I have been compensated for this article about Hill’s Ideal Balance Dog Food. All thoughts are my own. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
I was recently involved in a conversation on Twitter with a dog lover who isn’t a fan of Hill’s Science Diet (I don’t blame the person) or Hill’s Ideal Balance (wait a minute…). I don’t think a discussion about dog nutrition and pet food can be successful in 140 characters at a time, but the individual tried.
The Tweeter shared an article with the title “The insidious mind control over clueless veterinarians by Hill’s Pet “Nutrition”" where it went on to explain that the only reason veterinarians promote Hill’s Science Diet is because this brand sponsors the schools and contributes to veterinarian education.
Hill’s Science Diet…
I will admit that before becoming a pet blogger, I didn’t give Hill’s Science Diet much thought. I did see it at the veterinarian’s office, but it was expensive so I purchased our dog food from the pet store.
Today, I’m still not an expert, but I know more about dog nutrition and pet food and I believe that Hill’s Ideal Balance Grain Free is more than just junk food for dogs.
In a perfect world…
If we all had the money and the time, we would bone up on dog nutrition and feed our dogs the best food available. But in reality, time and money is an issue and many people out there feel that they can’t afford a raw food diet. There are other dog owners don’t think a raw food diet is ideal for their dog.
It’s not my job to tell people what they should feed their dogs. I recently wrote a post on Raw Dog Food Reviews about this; it’s not my place to bully people into doing what I do. There are many things to consider when changing your dog’s diet, including nutrition, health and medication, finances, and time. Without out all the facts, we shouldn’t be judging the choices other make about dog nutrition (although it’s tempting with some brands).
How we change minds…
I think we change minds by sharing what we learn, not by passing judgement on others; pressuring them into changing their mind. I also think we can inspire brands to make changes by telling them what we want to see in our dogs’ food. We do this by directing our dollars to quality brands we can afford.
Working with Hill’s Ideal Balance…
I decided to take this opportunity to share about Hill’s Ideal Balance because a few months ago a reader emailed me privately, because she wanted to feed her dogs better than the lower quality brand she was buying, but she couldn’t afford a raw food diet. She wanted to know what she should do. I could feel her angst through that email and empathize with her.
Could I afford raw were it not for my full time job and blogging income?
I expanded my research beyond the dog food brands that I love, because I wanted to start offering people like this reader different options. I wanted to show them that better quality options are available.
Seek to Understand…
What the Twitter user didn’t understand was that his/her inability to see another side to the issue of poor quality kibble, our conversation couldn’t move forward. One thing that they said was “They’ve [referring to Hill's] had 70+ years to make it better, and no one has.” While this tweeter seems disillusioned by pet food brands, I’m excited, because we’re seeing more brands improving the food their produce, because
(1) dog owners demand it,
(2) the competition is doing it, and
(3) as we learn more about dogs (yep, that pesky human-animal bond I keep harping on), the better we want to provide for our dogs.
I’m not naive enough to believe that these brands’ first priority is to their bottom line (or their share holders), but I do believe that they are intelligent enough to know that the more educated dog owners become, the more we’re going to demand better quality food. If they don’t want to be left behind, then they have to step it up and I think Hill’s Ideal Balance is doing this with their new grain free brand.
If you’d like to try it out with your dog, leave a comment below sharing your favorite junk food (mine is french fries).
This contest is open to US Residents only, due to laws about transporting pet food across country borders. You must be 18 years or older to be eligible. Winners to be chosen randomly on Sunday, November 3. It takes 6-8 weeks for winners to receive their prize.