Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Dog Food Review (Canned)

Rating:

Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Digestive Care canned dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

The Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine product line includes 5 canned recipes, each designed to help in the treatment of digestive disorders.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Use the links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Stress recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Hill's Prescription Diet I/D Canine Stress

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 59%

Ingredients: Water, pork liver, rice, carrots, corn starch, sugar, dextrose, chicken, chicken liver flavor, flaxseed, dried beet pulp, egg whites, powdered cellulose, soybean oil, potassium alginate, calcium chloride, ginger, potassium citrate, fish oil, guar gum, monosodium phosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), calcium lactate, calcium gluconate, choline chloride, taurine, dried hydrolyzed casein, magnesium oxide, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate), l-carnitine, beta-carotene

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.2%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%9%59%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%21%56%
Protein = 22% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 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 pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third 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 next ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth item 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.

The sixth ingredient is sugar. Sugar is always an unwelcome addition to any dog food. Because of its high glycemic index, it can unfavorably impact the blood glucose level of any animal soon after it is eaten.

The seventh ingredient is dextrose, a crystallized form of glucose — with a flavor significantly sweeter than common table sugar. It is typically used in pet food as a sweetener and as an agent to help develop browning.

Without knowing a healthy reason for its inclusion here, dextrose (like most sugars) can be considered a nutritionally unnecessary addition to this recipe.

The eighth 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.

After the chicken liver flavor, we find flaxseed, 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.

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 5 notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

Next, 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.

In addition, 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 note the use of fish oil. This item 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.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Digestive Care
Canned Dog Food Review

Although 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 Hill’s dog food is appropriate for your particular pet, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.

With that understanding…

Looking at its ingredients alone, Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine appears to be a below-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 24%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 59%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 56% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

Which means that this Hill’s product line contains…

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other wet dog foods.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing just a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine is a grain-inclusive moisture-rich dog food using a modest amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein.

Hill’s Prescription Diet
Dog Food Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Hill’s. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

A Final Word

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For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

11/03/2019 Last Update