In this article you will find:
- Meet Hill's Dog Food
- Brand Quick Look
- Hill's Dog Food Reviews
- Behind the Brand
- Hills Recall History List:
- Customer Reviews
- Veterinarian Approved; Customer Approved
- Is Hill's Science Diet a good dog food?
- Why do vets recommend Hills Science Diet?
- Is Hills dog food good quality?
- Why is Hills dog food so expensive?
Meet Hill's Dog Food
Hills is a dog food brand that specializes in creating food for specific health issues associated with your pup. Veterinarians recommend their food, and they have an excellent reputation across the internet.
Something that immediately stands out about this company is the amount of attention they give to specific pet ailments. They make food that helps with weight management, food sensitivities, kidney care, digestive health, and joint health.
One of their most popular lines of dog food, the sensitive stomach blend has 526 reviews on Chewy with 98% of reviewers recommending the product. A positive company reputation is important when talking about dog food because there is no real way for you to find out if it works beforehand.
In this article, we’re taking a serious look at whether Hill's Dog Food brand is a good option for you and your canine.
Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: Hill’s Pet Nutrition a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive
- Founded in: 1930
- Made in: Topeka, Kansas
- Available at: Chewy, Amazon, PetSmart
- Types of Food: Dry, Moist, Treats
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes (for some lines)
- Recalled in Past? : Yes
Hill's Dog Food Reviews
Now let’s take an in-depth look into a couple of the foods we’ve talked about here. We’re going to pick apart every piece of the puzzle to find out if this food is as good as the manufacturer claims. We have our concerns, so we’re bringing them to you.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipe
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Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care with Turkey
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Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe
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Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe
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Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit
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- Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe
- Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care with Turkey
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe
- Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit
1. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach Chicken
This food from Hill’s says that it’s uniquely formulated to provide the precise nutrition that your pup needs. In this case, if your dog is prone to food sensitivities or vomiting this would be the ideal food for you.
The brand contains omega-6 fatty acids to help with skin and coat, antioxidants for immune health, and it doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
First Five Ingredients:
Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, yellow peas, cracked pearled barley
The product has 872 reviews on Chewy with 98% of reviewers recommending the food. Users say it helped their dog with vomiting and they all gobble it up.
2. Hill’s Prescription Diet: Digestive Care
This food claims to help improve digestion and stool quality by using an optimal blend of highly digestive fiber. The food also contains a high number of electrolytes and B vitamins to help your dog stay at optimal health.
The interesting thing is that Hill’s does not just use the term prescription diet, the company requires that you have a prescription from a licensed vet to buy this food. That immediately builds trust in us and shows consumers that they have a robust medical reputation.
Brewers rice, whole grain corn, chicken meal, pea protein, egg product
That’s a pretty bad list.
The food does have 698 reviews with 4.8 stars out of 5. There are only few critical reviews on Chewy, so you have to assume that the product works to help dogs with digestion issues. Some users also state that this food changed their dog's life.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Advanced Fitness Chicken and Barley
This recipe from Hill’s focuses on helping your dog develop and maintain lean muscles and an ideal body condition. The ingredients are easy to digest and perfect for a fit-minded dog.
Something that confuses us a little is that everything contains many of the same ingredients, so we don’t understand how they’re catering to individual issues.
This food claims to provide all the same benefits of the previous two which were for sensitive stomachs and digestive health; it’s almost as if all the food has a placebo effect.
Luckily, the first five ingredients in this blend are better than the previous:
Chicken, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum
The food also has an excellent reputation on Chewy just like every other food line from this brand. They have 279 reviews with 95% of reviewers recommending the product. Most people say their dog's coat improved and that they switched back to a grain diet and noticed improved health in their pup.
Behind the Brand
Hill’s is currently one of the oldest pet food companies in existence dating all the way back to 1930. The company started with the story of a blind man and his seeing eye dog Buddy.
Buddy was a German Shepherd suffering a wide variety of health problems including kidney failure so his owner, Morris Frank recruited a friend of his who was a doctor. Together they developed a prescription grade dog food and stored it in mason jars in the family basement.
In 1948, Dr. Morris partnered with Hill Packing Company and moved the business to Topeka, Kansas. He did this so he could stop shipping his food in fragile mason jars.
In the years to come, the company would evolve into Hill’s Pet Nutrition and together they would grow their recipes and formulas to help a wide variety of new health issues facing pets all over the country.
In 1968 veterinarians started recommending this food in their practices and that is when the term “Science Diet” came into play.
In 1976 Colgate-Palmolive purchased Hills, and now their pet products are available in 86 countries, and they’ve done over one billion in sales.
Hill’s Nutrition now employs a staff of veterinarians and board-certified pet nutritionists to develop healthy and tasty food for your favorite household companions.
What Types of Dog Foods Does Hills Offer?
Hills offers three main types of dog food. They have their Science Diet line which is veterinarian recommended and formulated to help dogs live the best life through biology-based nutrition.
Next, we have the Prescription Diet which is a specific dog food line geared towards helping dogs with needs. The food helps with weight, mobility, kidneys, digestion, urinary tract, and coat health.
They also have the Ideal Balance line that they say uses perfectly balanced natural ingredients and nothing else. The food is also grain, corn, and soy free but we guess this means that the other foods from Hill’s are not all natural and free from additives.
Hill’s Science Diet:
- Sensitive Stomach and Skin Chicken
- Perfect Weight Chicken
- Advanced Fitness Small Bites
- Advanced Fitness Chicken and Barley
- And more
Hill’s Prescription Diet:
- Digestive/Weight/Glucose Management
- Skin/Food Sensitivities
- Digestive Care
- Metabolic and Mobility
- Urinary Care
- And more
Hill’s Ideal Balance:
- Grain-Free Chicken and Potato
Hills Recall History List:
Since the company's founding, there have been multiple recalls of this dog food. Here they are in reverse chronological order.
- January 2020 – Hills recalls 25 different brands of dry and wet food due to elevated levels of Vitamin D.
- November 2015 – Hills recalls six different brands of Science Diet due to labeling concerns.
- June 2014 – Hills recalls Science Diet small and toy breed dry foods for possible salmonella contamination.
The best way to truly understand if something will work for you is to get an idea of the experiences other people have already had. Here we’re taking a look at real-life reviews from trusted sources.
My dog loves it so much.
- We moved in from another country to the US, and we were worried about finding the perfect food for our dog, who has a sensitivity to some kinds of food (The food he was into is not available here). The first time I open the package I was worried because the food seems a little bit big for him (he is a Lhasa apso). However, he's been eating this food like crazy and so far so good. I'm really happy with this purchase. Highly recommend! – Chewy Customer
Hills Science Diet helps reduce vomiting.
- My 11-year-old Shih Tzu has been throwing up more frequently over the last several years. I used Iams weight control with boiled chicken and other meats, but she kept throwing up. Finally, I switched her to Hills Science diet for sensitive stomachs. She had an immediate positive response. I mixed it with chicken bullion to make it more interesting, especially for my male Shih Tzu who loves meat. It is working like a charm. No more throwing up. – Chewy Customer
- Very highly recommend this dog food for any dog with a sensitive stomach. For the last year and a half, our blue heeler has had on and off the upset stomach. It gets bad to the point he would start vomiting blood. After way too much money spent on vet bills, medications, and different foods- we gave this one a try. Wow, what a difference!! A couple of weeks of eating this and our dog is back! Now a little over a month on it and not one day with an upset stomach. He has his old personality and energy back! SO happy with this! – Chewy Customer
Don’t waste your money.
- I bought this item because my baby gain a bit weight and she has a sensitive stomach. Since she has been eating this dog food, she has been vomiting a couple of times a week. Plus, she didn’t lose any weight either. Wouldn’t recommend it at all… – Chewy Customer
Dogs not taking to Hills
- I had always liked Hills and went to it when one of my dogs needed sensitive systems dog food. However, my dogs have never taken a liking to it, not sure if it is the taste or what — previous dogs liked it. I am thinking of changing. – Chewy Customer
Veterinarian Approved; Customer Approved
Overall: 4 out of 5
Flavor: 4 out of 5
Ingredients: 3.5 out of 5
Benefits: 4.5 out of 5
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Price: 4 out of 5
Hill’s Pet Food has a spectacular reputation online and in the medical community as being the go-to food for dogs with health issues and sensitivities. You cannot argue with thousands upon thousands of reviews with 95% or more being five stars.
We’re somewhat surprised because the ingredients in Hill’s are not what some of the “healthy food” manufacturers say your dog needs, so we’re wondering if “grain-free,” and “high-protein” are little marketing schemes to sell more expensive food.
Either way, Hill’s provides a wide array of dog food to help pups with many ailments so if you’ve been struggling to find something that works you should give Hill’s a try.
Is Hill's Science Diet a good dog food?
Hill's Science Diet is overall good dog food made with quality ingredients. It lacks in animal-based protein and is a mostly plant-based diet, but it is significantly higher in quality than many of the cheapest commercial brands.
Why do vets recommend Hills Science Diet?
Many medical conditions can be treated using Hill's Prescription diets. Veterinarians promote these diets because they will help cats and dogs live a better life and may avoid having to give medication.
Is Hills dog food good quality?
The 21% protein content is over the recommended minimum of 18% for adult dogs. We found this dog food to represent Hill's products as a whole pretty well in terms of quality.
Why is Hills dog food so expensive?
It's expensive because how else are they going to pay for the ridiculous amounts of marketing they do? Science Diet is an extremely poor-quality food and is only pushed by vets because they are compensated for it, or get good deals on it. Hill's only uses food grade components in their pet foods.