Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Digestive Care canned dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.
The Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine product line includes five canned recipes, each designed to help in the treatment of digestive disorders.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Low Fat GI Restore
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Gastrointestinal Health
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Chicken and Vegetable Stew
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Stress Rice, Vegetable and Chicken Stew
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Low Fat Rice, Vegetable and Chicken Stew
Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Stress Rice, Vegetable and Chicken Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Hill's Prescription Diet I/D Canine Stress Rice, Vegetable and Chicken Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water, pork liver, rice, carrots, corn starch, sugar, dextrose, chicken, chicken liver flavor, egg whites, flaxseed, powdered cellulose, soybean oil, dried beet pulp, potassium alginate, calcium chloride, fish oil, ginger, potassium citrate, guar gum, monosodium phosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, taurine, dried hydrolyzed casein, magnesium oxide, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate), l-carnitine, beta-carotene
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.6%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||9%||60%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||21%||57%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second ingredient is pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The fourth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.
Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.
The sixth ingredient is sugar. Sugar is always an unwelcome addition to any dog food. Because of its high glycemic index, it can unfavorably impact the blood glucose level of any animal soon after it is eaten.
The seventh ingredient is dextrose, which is a crystallized form of glucose — with a flavor significantly sweeter than common table sugar. It is typically used in pet food as a sweetener and as an agent to help develop browning.
Without knowing a healthy reason for its inclusion here, dextrose (like most sugars) can be considered a nutritionally unnecessary addition to this recipe.
The eighth ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
After the chicken liver flavor, we find egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, we find powdered cellulose, 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.
In addition, 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, 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.
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 I/D Canine
Digestive Care Canned 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, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.
With that understanding…
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine appears to be a below-average wet 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 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 56% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing just a limited amount of meat.
Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine is a plant-based wet dog food using a limited amount of poultry or poultry liver as its main sources of animal protein.
Hill’s Prescription Diet
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.
- 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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A Final Word
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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
06/11/2015 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩