Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine Hepatic Health canned dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.
The Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine Hepatic Health product line includes one canned dog food. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for this recipe.
Hill's Prescription Diet L/D Canine
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water, rice, egg product, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), soybean meal, soybean oil, corn starch, chicken liver flavor, corn gluten meal, powdered cellulose, fish oil, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, dried beet pulp, l-lysine, l-arginine, iodized salt, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, taurine, zinc oxide, l-carnitine, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), l-tryptophan, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, beta-carotene, calcium pantothenate, manganous oxide, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, sodium selenite, menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite (source of vitamin K)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||18%||24%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||14%||46%||40%|
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 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 third 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 fourth 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.
The fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.
Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is soybean oil. It 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.
The seventh 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.
After the chicken liver flavor, we find corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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, 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, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
In addition, 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.
Next, 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.
And lastly, this dog food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Even though 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 L/D Canine Hepatic Health canned dog food looks like 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 138%.
Low protein. Near-average fat. And high in carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the soybean and corn gluten meals, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing just a limited amount of meat.
Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine Hepatic Health canned dog food is a plant-based wet product using a limited amount of egg product as its main source of animal protein.
However, due to its intentional therapeutic design, this dog food is not rated.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
08/11/2010 Original review
11/12/2011 Review updated
05/14/2013 Review updated
05/14/2013 Last Update