Hill’s Prescription Diet B/D Canine (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Hill’s Prescription Diet B/D Healthy Aging and Alertness dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

Notes and Updates

07/23/2010 Original review
11/12/2011 Review updated
05/12/2013 Review updated

01/04/2014 Last Update

  • Cynthia

    He’s not on steroids. I just picked up BD and first ingredient is corn, which I despise in any processed food, but my choices are limited at this point.thank you for your concern

  • Dori

    Sorry I have no answers for you on the BD. I was wondering if your dog is on steroids. From what I know of the illness steroids are usually warranted. I’m assuming due to his age that surgery is out of the question? I’m sorry that your dog is going through this tough illness.

  • Cynthia

    My vet is recommending BD as a last resort for my 16 yo Shih Tzu. He’s been eating Fromm’s Surf & Turf and Stella’s raw food for about five years. My dog has a neurological disorder and an xray suggests, Cauda Equina Syndrome, which pinches the nerves going to his back legs and rectum. He’s currently on Rimadyl 25mg, divided, milk thistle, GABA – 60mg 2x a day and tried canine marijuana. My Shih Tzu has behaviors like relentlessly barking, can hardly walk, and eats/drinks lying down. I also carry him outside for potty. I called vet to set a “date” as over Thanksgiving holiday, he had to be held to stop the barking, and it was difficult to even sleep as he’d wake everyone. Now, back at my home, he’s better and will try BD but want to know how soon for results? I have a short window of time.

  • InkedMarie

    Have you looked at one of the supplements/meds for dogs with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction aka doggy dementia and feeding a high quality food instead of this?

  • somebodysme

    HA! I was just thinking the same thing as your last sentence! Might I ask what your dog was eating before the Hill’s rx food?

  • CMW208

    We have been using Hill’s b/d for about three months now. This was recommended by our vet for our 15 y/o dog that was showing signs of doggy dementia (yes it is real, if humans can have dementia, why can’t dogs?) Our dog was acting very strange, staring at blank walls, not recognizing us, forgetting what treats were, etc. We asked the vet about it after researching the symptoms and he agreed. Since being on the Hill’s b/d prescription diet our dog is much more focused, is not staring at blank walls and responds to us as if she were 5 years old instead of 15. She is once again playful and runs around barking like she use to do before the signs of dementia. Do we know what dementia is, yes, we take care of a relative who is in his upper 80’s who has dementia and the symptoms are not much different. The relative stares of into nowhere land, forgets who we are, can’t remember our names half the time, can’t remember what day it is on most days or even when his birthday is. Only wish we had a human form of this diet for him.

  • Pattyvaughn

    When the PhDs and DVMs are paid to figure out how to make the cheapest kibble to do the job, people lose faith in a company, no matter how many PhDs and DVMs they have.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Educated is not the same as naive. If the by-products that go into dog food are something I want in my dog food, then they will be of a quality that the dog food manufacturer would be proud of and they would be listed as chicken heart, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, etc. Oh wait, they are.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Realist –

    I think you’re the naive one here. I agree that organs, glands, gizzards, hearts, feet, etc. are healthy foods for dogs. My dogs are fed a raw diet and get “by-products” on a daily basis. However, if you think that gizzards and hearts, livers, etc. as you would buy them at a grocery store are what’s going into “by-product meals” in pet food you are sadly mistaken. Did you know when the FDA tested several popular brands of dog food they tested positive for pentobarbital? The FDA linked this to by-products, meat and bone meals, generic animal fat and animal digests. Pentobarbital is the euthanasia drug – there are euthanized animals being made into by-product meals, digests and generic animal fats. It’s also very likely that euthanized dogs and cats are included in this mix. It was just confirmed in Spain this month that dogs and cats were rendered for pet food and there’s an investigation going on. The investigation involves pet foods that “have international presence and some are among the most prominent in the animal feed industry.” I’d highly recommend that you read “Food Pets Die for by Ann M. Martin.” Open up your eyes, there are so many loopholes in AAFCO ingredient definitions and you better believe companies take advantage of these loopholes. One of the biggest loopholes is the Compliance Policy. (CPG) 675.400 states: “No regulatory action will be considered for animal feed ingredients resulting from the ordinary rendering process of industry, including those using animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, provided they are not otherwise in violation of the law.” And believe me, there are many more loopholes – that’s just an example. Fresh by-products from meat raised for human consumption, wonderful. By-products, meat and bone meals, generic fats and digests in kibble – my dogs will pass.

  • Realist

    Do your fly-by-night natural pet food companies with 0 to 1 PhDs or DVMs on staff do research anywhere near the degree Hills does? They can talk until they are ‘blue’ in the face but they will never come close to advancing canine health they way Hills has. Check out the studies described on page 5 of this paper (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2390776/pdf/nihms41773.pdf). I don’t think ‘probably do the same thing’ cuts it compared to real-world science…

  • Realist

    Why are you so naive about by-products Mike? They are (AAFCO definition): the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as
    necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, EXCLUSIVE of feathers, except in
    such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practice. I don’t think too many wolves or coyotes ignore these nutrient dense parts of their prey. See: http://www.petfoodindustry.com/Sub_Level_-_News/46921.html for an unbiased discussion on these products.

  • kfclivingfree

    thank you very much for this site. it is greatly appreciated. years ago i fed my dog Nutro thinking of it as the highest quality. i eat only organic vegetable and grains my eyes have been opened to the awful regulations on human food, so what about dog food. just got a puppy and feeding him Blue Buffalo. Now, i’m beginning to wonder about that food as well. i don’t want to get too obsessed, but i believe my new puppy should get the same nourishment i give myself. your site is very helpful and reassured me a bit about the blue buffalo. on a side note. of course they sell Hills at the vets office, just as they sell prescription drugs at hospitals. healthy dogs = poor vetinarians/healthy people = poor doctors

  • Blazeaglory

     Dog foods high in antioxidants (for older dogs) and the drug Anipryl (selegiline) will help tremendously.

  • Blazeaglory

    Its good your dog was brought back by this food but other, cheaper and more nutritious dog foods with less crappy ingredients would have probably done the same thing.

  • Scuba_girl

    My vet
    recommended this for my 15 year old dog with a heart murmur, and was having
    seizures.  He said it has 60% less sodium than other dog foods. 
    Should her heart be enlarged, this will keep the size reduced, and retain less
    fluid, helping to prevent the heart murmur from developing into congestive
    heart failure.  This food also has 15% protein (vs. 25% in other foods).
     He said dogs her age do not require as much protein, and will take in
    only the required nutrients.  The lower protein means there will be less
    waste products for her organs to process.  Also, it fights free radicals
    and has ingreedients to enhance her brain activity and keep the
    neurotransmitters firing, to reduce the seizures.

    As far as the ingredients, I know the
    reasoning behind the make up of this dog food, but I agree that the quality of
    the ingredients is poor.  Then again, I have seen my dog eat cat and dog
    poop from our lawn, so… lol.  One thing about the pork fat; I think it
    is for flavor, because this dog food has very low salt, which means most dogs
    wouldn’t even go near it because it has about as much flavor as a piece of

    Oh, and Glitteryone- I’m sure you know
    that canine cognitive dysfunction is the medical term for what was once known as being
    senile.  The low sodium dog foods are THE BEST for this.  Although
    the ingredients are very poor in quality, this b/d has reversed many of the
    symptoms of canine cognitive dysfunction, and completely eliminated her
    seizures.  It’s a tough call; you just have to use your judgement as to
    whether the benefits of this low sodium food outweigh a food with quality
    ingredients.  I am looking for an alternative low sodium, low protein food
    with better ingredients, but have not found one that is comparable (yet).

  • Pingback: All Different Dog Food Brands & Types | My Blog()

  • Guest

    I refuse to buy anything containing chicken byproducts.  Ask you vet? Right, they are all Hill’s dealers.

  • Shawna

    Glitteryone ~~ how heartbreaking for sure! :(  And at only 8 years old?  I think I would get a second opinion.  I would also highly recommend seeking out a holistic vet trained in proper nutrition.

    There are lots of things that can help and a holistic vet is an excellent resource for that information.  Example — fish oil with the proper amounts of DHA and EPA.  DHA is NECESSARY for proper brain health.  Certain vitamins, herbs and supplements can be used to improve cognitive function — spirulina as an example.

    Holistic vet Dr. Karen Becker discusses some other options here    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/04/14/common-conditions-in-senior-dogs-and-how-to-treat-them.aspx

    Best of luck to you!!!!!!!

  • Bob K

    John – Another clueless Vet, If he were my vet, I would be asking some serious questions.  I ask my own Dr. questions, why not the Vet.  Oh the stories I could tell you.  I have scrutinized and questioned two of my Drs. this past year.  Needless to say, they were a little annoyed to be questioned, one was embarassed, somehow people make these people Gods.  Do your homework and be an educated consumer.  Its not all that hard.  thats what this website  is about. 

  • John

    Hi Glitteryone

    Bob K if your reading this…… See what I mean? Glittery, sorry to hear that. Wow thats a Bummer, I would never feed Hills to my dog. I can see it goes against your better judgement to. why not print out a copy of the review, and show  it to the vet. I know they mean well , but some are behind the 8 ball in this area.Do your own homework as well, there are a few people of this site that can help you a lot more than me on this one. Good luck and give that dog a hug for me.

  • Glitteryone

    My little Westie (8 years old) has just been diagnosed with canine cognitive dysfunction – when taking him for a walk, he just stops for no reason and does not know what to do – it is heartbreaking.  The vet recommending this b/d diet but I am not sure what to do when I read the review.  I hate of all the chemical stuff.  I would prefer to feed him proper natural food.  Any ideas?

  • A.Murillo

    thanks for the info. It was educational. I just bought another bag of the B/D. My 14 yr old border colliw/aussie shepherd was suddenly urinating in the apartment and I went to our vet. He recommended this B/D dry dog food. My dog has not urinated in the house. Not sure if the food has helped but I cannot complain. That being said, I would like to hear suggestions for similar foods that provide the same help for my dog but that may have less scary ingredients. The fact that the 17 lb bag just went up in price added to me researching this dog food online.

  • AEWishard

    This food has made an incredible difference in the cognitive functioning of our 14-year-old Lab. Screw the diatribe on the nutrient value of some ingredients. It brought our boy back to life. Goodbye doubters!!

  • sandy


    Nature’s Variety Instinct has just come out with 2 limited ingredient formulas. Nature’s Select has a Salmon & sweet potato formula that does not have many ingredients either, and Wellness Fish & Sweet Potato is a LID and Natural Balance has LID formulas. The last 3 have below average meat content, but you could top them off with something or just start off plain and add something later. A friend of mine started using the Nature’s Select Salmon & Sweet Potato formula on her dog with IBS/bloody stools and is doing well. She was previously on the Hills food. I don’t believe she is topping it with anything currently.

  • Jan

    My dog, adopted last year, had persistent parasites and diarrhea. My vet recommended we feed her Hill’s I/D for her sensitive, and potentially damaged intestinal tract. It took months to get her through it, but she’s been better for awhile now. My vet said we could start mixing another food with it, to eventually move her off it to another food. She recommended something with chicken and rice. Do you have any recommendations for a 4 or 5 star food that is good for sensitive intestinal tracts?

  • Roger Prows

    Misty- I am glad you have had that experience, and I can say from experience that this food can definately help.

    However, I can also say from experience that a high quality kibble with a good senior vitamin supplement tends to have just as good or better results and is significantly less expensive, but I do think the testimonial that it does what it says is important in terms of fairness.

  • Desera

    I love this Website! I am happy to come across it! I have a close relationship with my Vet and the vet clinics are PAID to endorse this food. Sorry guys… it all comes down to the mighty dollar. I just want to say.. nobody knows your pet like you do and you must make these decisions that best suit him/her. I say, if its working… don’t change. BUT don’t close your eyes to other options… learn to read the labels and you might save some $$ in the long run 😀

  • Jonathan

    Misty, why would a food made to help a dog with cognitive problems also need to be made from industrial waste?

    Wouldn’t a better solution be to research what vitamins are used in this food that helps restore mental abilities and use them along with a good, healthful food?

    Using this food is like giving a cure for Alzheimer’s patients mixed in McDonald’s french fries and telling them they have to eat these french fries every meal, every day.

    “Why use french fried? Why not mix the cure with healthful food?” would be the question.

    Same question I have here.

  • Misty

    I totaly disagree with this article! If it wasnt for this food my 14 year old Shiba Inu would not be with us (mentally). She used to stare at walls, get stuck in places normal dogs dont and pace the house all day, she used to be so confused. This food has made a tremendous improvent in her life. I would recomend this food to anyone who has a dog showing signs of Cognitive Dysfunction.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Millie. Unless your dog has been diagnosed with advanced kidney disease, feed your Corgi the same food you’d feed any other dog. Protein is good for all dogs. But not carbs. For more information, check out our FAQ page. Look for the topics, “Dog Food Protein” and “How to Feed a Dog”.

  • http://www.mykentuckyheaven.blogspot.com Millie

    I, too, have used B/D for my elderly corgi who is doing great but lately she just doesn’t want to eat it at all, prefers another dog made for elders. I had her mother on B/D and did see an amazing difference, although with this girl, who is not eating it much anymore, not so much. I put her on it when she was 14 1/2, hoping to head off any problems. I think the food is WAY overpriced. It only appears to have a lot of vitamins in it. So what do I feed an elder to keep them more alert and not destroy their kidneys with too much protein? I know I need quality protein for her, just not a ton of it. I also have an elder rescue (I specialize in elder corgi rescue) that I would love to find just the right food for both of them. Right now they are enjoying Chicken Soup Senior Dog Formula.

  • Cathy

    Bravo Mike!

    I agree that Steve Bergman is mean-spirited with ‘arrogant, cult-like thinking’! Sadly, many cult members are indeed brainwashed by the mantra of Mother Culture. Mother Culture loves to threaten and elicit fear. Too many heed Mother Culture rather than Mother Nature. We are a society of robotic thinking. Most in our society easily accept nonsense, and even defend the nonsense (like Steve here). Most don’t switch gears until they suffer greatly – usually illness or injustice.

    Steve believes the ugly side of the pet food industry, and nastily defends this ugly side. He likely also believes the ugly side of the human food industry. He probably eats processed, hydrogenated, fortified, chemical-laden food-substances instead of real food.

    An enlightening book is ISHMAEL by Daniel Quinn, (and related books by Quinn – http://www.Ishmael.org). Quinn encourages us to think like a Martian Anthropologist…. Step way back, view the big picture, and eagerly question all nonsense.

  • Jonathan

    Steve Bergman, if you think this crap is so healthful, then you eat it. And post back in a month with a report of how you feel. I’m going to keep feed my dog foods made from ingredients I can readily identify, thank you very much.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Come on, Steve. Are you kidding me? Do you really believe one must be a credentialed Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition to read and understand a pet food label?

    Do you really think so little of consumers that they should obediently accept a “prescription” dog food product from a veterinarian without exercising the right to know what’s in it?

    Do you truly believe 100% of the information on the Internet regarding dog food is based upon “urban legend”? And that only veterinary nutritionists hold the secret truth and sum total of all there is to know about pet food labels?

    It’s arrogant, cult-like thinking like yours that encouraged me to create The Dog Food Advisor in the first place.

    I (and millions of other pet owners everywhere) have ultimately grown weary of paying 5-star prices for products made from 1-star ingredients… and not even knowing it.

    For example, let’s take a look at the dog food you selected here for your comment (Hill’s Prescription B/D Dry)…

    Chicken by-product meal? Why not use chicken meal? Do these Hill’s nutritionists use this cheaper ingredient to enhance the health of my dog?

    Or to make more money for the company?

    Brewers rice? Why not use whole grain brown rice? Does Hill’s use this cheap cereal grain by-product for the welfare of my pet?

    Or to make more profit for the company?

    Soybean mill run… why use this cheap agricultural waste from the processing of soybeans? To help my dog?

    Or to help the company’s bottom line?

    Hill’s Prescription B/D boasts one of the lowest protein contents of any dog food in our entire database (19% dry matter). So, please help our readers understand why Hill’s nutritional geniuses chose to use inexpensive soy protein to further lower the meat content of this food.

    Was this low meat protein content designed to help my dog?

    Or (duh) make more money?

    Steve… Why don’t you apply “a little critical thinking” yourself. Look at the facts. Based upon ingredient quality and estimated meat content alone, this Hill’s Prescription B/D product is a perfect example of a cheaply-made dog food.

    To the DACVN wizards at Hill’s, this product may be a therapeutic home run. But to us, this looks like an overpriced dog food made with some pretty low quality ingredients.

    By the way, I’m sorry you feel my review of this Hill’s product is a rehash of other articles on the Internet. For if you had only taken the time to actually read it, you would have noticed this review is no rehash at all.

    It’s an original, carefully prepared account of every major item listed on the Hill’s product label itself. The review even includes a good-faith estimate of the actual meat content.

    And all this without ever once dispensing any veterinary advice.

    In any case, please know I am deeply troubled by your false and misleading accusation that I claim to be a dog food expert. For that is a blatant lie. Nowhere in the more than 500 pages and 6,000 comments on this website have I ever made such a statement. Nowhere.

    However, I am indeed a consumer advocate and a genuine expert at reading and interpreting pet food labels. Of that you can be certain.

    And this web site serves as living, breathing proof of that claim.

    With The Dog Food Advisor, I have provided a free and open forum for anyone (including you) to come here as a guest and to express an opinion… even if that opinion disagrees with my own.

    But the very nature of your mean-spirited character assassination (of me) and your insulting reference to my hard work as “a crock” was unnecessary and makes you an unwelcome visitor here.

  • Steve Bergman

    It’s both amusing and sad to read this self-proclaimed “Dogfood Expert”, with no credentials, thinking he can read the label and outguess the DACVN’s at Hills.

    Mainly this review is a rehash of the usual baseless “Internet Wisdom” regarding reading dog food labels. Confirmation that if enough people repeat nonsense to each other for long enough, it becomes “true”.

    Apply a little critical thinking, and it quickly becomes apparent that this guy is a crock. But he’s in good company. Anything that can be said, has been said, with authority, somewhere on the Internet. And he’s just spouting the usual urban legend.

    BTW, I would recommend looking up the research that Dr. Steve Zicker DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN at Hills has done in conjunction with The University of Toronto in developing and clinically testing this food. It’s pretty interesting.

    Here is a link to the abstract of one of the published papers:


    I’d also recommend, to anyone interested in pet nutrition, reading this extensive Q&A maintained by Rebecca Remillard DVM, DACVN:


    It dispels most of the urban legend out there, and replaces it with facts provided by a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. (Which is, of course, what DACVN stands for.)

    -Steve Bergman

  • Sam


    I LOVE how unbiased these reviews are! I LOVE that simply the FACTS are stated and there is no bashing of a product…just simply the FACTS! Awesome! That being said I can’t believe expensive hill science diet prescription foods have such poor ingredients. It’s really sad that they are backed by vets around the country.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Patty… We haven’t covered all the Hill’s products yet but we are gradually adding a few more every time we feel a little caught up. Since we’re not veterinarians, we feel it would be misleading and inappropriate for us to judge the effectiveness of any of the products we review. So, we only judge the apparent quality of the ingredients listed on the labels. If your dog is doing well (medically) on the prescription diets and you are OK with your feelings about the relative value of their products, you may want to simply stick with what works. Hope this helps.

  • Patty

    Hi Mike,

    I’m curious—since you’ve reviewed a whole list of the the Hill’s Prescription foods, why not u/d? (I think there’s a k/d also.) I only ask because our last dog was on the u/d most of his life, due to his propensity to form bladder stones (uric acid). (He was a Dalmatian and it’s a breed problem.)
    Anyway, I am sad to see that as a group these foods aren’t so great apparently, and was just wondering about the u/d.
    P.S. I’ve written you on several other pages, as I was looking for the best food for our current girl; she’s now been on Fromm’s 4 star Nutritional, Duck and Sweet Potato for about a month, and is doing great! I switched her over (from Purina Puppy Chow) REALLY gradually, and we had no problems at all:)

  • Felicia Anzel

    I so disagree with this review. Hill’s BD improved my 15 1/2 year old Sheltie’s cognitive function by a mile. Before using this food, she lost an interest in food, was having accidents in the house, and generally seemed out of it. For the past 2 years, my dog has been on this food and no more accidents, she is eating well, and is doing unbelievably well in general for a 15 year old dog. I don’t think she would still be around without this food.