You can find detailed information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a subsidiary of the Colgate-Palmolive Company, the maker of Hill’s Science Diet Pet Food, in our main Science Diet Dog Food review. There, you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control measures.
Hill’s Science Diet provides more individualized foods for dogs with different health conditions and life stages than any other brand that comes to mind. If your dog has any kind of health issue, regardless of his age or condition, it’s very possible that Science Diet has a food for him, or your vet can prescribe one of their Prescription Diets for him. Their Prescription Diets are costly and even their regular foods are expensive. Many people question whether these are good foods when they look at the ingredients, but dogs who eat these foods seem to do well.
Ingredients in Hill’s Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Original Dog Food
Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Pork Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil,Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Natural Flavors, Dried Apples, Dried Broccoli, Dried Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Dried Peas.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
The first five ingredients in this food are: Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal.
Chicken is the first ingredient in this food and it’s a good ingredient for dog food. Chicken is about 80 percent protein and it’s a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Niacin and Selenium. It’s also a good source of glucosamine for joint health. As the first ingredient, the food should contain more chicken than any other ingredient.
Farther down the list, the food also contains chicken meal and chicken liver flavor. Chicken meal is the condensed version of chicken, with most of the moisture removed, so it contains several times as much protein as whole chicken. Chicken liver flavor is a better source of flavor than “natural flavor” which you sometimes see added to dog food since it’s identified.
The next four ingredients in the food are grains/cereals, adding a lot of carbohydrates to the food. They are all relatively high energy grains that are digested quickly and get in your dog’s bloodstream fast. Whole grains like some of these grains, however, are harder for your dog to digest. That’s not a plus. Whole grain wheat is mostly carbs with some protein and fat (15 percent protein, 5 percent fat, 80 percent carbohydrates). It is considered to be a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, and selenium.
Brewers rice, the third ingredient, is a by-product of the rice milling industry. According to AAFCO it is “the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice.” Brewers rice is a processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice thus reducing the quality. It is often used in pet foods. Brewer’s rice is used as a source of fiber in dog foods. Used in moderation it adds texture and structure to dog food but it’s the third ingredient here.
The fourth ingredient in whole grain sorghum. While sorghum is currently touted as having a lot of health benefits for humans, such as being gluten-free and helping with some health issues (which haven’t been proven), it’s usually associated with livestock feed. Sorghum is about 3 percent protein, 8 percent fat, and 89 percent carbohydrates. It contains some B vitamins and a few assorted minerals, but not large quantities of anything, although it does have a lot of omega-6 fatty acid. One species of sorghum is the source of sorghum molasses. Other kinds of sorghum are used for grass/fodder and grains for animals.
The fifth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is derived from corn but it’s not actually a gluten. It is a by-product of corn processing that contains corn proteins. It’s often used in pet food as well as livestock feeds. Let me repeat: corn gluten meal contains no gluten. It has nothing to do with the kind of glutens you find in breads or other foods that contain glutens. If your dog is allergic to corn, he will be allergic to corn gluten meal because of the corn protein. But it has nothing to do with gluten. Corn gluten meal typically contains higher amounts of protein than ordinary corn which is one reason why it’s added to pet food. It can contain as much as 60 percent protein on an as fed basis.
Thoughts About The Top 5 Ingredients
Overall, the first five ingredients in this food provide some good animal protein in the form of chicken as the first ingredient. They also provide some plant-based protein with the whole grain wheat and corn gluten meal. However, many of these ingredients are primarily carbohydrates from grains. If your dog has no allergies or food intolerances, he can probably eat this food without any difficulty but this food may cause some dogs problems.
Ingredients Of Concern
We are concerned about a couple of ingredients in the food. The food containsflaxseed. Lots of people like flaxseed and flaxseed oil for their dogs since it’s a great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (especially omega 3). However, flaxseed is also a significant source of phytoestrogen. These are plant-derived substances that mimic some of the effects of estrogen in the body. This can be especially true in females. Without going into the possible effects on humans, many dog breeders have reported that feeding dogs foods that contain flaxseed or flaxseed oil has interfered with conception and gestation. So flaxseed in a dog food is something that should be viewed cautiously, especially if you breed dogs. If you have an intact female dog, especially in a house with male dogs, you may find that foods with flaxseed causes males to think the female is in season. The same phenomenon often occurs with foods containing soy.
This food contains soybean oil and it has many of the same issues as flaxseed.
You also find dried beet bulp in the food. There are some misconceptions about beet pulp, probably because of the name. Dried beet pulp is a natural, fermentable source of fiber. It is a wonderful addition to dog food to help move fecal matter along in the intestines. It also acts as a pre-biotic to help good bacteria grow in the gut.
Additional Ingredients Worth Mentioning
The food also contains pork fat as a named fat. This is a named fat source and dogs love pork. As far as we know, there’s nothing wrong with using pork fat in dog foods.
Finally, we notice that the food contains some interesting additives toward the end of the ingredient list. Taurine is an amino acid that is often added to dog foods today to prevent a deficiency that could cause heart problems and other health problems in some dogs. Mixed tocopherols are usually E vitamins, so they are a natural preservative. We also see a number of fruits andvegetables at the end of the list, most likely for flavor.
Special Information About Hill’s Science Diet You Should Know
There are a couple of things you should know about Hill’s Science Diet foods before we examine this food in detail. First, their foods are often recommended by veterinarians. This is partly because Hill’s is involved in research related to pet nutrition and they offer classes on nutrition at many vet schools. Often they are one of the few sources of information about pet nutrition and dog food that many veterinarians receive in vet school. Some vets sell Hill’s Science Diet foods at their offices so they can receive a monetary incentive or commission for encouraging people to buy this food. However, before you assume that selling this brand is a scam, Hill’s offers many veterinary formulas, often by prescription, which are genuine lifesavers for some dogs who can’t eat anything else. Some of their foods contain formulations that are completely unique and dogs with certain health problems really need them.
On the other hand, many of their foods are sold in pet stores, like other premium dog foods. In general, their foods, especially their veterinary formulas, are very expensive. Critics complain that their non-veterinary foods are loaded with grains and do not contain quality ingredients, despite the prices. When considering some established dog foods and brands, including Hill’s Science Diet, which put a lot of money into research and development, it seems wise to make some allowances for the formulations they use. Even if the ingredients do not look “super premium” and they don’t seem to have some desirable ingredients, some of these brands have been in existence for decades and there is ample evidence that they provide good nutrition for dogs.
- Protein ………. 24.6
- Fat ………. 16.1
- Carbohydrate (NFE) ………. 52.1
- Crude Fiber ………. 2.0
- Calcium ………. 0.84
- Phosphorus ………. 0.7
- Sodium ………. 0.30
- Potassium ………. 0.75
- Magnesium ………. 0.099
- Taurine ………. 0.13
- Vitamin C ………. 340 mg/kg
- Vitamin E ………. 786 IU/kg
- 370 calories per 8 oz cup
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Original Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance of adult dogs.
Dry Matter Basis
On a dry matter basis, this food contains 24.6 percent protein and 16.1 percent fat. These are modest percentages for dog food today. Fiber makes up 2 percent of the food which is a very low percentage. The food contains an 52.1 percent carbohydrates which is a high percentage of carbs for any food.
This food contains moderate protein and fat, with a mix of animal and plant-based protein. It has a very high percentage of carbohydrates. Dog breeders should beware of flaxseed and soybean in the food. Otherwise, the food contains a lot of grains but it looks like an average dog food.
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