Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine canned dog food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.
The Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine product line lists one canned dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for adult maintenance.
Hill's Prescription Diet W/D Canine with Chicken
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water, pork liver, whole grain corn, chicken, cracked pearled barley, powdered cellulose, chicken liver flavor, flaxseed, egg product, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid), iodized salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, potassium citrate, taurine, l-tryptophan, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate), l-carnitine, beta-carotene
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 13.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||19%||12%||61%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||18%||26%||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 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 item 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 next 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 sixth 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 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 two notable exceptions…
First, this recipe includes taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
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 W/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 your veterinarian.
With that understanding…
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine Dog Food appears to be an average wet product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still prefer to estimate the product’s meat content before concluding our report.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a limited amount of meat.
Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine is a grain-inclusive canned dog food using a limited amount of named organ meat as its main source of animal protein.
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
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
09/11/2019 Last Update