescription dog foods currently on the market. The tables are organized by the company that makes them and sorted by the condition/s they were formulated to treat. The article discusses how these products differ from non-prescription dog foods.
We hadn’t planned on adding prescription dog foods to the WDJ online dog food databases, the way we do when we review dry or canned dog foods, mostly because we don’t approve or disapprove of them; if, in your veterinarian’s opinion, your dog needs a prescription food, who are we to approve or disapprove?
However, in the process of compiling information about the 169 of the prescription dog foods currently on the market, it occurred to us that we could easily put all of them into a searchable database that our readers could access (“easily” in comparison to the annual compilation of the 1,200 or so dry foods currently on our “approved dry dog foods” list and the 600 canned foods currently on our “approved canned foods” list). And not only would this help us examine their ingredients lists – which typically look very different from the lists of ingredients on our “approved foods” – but we realized that it could potentially help owners locate prescription products that met their veterinarians’ criteria as being beneficial for the dogs’ health condition and contain higher-quality ingredients, or a more appropriate amount of protein or fat. Because, usually, veterinarians are familiar with only the products from one or another prescription-diet company, and if you look with horror at the list of ingredients and balk at feeding that product to your dog, your veterinarian may well dismiss you as a client. And who could blame them? Why would they want to work with a client who won’t follow their recommendations?
But if you were able to see that another company had a food that ostensibly is formulated to treat the same condition that your vet’s suggestion is formulated to treat – one that contains ingredients that more closely resemble actual food – perhaps you could then ask your vet if she or he could prescribe that product instead. Who knows? Your veterinarian might learn about and become impressed with a different company’s products, and your dog will likely be happier with a more palatable diet.
So, if you’re a subscriber, and you’ve registered for your free access to our website, you’ll be able to access our new searchable database of prescription dog foods, too! And the cool part is, you can use the “search” tool to look for products that are formulated to address a particular health condition, and within that category, contain (or do not contain) certain ingredients; are grain-free or grain-inclusive; contain a specific amount of protein or fat; are made with meat, meat meal, or both; and so on. You can add as many search parameters as you like!
If you do nothing else, just peruse the database and check out the ingredients and the protein and fat levels of the foods for any given condition. We think you’ll be amazed at what passes for “food” in many of the products in this category.