Hill’s Prescription Diet N/D Canine dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.
According to the company, Hill’s Prescription Diet N/D Canine has been designed to support dogs undergoing chemotherapy and to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Hill's Prescription Diet N/D Canine
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef by-products, water, pork liver, fish oil, rice, chicken, chicken liver flavor, powdered cellulose, dried beet pulp, potassium citrate, calcium carbonate, l-arginine, dicalcium phosphate, taurine, iron oxide, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, niacin, manganous oxide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||34%||21%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||58%||15%|
The first ingredient in this dog food includes beef by-products, otherwise known as slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of a slaughtered cow after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In a nutshell, beef by-products are all those unsavory leftovers of meat processing usually deemed “unfit for human consumption”.
With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this stuff can include almost anything else — heads, ovaries or developing fetuses.1
Although this item does contain all the amino acids a dog needs, we do not consider beef by-products a quality ingredient.
The second item lists water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The third ingredient lists pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is fish oil. 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.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
Following the chicken liver flavor, 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.
The ninth ingredient lists 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.
Three special ingredients in this Hill’s formula may be beneficial to dogs undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
- Fish oil
Taurine deficiencies following aggressive chemotherapy have been well-documented in both animal and human clinical studies.3
And arginine administered together with fish oil has been shown to improve the survival time and decrease the incidence of “wasting syndrome” following chemotherapy for lymph cancer in dogs.4
This same arginine-fish oil combination has also been reported to improve immunity following surgery, too.5
Finally, the minerals 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 N/D Canine 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 N/D Canine appears to be an average canned dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still prefer to estimate the product’s meat content before concluding our report.
Average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs as compared to a typical canned dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned food containing a moderate amount of meat.
Hill’s Prescription Diet N/D Canine is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of beef by-products 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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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.
Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.
To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.
Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.
Notes and Updates
01/16/2010 Original review
08/02/2010 Review updated
05/17/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Desai TK et al, Taurine deficiency after intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1992;55:708-711 ↩
- Ogilvie GK et al, 2000. Effect of fish oil, arginine and doxorubicin chemotherapy on remission and survival time for dogs with lymphoma. Cancer 88:1916-28 ↩
- Daly JM et al, 1992. Enteral nutrition with supplemental arginine, RNA, and omega-3 fatty acids in patients after operation: immunologic, metabolic and clinical outcome, Surgery 112:56-67 ↩