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NOTE: This product has been discontinued.
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.
List of Ingredients Hill’s Science Diet High Energy Dog Food
Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, 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), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene , Natural Flavors
Special Notes About The Science Diet High Energy Blend
The first five ingredients in this food are: Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Fat, Dried Beet Pulp andSoybean Oil. While these are all common ingredients in Science Diet foods, we don’t usually see so much fat in the first five ingredients. This food is intended for very active dogs.
According to the company this food is recommended for adult dogs between the ages of 1 and 6 years who have higher energy requirements such as active, working, and hunting dogs. It is NOT recommended for puppies, pregnant or nursing dogs; dogs that are inactive or otherwise prone to weight gain; or dogs with hyperlipidemia or who are at risk of developing pancreatitis. There’s nothing wrong with this food but it does contain a very high fat percentage and dogs will gain a lot of weight from it unless they use up a lot of energy.
This food seems designed to be comparable to the performance dog foods of other companies. The ingredients and guaranteed analysis are similar to some of these other foods such as Purina ProPlan. According to Science Diet, the food helps build and maintain lean muscle; supports and maintains healthy joints; maintains ideal core body temperature; promotes healthy skin and shiny coat; and promotes a healthy immune function and active lifestyle.
Most of these claims seem normal for a decent dog food and there is no reason to question that this is a better than average dog food based on the ingredients and guaranteed analysis. The only claim that sounds odd is “maintains ideal core body temperature.” We would have to see some more information to know what this even means. Do dogs commonly drop below or rise above their normal body temperature when they are engaged in strenuous activity? We don’t know and the cite doesn’t provide any more information. It just says the ideal core body temperature is maintained by means of an “Optimal balance of protein, fat and carbs to help maintain ideal core body temperature.” Not very helpful information.
This food is supposed to provide your active dog with maximum stamina and “recovery” for peak performance and endurance. The company also guarantees that the food tastes great. You can’t ask your dog so, presumably, you will just have to gauge how good the food tastes by the way the dog eats it. However, you need to keep in mind that this food is nearly 30 percent fat (dry matter basis). Any dog is going to gobble down food that is nearly 30 percent fat and think it tastes great.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
The first ingredient in this food is whole grain corn. If your dog isn’t allergic to corn, this shouldn’t be a particular problem. The food obviously contains a lot of carbs from grains. Whole grain corn contains about 5 percent protein (this can vary depending on different factors), 9 percent fat, and about 86 percent carbohydrates. Much of the whole grain corn raised in the U.S. and Canada is sold for animal feed. Corn as a first ingredient is usually considered to be a bad sign in a food since ingredients are listed by weight before cooking. We don’t automatically condemn all foods that contain grains but it’s always better to see foods that emphasize animal proteins.
The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal. Chicken is a very good ingredient in dog food. It’s 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. A meal, such as this, already has most of the moisture removed so it contains even more protein than ordinary chicken by-products. However, chicken by-products (in this case, the meal) is considered to be a less desirable ingredient than either whole chicken or chicken meal. According to AAFCO, chicken byproduct meal: “consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.” Chicken is “the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.” In other words, chicken by-products will include the organs. Your dog probably won’t mind, but many people prefer their dogs to only eat the external flesh of the chicken or the meat parts.
The food also contains pork fat as the third ingredient. 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. In fact, pork fat is 96 percent fat and 4 percent protein. It’s loaded with Omega-6 fatty acid.
The fourth ingredient is dried beet pulp. It’s unusual to see a fiber such as this one in the first five ingredients and we almost never see dried beet pulp in the first five ingredients. It’s not a bad ingredient. In fact, it’s a good ingredient in dog food. But it is unusual to see it so prominent in the ingredients. 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.
The fifth ingredient is soybean oil. Soybean oil is a source of fat in the food but it can also be problematic (read more here). Soybeans are a good source of protein and fat and they are low in carbs but they are a common cause of allergies in dogs. They are also a source of phytoestrogens which can play havoc with your dog’s hormones to a certain extent.
Overall, these ingredients seem to meet some of the company’s claims about the food. They provide a lot of protein and fat, as well as some carbohydrates. However, some of these ingredients are unusual ingredients to find in the first five ingredients of a dog food . The food combines carbs from corn and animal protein from chicken by-product meal. There is also a lot of fat from the pork fat and soybean oil and fiber from the dried beet pulp.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
The food also has dried egg product. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and they have great bioavailability for mammals. This means your dog can access the nutrients in egg products very easily. It doesn’t really matter here that this is dried egg product. They have the same nutrients as fresh eggs.
The food also contains flaxseed. Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid but it’s also a phytoestrogen and it can cause hormonal problems for dogs, especially for unspayed female dogs. If you are a dog breeder, you should be careful about feeding a food with heavy concentrations of this ingredient to a puppy.
Beta-Carotene is a carotenoid from plants that forms vitamin A in the body. It’s good for vision, immunity, and other health benefits. You are probably most familiar with it in carrots.
Natural flavors at the end of the ingredient list can be a lot of things. It is often monosodium glutamate or MSG which is added to human food for extra flavor. It’s not something you really want to feed your dog, though some people add it to their dog’s food to discourage dogs from eating their own waste.
We note that this food does not contain any of the amino acids that Science Diet often adds to their foods such as taurine, L-carnitine, L-lysine, or similar compounds. Some of these compounds are used to help convert fat into muscle. Perhaps Science Diet believes that’s not necessary for the active dogs who would be eating this food.
According to the guaranteed analysis this food does contain exceptionally high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, as mentioned on the web site. The Omega-3 fatty acid level is relatively low compared to other Science Diet foods. This food has a whopping 563 calories per 8 ounce cup. That’s a lot of calories – approximately 200 calories per cup more than most of Science Diet’s dog foods. This food really is formulated for very active dogs. If you feed it to the family pet who spends his days snoozing, he’ll gain a lot of extra weight.
Fat ….. 27.0
Carbohydrate (NFE) ….. 35.5
Crude Fiber ….. 1.8
Calcium ….. 0.99
Phosphorus ….. 0.8
Sodium ….. 0.38
Potassium ….. 0.82
Magnesium ….. 0.098
Vitamin C ….. 131 mg/kg
Vitamin E ….. 581 IU/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Total ….. 0.55
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Total ….. 5.62
Chondroitin Sulfate ….. 2224 mg/kg (ppm)
Glucosamine ….. 1260 mg/kg (ppm)
563 calories per 8 oz cup
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Science Diet High Energy Dog Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance of adult dogs.*
*We could not find the Nutritional Adequacy Statement on the Hill’s Science Diet site but we found it on another web site describing the food and confirmed it with the company.
Dry Matter Basis
On a dry matter basis, this food contains 29.7 percent protein and 27 percent fat. This is an above average protein percentage and a very high fat percentage. Fiber makes up 1.8 percent of the food which is a very low percentage. The food contains 35.5 percent carbohydrates which is a moderately low percentage of carbohydrates.
This food appears to be comparable to other performance dog foods for very active dogs. The protein percentage is moderately high and the fat percentage is very high. If your dog is very active or if your dog is a working or hunting dog, you might like this food for him. Not recommended for inactive dogs.
Dog Food Mini Reviews: Hill’s Science Diet High Energy Dog Food has received our 4 paw rating.
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