Hill’s Science Diet Adult (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Hill’s Science Diet Adult product line lists 16 dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Science Diet Adult Light
  • Science Diet Adult Large Breed
  • Science Diet Adult Light Small Bites
  • Science Diet Adult Large Breed Light
  • Science Diet Adult Small and Toy Breed
  • Science Diet Adult Oral Care (2.5 stars)
  • Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Original
  • Science Diet Adult Small and Toy Breed Light
  • Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Small Bites
  • Science Diet Adult Large Breed Lamb Meal and Rice
  • Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Small Bites (2 stars)
  • Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Large Breed (2 stars)
  • Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Lamb Meal and Rice
  • Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin (2.5 stars)
  • Science Diet Adult Small and Toy Breed Lamb Meal and Rice
  • Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Small Bites Lamb Meal & Rice

Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Original was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Original

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 25% | Fat = 15% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Chicken, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum, whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, chicken meal, chicken liver flavor, pork fat, dried beet pulp, soybean oil, lactic acid, flaxseed, potassium chloride, iodized salt, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), oat fiber, taurine, mixed tocopherols for freshness, natural flavors, beta-carotene, dried apples, dried broccoli, dried carrots, dried cranberries, dried peas

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.2%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis25%15%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%32%46%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is corn. Corn is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as wheat (previously discussed).

The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 seventh ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

After the chicken liver flavor, we find 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.

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 six 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.

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, 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.

We also note the inclusion of dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

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 Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food looks like a average dry 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 25%, a fat level of 15% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 24% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

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 corn gluten meal, flaxseed and dried peas contained in this recipe and the use of pea protein and soybean meal in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of lamb meal, chicken or chicken meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Hill’s Science 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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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

05/18/2015 Last Update

  • Astrid Nova

    What I cannot understand is why anyone would prefer to feed a dog processed food. I avoid processed food myself and don’t give it to my dogs. I have never had dogs that overate. They will compete with each other to avoid eating first. They offer me first go at their food. (Not that I accept). They won’t touch it until I step back. I have never imposed this attitude on them, but every dog I have had has adopted this behaviour of sharing and taking turns with the provider going first, which is described among wild dogs. None of my dogs has been fat, although there is proteinacious food of all kinds always available to them. They get cheese, chicken, beef, pork, including organs, sometimes fish as well. They enjoy tastes of the food we eat and sometimes I will add just a bit to their dinners in order to get them interested. One of them enjoys the odd piece of raw carrot – maybe a small once a month. They eat grass medicinally from time to time. I look at other peoples’ dogs and cats and see that they are obese and diabetic, often weak, especially at the back legs, and hungry all the time. Their owners are not much different, with similar processed, high carbohydrate diets. As a nurse, it is obvious to me that the animals (and many of the owners) have B12 deficiencies and are basically starving on their high carbohydrate diets. I do not understand how humans have become so uneducated that they now think that they should feed their dogs as if they were medicating them. These animals are mostly carnivore, more so than we are, although we need lots of protein and fat too – in order to get the B-group vitamins. We are a very dumbed down over-commercialised society and our pets are suffering because of this. When I see someone buying processed ‘pet-food’ I assume they are not too bright or that their education has been very poor.

  • aimee

    Hi Nicole,

    Food allergy testing via lab tests has been shown to be completely unreliable. so much so that Heska, a company that runs food allergy tests, states that right on their website under the list of foods they test for.

    “* Heska, in agreement with the American College of Veterinary
    Dermatology, does not recommend IgE testing for foods. A compliant
    exclusionary diet trial, followed by provocative re-challenge, is
    recommended for animals suspected of suffering from adverse reaction to
    foods.”

    When reporting adverse food reactions in dogs based on elimination trial and rechallange the top three items were beef> dairy> wheat. That pattern may have since changed.

  • DogFoodie

    The gold standard is not allergy testing, but a true elimination diet. Allergy testing is notoriously unreliable.

  • Nicole

    El doctor…

    I see more patients who are allergy tested and come back allergic to beef and chicken than to wheat or corn. Far more. Not to say it doesn’t happen… But not nearly as often.

    I always recommend patients with possible food allergies switch to a novel protein because a grain free chicken recipe will still have chicken.

    Gold standard is of course allergy testing…. But I’m sure you knew that el doctor.

  • el doctor

    Nicole

    “Dogs are generally allgeric go the protein and not the carbohydrates”

    High carbohydrate foods contain proteins, so even though a dog might not be allergic to the carbohydrates in let’s say wheat, the dog could still be allergic to the protein in wheat.

  • Nicole

    Dogs are generally allgeric go the protein and not the carbohydrates. Try feeding a novel protein like venison or rabbit.

  • Shawna

    Hi Cody,

    I realize this post is 4 months old but I just now saw it and wanted to respond.
    My dog, the one in my avatar, had chronic kidney disease from birth. Symptoms of polyuria and polydipsia were seen at just six weeks of age. Audrey at a HIGH protein raw diet all but the last few months of her life. When converted to dry matter, her diet was between 45 and 54 percent depending on what food was being rotated in at the time.

    They’ve actually discovered that senior dogs need higher amounts of protein than adult dogs. They’ve also discovered that lowering protein too much is detrimental when done too early in the disease. Unless there is excess protein in the urine, acute kd or you are trying to control symptoms (such as vomiting etc) you do not need to lower protein. You do however need to watch phosphorus, and you do need to feed a “high” quality protein. Kibbles do not have high quality protein.

  • Holly

    You are right. Thank you!

  • Holly

    True and thank you. I’m trying to get something that’s close by like Walmart for convenience. Thanks for your advice!

  • Shawna

    If he doesn’t like the food then try something else. There may be something in the food that makes him not feel particularly well or it may be that he just simply doesn’t like it. There are LOTS of good quality five star foods to pick from. If however he is used to eating lower quality foods it may be the “taste enhancers” that they add to those foods to make them taste better that he is addicted to. If that is the case you are going to have to do some tough love with him.

    You have a whole month to try the feeding in am and pm routine before starting work.

  • Crazy4cats

    While I have not fed my dogs any of the Pure Balance kibble yet, I think it is a good choice. Many on this site have reported good results. I do feed the Pure Balance canned stews to my dogs mixed in their kibble.
    I typically feed grain free Victor and most recently Whole Earth Farms kibbles. Try lightly cooking an egg and mixing it in to see if that helps. Not only do most dogs love eggs, they are a very healthy nutritious addition to kibble. Good luck!

  • Holly

    Looking for him to eat something. It bothers me that he is not eating. I’m going to try pure balance chicken and rice. No soy, corn or wheat. Which will be no allergies for him considering he’s a golden retriever and their prone to getting that. What do you think?!?

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Holly-
    So are you looking for some recommendations for a different kibble or some healthy meal mixers that might help to entice him to eat it? Most stores will take a kibble back if if doesn’t work for your dog. Where do you shop?

  • Holly

    I know he is not eating till 4:00 because I’m not working yet. I start in August. He just does not like this food period. I have seen him devour food fast in the morning!

  • el doctor

    Hi Holly

    “To me he’s my son!”

    You should be proud of yourself, I know I’m proud of you!

    Shawna has given you very good advice. I know it’s hard to pick up the food and think you might be starving him, but a little discipline will probably make both of your lives better and ease your burden a little!

  • Shawna

    No dog, or human for that matter, is going to “starve” from missing a meal or two. What you are doing is setting a schedule for him. Dogs, just like children, need routines and a schedule.

    I’m curious, if you don’t get home till 7:00, how do you know he eats at 4:00?

    I personally think it is meaner to continually feed a rancid food that WILL have a negative impact on his health at some point in the future. This is a given.

  • Holly

    So if he does not eat the food in the morning. Put it up and he doesn’t eat till I get home from work at 7:00. That sounds mean and he be starving. ;( then if he does not eat at again after work when I get home then try in the morning. I be starving him.

  • Shawna

    Nature’s Variety Instinct is a good food but not every good food is good for every dog. In my opinion, it is also important to vary the diet — change the protein source AND carb source, which means change brands too. Sometimes you have to start out slowly and transition when doing this but after time you will be able to switch from one food to another without any transitioning time.

    It is also healthful to add “toppers” to kibble diet. Toppers can be canned food, leftover meats and veggies that haven’t been heavily or inappropriately spiced, raw or lightly cooked eggs, canned sardines etc.

    Why is your puppy eating at 4pm and then only five hours later at 9pm. If you are “free feeding” (meaning leaving food out all day and letting him decide when to eat) this is actually not a good thing to do. The fats in the food will go rancid if left out like this and rancid fats will eventually make your dog sick. It’s best to feed in the morning by putting the bowl down and if he doesn’t eat then pick it back up, refrigerate it or toss the contents, and then put it down in the evening at whatever time will consistently work best for you. If he doesn’t eat again than pick the food up and try again the next morning.

  • Holly

    I do not mean it harshly. It is just what everyone says to me. Holly it is just a dog. To me he’s my son! I’m concerned of his well-being. That’s why I’m here.

  • el doctor

    Hi Holly

    “I know my dog is just a dog”

    Experiencing the love of a dog “is the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be” and being “just a dog” is quite a blessed thing.

  • Holly

    I know my dog is just a dog: but I been looking at dog food (dry) reviews on dogfoodadvisory.com

    Most of the brands I put in such as Pedigree, Alpo and Iams that their is roadkill, euthanized animals parts and sick animal parts in the food.

    I know my dog is just a dog, but I do not think that’s healthy. Rachel Rays dog food got my dog sick and caused him to have allergy problems. It says from this site liver toxicity and the lowering of white blood cells ;(

    I started to give him Natures Varity Instinct dog food from this site. It’s rated at 5 stars. The only thing is he eats his first food bowl at 4:00 pm then second bowl at 9:00 pm. This worries me, but I’m afraid of what to give him. He’s an 18 month old golden retriever. Please someone help me!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! :)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Why would you recommend Royal Canin? Have you read the ingredient panel? It’s very expensive when you consider the ingredients used.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Eukanuba veterinary formula is really no different than SD. There are many more natural choices and ways to balance a kidney or liver issue other than a prescription kibble.

  • Roberta Liford

    I just received a reply to my comment about the Science Diet recall and saw your post about Orijen and how expensive it is — so I thought I’d tell you about Taste of the Wild. You might already know about it. It’s all USA, well rated on Dog Food Advisor (4 and 5 stars depending on which formula) about half the price of Orijen and I’ve been adding it to the Orijen so my dog would get used to it in case of “hard times.”

  • NJ Patient
  • NJ Patient

    Costco happens to carry some excellent foods manufactured by Diamond for them. If you compare those ingredients and percentages, some are close to identical to foods that cost more than double the cost for a 30 lb bag opposed to a 40 lb bag of Kirkland. Don’t decide Costco or some of the Pet Supermarkets don’t carry any quality foods. Some do. Do your research here and on other sites.

  • NJ Patient

    The good thing is some vets are using other brands of foods now e.g. Eukanuba for kidney, liver or other organ issues. Not every vet carries “Prescription” SD anymore thankfully but I do agree with some of what you had to say. I’ve had vets push SD on me for a mild belly issue that is better with one or two days of Flagyl or Tylan powder. FYI within the next year Tylan will not be sold without a script so if you do use it with proper knowledge how to, order it now with a far off expiration date. Make sure you figure out the proper dosage for a dog or don’t use it.

  • NJ Patient

    Pit bulls are known for skin allergies, especially the blues for some unknown reason. You got lucky it was food and not environmental such as the pollen tsunami of 2015 that has caused many dogs to have allergies that never showed prior.

  • NJ Patient

    Was it hip dysplasia or arthritis? You have to place a dog properly to know if they have true Canine Hip Dysplasia. See Leerburg to better understand. http://leerburg.com/hipart.htm Dogs with CHD will eventually become arthritic. Rare to see early CHD in a 7 year old dog. Did your dog’s parents have OFA xrays and further relatives behind her? That IS important in full bred dogs that are prone to CHD. The more generations Xrayed the better as there is no genetic test for it. The same goes with TVD (tricuspid valve disease of the heart). I echo ALL of my girls. There are clinics that keep the cost manageable and I never use a stud dog that hasn’t had an echo Doppler. Genetics do play a part in these problems. TOO high of a protein in a food and/or over exercising a young puppy with open growth plates can also cause a problem. See photos attached. Just some info for what it’s worth. That radiograph coincidentally was done by a vet I have used in the past, Dr. Leal, world and country reknowned and a wonderful man overall.

  • NJ Patient

    You are kidding?

  • NJ Patient

    Orjen also has an excellent reputation.

  • NJ Patient

    I’ve heard the same from 50 percent of prior Labrador owners that used SD and the reverse from the other 50 percent. I wouldn’t want a crap shoot like that. If you’re happy with Science Diet you’ll continue to use it as it’s apparently fine for your dog. I wish your dog a long and very healthy life as I do to everyone and their dogs. Maybe your excellent care is why he has lived a long healthy life. I had two Labradors that lived until 15 years 3 months and 16 years 2 months, no one under 14 years thankfully. I’ve tried the gamut of foods, never supermarket style. I attribute their long lives to health testing done on their parents and other relatives, their excellent care in my home and with my vet and vaccinations every 3 years opposed to yearly but that’s a whole different story. ( I titer after age 9 wen I cease all but 3 year Rabies vaccinations and they are covered until old age every time tittered.)

  • NJ Patient

    BB Wilderness is different than standard BB and far superior.

  • NJ Patient

    Blue Buffalo is too rich in puppy food. Now with the falsification of their labeling I will NEVER use it again as they out in out LIED. I wouldn’t recommend Hills/Science Diet (inferior in my opinion), not familiar with Simply Nourish but Royal Canin has a good reputation. I am a 23 year Labrador hobbyist/breeder. BB is NOT high in protein, there are other ingredients that make it rich that I think we’ll find out more about in the upcoming months/year. Each Lab does well with different foods. Some do well on grain free (I’ve never had to use it as most dog allergies are environmental, not food) cited from a veterinary conference a Veterinary Dermatologist I used (Dr. Karen Rhodes, DVM, DipACVD) attended a few years ago. It may take trying several foods before you hit the right one. I used BB for 2 litters and never will again. Bellies fine until 10 weeks then most (70 percent) acquired loose stool. Try listening to Dr. Karen Becker on You Tube, you might get some answers from her informational videos by Mercola.

  • NJ Patient

    Summed up perfectly! Great explanation anyone will understand.

  • Cody

    Wouldn’t want your dog to have food from around the world, just only what grows in your soils right? Like the plentiful brewers rice fields that plague new york city.

  • Cody

    Dog foods that are higher in protein can cause problems when fed to dogs that have a pre-existing kidney condition, as it can exacerbate the condition. I typically do not recommend any high protein dog food (higher than lets say 28%) as some kidney condition symptoms wont surface until improper nutrition goes on for years.

  • Nick P.

    My apologies if I seemed rude. I’m sure if you’ve worked and been active in clinics then your a bit more aware. I realize med have expirations, and I know how expensive they can be from working with local clinics for vaccination events and allergy information and prevention events. Trying to promote proper nutrition information to folks can be tough because a lot of people out there ‘Think’ they know what proper nutrition is. A lot of these companies do hire vets, sponsor offices and clinics, and sponsor events in retail locations to promote food that isn’t good for a lot of our pets. People don’t understand that animals have a distinctly different system and how it works, and it can be challenging to break through the commercial blinders that are set up by corporate ad campaigns. If I seemed paranoid, it’s because I’ve been trolled on several other sights by those same bozos trying to discredit my information and posts, regardless of my being a trained professional.

  • RyanShyfte

    I’m a vet tech student in my last semester and I have worked in clinics and I don’t think you are aware of how muh cost is put into medication which believe it or not has an expiration date? And I was curious so I visited your profile; no need to be paranoid.

  • Nick P.

    s makeure who you’re trying to convince here. Note that I said veterinary since as a whole. Clinics are given large amounts of food to sell to support said brands, but it doesn’t make them the best. Nor does it mean you can make excuses to like they can’t afford to make a living without selling food. That’s the most preposterous thing I’ve heard all night. Small clinics maybe, but not a majority of them. But you seem to be following all of my comments, so it makes me wonder why you seem to be trying so hard to prove me wrong.

  • RyanShyfte

    Only issue i have with this is to note that the reason veterinary clinics need to contract out food brands is because they cannot afford to make a living just selling medications anymore. They lost that revenue when the online sites came up and one could order and have Heartguard or Frontline shipped to their door. It is less about padding their wallets and more about being able to keep their clinic open.

  • Nick P.

    A big problem with the vet recommend is that purina, science diet, and royal canin contribute huge amounts of money to vet sciences, and by contract, most vets are required to recommend one of them, usually the ones they sell in office. SWITCHING REPEATEDLY IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA. Dogs in every life cycle and every breed have needs nutritionally and many foods at once not can stunt their ability to process certain things, but It actually can lead to issues digesting over all. Probiotics live within the digestive system and there is no right or wrong amount. I don’t care what you’re convinced of, when it comes down to it, a primary feed supplemented with treats, natural food types like fresh pet or natural balance meat rolls, or other brands is all you could really ask for. These are just examples. Again, power switching isn’t ok for small dogs more prone to easily upset stomachs. But that your vet was honest and didn’t tell you to ignore wellness is an excellent sign. Natural balance is excellent for small dogs particularly their duck and lamb. Both have higher omegas and protein amounts, with excellent carb and fat ratios. Wellness is also excellent, especially their Simple line, which typically works well for dogs with allergies and easily upset stomachs. I’m only one source, so do your homework definitely, but I am an animal nutrition specialist by profession, so I know a thing or two. The best two things you can do, regardless is to learn about your pets nutritional needs from multiple WELL INFORMED, PROFESSIONAL SOURCES, and keep your vet informed when dealing with health related issues.

  • disqus_KDfw6mT1jc

    Thanks a million for the great advice,you are expert and she is my first puppy,any advice would be appritiated. I am gonna try the same as you ,for now she is on royal canin

  • clippiequeen

    Your posts are very helpful, theBCnut. Today I added a little bit of Fromm (the pink bag) in with the old food. So far so good. :)

  • theBCnut

    Here’s what I did for my dog with a sensitive stomach. I read on this site about diet rotation and the benefits, and decided to give it a try. I picked a food that had a good reputation, but was middle of the road as far as star raring, I didn’t want to shock my fragile dog’s system by changing too much. I took an entire month to switch her, and at the end of the month she was doing great on the new food. But rotation requires switching again, so I picked the next food, slightly better quality, and switched again. After 3 month long switches, I noticed that she was getting used to new foods quicker, less softness in the stool, and I started switching faster, only 2 weeks, then only 1. Finally, I started switching her every meal. She never, ever has soft stools, vomiting or any other signs of upset, in any way. I am convinced that keeping a dog on one food limits the number and variety of probiotics that a dog’s gut can support and that that makes their gut unhealthy and prone to all manner of upset. One of the nice things about rotating is that if it turns out I don’t like a food, my dogs are able to just switch to another. The other is that if one of my foods ever has a recall, my dogs have no issues with switching cold turkey. It doesn’t matter if one of their foods is a lower quality, because they will make it up on the next.

  • disqus_KDfw6mT1jc

    Thanks a lot ,but my vet didn’t sell it to me,he has hills but he recommended to buy royal canin from pet store,I was happy with wellness and the protein is %28 and with royal canin is %24 ,yesterday I took them both to him and he compared them and said some thing is better in royal canin like amino acid but wellness has more omega 3 which royal canin has not ,so he suggested to try and see which one is the best for my puppy but I really need some advice which I didn’t read nag good feedback from royal canin,any advice would be appritiated

  • theBCnut

    Don’t tell me, let me guess. Your vet sells the food he wants you to buy.
    There is nothing wrong with feeding your dog a higher protein food. I would much rather my dog have more protein that he needs than to feed an inappropriately high carb food of questionable ingredients.
    BB has been having lots of quality control issues lately, so I would avoid them.

  • disqus_KDfw6mT1jc

    I have a 16 months havanese,she was on blue buffalo at first and she was vomiting and got soft poops several times,I switches on wellness and she was good but yesterday after visiting her vet,he mentioned that she doesn’t need high protein and he recommended one of these food,sience diet or royal canin,royal canin is his first choice for my puppy,I really need some advice as I read all the feedbacks from these two food and really confused,please give me some advice as I am so worried about my baby,with BB brand I gave her under food chart to keep her tiny but she is under wight now,she is 12.4 and I can easily touch her ribs

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Science diet might not be as horrible as Beneful or Kibbles n Bits, but the fact that it is marketed as a high-quality product and recommended by many vets when it is NOT high-quality is unacceptable in my opinion.

  • Hayley

    BEWARE IF label says MADE IN THE USA, sources do not have to be in the USA, they can be imported from China or another country and processed here or processed in CHINA and finished here. So the USA label is DECEPTIVE.

  • Hayley

    Orijen is highly rated and a good dog food but it is expensive. With three pets I cant afford it. BUt on dog advisor there are other 4 and 5 rated dog foods to check out. Hills Science unfortunately used corn gluten and wheat grain and what corn meal which is not tolerated well with most dogs for digestive health. They are cheap fillers/additives.

  • Hayley

    Look at 5 and 4 star dog foods. What evidence suggests that BB is too rich. I occasionally give my dog BB WILDERNESS (1 cup dry to 1 cup wet daily with a ground beef, brown rice and veggie blend myself on the weekends). BBW is $60 for 30 pd bag. I have two dogs so I cant afford this on a regular basis. I use Wellness Core or Merrick grain free most of the time.

  • theBCnut

    While I’m not a fan of BB, saying it’s too rich and equating that with kidney stones is silly. They don’t say that about every other dog food that has similar fat and protein levels, and that’s usually what someone is talking about when they claim something is rich. Though I don’t argue that dogs seem to get kidney stones more on BB than other foods, I just don’t think it’s the “richness.”
    BB spends a lot of money on advertising, but that doesn’t make them as great as they claim. Since you have been feeding the same food for so long, I suggest that, at least temporarily, you switch to NutriSource, since it is usually very well tolerated. Switch very slowly. But don’t stop there. Just like people thrive on a variety of different foods, dogs should eat variety too. Try to find at least 3 different brands, with different protein and carb sources, that your dog does well on. When your dog gets used to eating different things, you will no longer have to do transitions, and he will be less likely to get an upset stomach, if he gets into anything.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Tyler-

    I feed my labs mostly Victor grain free kibble with many different toppers or add-ins. I try to rotate kibble now and then as well, such as Rotations and Nutrisource dry dog foods. I think it is best to rotate to avoid feeding too much of one nutrient or ingredient and too little of another for an extended period of time. Check out this link for more information on rotating http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diet-rotation-for-dogs/. Science Diet or Royal Canin would not be top choices for me, but I’d probably try the Simply Nourish. Good luck!

  • Tyler

    We have fed our lab Blue Buffalo for five years but have just been told by our vet that Blue Buffalo is too rich and can cause kidney stones. She told us to look at Science Diet, Royal Canin, or Simply Nourish. Any recommendations from any other lab owners? I love Blue Buff, but should I switch to Science Diet? Any other suggestions?

  • Jean Campbell

    I love science diet. Our husky mix has eaten science diet since he was a puppy. He has had a beautiful coat, always shiny. He is now 15 years old. I’m sure that science diet is why he has lived such a long healthy life. Thank you science diet

  • DD

    P>s> Some ?} dog food companies HIRE vets for 1 Reason. They can Put Reccomended By Veterinarians on the bag. So its clear, many of these companies cant be trusted. As they Put made in the USA, on the Bag, But buy the ingredients from china, that have been tested to have high levels of drugs….. now they want to import chickenms for human consumption, From where else? Friggin China! Ralphs Simply Products just had a recall, as they buy & relabel Foster farms chicken, which has had numerous violations & recalls, Beware not just for your best friend, but for your self

  • DD

    If you want a SUB standard product. The FACTS” are clear. Science diet, is a poor substitute for Good Nutrition. Funny how the Vets have a wall of it, always trying to sell me on it, along with purina crap chow. And advantage poison”. Get & Use D.E”.” I came across an article, A pet store owner was friends with a local vet….He stated, The Vet was Given PALLETS” of science diet for free, as dog owners would surely trust their vets, when they reccomended it… He said He NEVER reccomended hills….. after a recent CBC, the vet recomended sCiEnCe diet, low protein. along with{ insane} 8 vaccinations. The CBC is all they will ever get from me. low protein diet for canines, is like suggesting a white sugar diet for a child. The studies have shown, low protein diets have caused problems,,,,, But as most anyone can figure out, those that feed low protein, High grain diets too a canine, have sick dogs, that ignorant owners, spend $$$$$ trying to get healthy, never having a clue, that the vets ignorance”{?} or $$$$ Motive, will keep them coming back, til Death Do they part.

  • Heather Shayne

    I feed my two rat terriers SD’s light dry food and haven’t had any issues. Of course they eat just about everything and are both overweight, but I’m working on it. I am going to try Wellness though (better rating) but if I see any issues then I’m going back to SD.

  • robertaruth

    Okay — short of seeing your vet — here’s what I suggest based on my experience. When I first got my dog last year, started with Blue Buffalo Wilderness in transition from the breeder who had been feeding her raw meat based stuff she concocted herself. It was okay for a few months, then she started showing distress signals and very loose stools. Vet put her on Royal Canin dry and she got better, went back to BB again, and after a while she got loose again. Each time I assumed it was something she picked up in the park. I was going to keep her on the RC forever, but vet said it wouldn’t be enough nutrition. Then one day my doorman, of all people, told me about Orijen. I started her on it gradually with the Royal Canin and now all Orijen Regional Red alternating with the basic and the Six Fish. It’s been 10 months now, and she hasn’t been sick since. I know it’s expensive, but even my doorman says the money he saves on vet bills more than makes up for the price, plus the portions recommended are almost half of what the cheaper foods recommend. Best wishes, whatever you decide.

  • robertaruth

    Thanks. I’ve been signed up for DFA and FDA for a long time.

  • sharron

    don’t know where my reply to u ended up – will do it again – lexee hasn’t eaten anything decent, such as orijen, acana or the royal canin dry that i have, even with can and veggies mixed in – it’s been about a day and a half now – the only food she has eaten is about a tbsp of cesar for small dogs dry and that was last night – she’s NOT sick – i’m trying very hard not to give in and feed her the cesar’s but she has to eat something – you can tell she’s hungry with the bile she is bring up – but she is stubborn and i’m trying very hard to be stubborn too

  • Dori

    Upper left hand side of this page is a sign up area for Free Dog Food Alerts. As soon as recalls come out you get an email from DFA letting you know.

  • LabsRawesome

    All I’m saying is just because a food states made in USA or Canada, doesn’t automatically mean that every single ingredient is sourced there.

  • robertaruth

    Stick with the Acana. You can’t go wrong. What you save in Vet bills makes up for the price.

  • robertaruth

    I know for a fact that all Orijen (aka Acana) is sourced and made in U.S. or Canada (you get what you pay for and it does have a 5 star rating).

    I was curious, though, after the FDA Science Diet recall notice, whether it was made in the USA and had difficulty finding that out. So — just thought it might be useful for Dog Food Advisor to pass along that information.

  • LabsRawesome

    You could be feeding your dog chinese ingredients, and not even know it. Just because a food is made in USA, doesn’t mean every single ingredient is sourced in USA, Most if not all vitamin/mineral premixes are made in China. For any food/treat you feed you should contact the manufacturer and specifically ask them if all ingredients used are SOURCED in the US. It can legally state “Made in USA” on the label, and still contain Chinese ingredients.

  • robertaruth

    I just received an FDA recall notice by email that one of the Science Diet products was recalled for salmonella contamination. Not that I would feed my dog this product (I feed her Orijen), but I wonder where is Science Diet Dog Food made? Shouldn’t that information be part of the review information? I would never feed my dog anything from China.

  • Nola Tax

    Try using a grain free food. That eliminated the skin allergies both of my pits had.

  • theBCnut

    Do you have enough of you other food to transition?

  • sharron

    hi – i think i screwed up – bought a bag of science diet, sensitive stomach formula this afternoon – would it be ok for lexee to finish the bag without any issues developing

  • Mandy Wasserman

    I have a 2 year old Great Pyrenees who was getting sick on food after food I tried – and I tried the “good” ones: Merrick, Innova, Blue Buffalo, a couple of others. It didn’t matter – diarrhea and vomiting time after time. My vet recommended HSD for Sensitive Stomachs, and I am happy to say that this is the first food he has done well on. I am supplementing his diet with glucosamine and chondroitin since he is a large breed dog, but otherwise, I mix in a little limited ingredient canned food and he is feeling so much better. It has been a great choice for us, anyway.

  • Charles

    Theu lie and cheat and mistreat

  • Charles

    First amendment right you get blocked and mocked

  • Charles

    I dont know how they sleep at night so much protein is not right

  • Charles

    Iwoner why I did not lie

  • Charles

    He is a scam who pit me in spam

  • Charles

    They block around the clock and mock

  • Charles

    Mikkeee the dentist acts like an apprreenntticce

  • Charlie v

    Editor Mike likes to put me in spam bc he is a scam.
    If you challenge the groupies they will trash you like a Gorilla and chew you up like vanilla

  • Researcher

    This food is bad it contains soy.
    Read how horrible soy is and it is for your Pets too! Stop buying this food until they remove the soy from their formulas. The only line of Hill’s that is natural is Ideal balance which some have no soy so use that if you choose Hill’s. Read the article below on the effects of soy.

    http://freetobemetoo.wordpress.com/

  • Researcher

    Why are people buying this food it contains soy and that is bad for your animal! The reason Vets recommend it is because Hill’s which is the brand, pays for Vet school so Vet’s have to recommend it. This food is bad.

    Read how horrible soy is and it is for your Pets too! Stop buying this food until they remove the soy from their formulas. The only line of Hill’s that is natural is Ideal balance which some have no soy so use that if you choose Hill’s. Read the article below on the effects of soy.

    http://freetobemetoo.wordpress.com/

  • Raven Mom

    My border collie lab mix rescue has a wonderful coat now due to mixing a fish oil capsule in her dinner. It works wonders! I buy mine at 800 Pet Meds.

  • Pet Lover

    Rebekah: You are right on. Vets are in bed with HSD. I have just finished a training session with another company that HSD contracts to go into stores and sell this pet food. They admitted this on one of the videos I watched. It much the same as drug companies and medical doctors. I wouldn’t feed my cat this food and cannot sell it either. It could even contain GMOs with the corn as one of the ingredients. They don’t care about the food humans eat let alone our beloved pets. Needless to say, after watching this video I have decided to decline this job and I need a job very bad at this point.

  • melanie

    I used to feed my dogs between nutranugget and iams when they were younger (bad i know) but when my german shephard hit 7 she started to have a hard time getting up because of her hips. I took her to the vet and had xrays done, she had early stages hip dysplasia. My vet wanted to put her on different medications but i refused all except pain meds…when i came home i researched and found SD active longetivity, i began feeding my dog this for a year and when i took her for a checkup her hips showed improvement on the xrays. i had already noticed improvement at home because she didnt whimper when she got up, pain medication was stopped after 3 months, and she could run laps around the park. Regardless, my dogs are now 11 and my shepherd no longer has progressive hip dysplasia and can still run full speed with no pain getting up. The SD didn’t change anything in my other dog, but I fully believe it affects each dogs differently. Be it the best food or the worse, it is how the dogs body responds to it.

  • aimee

    Hi Aleksandra,

    Large breed adult dogs do not have unique calcium requirements compared to other breeds. The adult lamb and rice is 1.01% Ca, 76% Ph

    In regards to Large breed growth it is recommended that Calcium be at approx 1%. S.D large breed growth is 1.07-1.09.

    Though Science diet doesn’t score highly with some people, I’m open to the idea that veterinary and PhD nutritionists evaluate diets differently and many give S.D. high marks.

    I’ve also found that when zoos choose a commercial food to feed, it is often Hill’s products that are chosen.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Whatever damage was done during growth by this food is done. Adult dogs can regulate their calcium uptake, so calcium is not the problem now, but if you see continuing deterioration, it’s because of the damage already done and the nutrition that isn’t supporting the dogs current needs.

  • Aleksandra Ninova

    Does anyone know what the calcium percentage in the adult Science Diet is and what is the appropriate percentage for large breed adult dogs? My roommate (to my sadness) feeds his lab-hound mix the Science Diet, currently Lamb Meal and Rice, but his dog has been on it since an 8-week-old puppy. The dog’s name is Casey and she is a little over 3 years old now. Recently I noticed her back legs looking different, almost starting to be cow hocked, but if it is the case, it is in a very early stage. I am wondering if the calcium/phosphorous levels in her diet are the problem. She doesn’t get supplements, except some fish treats (not fish skins or fish fillets though, but I don’t know what brand her treats are).

    I have been DYING to tell him about this site and how terrible the Science Diet is compared to other “popular” foods, but he is very… particular… and would not care to even look into it. His vet has even suggested this website, as well as other foods, like Blue Buffalo and Addiction (I took a peek at Casey’s latest vet visit scorecard/report), but he thinks he knows best that the Science Diet is the best…

  • Anita Pierson

    royal canin is a very expensive, Average dry dog food. look at the ingredients people…. if alot of corn, rice , etc….NOT GOOD

  • lynda

    try a food without flaxseed in the ingredient list. It turned out once we went to a different food without flax
    all itching stopped almost immediately

  • Ariana

    the reason why hills and science diet same in my opinion is hard as a rock its coverd in polyerathing they dont list it but its in there try feeding her a no grain kibble if you cant affored wet and sience diet hills made my dachshund viontly sick the last time i feed it it also mad my cats sick

  • Guest

    the reason why hills and science diet <same in my opinion is hard as a rock its coverd in polyerathing they dont list it but its in there try feeding her a no grain kibble if you cant affored wet and sience diet hills made my dachshund viontly sick the last time i feed it it also mad my cats sick :/

  • Shawna

    Dry food is the worst option for healthy let alone ill pets in my opinion. Kibble is generally harder to digest and the quality is significantly reduced as compared to a home prepared (balanced) diet.

    Although still not as healthy as a balanced homemade diet, the canned food is a much better option than the kibble.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I use coconut oil every day for my dogs, but I would never issue a blanket recommendation that every dog regardless of size should get 1 tablespoon of the stuff. I recommend 1 teaspoon for every 20 lbs of body weight. BTW, cocnut oil hasn’t kept my dogs’ teeth clean either, but I love what it has done for their coats, and a raw meaty bone takes care of the teeth.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Because they don’t use quality ingredients to formulate their food.

  • Ann Davis

    Feed you dog a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil each day. This will clean the teeth and kill bacteria.
    After about 2 weeks scrape the teeth and they will be completely clean. My Standard Poodle loves the taste.

  • Ann Davis

    My12 yr old standard poodle has been on
    Science Diet her whole life . She became ill and was diagnoised with some liver failure. She starting refusing the Science Diet…I have been cooking her a special diet, ,but the vet and I would love to see her back on her dried food. She did eat a few bites and threw it up.. After trying to break the food up with a hammer but with no luck. ,After using my coffee grinder some dried food was added to the cooked food,… she still wouldn’t try it. Why is the dried food so hard . It would have to be hard to digest. Sould I try her on the can food , to make sure she is getting all the nutrients she needs? i haven’t discussed this with my vet.

  • Carrie Bowsher

    why wouldn’t you use it long term?

  • neezerfan

    One option would be to try the food and see how it goes. Hopefully a relatively short term use of it can eliminate your dog’s allergy symptoms. Then you can add back one ingredient at a time to tell what she’s allergic to and what she can tolerate. I would not use it long term.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Chicken by-product is pieces parts of chicken, not nearly as likely to cause allergy symptoms as chicken or rice or lamb. If they both have rice, then it may be that or it may be chicken and rice and that’s why it got some better. That was the case with my dog, he has multiple intolerances.

  • Carrie Bowsher

    I will try that. At first she was just on Iams regular adult and that is the one she was really going after herself, Chewing and scratching. The lamb and rice has calmed it down a bit but she still itches. I am wondering if all the talk about Chicken By product is the main reason for allergies? I have looked the the ingredients in the sensitive HSD diet and it doesn’t look like there is anything in there that has chicken by product. I am going to try it and see what happens. Thanks for your response!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would take the ingredient list from her current food with me to the store and try to find a food that has none of the food ingredients in common. I wouldn’t worry about the vitamins, minerals, etc., but I wouldn’t get a food that had lamb or rice or any other major ingredient of the food that she isn’t doing well on.

  • Carrie Bowsher

    I have an adopted Border Collie/ Lab mix. This is my first time with this breed being a German Shepard
    owner for 13 years. I was also a vet tech for 10 years. My German Shepherd thankfully never had allergies but with this 1 year old Border Collie lab mix she has allergies beyond belief. She has hair loss on her back legs and inner legs. She drops hair all over the place. I can tell she has some sort of dermatitis. I am still very good friends with the Vet that I worked with. She has told me to try HSD sensitive skin. I see a lot of good reviews about it. It is expensive but Maggie (my dog) needs relief. She is currently eating Iams Lamb and rice. I am hoping this sensitive skin works. What do you think about this food?

  • Rebekah

    Thank you – yes we have thank goodness

  • InkedMarie

    I’m sorry about your dog. I hope you’ve found another vet.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Keep ingredient list of foods that you have used for them and take notes on how each individual does on each food and hopefully some day you will be able to figure out what they are reacting to.

  • Rebekah

    I want to also add this vet was pushing us to have a $500 dental cleaning in the midst of paying over $1,000 in testing and treating her for cancer. Who in their right mind would even put their dog through a sedated procedure when she was given only weeks to live??!!! To go through the trauma of seeing your dog with cancer and to argue over unnecessary dental procedures and crap food really created apprehension in regards to the intent of this vet. It’s difficult to find quality healthcare for your pets today. It has turned into a big business and they play on the hearts of the owners. Like others have stated if you do care about your furry family members please stay away from this company. I don’t like to publicly express negative thoughts but I am passionate about this and hope anyone proceeds with caution if they decide to feed their dogs Science Diet

  • Rebekah

    STAY AWAY from this food!! This is just my opinion but I do have some strong thoughts that VETS are in bed with this company! Yes I said it – every single person that I know that has fed their dogs this food has had some major health problems. When my last dog was diagnosed with cancer at 11 years of age the vet told me I should immediately switch her onto Science Diet from her 5 star rated Annamaet. Needless to say that vet has lost our business and any future one that even hints towards this product I will immediately dismiss. Science Diet = lots of trips and money towards the vet. I firmly believe this is why they promote this product.

  • karen

    We Have Two Dogs who Are HavE SEveRe Skin Allergies. We Are Trying Science Diet And It Seems To Help. Just Thought I Would Share….

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  • Dan

    People –
    I was raised in South America. Where I used to live, there were only two kinds of dog food at the store. You either got that one, or that one. There were no other choices. Our dogs lived long and happy lives. Table scraps also were part of thier diet.
    Here in America we have too many choices and opinions. I like that. But we have to be more simplistic.
    I usually go to the park with my two great danes. I ask other dog owners what are they feeding their puppies, especially those that look healthy. You will be surprised. Most don’t feed high quality foods. They feed the brands what Pertsmart or Petco offer. Or Sams or Costco. Even Walmart.
    I’m currently feeding Fromm mixed with Hills SD large breed. That works for me. Just yesterday I visited Petsmart and there was a beautiful, show dane at the store. What the owner feeds him? Purina One. He told me that his dane did not do good with Blue Buffalo.
    So go figure….I decided not to go crazy with 10,000 reviews and opinions. BTW, I mixed dog foods frequently: 50% high quality, 50 % medium quality. My danes love the new flavors and look very healthy, active!!!

  • Nathan Castaneda

    What makes me sick is that all my dog’s live long lives and then something shuts down at the end of their lives. A friend I have known since college, well, her pets have only died of old age. She is a one brand woman. She only feeds her dogs and cats HSD. I just lost a dog to pancreatic cancer and I had him on Innova for years. Ingredients, I have come to learn, are worthless if not properly portioned. Here is what she said to me, “You can feed then HSD now and they can live long healthy lives or you can continue to feed your dogs foods that claim to be the best only to have something go wrong and put them on Prescription Science Diet later. Eventually you will feed them some form of HSD because no one can touch them. They are the most advanced and have the very best scientist in pet nutrition working for them.” After 20 years, I think I will take her advice.