Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted product line lists three dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Ideal Balance Crafted Roasted Beef, Peas and Buckwheat [M]
  • Ideal Balance Crafted Pacific Style Trout and Mixed Vegetables [M]
  • Ideal Balance Crafted Grain Free Herbed Chicken and Chickpeas [M]

Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted Pacific Style Trout and Mixed Vegetables was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Hill's Ideal Balance Crafted Pacific Style Trout and Mixed Vegetables

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 23% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 55%

Ingredients: Trout, cracked pearled barley, yellow peas, whole grain oats, pea protein, chicken meal, chicken fat, chicken liver flavor, brown rice, oatmeal, powdered cellulose, dried beet pulp, parsley, canola oil, calcium carbonate, malted barley, flaxseed, choline chloride, green peas, carrots, potassium chloride, iodized salt, 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), cranberries, taurine, mixed tocopherols for freshness, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate), apples, broccoli, zucchini, citric acid for freshness, beta-carotene, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis23%14%55%
Calorie Weighted Basis21%31%49%
Protein = 21% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 49%

The first ingredient in this dog food is trout, a freshwater species closely related to salmon. Trout is rich rich in omega-3 fatty acids but also contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient includes yellow peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient lists oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

After the chicken liver flavor, we find brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With seven notable exceptions

First, powdered cellulose is a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.

Next, this recipe includes beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

In addition, this food contains canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

Next, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

We also note the inclusion of green peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 23%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 55%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 23% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 55% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the yellow and green peas, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted is a plant-based dry dog food using a limited amount of trout, chicken or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Hill’s Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/07/2016 Last Update

  • Pookie

    “we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.” Good thing you post this!! People need to read this over and over after reading your articles!

  • DogFoodie

    Thanks, Dr. Mike.

    That’s unfortunate. Regardless of whether I agreed with her comments or not, the conversation provided educational value.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks for stepping in on the comments. I know I appreciated your input!

  • It appears this visitor has removed her name and has deleted her own comments. Sorry for what’s now become a lack of context in this thread.

  • Crazy4dogs

    So true DF! 🙂

  • Crazy4dogs

    ROLFLMAO! 😀 But I can SO relate!

  • Bobby dog

    Well, sometimes I lose them. Today I couldn’t find one, drove me nuts. I think the problem is I get too creative with file names and if I don’t access them regularly I can’t associate the title of the file with the subject. One of these days I need to make time to review my files.

  • DogFoodie

    I have no idea how you keep track of your links! I’ve never seen anyone come up with as many helpful links as you do!

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    Was not my intent to go tit for tat with you. Thanks for your article, I will definitely read it.

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    My thoughts were not that I was not defending them just confused on how a researched based company ends up with fewer stars. Second it’s just my opinions by experience. Personally I am a fan of Nulo and Natures Logic. I see how the pet industry has changed and how it can be confusing. I am not trying to argue with anyone. By conversing you learn. I have owned my stores for 25 years. I agree with your thoughts on Science Diet as well. I carry it for the loyal customers, but I will say there are a lot of them. I wasn’t being negative by saying Vets recommend it. Have you read the ingredients on the prescription diets? I think that they can help and have a special place. But when a natural food is available you should use it. It’s difficult trying to persuade people as to why the newest food is the answer to their pets needs. Why do stores still carry foods from 20 years ago? I just need to listen and do my best to inform. These upcoming foods are expensive and not everyone can afford them so there has to be a middle ground for these pet owners too.

    Just my thoughts. I have enjoyed listening to everyone. Again learning everyday. I can only speak by what I have experienced, by what I have seen. Thanks!

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    Nope never have recommended it. Was just confused on the star rating.

  • Have you read ANY of my responses?

    Any company (any size) is in violation of Federal Law and subject to prosecution anytime a product contains ingredients that are not accurately represented on their labels. Period.

    By the way, I do not find your name or your email address anywhere on our Editor’s Choice membership list.

  • Pitlove

    Blue claims that they were not aware of what their supplier was doing by giving them by-products to cut cost. The human error there was the company and its staff not being more actively involved with the suppliers themselves.

    WellPet uses the same supplier for their Wellness brand, so they were most likely effected as well.

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    So Diamond and Blue Buffalo are small now? Blue Buffalo even said human mistakes happen.
    http://www.today.com/style/dog-cat-food-products-are-mislabeled-study-finds-1D80249283

  • Pitlove

    I’m confused as to where you stand in this whole matter. First you are defending Science Diet because it the brand has done years of research to back up its nutrition philosophy, then you say most vets are not nutritionists and this is evident because they recommend brands like Science Diet (I’m assuming there is a negative connotation to this sentence?), but then you said you can’t feed high protein long term implying that Science Diet is high protein and the vet’s dont know anything by recommending these high protein foods, which they aren’t…

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding? Idk…

    Anyway, what I will say is that there was a time when Science Diet was the best there was because well…no one had come up with anything better. The people you mentioned who come into your store asking for Science Diet are those people who do trust their vet to recommend a food for them and truly and whole-heartedly believe their vet is giving them the best possible advice. Some are just die hard Science Diet fans. Working in pet food retail myself, I see them all the time. BTW my boss has been working in pet food retail for longer than you and has owned her own pet store for 15 years and can not stand Science Diet. She keeps the small amount we DO have because shes loyal to her customers and they are loyal to Science Diet.

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    I know of a specific one that was not on the bag, and actually I have samples in with Diamond pet foods for a batch of Taste of the Wild that was off. Also I had a customer in with a dog that was allergic to beef. I called Diamond to find out if there was any changes and customer services told me in fact that it was beef fat that added to the food. Taste of the wild added it to the food as a change but never indicated it on the bag. I have been told numerous times by companies that the label can shift by up to 10% without having to have it on the bag. 10% is a lot. Blue Buffalo even stated that human mistakes happen. They are being sued by Nestle over a labeling issue.

    thttp://www.today.com/style/dog-cat-food-products-are-mislabeled-study-finds-1D80249283

  • Crazy4dogs

    You do post some awesome links, but I may be the queen of links! 😉

  • Bobby dog

    I do love posting links…maybe it’s possible?!?!

  • You’re kidding me, right?

    Sure, ingredients can change.

    However, no company can legally change any ingredients inside any pet (or human) food product without also changing it on the label.

    Some companies break that law. Yet that kind of behavior is far more likely with smaller pet food companies than larger ones.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I believe DFA uses the website, which should be accurate.

  • Crazy4dogs

    No problem! But I am LMAO @ your reply! 😀

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    Thank you.

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    Used their words, they said we don’t test. I figured guaranteed analysis and actual levels of proteins or fats. I never noticed the disclosure before, I even pay for the Editors list. You can’t necessarily take the list of ingredients the company provides as the bible. That can change without noting it on the bag.

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    I am trying to read this as a person coming on the site for the first time. You would be amazed by the amount of people that don’t know even the difference between fresh meat vs meal. I guess what bothered me is that when I pulled up this food to get your rating on it. (I use your site as a reference). I saw a 2.5 star rating. Recently I looked up Avo revolving diets and it has a 4 star. Both are a plant based foods. Although there is a 3% level in protein % there is a 1.5 star rating difference. Both have negatives listed. Why the big difference. Both use peas. I am not a fan of Science Diet to begin with but I had a few customers request it. I was just shocked by the rating.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m curious. 25 years in the business. Science Diet related perhaps???

  • You said: “The ideal protein is 28-34 max…”

    Hmmmm. I just cited a peer-reviewed scientific reference with no less than 47 footnotes to support my comment. Please cite yours.

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    And you said it most. I see it daily with customers bringing in Vet advice and test results to lower protein levels in their dog’s diet. Most Vets are not nutritionists. Perfect example is that they mostly push Science Diet and Royal Canin diets. You cannot feed a high protein diet, add high protein treats for a long period of time and think things are going to be ok, in most dogs. The ideal protein is 28-34 max some foods are higher than that. Again my opinion based on my 25 years in the business.

  • The mistaken belief that high protein diets cause issues for healthy dogs (like kidney disease) is outdated and no longer accepted by most veterinary professionals.

    For proof, I’ll refer you to this seminal article by Dr. Kenneth C. Bovee, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania — an article most appropriately entitled, “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function”.

    Dr. Bovee concludes this article by saying…

    “The continued existence of this false myth about dietary protein is an uncomfortable reminder of the lack of sophistication, lack of critical thought, and reliance on oversimplified and attractive dogma that persists in our profession.

    “This is only one example of many false myths, misinformation, and partial truths that are repeated from decade to decade.”

    The article was published in the respected (and peer-reviewed) Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian in 1999 and includes not less than 47 scientifically referenced footnotes. And it has been re-published by Champion Petfoods after the article was initially presented at the Purina Nutrition Forum in 1998.

    Please be sure you take the time to read it.

  • You said: “So you take the companies words and rearrange them and form an opinion?”

    My reply:

    We use the actual words taken directly from each product’s government regulated label — and in the exact same order in which they appear.

    We never “rearrange” a single word found on any ingredients list — for even the order of those words is regulated by Federal labeling regulations.

    You also said: “Science Diet is one of the few companies with research backed formulas and you say this formula is a 2.5 stars. Yet other foods with similar ingredients and ratios have 4 stars. What am I missing here?”

    My reply:

    What makes you think the ingredients are the only features we consider? We also compare the nutrient content — particularly the macro-nutrient content found in the Guaranteed Analysis section of the label.

    Any one of the more than 900+ dog food products reviewed on this website with a similar ingredients list, macro-nutrient and estimated meat content will receive 2.5 star rating. No more and no less.

    You concluded with: “Trying not to be critical but I never realized that you had this disclosure before today. I thought you tested the foods.”

    My reply:

    It would cost thousands of dollars to quantitatively and qualitatively test the nutrient content of EACH of the 4,100+ recipes covered in our reviews.

    And these tests would each have to be conducted regularly to deliver any reliable value.

    That means that we would have to invest not less than 4 million dollars (and probably much more) each and every year — and support a team of dozens of researchers — just to maintain these reviews.

    How could any independent website ever be able to provide such an enormous service without accepting advertising revenue from the very companies we are reviewing?

    For over 7 years now, we have always included the following basic text on our FAQ page entitled “How We Rate Dog Food” whenever asked if we test the products we review:

    As a small, independent website, The Dog Food Advisor does not have the resources needed to test the thousands of dog food recipes reviewed on our site.

    In fact, not even the Food and Drug Administration has the human resources or the budget to tackle such a mammoth job.

    So, we must rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. What other choice do any of us have?

    Hope this answers your question.

  • Bobby dog

    Sometimes I am unable to add a link to my comment so I have to post it first, then I have to edit my comment to add a link, sometimes I don’t. Maybe I have worn out my welcome with my computer when it comes to posting links, IDK. Thanks! 😉

  • Storm’s Mom

    Tested for what? How?

  • Crazy4dogs

    BD, I think you forgot the link.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m sorry, but that is outdated logic in the 90’s. The chicken treats were from China, so the common factor is not protein. Here’s a link from the same website you linked to that contradicts your link:

    http://m.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_focusing_on_protein_in_the_diet

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Adelaide:
    Here’s a summary of how DFA rates foods:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/rate-dog-food/

  • aquariangt

    They take the ingredient panel, and the GA, and use that to give a food a rating. Which food do you find comparable that has 4 stars? It’s unlikely because of how the rating systems work. This get’s 2.5 mostly because of the extremely low protein content, and a very low meat content in general. Testing foods for a rating wouldn’t be very useful to anyone, as every single dog is different

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    “Proteins are the building blocks of the body and an absolute necessity for daily function. However, when a dog consumes too much protein in a meal it cannot all be utilized at one time, nor can it be stored for later. The body will then excrete the excess protein through the kidneys and out of the body via urine. Thus the quality of the protein actually becomes more important that than actual amount as a high quality protein is more bio available and can be better absorbed by the body.” ”
    http://www.petmd.com/dog/centers/nutrition/evr_dg_dangers_of_high_protein_dog_foods#

    I totally agree with this. I find it funny that in the 90’s Eukanuba was criticized for their high levels of proteins in their foods. Vets constantly blamed kidney failure on these diets. Fast forward to 2014 and the dogs suffering from Chicken treats. Kidney problems, my thoughts and my opinion is that it is from too much protein. The common factor is protein.

  • Adelaide Colwell-Schuhle

    (The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
    We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.)

    Confused by this… So you take the companies words and rearrange them and form an opinion? How is this fair, call me out if I am misunderstood. Science Diet is one of the few companies with research backed formulas and you say this formula is a 2.5 stars. Yet other foods with similar ingredients and ratios similar have 4 stars. What am I missing here? Help a person out please. Trying not to be critical but I never realized that you had this disclosure before today. I thought you tested the foods.

  • ReptiLady

    God I have to promote this food and I’m not happy about it. At 69.99 for a 15lb bag it costs more per pound than the lamb nature’s variety LID (which is about $85 for a 20-25lb bag. I knew it wasn’t very good, but 2.5 stars xD? I’m very underwhelmed.

  • Myzteziz

    “too much protein is scientifically proven to be bad for both dogs and cats”. Sorry, but you are more then wrong there. If you are going to state such claims at least post a reference on where you come up with such false and absurd claims.

  • Akari_32

    Hill’s is continuing to target those that don’t any better. Many people think “Oh, its expensive and I see it on TV, so it must be good!” You had the exact same thought as me– I could (and do) totally do raw for much cheaper. I can also get a kibble that I know much better, for considerably cheaper, with coupons, like Wellness. For that $70, I could get 50-80 pounds of Wellness CORE depending on sales and coupons.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m not even going to join in on the Tom Roberts conversation as it seems to be pretty well covered.

    I just wanted to point out an interesting pricing fact on this new food. I saw it at a local pet store priced well over the cost of any other kibble in the store, including Orijen Regional Red (those of us who feed this know how expensive it is), and it’s not even grain free! The online price is in the $70 range for 15 pounds. That’s placing it close to $5/lb!!! The 3.3 lb bag is priced @ 24.99 bringing the price @ $7.57/lb. Reading the ingredient panel shows nothing that is significantly different or superior to any other dog food. What is Hill’s thinking?
    For that price I’d be choosing raw or fresh, which comes in at that price or less (I realize there is the moisture difference which might change the per serving cost). I don’t know what customer base they are trying to appeal to, but it’s not me!

  • Shawna

    Sorry, I have one more question for you Tom. You state this food meets the necessary levels of nutrients for a healthy dog but I see omega 3 ALA from flaxseed and canola oil but no sources of DHA or EPA. The brain, heart and eyes need DHA/EPA. From what I’ve read, the adult dog can not efficiently convert ALA to DHA/EPA. What’s your thoughts on this?

    “During suckling, plasma PL-DHA was higher in the High-ALA group puppies compared with the Low-ALA group; nevertheless, after weaning, this fatty acid did not differ between the diet groups. This suggests that the capacity of puppies to synthesize plasma PL-DHA from dietary ALA or other (n-3) fatty acid precursors appears to be active for only a short time during the neonatal period and is blunted thereafter. Thus, during this active period of development, ALA may be sufficient as a dietary precursor for the synthesis of requisite amounts of DHA.” http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/7/2087S.full

  • Shawna

    Please do enlighten us with this science showing high protein is harmful to dogs and cats. Mike already shared Dr. Bovee’s paper, there are many other sources and I’d be happy to share them.

    You wrote “Here they find partially digested vegetables and root, which are full of vitamins, minerals, and CARBOHYDRATES. Which, is, like, important.” You’ve heard of Waltham right. This is what Waltham says about carbohydrates, page 28 “Cats and dogs can sythesise their own blood glucose from amino acids. Carbohydrate, therefore is not an essential macronutrient.” http://www.waltham.com/dyn/_assets/_pdfs/waltham-booklets/Essentialcatanddognutritionbookletelectronicversion.pdf

    For good measure – Purina Research Report, Volume 8, Issue 2 “Dietary carbohydrates are not required by normal, healthy cats and dogs with two possible exceptions. Reproducing bitches may need some carbohydrate in order to produce and nurse healthy puppies, although even this is in question.1-3 Hardworking dogs, such as hunting dogs and sled dogs, may benefit from carbohydrates after exercise to help restore muscle glycogen.” https://www.purinavets.eu/PDFs/ResearchReport_vol8-issue2.pdf

    One more – if you look at the AAFCO nutrient profile you will see that there is no minimum requirement for carbohydrates for a food to be complete and balanced.

    You wrote “vitamins and minerals are a lot more important than “meat” to a dog’s health”.. What exactly are you saying? Are you suggesting amino acids aren’t as important as niacin or potassium?

    I do believe that dogs can benefit from small amounts of fruits and vegetables. That said, I haven’t read the book but I see reference to it in a lot of the raw feeding communities. “The following quotations are taken from L. David Mech’s 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation.” “Wolves usually tear into the body cavity of large prey and…consume the larger internal organs, such as lungs, heart, and liver. The large rumen [, which is one of the main stomach chambers in large ruminant herbivores,]…is usually punctured during removal and its contents spilled. The vegetation in the intestinal tract is of no interest to the wolves, but the stomach lining and intestinal wall are consumed, and their contents further strewn about the kill site.” (pg.123, emphasis added)”

  • Tom Robers,

    I’m sorry you feel the factual information presented here and throughout this website is “criminal”. For that was certainly not what I intended it to be when I spent the thousands of hours necessary to research and publish these reviews.

    In addition to the many nutritionally inaccurate statements you made in your remarks, you began with the claim that “too much protein is scientifically proven to be bad for both dogs and cats”.

    Unfortunately, in the case of dogs (the subject of this website), nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, your statement appears to be based entirely on myth.

    The mistaken belief that high protein diets cause issues for healthy dogs (like kidney disease) is outdated and no longer accepted by most veterinary professionals.

    For proof, I’ll refer you to this seminal article by Dr. Kenneth C. Bovee, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania — an article most appropriately entitled, “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function”.

    Dr. Bovee concludes this article by saying…

    “The continued existence of this false myth about dietary protein is an uncomfortable reminder of the lack of sophistication, lack of critical thought, and reliance on oversimplified and attractive dogma that persists in our profession.

    “This is only one example of many false myths, misinformation, and partial truths that are repeated from decade to decade.”

    The article was published in the respected (and peer-reviewed) Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian in 1999 and includes not less than 47 scientifically referenced footnotes. And it has been re-published by Champion Petfoods after the article was initially presented at the Purina Nutrition Forum in 1998.

    Please be sure you take the time to read it.

    You also made the totally baseless claim that “There are only four widely circulated brands (meaning sold at PetCo and PetSmart) that meet the necessary levels of nutrients for a healthy dog or cat.”

    And that is simply not true. Did you take the time to check your facts before making that flawed claim, too?

    Currently, every dog food that makes the legal claim on its label that it is “complete and balanced” must meet the appropriate life stage nutritional profile established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

    By the way, that claim is known as a “nutritional Adequacy statement” and is regulated by the F.D.A. pet food labeling guidelines and is enforceable under U.S. Federal Law.

    You claimed your comment contained “more educational material than is contained on this entire web page, let alone this entire website.”

    Oh, really? I’m not so sure everyone reading your mean-spirited, chest-thumping claim of educational excellence would agree. You might want to check your own facts before finding fault with the 100% verifiable facts upon which this review is based.

  • aquariangt

    Besides the fact that there is so much false in this post I don’t even know where to begin, I’m going to go ahead and point out ideal balance is the same company as science diet. EDUCATION!

  • LabsRawesome

    They are not guessing at the level of meat protein in this dog food. There is only 1 meat ingredient Trout, that is high on the list, Since it is fresh trout once the moisture is removed there’s not that much trout/protein left in the food. Chicken meal is much higher in protein because it’s concentrated, but it’s lower on the list. It’s the 6th ingredient right before the fat. If chicken meal would’ve come right after the trout the food would have received a higher rating. Because there would’ve been more meat protein in the formula. I don’t know what review you were reading, but I saw no high “nutrient completeness rating”, in the above review.

  • Tom Roberts

    So according to this review, even though it has a remarkably high “nutrient completeness rating”, somehow because they’re guessing it’s low in meat they’ve given it a terribly poor review.
    Ignoring the fact that too much protein is scientifically proven to be bad for both dogs and cats, ignoring the fact that vitamins and minerals are a lot more important than “meat” to a dog’s health, and ignoring the fact that Hills (as far as I can find anywhere) has an amazing safety record.
    Yep. Makes perfect sense.

    Now, before anyone comes at me with the “dogs are like wolves and wolves only eat meat” argument, I’m going to throw down a couple of facts that you can find to be true very quickly with a little actual research:
    Fact 1 – Wolves in the wild live to be about 6 years old, 8 if they’re lucky. I’d prefer my dog to live a bit past that if at all possible.
    Fact 2 – The first thing wolves do when they get an animal down is to go for their stomach and intestines. Here they find partially digested vegetables and root, which are full of vitamins, minerals, and CARBOHYDRATES. Which, is, like, important.
    Fact 3 – This one about cats. They’ve been proven to be a separate species altogether from any others in the cat family, and originated that way. They don’t fall into the “blah blah blah cats in the wild” arguments either.

    There are only four widely circulated brands (meaning sold at PetCo and PetSmart) that meet the necessary levels of nutrients for a healthy dog or cat. These are (by order of price):
    Wellness Brand
    Ideal Balance Brand
    Royal Canin Brand
    Science Diet Brand

    Wellness and Ideal Balance have both grain-free and corn/wheat/soy free options, and most of the Royal Canin and Science Diet lines are corn based.

    Now look at that. I just put out more educational material than is contained on this entire web page, let alone this entire website.
    Ingredients matter. But if all you ate for the rest of your life was broccoli and chicken, it would be a very short and painful life indeed.
    Once this website starts to focus on overall health, NUTRITION, and safety instead of simply focusing on ingredients alone, I might come back and give it another shot.
    In the mean time, what this site promotes is absolutely criminal, and you’re doing yourselves a disservice by listening to a single word written here (other than, of course, my comment here).

    Have a nice day everybody!