Thanks for your answer, DzyMsLizzy. I just get upset sometimes people going to the vet is expensive enough just for a routine exam, but to have to pay 10-15 dollars more for food that isn't even going to help them. Most people have no idea what to look for when it comes to nutrition, they trust their vet because vets were trained to care for animals. All anyone tries to do is provide the best they can for their pets without breaking the bank. Instead what happens is they don't end up giving their dog healthy food and just waste money.
I wouldn't get so upset it's just that animals don't really have a voice to speak up for them. They can't tell their owner, "Hey Mama, I don't think I should be eating corn or beet pulp."
The promotion/kickback thing you mentioned reminded me of how I always see pens and calenders from drug companies at the doctor's office. I do believe the vet's receive profit from it as well.
corn is not a good source of protein for dogs. Meat is. When the biggest ingredient in a food (science diet) is corn, that is a huge red flag. Corn should never be near the top of the ingredient list. Maybe the "regular" food you compared to science diet is low quality too, because I can think of at least 5 brands of dog food that have much better ingredients than science diet. It is not the same at all, and I have compared too. None of the food I feed my pets has corn or soy in the first ingredients. Those are NOT easily broken down by carnivores. Dogs are carnivores, they get protein from meat not corn. Science diet is not considered premium, it is full of fillers and allergens. Corn, soy, beet pulp, and cellulose should not be in your dog's daily diet. The serving sizes are also smaller because they don't need as much food to get the nutrients. Serving sizes are bigger in cheap foods because it is all filler and no meat, they have to eat a ton just to fill up.