In this article you will find:
- Who Makes Hill’s Science Diet?
- Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Reviews
- Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Recall List:
- Is Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Expensive?
- What Kind of Dog Food Does Hill’s Science Diet Offer?
- Is Hills Science Diet bad for dogs?
- Is Science Diet and Hill's the same?
- Do I need a prescription for Hill's Science Diet?
- How long has Hill's Science Diet been around?
The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Company oversees three different product lines – Science Diet, Ideal Balance, and Prescription Diet.
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.
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”.
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
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.
This Hill’s Science Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry Food recipe 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, this Hill’s Science Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry Food recipe 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.
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.
This Hill’s Science Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry Food recipe has a guaranteed analysis as listed below:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 25%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 15.5%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 2.6%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Calcium (Min) – 0.92%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.8%
- Vitamin E (Min) – 748 IU/kg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.8%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.96%
- Calorie Content – 3,643 kcal/kg (392 kcal/cup)
This Hill’s Science Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry Food recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance of adult dogs.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Food Rating: 3/5 stars
This Hill’s Science Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry Food recipe 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. This recipe 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.
This Hill’s Science Diet Adult 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 Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée 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.
This Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée canned food has a guaranteed analysis as listed below:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 8.5%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 5.5%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 1.75%
- Moisture (Max) – 82%
- Vitamin E (Min) – 50 IU/kg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.9%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.1%
- Calorie Content – 342 kcal/cup
This Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée canned food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
Hill’s Science Diet Canned Food Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Overall, this Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée canned 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.
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.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Recall List:
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.
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.
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
Is Hills Science Diet bad for dogs?
The FDA has become aware of reports of vitamin D toxicity in dogs that ate certain canned dog foods manufactured by Hill's Pet Nutrition and marketed under the Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet brands.
Is Science Diet and Hill's the same?
Science Diet is a brand of cat and dog foods marketed by Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. (a subsidiary of the Colgate-Palmolive Company).
Do I need a prescription for Hill's Science Diet?
Veterinary Diets do not contain prescription drugs. So, the answer is no, you do NOT legally need a prescription to purchase a veterinary prescription diet.
How long has Hill's Science Diet been around?
52 years. In 1968, the food line was made available through veterinarians and pet professionals as Hill's® Science Diet®. The line has continued to expand, and today includes more than 50 pet foods formulated for many lifestages and special needs in healthy pets.