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

Rating:

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

The Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine product line includes one canned recipe, a product designed to help in the treatment of hepatic (liver) disease.

Hill's Prescription Diet L/D Canine Liver Care

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 18% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Water, rice, chicken fat, soybean meal, soybean oil, egg product, corn starch, corn gluten meal, chicken liver flavor, powdered cellulose, fish oil, dicalcium phosphate, natural flavor, potassium chloride, dried beet pulp, l-lysine, calcium carbonate, l-arginine, iodized salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K), biotin, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, taurine, l-threonine, l-tryptophan, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), l-carnitine, beta-carotene

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis18%25%NA
Dry Matter Basis18%25%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis14%47%39%
Protein = 14% | Fat = 47% | Carbs = 39%

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 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 third item is chicken fat. This ingredient is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

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 fifth ingredient is soybean oil, which 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.

The sixth 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 failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The next ingredient 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 eighth 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.

This ingredient can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that will 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 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.

Next, this recipe includes 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.

In addition, we find beet pulp, 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, 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.

And lastly, this product contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine
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 dog food is appropriate for your particular pet, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian.

With that understanding…

Based on its ingredients alone, Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine appears to be a below-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 18%, a fat level of 25% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 134%.

Which means this Hill’s product contains…

Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean and corn gluten meals, this looks like the profile of a wet food containing a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine is a grain-inclusive moisture-rich dog food using only a limited amount of egg product 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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Important FDA Alert

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

Notes and Updates

10/28/2019 Last Update