Why We Love Science Diet – Jasper’s “Tail”
Hi! My name’s Jasper and I’m a Labrador. To put it simply, I’ve never met a stranger and my soft brown coat is lovingly compared to the decadent sweet – ‘chocolate,’ if that gives you any indication of how pettable I am. I am one of the most perfect, Labs. The ones referred to as ‘seasoned.’ I think they call it eleven years. Either way, I know my Friend like the back of my paw. They know me and in general, life is pretty good. I want to tell you my story. A story about how one simple diet made a world of difference for me.
One thing they don’t tell you with becoming seasoned (other than the distinguished silver hair that weaves its way through the chocolate), is that you don’t always move as fast as you once did. I still loved my ball – I just sometimes gnawed on it instead of chased it. Nothing wrong with that in my book. My Friend and I had an agreement that as long as I stayed ‘Down,’ that I could have any food that fell on the floor. My Friend must be very clumsy, since I usually get all kinds of Friend Food. My favorite is macaroni and cheese and the little bits of fat that My Friend doesn’t like.
One day, My Friend took me to my second favorite place. The Vet! I can hardly contain myself when I’m there. There’s so much to smell and so many things to see. I had to get something called vaccinations, which is where they scratch your butt and let you lick their face. It’s not so bad. While there, My Vet said to My Friend – “Jasper’s overweight. It would be better for his joints and his overall health if he went on a diet. We have this new diet called Science Diet Metabolic…” At that point I zoned out. I don’t really understand how it would make my metabolism mimic a thin dog or that it isn’t merely a ‘low calorie’ food like the one I’m already on. I did understand that I would get to have treats with this diet. I love treats. My Friend was interested and in no time they measured me (which is a fancy way of saying – I got more butt scratches and ear rubs) and took home food and treats. My Friend became less clumsy with their food and instead I got to have some treats and my food. It tasted great! I was on this wonderful food for 4 months. I weighed 84 pounds when I started and 63 pounds when I finished. I tell you, I felt like a new dog! These days, I want to chase my ball around more and it’s easier for me to get out of bed in the morning. My Vet. said that he was so surprised and proud that I lost so much weight.
While Jasper is a real dog, his name has been changed to protect his innocence. His perceptions are those of my own that I can imagine an eleven-year old Labrador might be thinking through this process. These success stories occur many times and in many different forms as dogs and cats start on the road to superior nutrition.
We make diet recommendations for our clients every day. Good nutrition is one of the building blocks of sound preventative care. It contributes so much to a pet’s overall health. Here are some quick to digest “bullet points” on why we choose to recommend Science Diet:
- As mentioned above, they put ‘science’ into their diets. I know – that was a poor pun. It just so happens to be true. They have a wide range of Prescription Diets that are formulated to specifically support a variety of disease processes. Among them are: I/D (an easily digestible diet that’s good for pets with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders), Z/D (a hypoallergenic diet that is optimal for dogs with food allergies, K/D (a low-sodium, low phosphorus diet that helps support the kidneys), J/D ( a joint diet that has added Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Glucosamine/Chondroitin, Carnitine and Antioxidants to support the joints of aging or active dogs) and more! We love that a company invests so much in the advancement of veterinary medicine.
- For as much effort as they put into their Prescription Diets, they do the same for their routine maintenance diets. The newest in their line is called Healthy Advantage. They have combined the technology from their most successful diets into one.
- On the back of food bags, the label is only required to have a ‘Guaranteed Analysis.’ This is a break down of the minimum or maximum percentages of things like Protein, Fiber and Fat that is in the food. Taken just as is, this is a hard set of values to interpret. It doesn’t mean much to the average person that food has a minimum of 29.5% Protein. Since it can have anything over that (Protein in excess isn’t good) and it only has to put the specified value. This is true for most commercial food bags. All veterinary clinics that carry Science Diet are equipped with their diet book. This book is a wealth of information about each diet. Included is the actual percentage (not just a minimum or a maximum) of the nutrient contents. This is specific information about their diet that we can use to make the best recommendation for your pet. Without this information, it would be more difficult to know what is in the food that they are making.
- They have veterinarians on staff that can walk us through any type of diet question. If we have questions about whether or not a pet would benefit from one diet versus another (if they have two disease conditions) – they will give us their evaluation.
- Dr. Fronefield and Carol toured the Science Diet plant in Topeka, Kansas. It was an amazing experience where they were able to see first-hand the high quality standards they have for their food. They were also impressed with the levels of quality control they implement. All of the raw ingredients that are received at their plant undergo testing. If they don’t meet the standards, they are sent away and not used. The food is also tested along the path of creation to ensure proper quality. The food does not leave the facility until all of the tests come back. This way, if there is anything questionable, it can be evaluated before it is put out on shelves. They take contamination of their facility seriously. Everyone there had to wear hair nets, lab coats and take off any jewelry or loose items. There were also shoe treatment stations throughout. They make and package their own food at the same facility. All of this tells me they are committed to the control of the creation of their diet, from start to finish.
- The tour also detailed the facility where they perform palatability and other testing. I would love to leave my dog there! They have the dogs broken up into social packs (those that get along with each other) and they have technicians dedicated to their every facet of life. They have engineered their facility to be able to provide adequate enrichment (with outdoor play areas, plenty of toys and individualized programs). While there, they were telling us about how one of the dogs gets a little nippy if he doesn’t have a break from the others – so they give him nap time. The same multi-modal approach is used for their cats. They have two veterinarians on staff that are only there for the care of the pets.
- Based on all of the care and attention to detail that they take with their diets, we trust them. We know enough about how they produce their food to trust that we are making the right recommendations for our client’s (and our!) pets.
Have any questions? Please ask us! That’s what we’re here for. ABC Animal and Bird Clinic we have a wide variety of nutritional supplements and treats that you can easy access when you visit, please ask us about our inventory and the right nutrition for your pet our professionals will be happy to assist you in choosing the right food and nutritional content your pet might need. Happy eating!