Hill’s Science Diet Puppy canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Hill’s Science Diet Puppy product line includes five canned products.
Although each formulation appears to be designed for puppies, we found no AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the Hill’s website.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Savory Stew with Beef
- Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Gourmet Chicken Entree
- Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Savory Stew with Chicken
- Hill’s Science Diet Small and Toy Puppy Gourmet Chicken Entree
- Hill’s Science Diet Small and Toy Puppy Savory Stew with Chicken
Hill's Science Diet Puppy Gourmet Chicken Entree
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water, chicken, ground whole grain corn, cracked pearled barley, soybean meal, liver, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, iron oxide, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, riboflavin, folic acid, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||24%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||46%||32%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second 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 third ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain 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 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 fifth ingredient lists soybean meal. Soybean meal is relatively useful by-product — what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.
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 lists liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
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 note the inclusion of iron oxide is a synthetic color additive used in industry to impart a reddish color to food — and paint. In its natural form, this chemical compound is more commonly known as “iron rust”.
We’re always disappointed to find any artificial coloring in a pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?
And lastly, 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 Science Diet Puppy Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Science Diet Puppy appears to be a below-average canned dog food.
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.
Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs as compared to a typical canned dog food.
Yet when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a canned food containing only a modest amount of meat.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy is a plant-based canned dog food using only a modest amount of chicken as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Hill’s Science Diet Puppy dry dog food.
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
01/02/2010 Original review
08/06/2010 Review updated
05/23/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩