Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care I/D Canine Dog Food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.
The Hill”s Prescription Diet Digestive Care I/D Canine product line includes five dry recipes, one claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance and four for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Stress Canine
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Low Fat Canine
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Sensitive Canine
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Small Bites Canine
Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Hill's Prescription Diet I/D Canine
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Brewers rice, whole grain corn, chicken meal, pea protein, egg product, pork fat, corn gluten meal, chicken liver flavor, dried beet pulp, lactic acid, pork liver flavor, soybean oil, potassium chloride, iodized salt, dicalcium phosphate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), calcium carbonate, psyllium seed husk, choline chloride, l-tryptophan, taurine, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), mixed tocopherols for freshness, natural flavors, beta-carotene
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||15%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||32%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The sixth ingredient is pork fat, a product from rendering pig meat.
Commonly known as lard, pork fat can add significant flavor to any dog food. And it can be high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
Although it may not sound very appetizing, pork fat (in moderate amounts) is actually an acceptable pet food ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
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 actual meat content of this dog food.
After the chicken liver flavor, we find 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.
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 three notable exceptions…
First, soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.
However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3’s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.
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 Prescription Diet
Digestive Care I/D Canine Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Although this is a prescription product, our review has nothing to do with the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to the product’s ability to treat or cure a specific health condition.
So, to find out whether or not this dog food is appropriate for your particular pet, you must consult your veterinarian.
With that understanding…
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care I/D Canine looks like an average dry product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still prefer to estimate the product’s meat content before concluding our report.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 55% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
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 pea protein and corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.
Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care I/D Canine is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of chicken meal, chicken by-product meal or egg product as its main sources of animal protein.
However, due to its intentional therapeutic design, this dog food is not rated.
Hill’s Prescription Diet
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.
- Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Market Withdrawal of November 2015 (11/29/2015)
- Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Recall June 2014 (6/3/2014)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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Notes and Updates
11/22/2016 Last Update