The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Company oversees three different product lines – Science Diet, Ideal Balance, and Prescription Diet.
This article, Hill's Science Diet dog food reviews, talks purely about the science diet line from the company.
The Science Diet line is marketed as “the science behind happy.” According to the Science Diet website, all products are made with wholesome ingredients, formulated with precise nutrition, and held to the strictest standards for quality in order to ensure the healthiness and happiness of pets.
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Hill’s Science Diet dog food is made with quality proteins like real chicken, lamb, and salmon as the first ingredient plus plenty of other natural ingredients.
There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and each recipe is supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Hill’s Science Diet recipes are formulated by pet nutritionists, designed in keeping with the brand’s “desired to make the best dog food available to ensure your dog is as healthy and happy as he can possibly be”.Continue reading below _______________________
Who Makes Hill’s Science Diet?
The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Company was founded in the 1930s by devoted dog owner Morris Frank and clinical nutritionist Dr. Mark Morris Sr. Together, this pair of dog lovers created a specialty diet for Mr. Frank’s dog which then blossomed into a pet food company dedicated to improving the protecting the health and wellness of pets.
Today, Hill’s Science Diet pet food is produced and manufactured by the Colgate-Palmolive Company and it is recommended by veterinarians all over the world.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Reviews
Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
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Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe
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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe
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Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe
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Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Bites Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe
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Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entree
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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
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Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew
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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Savory Chicken & Vegetable Stew
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Hill's Natural Soft Savories with Peanut Butter & Banana
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Hill's Natural Fruity Snacks with Apples & Oatmeal
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Hill's Soft-Baked Naturals with Beef & Sweet Potatoes
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Hill's Natural Flexi-Stix Turkey Jerky
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The Hill’s Science Diet website states that Science Diet foods are the number-1 choice of vets to recommend to pet owners and to feed their own pets. According to the website, Science Diet products are made with high-quality, natural ingredients including real meat and they don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Hill’s also states that their products are free from chicken by-product meal. Hill’s does not, however, claim that their products are free from low-quality fillers like corn, wheat, and soy ingredients – in fact, most of their recipes include one or more of these ingredients.
An in-depth analysis of Hill’s Science Diet products may lead you to wonder why veterinarians, with all of their education, continue to recommend these products.
Reviewed Hill’s Science Diet Dog Foods
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe
- Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe
- Hill's Science Diet Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Bites Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entree
- Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
- Hill's Science Diet Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew
- Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Savory Chicken & Vegetable Stew
- Hill's Natural Soft Savories with Peanut Butter & Banana
- Hill's Natural Fruity Snacks with Apples & Oatmeal
- Hill's Soft-Baked Naturals with Beef & Sweet Potatoes
- Hill's Natural Flexi-Stix Turkey Jerky
1. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice
This kibble is designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs from 1 to 6 years of age. It is a grain-free formula suitable for dogs who have grain sensitivities and it is full of great-tasting flavor.
According to the Hill’s Science Diet website, this formula is supplemented with prebiotics to promote digestive health and nutrient absorption, with antioxidants for immune system support, and with healthy fats for radiant coat and healthy skin.
The first ingredient in this recipe is fresh chicken which is a valuable source of animal protein. Not only is chicken rich in protein, but it is a complete source of protein which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids your dog needs.
One thing to remember about fresh meats, however, is that they contain up to 80% moisture by volume – when the product is cooked and much of that moisture is lost, the actual volume of protein could be much lower.
Meat meals (like the chicken meal that takes up the sixth slot on the list) have already been cooked to remove moisture so they contain up to 300% more protein by volume than fresh meats.
This helps to make up for the volume lost in the fresh chicken but because this ingredient falls behind a number of carbohydrates it is difficult to tell how much protein it actually contributes.
In terms of carbohydrates, it includes potatoes, yellow peas, and potato starch as well as dried beet pulp, flaxseed, and powdered cellulose. Potatoes and yellow peas are digestible sources of carbohydrate for your dog and they are naturally gluten-free and grain-free.
The potato starch, dried beet pulp, and powered cellulose (as well as the flaxseed, to some degree) act as supplementary sources of dietary fiber in this recipe.
You should also note the inclusion of pea protein which is not a carbohydrate – it adds plants based protein to the recipe which is fairly troubling considering how high it appears on the list.
The remaining ingredients in this recipe consist of fats, fruits and vegetables, flavors, and supplements. The main source of fat in this recipe is chicken fat, a highly nutritious ingredient that is also a concentrated source of energy.
This recipe also contains soybean oil and pork fat which help to balance the omega fatty acid content. The fresh fruits and vegetables used in this recipe add some supplementary fiber, but they are largely included as natural sources for key vitamins and minerals.
What nutrients these ingredients do not provide are included in supplement form at the end of the list. It is worth noting that none of the minerals are chelated and this recipe doesn’t contain probiotics.
It is certainly not the worst product in the Hill’s Science Diet lineup, but there is a lot of room for improvement. The recipe starts off strong with fresh chicken as the main ingredient and primary source of protein, but much of that volume will be lost during cooking.
The first supplementary source of protein is plant-based and the only other animal-based proteins come after several carbohydrates.
It also contains some lower quality fats, though it does include a number of fresh fruits and vegetables as natural nutrient sources. This formula does not, however, contain any chelated minerals or probiotics.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, Corn Gluten Meal
To help dogs control their weight better, Hill’s Science Diet crafted this recipe. This adult formula is made with all the nutrition dogs need but with less calories and lower fat content to help keep them in shape.
Supposed to deliver visible results within 10 weeks, the recipe is designed to have a high protein and high fiber formulation. It’s also supported by L-Carnitine for fat metabolism. The Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe is designed for adult dogs that are less active, neutered, or those prone to weight gain.
Chicken provides the sole source of animal protein here. Why is that important? Owners whose pets are sensitive to one type of animal protein won’t have to worry that there are other ingredients in the formulation that could possibly trigger their pets’ allergies.
Although fresh chicken makes up the bulk of the food, it also contains chicken meal to further support the protein content. At 24%, the minimum crude protein is at a good range. The grains in the mixture also contribute a bit of plant-based protein to the food.
The carbohydrate and fiber content are mostly provided by the various grains in the recipe, such as barley, brown rice, flaxseed, and oat fiber. Pea fiber and corn gluten meal also contribute. The carbs are necessary to give pups access to energy. Protein does the same but protein takes much longer to digest than carbs.
As for fiber, it’s crucial that dogs have enough. Smaller amounts of fiber prevent constipation in dogs, but a higher amount can help them feel fuller and reach satiation earlier, leading to less caloric intake.
Coconut oil provides the fat here. It is an excellent source of fat since it has at least 90% saturated ones composed mostly of MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides). MCTs are considered good fats, and coconut oil has lauric acid, which has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
There aren’t any problematic ingredients in this Hill’s Science Diet. It has a fine blend of nutrition that should take care of all of your dog’s daily requirements.
The inclusion of fresh fruits like apples, cranberries, and broccoli afford the food a natural source of vitamins and minerals aside from those that have been supplemented only.
However, there are too many grains in here. While grains are ideal sources of carbs, there are far too many occupying places in the first five slots of the ingredients list. Together, their total volume could overwhelm the volume of the meat, even if chicken occupies first place.
As for coconut oil, it is a natural type of oil that offers lots of benefits. It just doesn’t have enough omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that canines will benefit from. It is still much better than some other fat alternatives used in other dog foods, though.
3. Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ is formulated for the specific aging needs of canines. The mixture contains balanced minerals for kidney and heart health, high-quality protein for lean and strong muscles, and omega-6s to keep their fur looking lustrous.
The synergistic blend of ingredients are designed to promote vitality in older dogs and keep their immune system healthy.
Chicken meal leads the list of ingredients. While fresh chicken is good, chicken meal contains more protein by volume. Why? Because fresh chicken normally contains 75% water (the exact percentage depends on the cut).
Chicken meal has undergone a process where most of the water has been cooked out. So a pound of chicken meal will always contain more nutrients than a pound of fresh chicken.
A lot of grains follow the chicken meal. Cracked pearled barley, brewers rice, wheat, sorghum, and oats. There is also corn in between the grains and further down, there’s flaxseed.
Grains and the corn provide the meal its carbohydrate content. They also add some fiber, which is further boosted by the inclusion of dried beet pulp. Why is fiber so important here? Fiber alleviates constipation, something that older dogs usually wrestle with regularly.
Glucose regulation may also be a problem with aging dogs and fiber helps with that. The beet pulp is especially useful when it comes to regulating glucose and digesting nutrients.
How about the carbs? The multi-carbohydrate content is supposed to give seniors a little more energy and help them become more active.
When it comes to fat, there are two sources here. Chicken fat and soybean oil. Soybean oil is cholesterol-free, but it does not contain soya protein so pups with an intolerance for soy should not be affected.
Chicken fat is a high-quality fat that is full of omega-6 fatty acid and vitamin E. It also has the added bonus of making food more palatable for your pets.
This is a complete and balanced diet that is highly appropriate for mature canines. It is a promising formula that comes with a tag of helping restore youthful energy in older dogs within 30 days.
An excellent blend of nutrients work together to keep your pup’s coat and skin looking healthy, his immune system strong, and his heart fully supported. There are no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors of any kind here.
While we would normally question so many grains and just one meat ingredient in a dog food recipe, in this instance it works. The grains are all easily digestible for your senior pooch.
The formulation has many reviewers attesting to a change in their pet’s eating habits (they eat with more gusto now) and lifestyle (the pets are more active).
4. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum
This Chicken & Barley Recipe for large breed is specifically formulated to help your big guy get all the fuel for his energy needs.
It’s crafted with easily digestible ingredients that have been carefully selected to deliver a visible difference in large breed dogs.
Since big dogs can be heavy and their weight can be harder on their joints, this recipe included glucosamine and chondroitin to improve mobility and joint health.
It also has proper amounts of omega-6 fatty acids for nourished skin and shiny coats, high-quality protein for lean muscles, and vitamins E and C for strong immunity.
Chicken leads the ingredients, and this is an excellent choice. Fresh chicken is a high-quality meat ingredient. Unfortunately, fresh chicken is also composed of about 75% water.
A high number of carbohydrate ingredients in the list threaten to overwhelm the meat content. There is chicken meal in the formulation but it’s so far down the list as to make little difference.
Barley, wheat, corn, sorghum, corn gluten meal, soybean meal and brewers rice provide the carbs and some plant-based protein. If you check the list, so far it looks like there is more plant-based protein altogether than animal protein.
There are simply too many of these carbohydrate products that the recipe is skewed towards being plant-based rather than meat-based.
This is not terrible, but not advantageous either. Grains, despite the bad press, are healthy for dogs. They offer a bunch of other nutrients beside carbs and fiber.
They contain plenty of vitamins, a little fat, and a good amount of minerals. However, they should only balance out a meal or provide support. A recipe shouldn’t almost be entirely made of grains.
Chicken fat and soybean oil contribute the most fat volume in the food. What’s fat for? Aside from providing a concentrated form of energy, fat is crucial in the development of tissues, muscles, nerves, and cells.
It helps the food smell and taste more palatable, and in winter, fat gives extra warmth for dogs.
This recipe offers sensitive big dogs a bit of respite. As attested to by many reviewers, the formula is gentle on the tummy and helps big dogs keep their skin and coat looking healthy. The single animal protein source is also helpful to pet owners who need to identify potential problem ingredients.
However, we’d like to see a bit more animal protein. Fresh chicken leading the ingredients is great, but it would have been better to see another meat ingredient in the first five slots.
As it is, the chicken meal is in the 11th place and it’s doubtful that the animal proteins in this formulation can match up to the combined volume of the grains.
We do like that there are fresh vegetables included, but these make up so little of the recipe. The volume of the veggies are even lower than the supplemental amount of vitamins and minerals that Hill’s Science Diet added into the mixture.
Despite these points against the meal, we can’t discount the fact that this recipe offers dogs a completely nutritious diet that relies on wholesome and natural ingredients.
5. Hill's Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites
First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Corn
Dogs need careful attention, especially when it comes to food, during their growing years to help them get the best start in life.
The Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Bites is crafted to help puppies grow to their full potential by including carefully selected ingredients meant to support healthy eye and brain development, lean muscle building, and strong bone and teeth growth.
This formulation is meant for small breed pups up to a year old and nursing or pregnant dogs. Puppies need more calories and nutrients to help them through their growing stage, but it’s even more imperative for small breed pups. Small breed canines tend to run through their nutrient stores quickly because of faster metabolism.
The recipe starts with chicken meal in front. Fresh chicken is good but it’s mostly made up of water (around 75%). Chicken meal, on the other hand, has had most of its moisture content removed. So a pound of chicken meal will have greater meat content (and nutrients too) than a pound of fresh chicken.
As balance to the chicken meal, corn and a few grain ingredients have been included. These provide much-needed carbohydrates to the food.
Growing animals are especially active so a good portion of this macronutrient is essential. (There are three macronutrients that provide dogs with energy: fat, proteins, and carbs.)
Carbohydrates are important because these are the macronutrients burned first when dogs need energy. If there is a limited amount of it, pups will begin to go through their fat stores. Protein is only used up when the first two are depleted. Also, carbs maintain glycogen stores, which is a metabolic requirement for dogs.
For fat, most of it comes from fish oil and soybean oil. Fish oil is one of the best possible oils you can provide your pup. It has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids responsible for promoting silky coats, reducing itch and flaky skin, and relieving allergies.
One especially helpful component of omega-3 is DHA, which aids in the proper development of the brain and eyes in puppies. This small breed puppy recipe contains all the nutrition your pet needs to grow up into a happy and healthy dog.
It’s a balanced and nutritionally complete meal to nourish your pooches, and it’s made with all-natural ingredients. No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavor are included.
There are several types of grains here, as is usual for Hill’s Science Diet products, but it is less when compared to some of their other dry dog foods.
It’s also good to see that the recipe started with chicken meal rather than fresh chicken (because there are no other meat ingredients to support the animal protein content, chicken meal is preferred over fresh.)
We’d like to see even just one more meat ingredient take a slot in the first five ingredients, but overall we are happy with the quality of this formula and how dogs seem to thrive on it.
6. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée
First 5 ingredients: Water, Chicken, Beef, Beef By-Products, Pork Liver, Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley
This Hill’s Science Diet Chicken & Beef Entrée canned food is designed to promote advanced fitness in adult dogs age 1 to 6 years.
This recipe features high-quality protein to promote lean muscle mass and it contains a precise blend of nutrients for healthy weight maintenance. It is also easily digestible and full of natural flavor.
The first ingredient in this recipe is water, followed by chicken and beef. Both chicken and beef are valuable ingredients in this recipe because they are fresh meats. Fresh meats like this are also complete proteins which means that they contain all of the amino acids your dog needs.
This recipe includes supplementary proteins as well in the form of beef by-products and pork liver. It is difficult to judge the quality of the beef by-products but the pork liver is a valuable source of protein, fat, nutrients, and flavor.
The one source of protein that could be omitted from this recipe is the corn gluten meal – this is a plant-based protein that offers little nutritional value and has a high risk for triggering food allergies. The remaining ingredients in this canned food consist primarily of carbohydrates, fats, flavors, and supplements.
Aside from the fat content of the fresh meats and pork liver, the main source of fat in this recipe is soybean oil is considered less nutritious than any animal fat and, as a soy product, it comes with a risk for food allergies as well.
The carbohydrates used in this recipe consist largely of gluten-containing grains and corn products, both of which can be difficult for dogs to digest and which may trigger sensitivities. It is also worth noting that none of the mineral supplements are chelated and there are no probiotics listed.
Overall, this wet food contains several beneficial ingredients including two fresh meats and two digestible grains (only beneficial for dogs without allergies/sensitivities).
Where this recipe goes downhill is in the use of by-products, corn products, and artificial flavors and colors. This recipe also doesn’t contain any chelated minerals or probiotics.
7. Hill's Science Diet 7+ Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
First 5 ingredients: Water, Beef, Pork Liver, Brown Rice, Carrots
This canned Hill’s Science Diet recipe combines real meat and a tasty flavor with precise nutrition in its bid to support older dogs maintain a youthful activity level.
Designed for senior small breed dogs, it offers a balanced mixture that supports heart, kidney, and digestive health. It keeps muscles lean and promotes an ideal body weight.
Unlike many of the dry food products of Hill’s Science, this wet food recipe offers more than a single animal protein source. While beef is the star of the meal, it also contains pork liver.
Pork liver is a highly nutritious meat because it is rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Liver can also be highly useful when pups are being particularly picky, because most dogs are attracted to liver.
Brown rice contributes most of the carbohydrates that your senior dog needs for quick boosts of energy throughout the day. Carbs are an energy source that dogs burn through first, because fat and proteins take longer to digest.
Brown rice can be a little harder to digest than white rice, but it has a lower glycemic index and contains far more nutrients than its white counterpart.
A medley of vegetables such as carrots, green peas, and spinach supply a lot of naturally-sourced vitamins and minerals, although the brand also includes some supplemental ones into the mixture.
Flaxseed provides the meal with a good dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which work together to keep your pooch’s skin healthy and his fur shiny. And since these fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties, they can also give your dog’s immune system a big boost.
You might be a little confused about seeing pork plasma in the ingredients list. Plasma is simply what’s left after separating blood cells and platelets from whole blood.
It might not sound all that good, but pork plasma is an excellent source of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It has also been found that dogs who consumed plasma had improved digestion.
As for fat, chicken fat and soybean oil provide that. Chicken fat is one of the highest-quality fats that pet food manufacturers can provide. It’s full of vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids. And it also brings with it an extra advantage of raising the aroma profile of your dog’s food.
This Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables offers dogs a tasty and nutritionally complete meal. It contains a precise amount of ingredients to keep older dogs the support they need to keep active at their age.
We like the combination of real meat and veggies in this recipe as well as the fact that two of the first five ingredients are meat products.
However, there is less total crude protein here than what we’re used to in canned foods. At 3.5%, it seems too low and may need to be supplemented with more protein-based toppings or snacks.
We can’t deny, though, that many customers have certified that their dogs thrive well on this wet food. Once placed on the diet, their dogs have sported shinier fur, put on a little more weight (for picky eaters), and are overall healthier. For that, we’d give this recipe a recommended rating of 4 out of 5.
8. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew
First 5 ingredients: Chicken Broth, Turkey, Carrots, Pork Liver, Rice
This Sensitive Stomach & Skin Stew is crafted for adult dogs who need special care when it comes to their digestive and skin health.
The ingredients are chosen to make the food as easy as possible on sensitive tummies and to reduce the risk of skin itching and other sensitivity issues.
Turkey is the main ingredient in this wet dog food. Like chicken, turkey is a lean, white meat that’s highly digestible. As for nutrition content, there is no marked significance between the two.
Fresh turkey is an excellent choice to start off the recipe, but unless there’s a huge volume of it in a canned meal, it will need to be supported by other ingredients to keep the protein content up. In this instance, pork liver and chicken deliver the support.
Not only is liver full of protein, liver is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. In fact, it has more nutrition than muscle meat.
As for chicken, it functions much the same as turkey. It’s palatable, easy to digest, and quite popular with the canines (Just look at how many dog foods have chicken as the main ingredient.).
A good helping of rice keeps sensitive tummies calm. While white rice may be lower in nutritive value than brown rice, it's perfect for dogs that frequently suffer from upset stomachs. It’s commonly prescribed for pooches who have gastrointestinal issues. Plus, it’s filled with carbohydrates for quick energy.
A good helping of vegetables keeps most of the nutrients dogs get from this food naturally-sourced. Carrots, spinach, and green peas also bring some more texture to the meal aside from vitamins and minerals.
Your pet will get most of the fat from the flaxseed and soybean oils. These two contribute most of the essential fatty acids that your pup needs in order to maintain good health.
Flaxseed oil is particularly impressive, because in addition to its high levels of omega-3, flaxseed oil has anti-inflammatory properties that improve skin condition in dogs.
The number of quality meat ingredients in this recipe is reassuring. It means your pup will be enjoying a meat-based meal rather than one with only a few helpings of animal protein. It is perfectly formulated to answer the skin nourishment and digestive needs of sensitive dogs.
While we might question the low crude protein content (why is it only 2.8%?), so far the nutritive blend seems to work wonders for canines who have been put on this diet.
According to many reviewers, the instances of vomiting and diarrhea have been reduced. Fur that looked dull have started to shine again, and there is less risk of skin itching.
9. Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
First 5 ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Pork Liver, Brown Rice, Carrots
Made specifically for adult toy or small breeds, Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Savory Stew serves up your tiny pets with a balanced and wholesome meal.
Small breeds have faster metabolism so while feeding them regular dog food is not harmful, the food also won’t fulfill all of their nutritional needs.
Chicken broth is the first ingredient, but that’s normal for wet food. For pups who don’t like to drink much, wet food provides them additional moisture to keep them hydrated. Fresh chicken and pork liver make up the second and third ingredients.
A popular meat ingredient across different pet food brands, chicken offers pups a tasty and easily digestible animal protein. Pork liver, meanwhile, assists in raising up the protein content of the food as well as adding plenty of essential fatty acids into the mix.
While humans might not care much for organ meat, it is a highly desirable ingredient in pet food because it’s packed with nutrition.
Brown rice is the main source of carbohydrates in this canned dog food. Compared to white rice, brown rice may be a little bit harder to digest, but it does boast of a lower glycemic index.
Plus, unlike white rice, brown rice has a seed coat where all of the nutrients are stored. Helping the brown rice is the wheat flour.
Obviously, if your pet is sensitive to wheat, then this recipe is not the right choice. But if your pet is not allergic to wheat, this is also a good source of fiber for your pet. Fiber helps keep dogs fuller longer and bulks up their waste so elimination is not runny or irregular.
If you notice the starches in the label, these act as binders for the food. Both the rice starch and potato starch act as natural binding agents to give the food its texture and volume. Potato starch also helps improve the digestibility of the nutrients in the food and helps bulk up fecal waste.
This recipe allows pets to enjoy a flavorful mix of real meat and veggies in a completely wholesome way. The formulation features raised protein levels (in comparison with other Hill’s Science Diet wet food recipes) to answer the need of small dogs for more nutrients.
It has a good mix of high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. There are no artificial preservatives or colors used, either, making this as natural as possible.
However, while the protein level is higher compared with other wet food products of the brand, it is still too low. At 4%, it is only about half of what other wet dog foods contain.
If we base our reviews on what pet parents think, it’s a different picture. Most are happy that this Hill’s Science Diet has gotten their fussy eaters to chow down. A few have indicated that their pets’ coats and skins have improved a lot after transitioning to this diet.
10. Hill's Natural Soft Savories with Peanut Butter & Banana
First 5 ingredients: Peanut Butter, Potatoes, Wheat Flour, Cane Molasses, Glycerin
The Hill’s Science Diet Natural Soft Savories with Peanut Butter & Banana prove that treats can be healthy too.
Supposedly tender in texture, the rewarding snacks can easily be eaten by all dogs from puppies (over 9 weeks old) to seniors. The treats are crafted without corn and artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Real peanut butter is the number one ingredient, giving the snacks their tasty flavor. Peanut butter is actually good for pups as long as you give them the kind that does not contain additives or sodium.
Surprising as it may be, peanut butter contains lots of protein and healthy fats. It also has niacin and vitamins B and E.
Potatoes and wheat flour provide a firmer texture to the treats as well as carbohydrates and fiber. The carbs in these treats give your dogs, particularly puppies, an extra dosage of energy for more play.
The fiber keeps their digestive system functioning properly and helps make them feel fuller longer so they don’t get too hungry between meals. An extra helping of peanuts gives the treats a stronger flavor while the bananas keep the taste interesting.
Another surprising inclusion is chicken fat. You’ll normally see this ingredient in meals but not usually in non-savory treats. It’s a good thing, though. Because it gives the treats enhanced palatability aside from providing it with essential fatty acids.
Keeping it strictly natural, there are no artificial preservatives or flavors in these snacks. All the flavor comes from wholesome ingredients. There are no problematic ingredients here, except perhaps for cane molasses.
But as these rewards are supposed to be given only occasionally and in limited numbers, a tiny portion of sugar won’t harm your dog.
You won’t feel any guilt feeding your pet these snacks as they’re some of the healthiest treats we’ve come across. There are just two points we’d like to raise about these.
They’re not as soft as you’d think (although they are more tender than your average dog treats), and they have a short shelf life (lack of preservatives).
11. Hill's Natural Fruity Snacks with Apples & Oatmeal
First 5 ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat, Oat Flour, Apples, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal
Some dogs just love a lip smacking crunch when chewing on their favorite treats. The Hill’s Science Diet Natural Fruity Crunchy Snacks with Apples & Oatmeal are baked treats with a crisp texture.
They’re made with real fruit pieces so that each snack is filled with naturally-sourced vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
These are crafted for all dogs over 9 weeks old. There are no corn or artificial products included.
Whole grain wheat and flour are the first two ingredients. These two give the baked snacks that interesting crunch aside from providing your dogs a bit of carb content.
There is also oatmeal in the treats to give the food added texture as well as B vitamins and omega-6 fatty acids.
The apples are one of the two main draws of these treats. They provide fantastic flavor as well as lots of vitamin A and C and dietary fiber.
Not mentioned in the front of the product package is the chicken meal. But it’s an essential ingredient in this recipe because it helps bring the protein level up to a nice 13% minimum. There’s also chicken fat to give the food a better aroma profile.
We can’t find any fault in these treats because not only does Hill’s Science Diet use high-quality ingredients in this recipe, the brand also keeps the food strictly natural by not using any artificial ingredient.
While these are only meant to be given as occasional rewards, the treats are packed with nutrition that you won’t feel guilty doling them out to your pooch. These are excellent for rewarding good behavior or to enforce training.
12. Hill's Soft-Baked Naturals with Beef & Sweet Potatoes
First 5 ingredients: Peas, Beef, Potatoes, Glycerin, Carrots
Some dogs can’t eat grains, but they deserve tasty snacks too. These soft-baked treats are made with real meat and contain no grain, soy, corn, or wheat product. They also don’t have any artificial color, preservative, or flavors.
These snacks start off with peas (not beef as posted on Chewy). Since these are merely treats that are sparingly doled out and not regular dog food (which your dog will be eating plenty of), starting off with peas is okay. (However, avoid dog foods that start with a legume ingredient because of the suspected link to DCM.)
Peas aren’t fillers. They contain vitamins A, B, and K. They also have plenty of protein, fiber, and minerals. One important nutrient from peas is lutein, which is essential to your dog’s eye, skin, and heart health.
After the peas come real beef. These provide most of the flavor that your pups will taste and gives it a meaty taste that dogs find irresistible. Of course, since it’s meat, it also comes loaded with proteins.
Another ingredient that gives off protein is the pork gelatin. It’s about 99% protein, although it does not have all the essential amino acids that meat has.
The potatoes and sweet potatoes in the formula provide the carbohydrate content. They also keep the food softer as opposed to flour, which can make the treats crunchier.
Although these are just treats, these contain a lot of nutrients to make them a healthy addition to your pet’s daily food intake.
At only 12 calories per treat, these won’t make your pet gain weight (as long as you follow the feeding guidelines). Feeding him a few between meals is quite alright.
There aren’t any ingredients that we object to. The cane molasses might be a form of sugar but as they don’t make a huge part of the treats and the treats are meant to be given sparingly, they won’t negatively affect your dog.
The soft-baked texture makes it ideal for young or mature dogs who may have trouble with hard snacks. Although, we have to point out that these are not too soft. They just have a firm texture that’s softer than your average canine treats.
13. Hill’s Science Diet Natural Flexi-Stix Jerky with Real Turkey
First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Whole Grain Oats, Wheat Flour, Wheat Starch, Glycerin
Hill’s Science Diet Natural Flexi-Stix Jerky with Real Turkey are not your ordinary dog treats. These are crafted with glucosamine and chondroitin to help adult and mature dogs with mobility issues become active again.
The soft and chewy treats begin with fresh turkey for a nice helping of protein. As you can see in the analysis below, the treats have a content of 9% protein.
That overall total is helped too by the presence of pork gelatin, which is made up of mostly protein. It doesn’t have all the essential amino acids, though, but that’s provided for by the turkey.
Whole grain oats and wheat flour provide the required carbohydrate content. The oats are also responsible for bringing a chewy texture to these stick-shaped goodies.
There’s chicken fat here to provide your dog extra nutrition, including omega fatty acids. If you’re wondering why fat is a separate ingredient from the meat, it’s because when meat is cooked and grounded, the fats in it tend to melt and drain away. By purposefully adding fat, your dog can access all the nutrients that it provides.
The glucosamine and chondroitin that are so necessary in supporting your dog’s joint health are taken from the chicken cartilage in the recipe. As dogs mature, the cartilage between the joints can thin out or get damaged.
Glucosamine cushions these areas, while chondroitin prevents the cartilage from further breaking down (and in some cases, stimulates repair).
While giving your dogs these treats as rewards for good behavior or as snacks, you’re also providing them support for their hips and joints.
And based on many customer reviews, once given these little sticks for several days, previously inactive dogs have been moving around much better.
The nutrition is on point. There is a perfect balance of protein, carbs, fiber, and fat. And since the food is completely natural (no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors), these are perfect for giving on a daily basis.Continue reading below _______________________
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hill’s Science Diet Made in the United States?
Hill’s Science Diet dog food is sold in 86 different companies around the world. The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Company is headquartered in Topeka, KS – the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center is where the company develops all of their recipes.
The Hill’s website does not provide specific information about where their products are made except to say that their foods are made in the U.S with ingredients from North America, Europe, and New Zealand.
Where Does Hill’s Science Diet Get Their Ingredients?
When it comes to their products, Hill’s relies on a team of 220 food scientists, veterinarians, technicians and nutritionists to develop formulas that meet the nutritional needs of pets. Hill’s only uses ingredients from facilities who meet their strict quality standards and each ingredient is carefully examined to ensure quality and safety.
Though Hill’s talks a lot about the quality of their ingredients, they do not specifically state where they come from. The only thing Hill’s says about the sources for their ingredients is that they come from North America and Europe.
Is Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Expensive?
The Hill’s Science Diet brand of dog food is fairly expensive when compared to traditional kibble options. In many cases, a higher price tag is correlated with higher quality but that is not necessarily the case with this brand.
The average price for a 30-pound bag of Hill’s Science Diet dry dog food ranges from about $35 to $75, depending on the recipe. You can purchase 5.8-ounce cans of Hill’s Science Diet wet dog food in cases of 24 for $25 to $45 which gives you an average price of around $1.45 per can.
Case of twelve 13-ounce cans range from $16 to $40 which gives you an average price of $2.30 per can.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Recalls
The Hill’s Science Diet brand follows strict standards for safety and quality when it comes to the production and manufacture of their products. Hill’s conducts quality systems audits for all of their manufacturing facilities every year and their facilities are compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) as well.
Every final product is checked to ensure safety and they are physically inspected and tested before sale. As much as Hill’s claims to value the safety and quality of their products, this brand has been affected by a number of recalls in recent history, most of which have affected the Science Diet brand in particular.
Here are the details for recalls affecting the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Company:
- On January 31, 2020 the Hills Pet Food Company voluntarily issued a recall for cans of Hills Prescription dog food as well as wet Science Diet recipes for potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D.
- In November 2015, the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Company issued a voluntary product withdrawal of several Science Diet dog food products due to labeling problems. The products affected by this withdrawal include the following: Adult Perfect Weight Chicken and Vegetables, Small & Toy Adult Gourmet Beef Entrée, Small & Toy Mature Gourmet Beef Entrée, Adult Beef Entrée, Adult Beef & Chicken Entrée, and Mature Adult Gourmet Beef Entree.
- In June 2014, the FDA issued a recall for Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed dry dog food products due to potential salmonella contamination.
- In April 2007, the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Company issued a voluntary recall for Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food due to melamine contamination.
- In March 2007, the FDA issued a recall for all Science Diet Savory Cuts canned cat food products due to melamine contamination.
What Kind of Dog Food Does Hill’s Science Diet Offer?
The Hill’s Science Diet brand of dog food has a wide variety of options to choose from in both dry foods and wet foods for dogs. The Science Diet website shows a total of 76 different products, 30 of which are dry foods, 30 of which are canned foods, and 16 of which are dog treats.
For dry dog foods, Hill’s Science Diet offers a variety of life stage- and breed size-specific recipes in addition to some functional recipes for weight management, growth, mobility, and sensitivities. Science Diet canned foods come in many of the same recipes as the dry foods with the addition of flavorful stews and other wet food options.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Products
Hill’s Science Diet offers a large variety of dry dog food products for dogs in all life stages and of all breed sizes. This brand doesn’t divide their recipes into separate product lines, but their products can be grouped according to certain features such as life stage or breed size. Here is a list of Hill’s Science Diet dry dog food recipes:
Puppy Dry Food Recipes:
- Healthy Development
- Healthy Development Small Bites
- Puppy Large Breed
- Puppy Small & Toy Breed
- Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice
Adult Dry Food Recipes:
- Grain-Free Recipe
- Oral Care Recipe
- Light Recipe
- Light Large Breed
- Light Small Bites
- Light Small & Toy Breed
- Perfect Weight
- Perfect Weight Small & Toy Breed
- Small & Toy Breed
- Small & Toy Breed Lamb Meal & Rice
- Large Breed Recipe
- Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice
- Advanced Fitness
- Advanced Fitness Small Bites
- Advanced Fitness Lamb Meal & Rice
- Advanced Fitness Small Bites Lamb Meal & Rice
- Healthy Mobility Large Breed
- Healthy Mobility Small Bites
- Sensitive Stomach & Skin
- Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Toy Breed
Adult 7+ and Mature Adult Dry Food Recipes
- Adult 6+ Large Breed
- Adult 7+ Small & Toy Breed
- Adult 7+ Active Longevity
- Adult 7+ Active Longevity Small Bites
- Adult 11+ Small & Toy Breed
Hill’s Science Diet Canned Products
In addition to offering a wide variety of dry food options, Hill’s Science Diet also has thirty different recipes for canned foods. These foods come in large 13-ounce cans as well as smaller 5.8-ounce cans.
Hill’s Science Diet canned foods come in stews, meaty entrees, perfect weight recipes, light recipes, and healthy cuisine recipes. Here is a list of Hill’s Science Diet canned dog food recipes:
Stews and Entrees:
- Adult Beef & Barley Entrée
- Adult Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Adult Turkey & Barley Entrée
- Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée
- Adult Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
- Adult Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
- Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Adult 7+ Beef & Barley Entree
- Mature Adult Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
- Mature Adult Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
- Puppy Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Puppy Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
- Puppy Small & Toy Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Small & Toy Adult Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
- Small & Toy Adult Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Small & Toy Adult Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
- Small & Toy Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley
- Small & Toy Mature Adult Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
- Grain-Free Adult Chicken & Vegetable Entree
- Adult Light with Liver
- Adult Small & Toy with Liver
Perfect Weight Recipes:
- Adult Chicken & Vegetable Entree
- Adult Hearty Vegetable & Chicken Stew
Healthy Cuisine Recipes:
- Adult Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew
- Adult Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew
- Adult 7+ Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew
- Adult 7+ Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew
Sensitive Stomach and Skin Recipes:
- Adult Salmon & Vegetable Entrée
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Treats
In addition to their variety of dry food and canned food options, Hill’s Science Diet also offers an assortment of dog treats. There are jerky strips, jerky snacks, baked biscuits, grain-free treats, fruity snacks, and training treats. Here is a list of Hill’s Science Diet dog treats:
- Jerky Strips with Real Chicken
- Jerky Strips with Real Beef
- Jerky Snacks with Real Beef
- Jerky Snacks with Real Chicken
- Flexi-Stix Turkey Jerky
- Flexi-Stix with Real Beef
- Grain-Free Treats with Turkey & Cranberries
- Grain-Free Treats with Chicken & Apples
- Baked Light Biscuits with Real Chicken Medium
- Baked Light Biscuits with Real Chicken Small
- Fruity Snacks with Cranberries & Oatmeal
- Fruity Snacks with Apples & Oatmeal
- Soft & Chewy Training Treats with Real Chicken
- Soft Savories Chicken & Yogurt
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