The Unsolicited Advice Patrol Strikes Again

Before I left for the trip, I found myself in my local petstore stockpiling food for the pets so my parents wouldn’t be stuck trying to figure out what they needed to buy. The dogs are easy, but Apollo’s been on the same venison diet for four years now, and they don’t always have a lot of it in the store.

So I’m in there, minding my own business, when I see one of the employees in an apron edging her way over. I try to avoid her eyes.

“Hi there,” she says, eyeing the 24 purple cans I’ve cleared from the shelves. “Have you ever tried Brand X?”

I sighed. I dislike those brand pushers to begin with, finding them hopelessly undereducated about anything except the talking points of the brand they are hired to sell. Second, I wasn’t asking for advice. I was clearly doing very well on my own and well on my way to spending money in the store, so I really just wanted to be left alone. Third, I don’t like Brand X for a number of reasons, and I wouldn’t buy it even if Apollo was ok to eat it.


But I just shook my head. “My cat has allergies.”

She cocked her head. “Our foods are also allergy-free. What’s your cat allergic to?”

“Chicken.” Plus fish, and turkey, and a couple other things I discovered after doing a full-bore elimination diet and challenge, but I didn’t feel like going into it because I was kind of in a rush.

But she was undaunted despite my turning away from her. “Well then, you need to learn to read labels and find one without chicken.”

And something about someone coming up to me uninvited in a pet food store and telling me I need to learn to read labels just kind of rubbed me the wrong way, because despite it being ok advice, I didn’t want or need it.

So I snapped, “He’s also allergic to fish and turkey. Got a diet without turkey, fish, OR chicken?” Which of course they didn’t. “He’s actually allergic to all of that?” she asked, incredulously.

To which I replied in front of the rest of the store, “Yes. I’m a veterinarian and I know all about nutrition and label reading, which is why I don’t buy your brand.” Then I walked away.

Boy, I get crabby sometimes.

Photo Credit: “Annoyed” by daphne31 on Flickr

Filed: Blog, Daily Life, Musings Tagged:
  • Been there and done that! Atleast you were able to walk away nicely ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes I have educated them on food… which I shouldnt ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous

    I know those purple cans quite well! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I, too, dislike the food pushers lurking in the pet food stores. Love your comment! Way to put them in their place!

  • Lol I love that you need to “learn to read labels” when clearly you have as you are loading your cart full of food that I *imagine* your cat is not allergic to. Genius. People are special sometimes!

  • can I tell you just how much I LOVED THIS?? OMG! I go through this ALL the time! Cody (my cat) is actually allergic to dairy, grains, beef, chicken, turkey…I can’t begin to tell you how often I go through this! I wish you had photographed their face when you told them you are a Veterinarian!!! Ha!!!

  • Geez, who wants someone telling them that they “need to learn to read labels”? I’m glad you put her in her place ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe she will be a little more respectful next time!

  • Cathey

    Totally AWESOME!!!

  • Lisa W

    YAY for you!

  • Laura in KY

    Appalling behavior on her part. “Well then, you need to learn to read labels”? No, REALLY? Thank you, Captain Obvious.

  • LB

    Maybe the sales person was just trying to be helpful, but I don’t like sales people to help me find information for anything, including pet food. My dog and cats are on a low grain diet and I absolutly hate it when people try to push other brands on you and your pets. I can usually get away with saying my pets are old, sick and allergies or no thanks.

    I also get it in supermarkets that have samples for humans. I am picky at what goes into my body and have a couple of weird allergies, so if I say no take it or I will go off! HA!

    I think people in general should be more aware of allergies and more kind to people and animals with them.

  • Jamie

    We feed Oirjen, which can’t be bought at PetSmart here. We have to get it from Pet People. (love, love, love that store!) However it seems, every time we go to PetSmart and happen to walk by the food, or are taking the fur-kids to PetsHotel for a play date, a particular brand is ALWAYS there and always tries to get us to talk to them. The sad thing is, if we do somehow get cornered and tell them, “Sorry, we feed Orijen and we are sticking to it.” They have NO idea what Orijen even is. I just want to tell them its a brand that is 100x better than what they are pushing! Sigh.

  • I love your response!

  • Aargh, those people! When a salesperson attacks me, I often just flee–literally just turn around and flee out the door. Harder if your arms are full of dog food. Your response was perfect.

  • Rachel

    Go YOU! I always wanted to go off like that on the too helpful employee. Last time i went in they tried to push me to whatever the brand was of the day and I told them..I have been to their manufacturing plant saw this food being made and talked to their nutritionist..I feel this is the best choice for my dog lol.

    Another pet peeve I have is the “helpful” people who say all commercial dog food is bad and you have to cook all your food or your a terrible pet parent. Yes, those diets can be good for you pet but you have to know what your doing and give them them them the right stuff so they get what they need. If the human eats fast food 5 days a week they aren’t even cooking for themselves..what makes you think they will keep up with cooking for their pet?!?! I also had someone can cook a week or so ahead of time and just put it in the fridge..poor dog getting food cooked 7 days ago..that’s a disaster and trip to the vet just waiting to happen.

  • Did you add a little homegirl “snap” when you said it? :>) I am so glad I am not the only one. Whenever I see them my pulse starts racing in anticipation of the confrontation. There is one lady who seems to be everywhere and you would think she would recognize me by now. I hate being rude, but sometimes it’s the only way to get rid of them.