Canine Obesity: Dangerous and Expensive

Judge rules against prescription dog food companies

Rewards 12.5 Million judgement

It’s rather sad to think that more than half the dogs in this country are overweight or obese. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 54% of the dogs in the U.S. are eating the wrong foods and not getting enough exercise. Sound familiar? Dogs and people are in the same boat!

Most pet parents enjoy “sharing the love” by feeding their dogs too much. I often hear about how cute it is to have a little extra weight on their four legged friend – a sign of a well-loved dog. But even a moderately overweight animal has a two year reduction in life expectancy. Fat is not something that just hangs around, it is actually a biologically active tissue that produces inflammatory hormones and oxidative stress. What that means is that the body is over producing free radicals and maintaining a chronic level of inflammation. These factors are major contributors to poor health, including deadly diseases like cancer and arthritis, as well as immune system damage.

Obesity impacts your dog’s health and the health of your pocketbook. Here are some obesity related costs courtesy of Pet Plan, a health insurance company for animals.

1. Simple overeating can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Pet Plan sees 900 claims a month for digestive issues with an average cost of $850.

2. Cancer. This is an ever-growing problem. Obesity can make your dog susceptible to certain cancers with an average cost of over $2,000.

3. Joints. Knee and ligament surgery – $3,400. This does not include conditions like arthritis.

4. Urinary tract infections.  Yes, being overweight can contribute to your dog’s poor urinary health too. Average cost $590.

5. Heart disease – $1,230.

6. Back issues, especially in German shepherds, dachshunds, and basset hounds – $2,033.

This list does not include obesity related diabetes, pancreatitis, and respiratory issues.

The good news is, all of this is preventable! Follow our next blog, where we learn about recognizing and preventing obesity as well as getting your dog, and maybe yourself, into the best shape ever.

The use of Presciption dog food is one of my pet peeves and shows that the
phrase “Marketing over Mother Nature’ holds true.
If you are a dog owner, you may have heard about the class action suit
against prescription dog foods. Hills, Science Diet, Royal Canin and Purina
are some of the brands that are accused of misleading consumers and
veterinarians about the benefits and ingredients of their products. The
lawsuit claims that:

  • these companies charge premium prices for prescription dog foods that are not significantly different from regular dog foods. In fact, they are made in the same facilities, using the same suppliers as low-quality grocery store brands like Alpo and Beneful.
  • they do not have any scientific evidence to support their claims of treating or preventing various health conditions in dogs. They are not made in facilities that follow traditional drug manufacturing protocols.
  • that these companies have violated consumer protection laws and engaged in false advertising.

The class action suit was filed in 2019 by a group of dog owners who purchased prescription dog foods from these brands for their pets. They are seeking refunds, damages and an injunction to stop the companies from selling prescription dog foods without proper authorization and
. The suit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Prescription dog foods are supposed to be specially formulated to address specific health issues in dogs, such as kidney disease, diabetes, allergies, obesity and more. However, according to the lawsuit, these products are not
regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other agency,
 and they do not require a prescription from a veterinarian to be sold.

The lawsuit claims that these companies have exploited this loophole to market their products as prescription dog foods, even though they are not approved or tested by any authority.

This suit also accuses these companies of using low-quality ingredients and fillers in their prescription dog foods, such as corn, wheat, soy, by-products and artificial colors and flavors. These ingredients may not only be ineffective for treating or preventing health conditions in dogs, but they may also cause adverse reactions and allergies in some dogs. The lawsuit cites several examples of dogs that suffered from health problems after
consuming prescription dog foods from these brands, such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, skin infections, kidney failure and death.

The lawsuit seeks to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive and unlawful practices, and to provide compensation and relief to the dog owners who have been harmed by them. It also aims to protect the public interest and the welfare of dogs by ensuring that prescription dog foods are properly regulated and labeled, and that consumers and veterinarians are informed about their benefits and risks.

Please be aware that the FDA does not review or verify the health claims on any veterinary diet.

Take a close look at the ingredient list and ask your vet for evidence that the foods in the prescription diet are any better than most regular diets. Also please keep in mind that while your vet has the best intentions, they get little or no nutrition training and often what little training they do get comes from the very companies that are named in these lawsuits. 

Ultra processed foods made with poor quality ingredients are not what your dog needs if they are suffering from an illness. Give your dog a fighting chance with fresh, quality foods for a long and healthy life. 

This lawsuit was settled in July of 2021. Hills Pet Food paid $12.5 million to participants.

Is it any wonder that here at Lucky Dog Cuisine we believe wholeheartedly “Fresh is Better”
The food we send your dog is the exact same food we feed our own beloved pack. 


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