Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canned Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D product line includes one canned dog food claimed to be appropriate for low fat, diabetic and gastrointestinal diets.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for this food on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for this recipe.
Hill's Prescription Diet W/D Canine
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water, egg product, whole grain corn, chicken, cracked pearled barley, pork liver, powdered cellulose, chicken liver flavor, soybean oil, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, iodized salt, vitamin E supplement, taurine, l-tryptophan, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), l-carnitine, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, niacin, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 12.7%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||18%||13%||61%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||16%||28%||56%|
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 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 third item lists 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 fourth 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.
The fifth ingredient lists barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The sixth ingredient is pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The seventh ingredient is 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.
After the chicken liver flavor, we find 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.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, 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 W/D Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Because this is a prescription product, we are compelled to limit our judgment to the estimated meat content of the recipe as well as the apparent quality of its ingredients. And nothing else.
Our ratings have nothing to do with the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to this product’s ability to effectively 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 W/D Canned Dog Food looks like an average wet product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 71%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a limited amount of meat.
Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canned Dog Food is a plant-based wet product using a limited amount of egg product as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
Those looking for a kibble version of this product from the same company may wish to visit our review of Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine dry dog food.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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.
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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.
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.
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Notes and Updates
03/26/2011 Original review
12/04/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩