Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine (Canned)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

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

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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine with Chicken [M]
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine Vegetable and Chicken Stew [M]

Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine with Chicken was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Hill's Prescription Diet W/D Canine with Chicken

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 19% | Fat = 12% | Carbs = 61%

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 items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis19%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis19%12%61%
Calorie Weighted Basis18%26%56%
Protein = 18% | Fat = 26% | 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 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 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 fifth 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 one notable exception

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 Prescription Diet W/D Canine
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

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 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 19%, a fat level of 12% and estimated carbohydrates of about 61%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 21% and an average fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest an overall carbohydrate content of 61% for the full product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

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 in this recipe and the wheat gluten in the other recipe, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine is a plant-based canned dog food using a limited amount of named organ meat 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 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.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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

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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.

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Notes and Updates

03/10/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials