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Vet builds solid gold house on kickbacks from pet food sales!

Posted in Client Service @ Mar 27th 2013 - By Judy Gillespie
Gold House

Ok – I made that one up!  But I didn’t make up these other ridiculous stories I see posted on Facebook:

For example.....

FREE iPads/smart phone/beauty products as boxes are unsealed and therefore can’t be sold!  Just Click ‘Like’ to receive your FREE..... - yeah right, a free iPad just because the box is unsealed?

Or – my personal favourite.....

KFC uses ‘Genetically Manipulated Organisms’– KFC can no longer call themselves Kentucky Fried Chicken because they use genetically manipulated organisms rather than real chickens!

This is the sort of stuff that apparently intelligent people believe and are sharing online. 

I recently saw a conversation on a veterinary industry Facebook Page that was seeking opinions on the benefits of raw food diets for pets. A basic internet search had led the Page Admin to a pet store website that stated: “...vets receive generous kickbacks from promoting, selling and recommending a commercial diet and sadly it is the commercial diet that keeps their waiting rooms full.”

Understandably this post prompted quite a few responses, many along the lines of “Kickbacks – what kickbacks?”  Although one honest respondent did admit to once receiving a pack of M & M’s at a pet food seminar.

I also did a basic Google search on ‘Benefits of feeding raw diets to dogs’ and came across 5,920,000 results.  Many of which were offering a balanced argument but also included a link to a website with the heading ‘Myth: Vets are thoroughly qualified to dispense nutritional advice’ and included Veterinarians are invariably linked to the commercial pet food industry. They advocate and even market commercial foods, receiving substantial revenue and kickbacks.”

Now if relatively intelligent people are willing to believe that KFC uses genetically manipulated organisms rather than chicken, they’re pretty much ready to believe anything.

So who is to blame? 

Well I hate to tell you – but maybe you're to blame.

If your clients are considering a raw diet or any other information regarding their pet why are they looking anywhere else but to you for information?

Without sounding too philosophical, weeds will grow anywhere unless you plant flowers.

So start planting some flowers.  Start writing short, sharp, informative pieces that dispel all the myths that are out there. If you absolutely don't have the time or desire to write anything then at least direct your clients to good, solid, scientifically based information not internet loony-world information. And share, share, share!

This means you need to have a website that allows you to have a home for your articles/blog posts and an active social media presence to share all your information.  If you’re not providing the right information to your clients, you can’t blame them for seeking it elsewhere and choosing to believe that which they find on the internet.

One last thing – do any of your clients actually know why you sell the range of pet food that you have available?  Maybe if you explained it to them and even collected some client’s testimonials on the benefits of your chosen diet they would understand – I’ve even put together something basic that you could start with.....

"We choose to stock the XYZ range of pet food as we believe it offers the best nutritionally based diet for your pet.

We are confident in recommending this food for your furry family member – we even feed it to our own pets!

Just so you know, we would never recommend a product unless we were 100% confident in its quality and benefits and we receive no ‘kick-backs’ or ‘extra’s’ from XYZ and only add a small mark up to the wholesale price.

We also recognise that you may choose to feed your pet other types of diets and we are more than happy to discuss the pro’s and con’s of these diets with you.  Little Bo Peep is the nutritional expert in our team so feel free to have a chat with her about your pet’s nutritional needs. For a more thorough discussion you might also like to book a nutrition consultation with Little Bo Peep."

So unless you're getting ready to lay the foundations for that solid gold house, tell me in the comments section below how you think you can best educate pet owners. 


Chris Bern @ Apr 19th 2013 10:40am
Great article! I completely agree with what you said, and it bothers me that there is so much misinformation out there. I try to do my part to correct those mistakes, but more people need to do so. Thanks for writing this.
Judy @ Apr 19th 2013 12:39pm
Thanks Chris for dropping by! You certainly do a great job of informing people - I love reading your blog posts and share them regularly :) For those who would also like to read Chris' blog - click here:

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