However, once you call something a prescription, all sorts of stupidity can ensue. My first stop in the quest for Hills K/D formula was a local PetsMart where, although I had a perfectly valid Rx from a legit veterinary oncologist, they had a problem. PetsMart requires that the Banfield colocated in the store issue me a Rx card for the food. Their system is set up to require this on checkout. I was told they would be fired if they sold it without the required Banfield card. I went back and got the card, and was able to get the food no problem, so my quest was completed. One flaw with PetsMart's system is that the store is open till 9pm and Banfield is open till 7pm.
I decided that I would buy the rest of the food online since it is less hassle, and I could have it delivered for the same price. I put in an order at Chewy.com, and after three days of no tracking number (they normally ship very quickly), I started up a chat with them. They told me that they had not been able to contact the vet yet to get the Rx, however that was soon resolved. So now that is all set, and the food is on the way as we speak.
So why the hell do I need to jump through any hoops for dog food? Would anyone buy a prescription hamburger for a kidney problem, or prescription bucket of chicken for an ulcer? I'd love to have my insurance pay for steaks and french fries. Obviously, most people eat a much more diverse diet than your average mutt who gets to eat the same stuff every day (and at least in my dog's case seems quite happy with that). Certainly the "prescription" foods are not as balanced as normal dog food, and would not be good to feed a dog for very long if they did not have the problem they were designed to assist with. On the other hand, there are no magic blue crystals in it, cooked up in a 55 gallon drum by Walter White. And there's probably a near to zero risk of abuse of Rx dog food by humans, though I have to say some of it looks better than camping food. Rx dog food is probably very similar to the stuff on the shelf that any sucker can buy, with just less of this thing or more of that. Seems to me that if they can sell human and dog supplements and vitamins over the counter, the same should go for "prescription" dog food - risk of incorrect use is probably similar (in my uneducated opinion). I think a good warning label is all that is really necessary.