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


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine Dog Food is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

The Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine product line includes one dry product, a recipe designed to help support weight management.

Hill's Prescription Diet W/D Canine Digestive/Weight/Glucose Manangement

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 19% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 64%

Ingredients: Whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, powdered cellulose, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, whole grain sorghum, soybean mill run, chicken liver flavor, pork fat, soybean oil, pork liver flavor, lactic acid, caramel color, potassium chloride, choline chloride, l-lysine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), iodized salt, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), taurine, l-carnitine, calcium sulfate, dl-methionine, l-threonine, l-tryptophan, mixed tocopherols for freshness, natural flavors, beta-carotene

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 16.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis19%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis19%9%64%
Calorie Weighted Basis18%21%61%
Protein = 18% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 61%

The first ingredient in this dog food is wheat. Like corn, wheat 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 wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is corn. Corn is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as wheat (previously discussed).

The third 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.

The fourth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fifth 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.

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 is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is soybean mill run. Mill run is a by-product, mostly the hulls of soybeans remaining after processing the beans into meal. This is nothing more than a cheap, low-quality filler more commonly found in cattle feeds.

After the chicken liver flavor, we find pork fat, a product from rendering pig meat.

Commonly known as lard, pork fat can add significant flavor to any dog food. And it can be high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, pork fat (in moderate amounts) is actually an acceptable pet food ingredient.

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 four notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

Next, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.

However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.1

In any case, even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added 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 food is?

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, 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 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 a below-average dry 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 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 64%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine is a plant-based dry dog food using a limited amount of chicken meal 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.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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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.

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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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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

01/08/2017 Last Update

  • Rose Healey

    Wow … same thing with my aunt shep., bought her to three different vets , and after all the meds and X-rays. seem so ill. 2 weeks later I took her of the WD and all meds they gave her and she is almost back to her normal self again 1,900 hundreds later. grrrrrrr.

  • Amateria

    I just found something interesting when I went on this food with the aussie website, they list carb content, I’ve never seen that before, someone once mentioned it would be nice if dog food showed carb content and well these guys do.

    Based on their website this food has a carb content of 50.7%, a very different number to the one listed here.

    I wonder if this is a new addition? Or if I simply missed it before.

  • Shawna

    Of course not every dog will be the same but my Pom gets HORRIBLE ulcerative colitis from any form of chicken – kibble, canned, treats or raw (muscle meat only). Some other ingredients that might be problematic include, but not limited to, eggs, grains, potato, peas and dairy. Try a food that has different protein AND carb sources then what you were feeding.

  • Susan Sanders

    For my terrier mix’s colitis, vet recommended two kinds of Hills food and dog threw up on both. I’m still trying to find the right diet for Gus, and I don’t think it’s Hills.

  • Darlene

    Thanks, will do

  • Darlene

    My dogs is 15 and was diagnosed 6 years ago, he has been blind for the last 3 years:-( BUT…. He knows where everything is in the house he has a ramp that he goes down knows where it is he knows the yard he’s happy he loves to eat

  • Darlene

    Thanks., Info. on pooper scouper, your right. Lol:-)

  • Try Natural Life from Walmart. Our dog has done very well on it and even lost good weight. Its not as expensive as Science Diet either. Our dog also gets two shots per day of Insulin.

  • Jessica Herbrich

    Unfortunately I have. My yorkie was diagnosed Oct of last year, 2014and went blind in January 2015. Heartbreaking

  • Patti Roberts

    My Sammy was just diagnosed with diabetes 3 days ago. First meal on hills WD he would not eat…wet or dry. Yesterday he ate all the wet, he was hungry. He gets fed now twice a day with novalin H twice. He still won’t eat the dry. Sugar has only gone down a few points, will have to increase I am sure. I am more worried about the blindness. Has anyone dealt with that?

  • Meg

    Darlene…my Ty..a GSP had diabetes for Five years and I fed w/d RX to him and also used Humlin n or Noveline n insulin two times a day. I live in Iowa, so I called the Iowa State Vet center and they really pushed the dog food he was on..it is expensive, but it lasted about 4 weeks with Ty. I fed him 4 times a day, and regulated his blood sugars very well for five years! I personally would continue to feed you dog the w/d as you are. Just get a big poop bucket… Ty pooed four to five times a day! Good luck!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Darlene:
    Check out this Facebook group. They will probably be able to help you find some alternatives within your budget for you and your dog.

  • Jill

    Can anyone recommend a high carb low protein dog food. My dog may have liver disease.

  • USA Dog Treats

    “I can personally assure you, you are indeed taking “quite a leap of faith” to presume you know as much as those you berate on this website.”

    I presume nothing and take no “leap of faith” at all when it comes to my knowledge of type 1 diabetes in dogs as well as humans.

  • eileen

    ” Oddly your post seemed to change right before my very eyes tonight as I somehow missed your comment about glargine in dogs.”….ha! the same thing happening to me, replying to one post yet to have it change so that my reply makes no sense. 😉

  • eileen

    I use Lantus with my diabetic cats, the last vial purchased 2 months ago, $240…..that is not a cost that most diabetic pet parents can afford.
    If this was the only insulin choice given then just imagine the countless dogs that would be euthanized upon receiving the diabetes diagnoses.
    Then taking into account the fast acting insulin that would have to be purchased as well…another expensive insulin.

    Treating diabetes MUST be affordable, this is why Walmart’s ReliOn labeled Novolin N is such a popular insulin choice, VERY affordable at $25 a vial and with most diabetic dogs doing wonderfully with it’s use.

  • Your comment was deleted because it was rude, disrespectful and a direct violation of our community rules.

  • Your comment has been deleted because it was rude, disrespectful and a direct violation of our community rules.

  • It’s OK to make your point.

    However, the ongoing and discourteous nature of your hostility toward others who present differing opinions and references with respect and dignity toward you are a direct violation of our rules.

    I can personally assure you, you are indeed taking “quite a leap of faith” to presume you know as much as those you berate on this website.

    Kindly tone it down or cease posting.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Big Science has one master and that master is big money.

    The protocol I recommend would REDUCE the insulin intake of dogs because of the reduced carbohydrate intake and it would eat into the profits of Big Science as diabetic dogs used less insulin and needed less medical care.

    Some of us actually come up with new innovative ideas and some of us do nothing more than pull links off the internet and quote Big Science!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    I will continue to help diabetic dogs live longer healthier lives using the protocol I have been using for the last 13 years with resounding success.

    And I suspect you will keep doing what you do best which is quote OTHER peoples work!

  • aimee

    Since you are quoting Dr Peterson, a boarded veterinary internist who limits his
    practice to the treatment of endocrine diseases, I have to believe you trust his opinion otherwise why would you quote him.

    When the poster asked Dr Peterson if the protocol of Lantus/ Humalog that he instituted was a good one Dr. Peterson replied that it was “acceptable”. Note he said “acceptable” not “ideal” or “best” or “the only protocol you should use for ever and ever otherwise your dog will suffer”, he said “acceptable” and it is, I never said otherwise. But it isn’t the only way or even necessarily the best way to treat Diabetis in this species.

    You choose not to post what preceded that quote. Dr.Peterson said : “Although insulin glargine (Lantus) can be used to treat diabetic dogs
    (1-3), it doesn’t always work well as the sole insulin preparation, as
    you have discovered in your dog. Therefore, I don’t usually start with
    glargine in dogs, but I use either NPH (Humulin) or lente (Vetsulin) insulins, which give us a higher success rate (4,5).”

    So here you have a veterinarian, of your choosing, who has devoted his entire career to the treatment of endocrine diseases, and who I’m sure has treated and followed far more diabetic dogs than you ever have or ever will say “but I use either NPH (Humulin) or lente (Vetsulin) insulins, which give us a higher success rate (4,5).”


    And it is the same vet, the one who you choose who when asked
    “What is the Best Insulin for Treating Dogs with Diabetes Mellitus”? said “In my opinion, the insulin of choice for most dogs is Vetsulin (porcine insulin zinc suspension; Merck Animal Health) (3)”

    And it is the same vet, the one you chose, when asked “What’s the Best Diet to feed Dogs with Diabetes?” replied “There is not one type of diet that is recommended for all dogs with diabetes…….In diabetic dogs that are overweight or obese, I always recommend feeding
    a reduced calorie diet designed to help the dog lose weight. The high
    fiber diets (such as Hills w/d) are good for this purpose (1-4). So
    feeding Minnie the w/d when she was grossly obese was a very good idea.”


    What unbridled hubris for you to think you know more about the treatment of Diabetes in dogs than Dr. Peterson, or Dr Greco, or Dr. Feldman or Dr. Rand, or Dr. Hoffman, or Dr. Fleeman or Dr. Nelson etc etc etc… veterinarians whose names you should recognize if you are familiar with the treatment of diabetes in animals. They are all very well respected in the field and none of them, not a single one, recommends to use “your protocol” as the first line or only treatment of this disease.

    By all means continue to educate people on diabetes management in people, if that is where your strength lies, and leave the treatment of diabetes in dogs to the veterinarians who understand what is best in that species.

  • aimee


    Yes I did leave out the qualifier “almost” …..I think it is kind of a mute point though when absorption is erratic : )

    If you have known all along that “Glargine administration results in an unpredictable serum concentration
    response and in some dogs fails to produce a significant glucose-
    lowering effect” ( Stenner et al 2004) and others report the same thing “unpredictible serum levels in dogs” ( Hoffman, 2010) tell me: ” Why are you recommending it as a first line insulin to use in the dog? Honestly I just do not and never will get that. Especially since it is several hundred bucks a bottle!!

    In regards to the DCCT trial I understand VERY well the importance of tight glucose control in people, that was never an issue.

    Additionally, I agree with the DDCT that such intensvie control is not without risks and should be restricted to those that can actively participate in their own care. Since dogs, like young children can not participate in their care, nor do dogs suffer the same long term complications that people do, such tight control has all the risks and minimal benefit in this species.

    This is why none of the top veterinary endocrinologists I know of use a protocol such as you recommend as a first line treatment in the dog.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    Actually, I never said Lantus was peakless, and I am sorry to say you haven’t made me aware of anything regarding diabetes and DOGS that I didn’t already know!

    You ever so slightly twisted my words when you claim that I thought Lantus was “peakless”. What I actually said was:

    “A long acting almost peakless insulin such as Lantus or Levemir”

    “Lantus is about as peakless as an insulin can be.”

    Abd regarding the DCCT trial, you are right. they never mention any diet recommendation. What THEY did was let you know the benefits of tight glucose control. What Idid was let you know how to achieve the aforementioned tight glucose control!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    And this is what Doctor Peterson says in 2014 about using Glargine (Lantus) combined with a short acting insulin (Humalog) which is what I recommend:

    “Your approach to combining a long-acting insulin analog (glargine; Lantus) with a rapid-acting analog (lispro; Humalog) is certainly an acceptable one. Insulin lispro has been proven to be effective in dogs (6) and combing Lantus with Humalog has been recommended as an option by some investigators (1). If you use Lantus and Humalog yourself, this may be a good option for you. The rapid-acting Hunalog insulin will lower the blood sugar rise that occurs after meals, whereas the longer-acting Lantus will act as a background insulin to maintain glucose levels between meals.

    Sound familiar? The bolded text is pretty much what I have been saying, word for word.

    Why are you so hung up on proving me wrong anyway? This is not just a lively internet debate with aimee to me. For me this is about a dog with diabetes living the best possible life with what can be a very debilitating disease.

    I try to share with you the knowledge I have gained over 3 decades of studying diabetes, working with both humans and dogs, and you try your best to find some quote, any quote that may contradict any part of what I am saying.

  • aimee


    I haven’t provided any links to support my viewpoint which is that there is more than one way to achieve good glycemic control in dogs.

    I provided information on lantus insulin use as you weren’t aware that the insulin isn’t peakless in dogs and cats vs humans.

    I did take a look at the Diabetes Control and Complications trial but I didn’t see any type of diet recommendation. I did see that they don’t recommend intensive tight glucose control in those that can’t actively participate in their own care.

  • aimee

    Hi USA,

    Oddly your post seemed to change right before my very eyes tonight as I somehow missed your comment about glargine in dogs.

    Yes, I’m very aware that the same authors in 2003 said that “Glargine has the potential…. ” and then they investigated that “potential” and in 2004 reported ” Glargine administration results in an unpredictable serum concentration
    response and in some dogs fails to produce a significant glucose-
    lowering effect”

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    We have now come to the point of trying to find links that support our different viewpoints. That’s a game that no one ever “wins”.

    I have worked with 75 dogs or so over the last 13 years and the 25 that followed the low carb, 2 insulin regimen I recommend enjoyed an average of 75% less complications and 2.5 years of longer healthier life.

    I have also studied type 1 diabetes in people for the last 30 years, I have been a diabetes counselor in a clinical setting and for me Diabetes is a life or death situation.

    I see know further point in discussing diabetes with you and will offer you the same suggestion I offered you a long time ago:

    If YOU would like to better understand type 1 diabetes and how to control it please READ THE BOOK by Richard K Bernstein MD entitled “Diabetes Solution”

    Or if you would like to just read DATA then take a look at the results of “The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial” which now has 30 YEARS of data that shows the benefits of the type of diabetes control I recommend.

  • aimee

    I said ” I’ve used Lantus in my cat and it had to be given every 12 hours, it was not peakless…”

    and you replied to me “Lantus is about as peakless as an insulin can be…..
    What you are describing is a 12 hour DURATION, which has nothing to do
    with it having a peak or not.”

    Were you not saying that what I observed in my cat wasn’t a peak but instead related to duration?

    I was addressing that comment by providing you with information.

    In regards to Lantus being peakless in the dog : “In human patients, glargine is generally considered to be a peakless
    insulin (1). However, in the dogs of this study, a clear glucose nadir
    was identified in almost all of the blood glucose curves, indicating
    that the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of insulin glargine are
    not the same in dogs as they are in human beings.”

    Use of Insulin Glargine in Dogs with Diabetes Mellitus
    F. Fracassi, F.S. Boretti, N.S. Sieber-Ruckstuhl, and C.E. Reusch

    Additionally, in regards to Lantus in dogs: “Glargine administration results in an unpredictable serum concentration response and in some dogs fails to produce a significant glucose- lowering effect”

    Comparison of the Pharmacodynamics and Pharmocokinetics of Subcutaneous Glargine, Protamine Zinc and Lente Insulin Preparations in Healthy Dogs

    It may work for some but based on that information if I had a diabetic dog it certainly would not be the insulin I would be reaching for.

  • eileen

    Thanks, tho 10.5 years into it I’m past the point of needing luck! 😉

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi eileen,

    Your very welcome!

  • eileen

    In my years of experience and with being very actively involved with many canine support groups I have rarely seen a diabetic dog whose life has been cut short as a direct result of their diabetes.
    Not all dogs are capable of finding that ‘perfect’ glucose control and which DO live long and happy lives as being diabetic.

    ” A dog whose diabetes is WELL controlled does not have mysterious “unforeseen situations” where their blood sugar drops low.”

    A dog that is well controlled can most certainly have unforeseen situations where stress or excitement can lower or increase their glucose levels.
    We can not control the effects that barking at the mailman will have, chasing that squirrel or the birds flying overhead.
    Not to mention the impact that exercise will have on their sugar levels…all reasons to run the dog in a range that is safe for these unexpected drops.

    Thank you for your feedback,
    My diabetic pets have done well with my chosen way to treat their diabetes.

  • aimee

    Whoa there.. “If I understood…” you are taking quite the leap there to presume you know what I know.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    Thank you for pointing that out about “CATS”. What that has to do with my recommendations for controlling diabetes in dogs I fail to see!

  • aimee

    “Glargine is marketed as “peakless” insulin and is given once daily in humans….. Apparently, unlike humans, in cats there are definite peaks of insulin activity comparable to other insulin types.

    I noted this in my diabetic cat

    Comparison of the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Glargine, Protamine Zinc, and Porcine Lente Insulins in Normal Cats. – RD Marshall, et al. U Queensland, Australia

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee

    “I’m understanding it as you saying you’ve never owned a diabetic dog or cat.”

    At least you are understanding THAT correctly!

    “Certainly well controlled DM will have fewer complications and longer life than a poorly controlled/uncontrolled diabetic. There is more than one way to achieve that goal.”

    There is really only ONE way to achieve the kind of diabetes control that I am advocating and I have outlined it below in my post to eileen.

    “And as you said if vetsulin and WD achieve that goal then there is no need to change.”

    If you understood the mechanics of Vetsulin with it’s it’s 2 peaks per injection, one peak being higher than the other. of if you understood the mechanics of diabetes and the need for a low carbohydrate diet in treating it, then you would understand that using Vetsulin and feeding W/D never achieves the goal of controlling diabetes the way it could be controlled!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi eileen,

    “I am not in favor of your choice of words as suggesting I am, ‘fearful’ or ‘afraid’. I’ve dealt with diabetes in 5 pets for over 10.5 years now, diabetes, altho a horrible disease, does not evoke fear in me.”

    I said you are “fearful” or “afraid” of having a dog with their diabetes well controlled, not that you are fearful of Diabetes, the disease.

    “I believe a dog should be run at a level that can safely allow it to face those unforeseen situations where it will drop lower and still be safe from facing hypoglycemia.”

    A dog whose diabetes is WELL controlled does not have mysterious “unforeseen situations” where their blood sugar drops low.

    A dog who is eating A LOT of carbohydrates has wide blood sugar swings because of the inability of injected insulin to match the curve of large amounts of carbohydrates.

    If you were to feed the LOW carbohydrate diet I recommend and use the insulin regimen I recommend you could ELIMINATE those wide blood sugar swings and control your dog’s diabetes better!

    “I am an avid blood tester… I do not believe in looking at ‘averages’ but rather daily trends.”

    In a dog with well controlled diabetes there are NO “daily trends” in blood sugars! YOU control the food and the insulin so if you fed less carbs and used a short acting insulin for meals and Levemir or Lantus for basal control you could leave your dog alone for the day with a BG of 100 mg/dl and not be “fearful”

    In conclusion, I believe that the day to day fluctuations in blood sugar along with the complications like blindness and early death that diabetic dogs experience could all me MINIMIZED if one were to follow these steps:

    1) Feed your dog a diet that is no more than 15% Carbohydrates.

    2) Use a short acting insulin such as Humalog given immediately before or after a meal and either Levemir or Lantus twice a day to cover the glucose the body make on it’s own.

    3) Test blood sugar at home so you can make any adjustments necessary for a new diet or for those days when your dog may be sick or have an infection which would RAISE your dog’s blood sugar instead of lowering it.

  • aimee

    I’m understanding it as you saying you’ve never owned a diabetic dog or cat.

    Certainly well controlled DM will have fewer complications and longer life than a poorly controlled/uncontrolled diabetic. There is more than one way to achieve that goal.

    And as you said if vetsulin and WD achieve that goal then there is no need to change.

  • eileen

    I am not in favor of your choice of words as suggesting I am, ‘fearful’ or ‘afraid’.
    I believe a dog should be run at a level that can safely allow it to face those unforeseen situations where it will drop lower and still be safe from facing hypoglycemia. This especially true of those dogs that spend the day alone with their owners away at work.
    I see no reason to run a dog at a low level where it is teetering on the edge without that wiggle room for safety.

    I am an avid blood tester and have never gone a day where I have not tested every fasting, both in the a/m as well as in the p/m, this as well as at least 2-4 if not more times a day….every day.
    I do not believe in looking at ‘averages’ but rather daily trends.

    I used NPH insulin as well as Humalog.
    My girl was diabetic for 7 1/2 years and well controlled.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi eileen,

    Your comment has me wondering why you are so afraid of having a dog with their diabetes well controlled. Rather than trying to figure this out without any data from you I would like to ask you a few questions.

    1) What do you feed your dog and how many times a day do you feed?

    2) What is you insulin regimen, which insulin’s, what amounts and how many times a day?

    3) What is your dog’s 2 or 3 month blood glucose average, how often do you test your dog’s blood glucose and at what times of day do you test?

    Once I have the answers I might better understand why you are so fearful of having a dog with diabetes whose blood sugar is between 100 and 140 mg/dl, and therefore pretty well managed.

  • eileen

    ” If a dog’s average blood glucose over 2 to 3 months is 140 mg/dl or less
    without any episodes of hypoglycemia I recommend they keep doing
    exactly what they are doing.”

    I actually think this level is not realistic or safe for many, especially those who must go off to work and leave their dogs alone. I would NEVER walk out the door and leave my dog alone at a level hovering around 100.

  • eileen

    I actually dislike Vetsulin with a passion and much prefer to see newly dx dogs started with NPH insulin. That given adequate time and with careful monitoring and only then if it shows not to work well to then switch to a different insulin choice.
    With our diabetic cats being type 2 and with the way they process insulin differently than that of a type 1 diabetic dog their choice in insulin being different.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi aimee,

    “How many dogs have you treated with that protocol?

    About 25 dogs I know have used that insulin protocol and they lived an average of 2 to 3 years longer and suffered less complications than the 50 or so dogs I know who used a one insulin protocol.

    “If the dog is fed twice a day are you recommending 4 insulin injections a day?”

    Yes, and those extra 2 insulin injections a day are a small price to pay for 2 to 3 extra years of quality life. Insulin injections when done correctly are virtually painless. I take 5 insulin injections a day.

    “I’ve used Lantus in my cat and it had to be given every 12 hours, it was not peakless, it was pricey, but so worth it as she is in remission”

    Lantus is about as peakless as an insulin can be. That means it (the Lantus) stays at a steady level in your body for as long as it lasts. What you are describing is a 12 hour DURATION, which has nothing to do with it having a peak or not.

    “What do you recommend if people cant afford Lantus or Levemir along with a short acting insulin?”

    I recommend they use whatever insulin regimen that is within their budget.

    “If a dog is well controlled with Vetsulin why change?”

    If a dog’s average blood glucose over 2 to 3 months is 140 mg/dl or less without any episodes of hypoglycemia I recommend they keep doing exactly what they are doing.

    “Dr. Jacqui Rand, an expert in canine/feline DM, as recent as 2009 recommend Vetsulin as first choice insulin for dogs and moving to Levemir if duration was inadequate. Lantus wasn’t on the rec list for dogs though it was first choice for cats. Has that now changed?”

    No it hasn’t and I consider the recommendation of a one insulin regimen a problem the same way I consider it a problem when a dog with diabetes receives a recommendation for a prescription food that is over 50% carbohydrates and less than 18% protein.

    In both instances I believe the Vet’s recommendations are WRONG and detrimental to the health and well being of the dog!

  • aimee

    How many dogs have you treated with that protocol? If the dog is fed twice a day are you recommending 4 insulin injections a day?

    I’ve used Lantus in my cat and it had to be given every 12 hours, it was not peakless, it was pricey, but so worth it as she is in remission.

    What do you recommend if people cant afford Lantus or Levemir along with a short acting insulin?

    If a dog is well controlled with Vetsulin why change?

    Dr. Jacqui Rand, an expert in canine/feline DM, as recent as 2009 recommend Vetsulin as first choice insulin for dogs and moving to Levemir if duration was inadequate. Lantus wasn’t on the rec list for dogs though it was first choice for cats. Has that now changed?

  • eileen

    To clarify, I am not ‘recommending’ W/D, just stating that over the course of many years I have seen that some diabetic dogs do quite well with it.

    Thank you for your response, I think often owners hear, ‘carbohydrates’ and they forget, or do know know, that there is a difference between quick acting, and complex, the later being which our dogs using insulin do require.

    In a perfect world every diabetic dog owner would home blood test which then with using a long acting insulin such as Levemir to cover the basal needs along with a short acting insulin that dog could see ideal glucose levels.
    Unfortunately that is not the case and with most using intermediate ( NPH/Vetsulin ) it is back to working at finding that perfect balance of the right carbohydrate to work with the insulin.
    Also for owners not blood testing using a short acting insulin being too dangerous.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi eileen,

    You’re right, diabetic dogs do need a carb source if they are taking Vetsulin or any other intermediate acting insulins that have a peak (or 2)!

    That’s a little backwards don’t you think? Having to eat a high carbohydrate food like the one you recommend because the insulin you take forces you to.

    If a diabetic dog was instead treated with:

    1) A long acting almost peakless insulin such as Lantus or Levemir to cover the glucose his body makes independent of any food he eats.


    2) A short acting insulin such as Humulin R or Humalog to cover the carbohydrates from meals.

    That dog would NOT have to eat any carbohydrates AT ALL!

    You would give the Lantus or Levemir every day to cover the glucose produced by the body and you would give the Humulin R or Humalog immediately before or after each meal and only use the amount needed to cover the carbohydrates (or lack of carbohydrates) in the meal.

    You could miss a meal and not give ANY short acting insulin at all.
    Treating diabetes with only one type of insulin is 25 years behind the current standard of care in treating diabetes in humans and no dog should eat a food that is over 50% carbs, ESPECIALLY a dog with diabetes.

  • eileen

    Actually, our diabetic dogs DO need a carb source to work with the injected insulin, and for those using Vetsulin even more so. W/D has been found to work well for many. Those feeding grainfree have even found they need to add additional carbs to keep the dog from dropping. However I do agree that most any food will work and that the insulin can be tweaked to work with that diet. Consistency is the key.

  • theBCnut

    Any diet that is consistent will work wonderfully with insulin, but since dogs don’t need the carbs, a lower carb diet would be better and would require less insulin.

  • eileen

    *** Diabetic Dog Owners ~ For those with diabetic dogs that would like
    to join a friendly informed community of others who are experiencing the
    same please join us on facebook, ‘Canine Diabetes Support and
    Information’, the largest canine diabetes support system on fb. Many
    find that W/D tends to work wonderfully with insulin for their diabetic

  • Tammy Juliette

    Hi Barb C.
    Are all of these dry/wet foods good for diabetic dogs to have? I had just started buying Merrick and they said absolutely nothing but Science Diet are something equivalent.

  • Wendy

    My 8 year old dachshund ate a bar of butter and developed severe pancreatitis. Symptoms were excessive thirst and vomiting. Tests showed liver full of yellow bile and both kidneys and liver “off the charts” Hospitalised on a drip for three days and came home still not one hundred percent and with a supply of W/D canned food. Vet said may need as much as two cans per day to relieve hunger. The recovery has been remarkable and she is now back to normal after less than two days at home.. It’s hard now leaving her out of what the other dogs get but her Vet is a very sensible, intelligent man and I am sticking with his advice. Hopefully, in time I can slip her the odd treat but I’m staying with W/D until advised otherwise.

  • Linda

    Thank you, I had her checked and they said it was fine.. I basically quit the thyroid give her 1/2 every day.. Her panting has stopped, and her eating is pretty much back to normal, she has lost 10lbs, and she seems to feel a lot better… Thank you for your concern, I do live my animals, and would do anything to make them feel better.

  • Casey Thomas

    My dog just went through something very similar-well basically identical symptoms. I got her checked out and she has diabetes. I would ask your vet to run her glucose levels because that’s what it sounds like. I started insulin injections this past weekend and my dog is still having a hard time eating anything but the canned w/d food. But the panting, increased thirst, and even muscle weakness are all signs of diabetes. Hope your pooch feels better soon!

  • Linda

    My 8 year old Austrailian Shepherd is overweight, one day she went with me in my jeep back to the barn, when we got back home I was getting my great grandaughter out and she ( my dog) she jumped
    Down from the back seat, nothing unusual for her….the next day I noticed her limping, I felt all over her foot, leg and back, no flinch, nor and discomfort from her eyes, so I gave her 4. Baby asprins. A week went by no improvement, I called the vet, got a same day appointment….he did X-rays (showed nothing cept arthritis), did blood tests, said her thyroid is is “slightly” out of range, may be the weight problem….so he gave her Rimadal 100 mg, 1/2 in morning, 1/2 at night, had to be off baby asprins for 5 days), Thyrokare 5 mg 1 morn and 1 night, Phycox for hip problems and Tramadol 50 mg. Oh yea, and Science Diet WD… I was reluctant on the Science Diet, but he told me it would fill her up faster but would slow the weight, according to the bag I was suppose to give her 3 1/2 cups! Sure didnt seem right, but I tried it, she wouldn’t touch it, I even mixed the “regular “kind I get Taste of The Wild, she ate around it…another thing I noticed she started panting very heavily and started drinking a lot of water….and wouldn’t eat, at all I even tried to coax her with meat..nope.. So I started eliminating what I thought might be the problem, I cut her Throkare to 1/2 pill a day, and sure enough she ate, but not the Science Diet….I wouldn’t have bothered me so much her not eating, but she wouldn’t eat anything, and she panted all the time and totally empties the water bowls I had for her.
    She is now running again very happy and she only eats 1 cup in the morning and 1 at night, of Taste of the Wild. All this to say…it cost me $588. For the vet visit and bad dog food, she is losing but I don’t think the Thyrokare is the reason

  • Anne Varney-Ossentjuk

    I hope this helps, but Nutrisca by Dogswell makes a great low glycemic food! Fixed the Diabetes in our cat! Good luck!

  • Celticwitch

    Ok here goes i have 2 dogs at 80 lbs each .One was just dx with diabeties and put on hills w/d ok thought i would trust the vet thinking this was a big mistake bowth dogs are looseing weight and are starveing and when i say starveing i mean pushing each other out of their bowls to get to food and begging all day . My husband says they look like homeless dogs who havent eaten in months their sides are sunk in and they just look horrible . Now that i dont trust the vet any more im going to reserch the foods and find one that is not killing my dogs .Since the diabeties dx i have cooked for them for dinner now im going to all diffrent vet blogs and im going to cook their breakfast for them to . this food that they want you to use is doing more harm to my boys than the diabeties dx .After becomeing a informed pet parent i cant believe the crap the big companies want you to believe that their food is the best for your pet have you read the bag if ingreedeance its not good .To all the other pet parents please do the reserch for your little ones and be informed the things i have learned will make you rethink what you feed your 4 legged children . Blessed Be !

  • Marcel Desrosiers

    Any license groomer would clean the dog gland and once a month put myself I would do it every two month .

  • Marcel Desrosiers

    My Vet put my Boston on it due to a operation and she stop drinking and all I clic and took her off the food very fast .Vet are there for money .Some of them should be charge with fraud it’s ridiculous how they care for money put not for the animals.So Hill no more find a food she eat and lost weight and drink now and look very good .She run and play and back too herself .

  • Sherry

    My two dogs that ate this food got sick. One died last night. The 3rd dog that would not touch this food is not sick. I am now sick to my stomach thinking the food I fed her killed her.

  • Sherry

    Hi Jany,
    My dog died last night after thousands of $$$ at the vet with no answer as to what was making her sick the past few months. As I wondered all day what started this nightmare, I realized … we changed her dog food in January. I’m now concerned that this w/d is what killed her. Cause of death is unknown. Were you able to prove this food killed your dogs?

  • Barb C.

    My yellow lab is 12 years old and has diabetes. I give him insulin twice a day and he is blind too. The vet put him on Science Diet and I think it was the worst dog food ever. When he was on Science Diet all he did was have constant bowl movements. I did some research and have had him on Merrick for the past two years and he is doing great. I feed him twice a day. In the morning, I give him one level cup of Merrick grain free buffalo and sweet potato dry and three heaping tablespoons of cottage. At night, I give him one level cup of the Merrick dry grain free buffalo one can of Merrick wet food. I use Cowboy Cookout, Buffalo Burger, Wilderness Blend, Grammy’s Pot Pie, Venison Stew or French Country Café. They are all good and it gives him some variety.

  • chatwitcat

    I experienced the same Rich. My 14 yo pom was diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago. She looked like crap while eating the w/d for a year. Her hair, skin, energy level, which i thought was due to the diabetes. Then I began to experiment with fixing her food and buying different low glycemic dog foods. She regained her hair and wasnt so hungry. (She was so hungry she was eating her poop on the w/d!) She has cushings now, so her glucose is not as well controlled as it was but we work with her. She loves costco chicken in her food, and I give her lean beef with dog food. Trying the Nutrisca now, she ate the salmon chick pea with beef broth that I pulverized in the nutri-bullet. I also bought an inexpensive food mixer(the ninja) so I could blend some greens like collards, kale and spinach in it. I have to make sure the meat is pulverized in really well so she doesn’t pick and only eat the meat. Weve had some near misses with her health . I think cleaning her teeth and pulling a few helped her glucose levels too. The stress on her body was producing glucose high levels.
    She liked Merrick canned and blue buffalo. I mix that with fiber dog food.
    Any way the w/d straight was not a good thing for her. With other healthy ingredientsi added, that made it better, but I don’t buy it anymore.

  • chatwitcat

    I experienced the same Rich. My 14 yo pom was diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago. She looked like crap while eating the w/d for a year. Her hair, skin, energy level, which i thought was due to the diabetes. Then I began to experiment with fixing her food and buying different low glycemic dog foods. She regained her hair and wasnt so hungry. (She was so hungry she was eating her poop on the w/d!) She has cushings now, so her glucose is not as well controlled as it was but we work with her. She loves costco chicken in her food, and I give her lean beef with dog food. Trying the Nutrisca now, she ate the salmon chick pea with beef broth that I pulverized in the nutri-bullet. I also bought an inexpensive food mixer(the ninja) so I could blend some greens like collards, kale and spinach in it. I have to make sure the meat is pulverized in really well so she doesn’t pick and only eat the meat. Weve had some near misses with her health . I think cleaning her teeth and pulling a few helped her glucose levels too. The stress on her body was producing glucose high levels.
    She liked Merrick canned and blue buffalo. I mix that with fiber dog food.
    Any way the w/d straight was not a good thing for her. With other healthy ingredientsi added, that made it better, but I don’t buy it anymore.

  • Phil Bailey

    My Corgi was just diagnosed with Diabetes. He get insulin 2 times a day and was put on W/D. He has been eating it for about 3 weeks. We are going to the vet tomorrow because he now has sores on his mouth and constantly licks his paws. They are now red and inflamed. I am blaming the food. He was on Hills Science Diet low fat from Pets Mart for almost 10 years with no food allergies. I’m now thinking of going back to his low fat non prescription diet. Just not sure how it will continue to effect his sugar level. Kinda of freaks me out reading these posts.

  • LolaPops

    I am having a hard time finding the right food for my diabetic dog. There seems to be two conflicting schools of thought on diabetic dogs. He has done well on WD but yes, he is also always hungry. I am now questioning the WD since corn is in there and corn=sugar. I test his blood sugars three times a day and he takes same insulin as I do for my diabetes. I read all this “call of the wild” and “blue” but I think it may be too much for a diabetic dog. Please help! Thanks!

  • LolaPops

    My dog is 11 and diabetic. He has been eating WD for 5 years! Now I am worried! I check his sugars and this food does keep in check but need more info..>Can you please email me [email protected]

  • dogloversunite

    Don’t feed your dog this food, the vet will tell you its the best, but ask a dog food nutritionalist, there not getting a kick back for selling hills! This stuff is the worst. Its made to make your pet sick more often and so you visit the vet more. I would recommend either Taste of the wild salmon formula grain free or Evangers pheasant. Yeah its expensive ,but I have a Rotty that’s 12 years old and is going strong! She eats great food takes supplements from GNC and Other high end joint formula s like I said is 12 and going strong!. Good luck all

  • Maureen Bryant Dinverno

    Rocky, I also have a four year old boxer/lab..who had problem with her stools always being liquidy and sometimes had blood in them..W/D seems to work good for her but I mix two dog foods together to make sure she is getting the right nutrition internally and with her coat…so I mix a bag of Call of the Wild…bison with her w/d brand and it seems to work out really well. I feed her three cups a day and she is always satisfied..many mornings she does not eat her first, 1 cup bowl until after she has had her walk…her coat is really shinny.

  • aimee

    The protein level appears so low because it is for the canned version. This is equivalent to about 18% on a dry matter basis.

    Hope your dog does well.

  • MurrayDavid

    W/D is a PRESCRIPTION diet. Our dog licks the bowl constantly like we have not fed him enough. I am doing research NOW as our dog had pancreatitis just before going onto Hills W/D and now has a huge mass on his hip being removed by the vet (RIGHT NOW) but his albumin level is low. I note that Hills W/D is only 4% protein and wonder if this is the cause of the low albumin level. They are going to check his urine for protein excretion before surgery and we are waiting now to see what the result of that test is. His albumin was fine 6 months ago when tested, and he was on W/D at that time.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s not hard to learn to do correctly. I have always done the dirty deed when I bathe the dogs.

  • pom mom

    aw geez – I meant never express the glands myself – have a pro do it – a lot can go wrong if you don’t do it correctly. Good luck.

  • pom mom

    Also – I would never express the anal glands on a toy breed. They are too tiny.

  • pom mom

    I have the anal glands on my miniature pomeranian expressed every 4 o 6 weeks by gentle and efficient vet technicians as a preventative measure. Hope you find a solution.

  • Ruby’s Mom

    I just expierenced the same jssue with my 8 year old Boxer and I too am looking for another food besides w/d. Just like you she is doing well on it but always hungry too and I do not like the ingrediants of corn and soy, not even organic. I have not found a dog food yet that is as low in fat yet. I can cook for her, but need kibbles for when we travel.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The gland has a natural opening that sometimes gets blocked. When it fills too much it puts too much pressure on the tissue aroung the gland causing a soft spot in the tissue which eventually ruptures. If you can empty the gland before it gets to that point, then you shouldn’t have anymore ruptures, but your dog may have structural damage to the natural opening. The reason certain foods help is because they cause the stool to be the right firmness to naturally express the anal glands, so either the stool has changed or the damage to the gland has caused it to not be able to be expressed the same anymore.
    It is definitely painful for a dog to go through this.

  • Terry Robert

    Hi Patty, when you do it, does the gland break externally? This what’s happening on their own. I’m sure she goes thru pain when it does. I make her wear a cone until she is fully healed otherwise she aggravates it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would have the vet teach me how to express her anal glands and do it regularly while giving a bath. That’s what I do with my dog that needs help with anal gland issues.

  • Terry Robert

    I have a 5 year old toy fox terrier that has issues with her annal glands, WD seems to be the only food she is able to eat with out them exploding until recently. She has had this since birth and when ever I tried a different brand of food, within 3 months she would have an issue. Lately even WD OR it’s her treats that are the culprit. I only give her plain dog biscuits. I would love to take her off WD but I also don’t want her to be in the pain that comes along with her gland bursting, what would you do???? Thank you in advance for all and any comments!

  • Jany

    Thanks Rocky, it definitely changed my world and now I not only pay attention to what my dog eats but also eat better myself. I just wish I would have known sooner. Had many dogs over the years and they are my children! Lost all the others to old age. Also be careful of dog treats, look for organic with only a few ingredients. Hope your dog gets better soon 🙂

  • Rocky

    First, so sorry for your experiences, I’ve never lost a dog before she has become no less than our 3rd child, she’s our world later in our life after our kids are grown and gone. Thanks for great info.take care

  • neezerfan

    Please review Dr. Jean Dodds vaccine protocol before vaccinating a dog of that age again. http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/66693331640/dodds-dog-vaccination-protocol-2013-2014#.Uqf0aSjFXUQ

  • Jany

    Do WHATEVER you can to get your dog OFF of W/D….I lost two dogs within 8 months of eating this food because it was “the best” according to my vet. I wish I had questioned and researched but I always blindly trusted my vet. No more!!
    My current Aussie eats Taste of the Wild (Blue was WAY to rich and caused him diarrhea) I cook for him and supplement with the dog food. Lots of ground chicken and turkey, sweet potatoes and veggies. Fruitables makes a really great digestive supplement with sweet potato. It helps a lot. Try Taste of the Wild Salmon formula and best of luck. I would highly recommend that you google the ingredients on the bag of W/D……that was all I needed….totally shocked! Your vet will say the opposite but remember this….Hills funds substantially to vet schools and scholarships. They basically buy their loyalty and your vet makes a tidy profit for selling their food. In exchange your pet gets sicker and sicker…..vet makes more $$$$$
    Both my dogs spleens burst within 2 weeks of each other. Trust me, this got my attention and I spread the word in their memory, taken too soon so Hills and my vet can bank more $$$ so sad.
    The ultimate challenge is for you to feel comfortable eating the same thing your feed your dog, it’s really that simple 🙂
    So many good organic human grade food to chose from. The Dog Food Advisor
    has a great list…..Best of luck and you are lucky you found this website before the worst happened to your dog.

  • Rocky

    I have a 3-year old Boxer, having some troubles with bowels, blood tests revealed Pancreatis and immediately the vet put her on W/D. Her stools never had any form to them and very mud-like. After 2 weeks of eating W/D our dog’s poop finally have good form and her blood tests levels for pancreatis dropped down into the normal range. We have been feeding her this because of it’s low fat content and she continues to thrive and her pancreatis has subsided. My only concern is she is always hungry, this food doesn’t seem to satisfy her. From the time she was born til this episode we only feed her the best, Blue Buffalo Puppy then Blue Adult based on the ingredients and I did notice immediately W/D’s first ingredient was corn (which was disturbing). We tried to go back to Blue and immediately her poop went back to mud-like and sometimes diarrhea. It seems it’s just too pure for her. I’m confused with all of this info on W/D, there seems to be alot on both sides, some like mine that really helped our situation but now stuck not knowing what to feed her, please help

  • blue iis

    My 14 yr old yorkie was put on WD 2yrs ago, and he suddenly lost his hearing (I figured it was his age), I’ve had problems with him eating but would grind up WD kibble, mix with the can food, sometimes he’ll eat it, sometimes I have to sprinkle 3 or 4 shreds of cheese on it. Last week he wouldn’t eat it at all, so I purchased Nature’s recipe …kibble and canned. He loves it, and amazingly he can hear me call him if he’s within 20 ft of be where before I would have to touch him to get his attention, even it he was next to me. I’ve wondered if maybe he had a reaction that caused his ear canals to swell. The last time he was at the vet for his shots in June the vet said his ears were clean and dry.

  • somebodysme

    I’ll just ask, is there anything besides her food that she consumes? Even if you think it should OK? A chew toy, a rawhide, a bone, antler ANYTHING? Even a vitamin or supplement or oil that you are giving thinking that it is a benefit to her? If so…stop giving it and see if that helps. I’d been allowing my dog to chew antlers thinking they were perfectly great but come to find out she’s allergic to them. Everyone is saying how great bully sticks are, does she get those? Take them away! She should consume absolutely nothing but the food.

  • Debra Peter

    The vet is still not convinced it is the food causing the problem. She has lost 6 pounds now. She is eating now with the allergy pills but what is causing the allergetic reaction? She shouldn’t have to live off allergy pills.

  • somebodysme

    Poor little dog! Is there a different Rx your vet could give you a prescription for that you could order or get somewhere else. Maybe IAMS or Royal Canin?

  • Debra Peter

    My dog has been on the hills prescription WD diet for a few years now with great success but now the last two bags something is not right. My dog has gotten extremely sick and has been back and forth to the vet. She has thrown up, had bloody diarria, lost weight, lathargic, and now won’t even eat. The vet said she is having a severe allergetic reaction to something. I think it is in the food. My other dogs won’t even eat her food. I wonder if hills used the bad corn from Iowa or Indiana that had the nitro in it that didn’t grow last year. Something has changed. Is anyone else having issues? I asked that the food be tested but was informed that it was not because it is always tested before being sent out.


    My 15 yr. old Dacshound has been on this dry food for over 10 years .. recently we added some of the canned version .. now I am wondering if I should switch to Royal Canin version ..

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Paula –

    Most vets receive minimal education when it comes to nutrition and the education they do receive is usually funded my Hill’s (which is why Hill’s is the most frequently recommended brand of dog food by veterinarians). The pet food industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and these big corporations – Colgate Palmolive (Hill’s), Nestle (Purina), Proctor & Gamble (Iams/Eukanuba), Mars (Royal Canin) – are very interested in keeping their portion of the pie so they make sure to get involved from the get go – during the educational process – so many vets (who can’t think for themselves) are biased from the start. Your breeder knows what she’s talking about – a raw diet is what nature intended. Check out these articles written by Karen Becker DVM – a vet that is very educated in species-appropriate nutrition:

    Raw Food Diet

    If Your Vet Suddenly Warns You Against Raw Food, Here’s Why

    With that said, Miniature Schnauzers are pre-disposed to pancreatitis and should be fed a diet lower in fat. Raw diets tend to be fairly high in fat (as opposed to dry food) so you need to take special care to feed extra lean meats. What exactly are you feeding – are you using a commercially prepared raw food, a premix or making food from scratch? If you’re feeding commercially prepared there are many low fat options, if using a pre-mix I would suggest adding only extra lean meats (gizzards, hearts, 95% or greater lean ground beef, turkey, etc.) and if feeding homemade you’ll need to use only lean muscle meats (such as those previously mentioned) and be sure to remove all skin from any RMBs you feed (avoid marrow bones). You may add a small amount of coconut oil to meals – coconut oil is comprised of Medium Chain Triglycerides which don’t require pancreatic enzymes to digest and thus typically doesn’t irritate pancreatitis-prone dogs when fed in small quantities. I would also recommend putting your dog on an enzyme supplement (be sure it contains lipase) to alleviate some of the stress on the pancreas.

  • PaulaL

    My 6 y/o Mini-Schnauzer has always had a sensitive tummy. We realise that now it has probably been pancreatitis all along. We were feeding him BARF (raw food diet) twice daily, with dried beef tendons (fat scraped off) about 5 days a week for his teeth. Then he had an epilepsy-like seizure. Anyhow, after 3 different blood tests, and 4 different vets, the diagnosis looks like it is pancreatitis. So the vet has recommended putting him on Hills W/D. So I bought it, but need to soak it in warm water to soften it firstly and only give him half what is recommended, making up the remainder of his meal with cooked lean chicken or raw beef. The vets are against BARF and the breeder is against dry food diets. I am inclined to side with the breeder, as we fully trust her, ergo the halfway diet at the moment. He has further blood tests at the end of this month. Is there anyone else out there with a similar issue? How did you do?

  • InkedMarie

    Wow, what a great update!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m glad you have found something that is working so well for your girl!

  • Rich

    Well- I don’t want to make it seem like a miracle answer, but It has been almost 3 weeks since I took my diabetic dog off of Science Diet W/D and placed her on Nutricia. I also started giving her a daily multivitamin. To make things easier I placed both of my dogs on the same food. Within a few days, I noticed my dog start to change. Her nose which was dry became cold & wet again. She also got in a running streak around the living room, which she hasn’t done for about a year. Within a week, her coat began to shine more. In a week and a half, I noticed her skin wasn’t as thin and had more tone. Her back legs were no longer shaking and she didn’t appear weak. Now – her coat continues to look good, and I see little hairs coming in throughout her bald spots. Her blood sugar has been amazing – it’s the most stable I have seen it since she was diagnosed in October. There is still the possibility she may have Cushing’s, but things seem to be improving. I am so glad I took her off the Science Diet W/D.

  • Unfortunately Beneful Healthy Weight is still chock full of corn, wheat, rice and sugar. It really hardly has any meat or quality fat as the calorie count is only 306 calories per cup. A big company like Purina can put a good spin on anything and fool alot of people. I used to feed this “food” too. Now I put my fat fosters on non-diet, non-weight management foods like 5 star canned food and some raw food or a high protein kibble for weight loss. One lost 10 lbs in 4 months. There are a few good weight management foods now like Amicus Senior/Weight Mgmt, EVO Weight Mgmt, Core Reduced Fat and Blue Buffalo Weight Mgmt.

  • Rich

    Thanks Sandy and Betsy – I will check out these foods. I had her on the W/D before she was diagnosed and just working on weight. I didn’t like it then. She was losing on Purina Beneful Healthy Weight and had a good coat and lots of energy on it.

  • Have you read the ingredients of W/D? They’re horrible. There are some folks out there that have had good results with feeding Nutrisca kibble or using a raw diet as the raw diet can be made to have very low carbs. Another low glycemic food is Amicus kibble and it’s made for toy breeds too. You can also find low carb canned foods (5 stars). There’s a topic in the forum area about diabetes also with some suggestions.


    BTW, what were you feeding while working on the weight loss? Low fat? Low carbs? High carbs?

  • Rich

    When I adopted my Min Pin, she was very overweight. We worked on weight loss, but she was diagnosed with diabetes in November last year. My vet placed her on the Science Diet W/D. She lost weight fast on this, but she is always hungry. When I feed her she eats like she will never get food again. Her blood sugar is doing well with her injections. Her coat is dull, skin is thinning, she seems to have muscle weakness especially when going up stairs, and her hair is falling out on the top of her head, nose, and parts of her legs. I’ve told my vet a few times about this and voiced my concern that I thought it was the W/D. He insists that it is not the food. I had her in a few weeks ago and he wanted to test her for Cushings. The test came up negative. I said again that I thought it was the food because she just hasn’t been the same since putting her on the W/D. He thought it was her thyroid. The thyroid test came up normal today, and I told him that I am taking her off the W/D period. He said he could get me some Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low-Fat. I’m not sure if I can trust this food either. I’m thinking about Nutrisca. Does anyone else have any ideas or similar problems? Maybe it isn’t the food but her problems started just a few weeks after I started feeding her the W/D.

  • symalie

    Consider the “Glycemic Research Institute” Pet Food Division, Corn and Rice are very high on the glycemic index

  • Shawna

    Colitis is a nightmare to figure out for sure!! My Pom is intolerant of chicken and gurgly tummy and colitis are the symptoms of her intolerance. As long as I don’t feed her chicken she has absolutely no symptoms.

    I raw feed so it was easier to isolate the ingredient that was causing the reaction. But even then it was a major pain.. My Gizmo would not be able to eat the food listed above because of the “chicken by-product meal” in it.

    Two additional ingredients in the above food are causes of colitis too. Per Vetinfo.com “Eliminate corn, soy and wheat from your dog’s diet and do not feed any spicy, fatty or processed human foods.

    Read more: 7 Common Causes of Colitis in Dogs – VetInfo” http://www.vetinfo.com/causes-colitis-dogs.html

    I’m thankful that I didn’t have to resort to a poor quality food with my Pom but I do understand why some may need to…

  • luvspringers

    So many bad comments, but … this is the only dog food that has helped with my cocker’s colitis. He’s a rescue and I was almost losing my mind working with the vet to come up with some diet he could tolerate. He still has occasional flare ups but it has litterally saved his life.

  • Hello Igor,
    If you go back and read many of the comments and the rating of the Dog Food Advisor I think you can pretty much see you should STOP USING this food right away and return the bag for your money back. Home cooked food does not make a dog over weight. Cut back on the amount and EXERCISE your dog. It sounds like you were feeding him a great home cooked meal and love him very much. My dogs were fine, 7 and 9 years old, until they ate W/D (because my vet insisted) and 8 months later BOTH dropped dead from tumors on their spleen (2 weeks apart)! I am not joking, this food is very toxic and all you have to do is google the ingredients and you will see the bag is FULL of toxins and gross roadkill. I hate to be so blunt but if you love your dog DO NOT FEED HIM THIS FOOD! I could go on for a long time with the research I did after my babies died but the bottom line is STOP FEEDING THIS FOOD or you will probably kill your dog.

  • I think it’s important that the calories you do feed are of a high quality, too. Getting a lot of calories from corn and by-product is far from ideal, as your dog isn’t getting as many nutrients from it. So sure… it may lose weight, but it’s going to be begging for more food while doing so.

    Like HDM said, find a 5 star food here and give it a try. You’ll find you don’t need to feed as much, your dog will be healthier, and you should get the weight loss you and your vet desire.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Igor1564 –

    There’s no reason an overweight dog needs a “weight loss” food. Just feed less of a high quality food. Weight loss is dependent on calories – as long as the dog is burning more calories than it’s eating it will lose weight. Any food can be fed for weight loss, portions just have to be adjusted accordingly. I personally would never feed a “low fat” or “weight loss” specific food to on overweight dog because most are too low in protein and contain a lot of fillers (carbs). I’d just feed less.

  • Igor1564

    I am new here and first of all I wanted to express my appreciation to all – the hosts of this site and who ever leaves comments.
    I just purchased a big bag of W/D following vet advise because my Chocolate Lab is about ..18lbs overweight.This is my fault.I started feeding him food I specially prepared for him:like beef and vegie stew,a little rice and meat, sweet potatos.Now my dog is overweight and I need to take care of his diet.No more homemade food for awhile.Usually besides the home made food I was feeding him Ovenbake-very good brand.
    I need advise-should I continiue with W/D Hills at least till my dog will loose some weight and then swithch back to higher quality food or should I stop it right away?

  • I agree with you. Hills foods jump way up in the rankings in my book for the willingness of their staff vets to work with you to solve dietary problems of your dogs, even if it means finding a food by another manufacturer! They helped my vet and me for years with my poor sheltie who had severe food sensitivities, and they finally said they felt she would do well on Royal Canin vegetarian, and she did. They helped us come up with a unique diet for my bladder stone prone corgi who got stomach upsets from their digestive formula, and she has been stone free for 4 years, a record! Corn just happens to be the grain currently on everybody’s bad list. Bottom line: Evaluate each diet based on your dog’s needs and the availability of help from the company if you need it.

  • We’ve used a few–Blue Buffalo, Wellness Core, and Castor and Pollux. Our dog hated the Blue Buffalo Wilderness, didn’t like the Wellness Core, but actually seems to really enjoy the mix of Castor and Pollux grain free plus the Kirkland grain free. Nice, compact, solid little poops, no runny, no barfy, skin beautiful. I think Wellness Core is a good food, our dog just didn’t like it so we had to keep shopping around 🙂

  • And for the question, “What would you do if your dog was runny or diabetic?” I’d bulk up his food for the runniness (probably start with canned pumpkin [not to be mistaken for pie filling]), and I’d put him on a good, low-glycemic food like Nutrisca for the glucose issues.

  • My Mom’s dog has been on Old Roy and Purina her whole life–she’s nearly 17 years old now. But those are crappy foods, no one can deny that. Just because a dog doesn’t die doesn’t mean his food is good. This is a nasty food, too–look at those ingredients! Corn as the first listed ingredient? Powdered cellulose? Chicken by-product? Gluten? As the first four ingredients? No WAY I’d put this in my dog–vets sell this because they make money doing so–it’s a crappy food. If my dog needed a “diabetic” food, I’d go for Nutrisca, hands down. It’s a high-quality food. This isn’t.

  • My cocker was also diagnosed with pancreatitis and put on W/D.  He got over his pancreatitis, but his stomach upset continued (throwing up and diarrhea on a regular basis).  Grain free canned food did the trick for mine.  It’s more expensive, but it’s easier to digest.  It also fills my boy up more so he isn’t constantly looking for food.  Hope your doggie is doing better.  Pancreatitis sucks…it’s horrible to see your baby in so much pain.  🙁

  • I finally put my cocker on CANNED FOOD ONLY.  Anything else upset his stomach.  Since he has been on the grain-free canned food, he has not thrown up one time, and no more diarrhea.  However, what is right for one dog may not necessarily be right for every dog.  🙂  Hope your little yorkie continues to get better.

  • My cocker spaniel was on this for 6 months.  He lost 4 pounds, but it didn’t help his digestive issues, and his skin is now a MESS.  Now I’m feeding him grain free canned food.  No more throwing up, no more burping up water, no more scrounging around 24/7 trying to find something…ANYTHING…to eat. 

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  • The biggest problem with the food is that it is Hill’s. Did you notice that their products are rated as 1 star dog foods? I know the vet’s try to shove it on us as “the” answer for everything, but the food is just junk. High carbs are the last thing a diabetic dog or person needs, High protein, low fat, low carbs are the way to get weight off a dog, with exercise. I’m sorry about your little dude =[

  • Kath

    Our schnauzer was a little overweight so we put him on hills wd. He had been on it over a year and became diabetic while on it. Now, 3 years later he is blind. He has been turning his head and spitting out the dry wd food lately and throwing up at least once a week. It is a new bag of food. We are wondering if there is so etching wrong with this bag. How can we get it tested?

  • Linda

    You can use Potassium Citrate Granules to help prevent the Oxalate stones, cranberry for struvite crystal stones.  Taste of the wild is fine for your other dogs, although made in a plant that sometimes has problems with cleanliness and recalls.  I would find a Lite dog food, like Precise Light for your dog with the stone.  Go to Precise’s website and use the store locator to find a place to buy it.  It is only carried in independent stores.

  • Sharon Ours

    If your dog is that thin as far as I am concerned that is too thin.  They have nothing left to protect them from any major illness.  If I had listened to what they told me in 2007 my Search and Rescue dog would have been long gone.  She is still here at 13.  I also have a cat that had to have a bladder stone removed and they advised the special food I declined and kept her on the natural food I sell and she is doing fine.  If you would like to know about it just call or email me.
    304 472 6006
    [email protected]@frontier:disqus ier.com

  • Guest

    My dog was put on this to prevent calcium oxalate stones, is there a safe natural alternative? MY other dogs eat Taste of The Wild, would that be a safe bet?

  • Red777321

     Hi – I was just told a month ago my dog has diabetes- the vet told me to put her on w/d which I did but I still mix the food I have been giving her for eight years with it- today is the first time I went to look at what is in this w/d food-I am not happy about what I read- the food I have always had her on seem to be just fine- I have always given my dog carrots and apples in small amounts- Her weight loss since starting this w/d food scares me alot- I have never went to pet my dog and feel her spine bone it’s not ok- not only that but the cost of this food is over the top- the insulin and needles already cost a ton- just happy I went out on this website to read others feed back- another thing I noticed when I open a can of the w/d there is fat that has floated to the top it’s gross I am done giving it to her!

  • BryanV21

    Not this again, please! 

    Dogs are NOT omivores. Dogs are facultative carnivores. Facultative carnivores get the majority of their nutrients from meat, but are known to eat non-animal/meat foods as well. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to feed your dog a vegetarian diet (unless needed due to an illness, of course), it means it’s not a bad thing that a dog is getting some carbohydrates.
    As for grains they are not needed. Why do you think so many dogs go to grain-free? Why don’t people feeding raw diets add corn to meals? You don’t have to think too hard to figure these things out.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    akp – Actually dogs don’t produce the necessary enzymes to digest carbohydrates, starches, and cellulose – they produce enzymes to digest proteins and fat because they’re carnivores. When dogs are treated as if they are omnivores and fed a diet high in plant matter their body adapts by forcing the pancreas to produce amylase to digest the plant material. It is very taxing on a the pancreas to produce these unnatural and unnecessary enzymes and detrimental to the dog’s long term health. Dogs should be fed mostly meat, organs, and bone with a small amount of “pre-digested” (pureed, cooked) vegetable matter (similar to the small amount of stomach contents they would eat in prey) – if a natural raw meat way of feeding is not possible they should be fed a kibble or canned food that closely mimics their natural diet (grain-free, high protein).

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi akp….

    Sorry but no dogs are not omnivores. Bears dogs and pigs, 50 million years ago did split from a common ancestor , but modern bears and dogs or wolves are completly different. Bears hibernate and are much bigger, thus have a Huge caloric intake to achieve, within a season. A wolf does not. they hunt all year round. A bear has different dentition, although the front canines still are there mostly for a weapon as they have  territoriality bred into them. a bear and a pig can eat things a dog and a wolf can not. there is nothing to support the claim that dogs are omnivores.
    They are not . If more people knew this there would be less sickness with in the population of pets. Because dogs need meat, meat and more meat.  😉 🙂 🙂 :);)

  • akp

    Dogs actually can  be classified as omnivores (similar to a bear, with similar teeth )  because they are able to digest grains, fruits and vegetables unlike the cat which are “obligate carnivores”. The preference  for meat is that – preference.

  • BryanV21

    Since it was apparently the higher fiber content in the W/D that did the trick I have to ask… did you ever try adding pumpkin to your dog’s food, or feeding it some plain vanilla? That way you not only get your dog the benefits of higher fiber, but you can also feed a better food.

    Oh, and I prefer Wellness to Blue Buffalo too. Even if you went grain-free, I believe Wellness Core is better than Blue Buffalo Wilderness.

  • Dolores356

    I was very leery of putting my 9 year old Yorkie on this because of the reviews, but it is the ONLY thing that has helped and continue to help him. He had terrible bloody diarrehea for years and landed in the hospital for five days during one episode. He was eating boiled chicken and rice for years and still continued to have bouts of diarrehea. Finally my vet said put him on W/D because of the high fiber content. I saw an immediate improvement and he is still on it and doing great a year and a half later. He has even gained a little weight which my vet was very happy about. (he went from 7 to 9 pounds and stays there now consistently). I know it is not a great dry kibble, but for my boy it worked wonders. I only wish she recommended it years earlier, it would have saved him a lot of suffering. I’m getting a new Yorkie puppy in two weeks and am debating between Wellness and Blue Buffalo. I now leaning more towards Wellness after to speaking to a couple people, but will speak to my vet also on the puppies first visit.

  • Here is a tiny url address to read about W/D dog food. Yes, it is put out by Hill’s, but it is very interesting and addresses all of the complaints people have about RX dog foods. I have a dog on W/D because we are trying to stave off diabetes and it is working well so far.  Even if you still think the RX diets are junk food,  please take the time to read this very informative article. Mike, you may be interested in it too. Thanks… P.S. I have no financial interest in Hills, just think this is a very good explanation of the food.

  • BryanV21

    What do you mean by “tolerate”?

    I ask because many people get scared when they switch foods and their dog has some diarrhea or loose stool, and then go back to their original food. But it’s totally normal for a dog to have some diarrhea and loose stool for the first week or two after switching foods. So don’t let that deter you from going to a better food, because the ingredient listing on this one leaves a LOT to be desired.

    Another question I have to ask is why you started on this in the first place? Did your pup have a health issue that made your vet recommend this? Because that could change things too.

  • Eadayan

    My problem is its the only dog food my dog can tolerate. Any alternatives??

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  • chippo

    My Dog,A Yorkie, just got diagnosed with pancreatitus…The Vet prescribed hills w/d and he wont even sniff it ,nevermind eat it….He’ll eat boiled chicken but won’t eat the rice Is there any other food that he’s able to eat with this condition..?..Any Comments would be greatly appreciated…Thanx

  • Mag426978

    My dog is diabetic, getting 2 insulin shots per day. Our Vet put him on this dog food a few years ago. It expensive at $22.00 for the small 8lb bag. Is there another brand that is recommended for diabetic dogs?

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  • Shawna

    Sarah ~~ the teaching books (like Waltham) state that dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates..  They do “require” meat and fat but not carbs..  That sounds like a carnivore to me :)..  Yes, they can survive on a high plant diet but they do not thrive on such a diet.

  • Shawna

    Colitis is often caused by a particular ingredient in a food..  ANY food that doesn’t have that ingredient/s will work just as well as a prescription food..

    My Pomeranian gets colitis if she eats anything with chicken in it or takes a NSAID (like Rimadyl or Metacam). 

    Before we discovered that it was chicken that was causing the colitis my holistic vet suggested I give her a homeopathic called phosphorus each time she started to exhibit symptoms.  The homeopathic cost $6.00 at the health food store and lasted several months.  If her tummy started to gurgle I knew the explosive diarrhea was about to come and I would give her the phosphorus.  It would stop it IMMEDIATELY..  Then I was able to figure out it was the chicken.. 

    No expensive, poor quality food was needed..  Just needed to get her away from all chicken..

  • melissa


    I prefer to think of my dogs as “floorivores”-they will eat anything that hits the floor, lol. However, the reality is dogs do prefer meat : )

  • Toto329

    My dog was literally dying of colitis when she was placed on Hill’s Canine WD for its high fiber content. She was around 2 years old at the time. Her grave condition was arrested, she stayed on the same food permanently, and she lived to be 18 (a chihuahua). Obviously, it’s a good food for some conditions. When judging a prescription food, many factors have to be considered. Bottom line—it worked!

  • Jess

     Sarah, DOGS ARE CARNIVORES, just look at their teeth. Sit down a piece of meat, a vegetable and a fruit and watch which one 99% of all dogs eat first. They actually were scavengers in some cases in order to survive, but everything in a dog, from the saliva in their mouth to their short digestive system, stomach ensimes(sp), etc tell you they are carnivores. Sure some dogs have issues on processed man made dog food and that is why the raw feeders have a legit point.

  • Sarah

    I am going to say that the fiber content in the food may be whats helping your dog out with loose stools. Sine many people dont think dogs should eat plants and should have cute cubes and pieces of chicken and meat the increased protein in a diet can lead to scours or loose stools. Also why caned pumpkin is recommended for

  • sarah

    With no extra exercise her weight came back to normal and we switched her back to her normal diet. Btw to throw it out there dogs are not carnivores they are omnivores

  • Sarah

    W/D is not meant to be a food fed to a dog fir it’s lifetime. It is meant for dogs who have weight issues hense the name weight diet?! After animals have been on W/D and they have reached their weight goal they are meant to be switched to either R/D or their regular dog food. My boyfriends lab mix weighed in at a healthy 60# in my care. Over the summer she had to stay with his parents and god knows what she ate but in 2.5 months her weight jumped to 80#! After 3months of feeding hills W/D

  • Allie

    I told my Vet I would never feed this crap to my best friend… He gets Darford Turkey and Chicken Zero/G. Amazing food His skin and fur shine… His BG’s good, allergys gone… Happy dog!!! ^_^

  • Allie

    I also feed my dog Darford food for his diabetes. He loves it. And his BG’s are good. Darford is a good dog food. Very Happy with it…. 

  • melissa


    Just saw this. Imo, chronic runs is a sign of IBD, colitis etc-and I would suggest that if nothing is found on  bloodwork, that people speak with their vets about trying a 4-6 weeks course of Tylan powder. Both of ours cleared up using this, and NEITHER have to eat a prescription food-oh, and neither take the Tylan any longer. It was as if their systems needed a chance to rest : )

  • A157R

    Our dog a littler elder one just likes it. She seems to have a better digestion an allo moves better. Furthermore her coat became better too. We are more than happy.

  • Koka7472

    my doctor just prescribed prescription diet cd for my dog who just had bladder stones removed. she really doesn’t seem to like it and just started throwing it up. gonna stop and go back to her taste of the wild until we get the test results back to see what type of bladder stones they were. hope there are alternatives to prescription diet!!!

  • Carolyn

    Mike: Amazing. Yet another dog on WD whose gall bladder had to be removed. I hope Hills reads these reviews – please  see my comments below – three dead dogs, two of whom had bursting gall bladders while on this food. 

  • My 12 year old cairn terrier Michy eat W/D from 2 years ago after he got remove gallbladder operation ,he recently eager to eat soil .I doubt this habit shows he lack of some nutrition.
    is anyone have any opinions?

  • daisy1999

    Hopefully you will get some answers with your new vet.  I find it odd that they would put your dog on a prescription food without a proper explanation.  Good luck-hope things get worked out for you guys.

  • Razee

     Hi Jill- I have a 10 yr. old Bichon who has been perfectly healthy until March 17. I noticed he was drinking and urinating a lot. He did have some stones which she said would disolve on their own. He was on an antibiotic for a week which cleared it up. Now I am dealing with testing his sugar levels every day and giving insulin 2x day. I believe when he was on Blue B. food and treats for 2 months, the food had something to do with this problem. He was perfectly healthy up to that point. I noticed there had been a recall on the chicken and rice back a couple of years ago and the treats also. The symptoms that were reported at that time were the  same  as my little one experienced recently. He was on the food you are giving him and I took him off it immediately!!!. I did not like the ingredients and he was vomiting. It is the worst food!!I have been doing alot of research for dry food and so far the Darford Zero/G turkey and chicken has been helping bring down his glucose levels by 100. Still in the 200-300’s but improving. If this does not work I will make my own food and have lots of meat protein and fiber. I am at my wits end and all I want is to get his sugar down and keep him healthy as long as I can. My two little ones mean everything to me!! I hope you can resolve your problem and research for some decent food. Good Luck!!!

  • daisy1999

    Hey, if it works it works.  Maybe try looking at nutrients missing and see if your dog can tolerate.  But, you can’t have the poor thing with diarrhea all the time either as thats not healthy.  The cost-I know!  Highway robbery!!!  I had a couple on at once-thank god none anymore.  What about people that absolutely can’t spend this and don’t know a good alternative?

  • Nurseinpain

    He was not overweight and his sugar was fine and he is not fat!  possibly urine, BUT I am going to a new vet to check alot of stuff because of all the bad probs on here. he really was fine on Fromm surf and turf, grain free and is now back on it! His nick name was toodles the turd  making machine because he went sooo much, he was getting no nutrition, came out looking like it went in and he would beat his bowl, just starving…..which he never did before. this stuff scares me……

  • Ckw

    My dog sufferers from severe diarrhea with no abnormal test results. I tried all kinds of high quality and even grain free foods and unfortunately the WD is the magic although extremely expensive solution. It is a crime what they charge for this crap, but it is my only option.

  • daisy1999

    Why did your vet put him on it?  Just curious.  I have cockers and have been stuck with these diets in the past.  I’m kinda grinning at your “name”.  Is it because the job physically or emotionally has done you in.  It should have been my name 😉

  • Nurseinpain

    The vet put my 11 year old cocker spaniel w/d. On one mile walks he will go to the bathroom 3-4 times ( normal looking) I feel he absorbs nothing! After reading this I am going back to grain free!!

  • Jodi

    Thank you for the info Sandy!  I have a Greater Swiss Mountain dog so he’s a big guy.  I’m looking for something healthy to mix with just to add a little bulk. 

  • You can try adding in some Nature’s Variety Instinct LID.  That seems to produce firm stools for some dogs. Or give your dog a chicken wing.  The bone will help firm things up also and its fresh from your frig/freezer, unprocessed, no chemicals (well, I guess if you get an organic brand anyways!).  My pugs eat kibble and raw foods with bones and they have small, solid poops that will turn ashy (from the bone content).  Nutrisca, Core Ocean, Blue Buffalo Wilderness have higher fiber content as well.

  • Jodi

    I originally was going to ask if there are any other dog foods similar in content to this (Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine (Dry).) As it is the only food that bulked up my dogs loose stool.  I mixed it with his usual food (Premium Edge Healthy Weight) so he wasn’t just eating this and that did the trick.  But now after reading these horrible reviews, I’m super concerned and not sure I even want to use this product!  I was of course using this vet recommended product to thinking it was best and helping my beloved dog, thinking being loose would/could cause problems internally. Being vet recommended I didn’t think it could be bad for him, even those I noticed the rating on here awhile back but didn’t read the reviews till today.  What to do.. 

  • daisy1999

    I have a cocker who started with stones a little after turning 1 and has had multiple surgeries.  She was on several of these “prescription” diets due to developing mult. kinds of stones.  That being said, no I would not feed them now.  She is almost 13 and seems to have “outgrown it”-knock on wood.  I really don’t see how you are going to find a “good” commercial food to substitute.  Trying to find a alkalizing, low oxylate, low sodium, low protein, etc. that is nutritionally sound is prob. best going to be achieved by making your own food through the help of a nutritionist and your vet.  Be firm with your vet on why you don’t want to use this food and what else you want to try and have info to back it up.  If they aren’t on board with you to try other options, you might consider switching.  Good luck to you and your dog 🙂 

  • Carolyn

    My heart goes out to you Jany11. I am on this site tonight to specifically record what happened to my dogs so that I can spare yet another dog and Owner the potential peril of Hills WD. All three of my chihuahuas are dead. Two had burst gall bladders and two severe pancreatitis. My vet recommended WD for my youngest chihuahua because she was gaining weight, and so I switched all three to it. In no time, one after the other, they were having seizures and one even had a stroke. They died a year apart at the ages of 12, 11 and 9. The vet said that two dog having ruptured gall bladders is like lightning striking twice. The veterinarian bills were nearly $35,000. I contacted Hills to tell them what happened in the hope that they will take this seriously and do further research. While I cannot conclusively state that the food is what caused their deaths, I recommend that you do not feed your toy breed dog this food until further research can be done.

  • Jill

    My 8 year old Bichon Frise gets stones (Calcium& Cystine)my Vet has her on W/D dry food…She has has 2 surgery’s to remove stone’s…..any one out their with the same problem?

  • Sharon Ours

    I am so sorry for your loss.  I know what you mean you think whatever the Vet sells has to be the best.  I always felt bad because I couldn’t afford to give them what I thought was the best.  But now that I know better I am so glad that I couldn’t afford it.  I had a lady call me the other day for advice about her dog having cancer and what I would do.  I told her what I had done for my dog when I got this news and that I was not telling her what to do at all.  You had to do what you think is best for them.  Just saw her yesterday and she is so happy with the results of her dog with a few changes she has made.  By the way I got the news about my dog in 2007 and I did what I thought was best she is still here.  She is now 12.

  • Sharon Ours

    Hi LInda
    I am a Dist of FRR which does a great job with pets.  I just had an over older overweight pug to try my food.  You should see her now.  When I met her she could hardly stand up with her weight problems.  Now she is a different dog and her blood work has improved.  If you would like to try it sometime I would be glad to send you a sample.  Best of luck with your dog.  I am also a pet owner and if I had not done what I needed to do for my pet and taken the advice of the Vet she would have been dead a long time ago. 

  • Jany11

    Linda, that’s how my tragic situation started.  Diabetic dog MUST eat W/D according to my Vet…..I found out after he died 8 months later that it was like feeding a diabetic person McDonalds everyday…pure junk…..it also killed my perfectly healthy 7 year old that had to eat what the older dog was eating….truly tragic…should be a crime.

  • Jany

    Billrob97 its really quite easy to become confused with a trusted Vet and the reports on dog food.  Don’t overlook a simple solution….google the ingredients on the bag and check the food advisor remarks.  This information is based on “FACT” not “opinion”.   My Vet, whom I trusted, raved over the W/D and pushed it hard.  I came to find out, after both dogs died within 2 weeks of each other,  that she profits very well by selling W/D and seems to do pretty well from sick dogs needing treatment.  Pretty good business situation for Vets.  What that food did to my beloved, healthy dogs is a crime and I am passionate about spreading the word.  Take it or leave it….I wish someone had warned me.  Just do the research and STOP feeding your dogs W/D unless you would eat it yourself….it’s that simple.  For the record, I have a new dog and I feed him Taste of the Wild Pacific formula….it is not too expensive and has a 5 star rating with dog advisor.  Good luck 🙂

  • Billrob97,

    Sorry to hear of your situation. I would just like to tell you that I haven’t had any weight/joint/ collapsing trachea/anal gland/allergy issues feeding a more “species appropriate” diet to my small, indoor, obesity prone pugs. Feeding them more appropriate foods has helped managed their weights without Rx foods. I’ve had many many obese foster pugs as well that lose weight eating the more appropriate foods that have more protein and more fat and are not “diet” or “lite”. You may want to consider looking up a more holistic vet.


  • Billrob97

    I called my Vet very upset after reading these reviews, and he still raves about W/D. He has a great reputation and has had his dogs on it for years. So, who do you believe? This drives me crazy because I love my dogs so much. My cocker spaniel who has dwarfism needs to keep her weight down, and this seems to be doing it. What would be the best alternative? 

  • Linda

    Finally, an answer to my concerns. My old lab has diabetes since June.. on insulin twice a day and the Vet put him on Hills W/D,, he did lose weight but I felt he was not getting the nutrition.. hind legs got weak and his hunger got bad.. Vet made no connection.. again and again I voiced this… but the constant pooping was NOT normal,, it tripled,many times it was coming out as he was eating or excited.. and was like cardboard,gross but I noticed his rectum was red and inflamed.. and he was trying not to go..  he was not the happy pooch he used to be.. All I wanted was for him to not suffer and enjoy his golden years.. Vet said I could give him half meals of Diet or Older dog food,, I noticed he acted better. I just took him off Hills W/D. Bless you for writing about this.. I am no vet,, just a dog owner.. but I still think older dogs even diabetic ones need food that will give them nutrients and some degree of fat for their joints..

  • John


    I too am sorry for your losses.

  • Alexandra

    So sorry for your losses.

  • Jany11

    DOG OWNERS please think long and hard before feeding your dogs this food.  My Australian Shepherd became diabetic and my vet insisited on this food plus insulin.  I was totally trusting and ASSUMED that because it was so expensive and my vet told me to use it that it was the best for my dog.  I would have done ANYTHING for him. 
    Well, my younger dog keep eating the diabetic food so I switched both dogs to this food.  Nothing but the best for my babies, I thought.  All I can say is both my dogs are dead right now after eating this food for 8 months.  I am not crazy but a 7 year old and a 10 year old dog should not drop dead from EXACTLY the same thing!  Both had tumors that burst on their spleen.  The 7 year old died first and then 2 weeks later the 10 year died from the same thing.  I wish I was making this up but if my story can help even one person, please heed my advice….I wish I knew….I will never trust a vet again without researching on my own 🙁

  • Jany11

    I couldn’t agree with you more!  My 10 year old Australian Shepherd was diabetic and my vet almost insisted on this food.  He seemed to do ok but blood sugar levels had to be checked a lot.  I switched my younger 7 year old also because he wanted the food the other dog was eating.  Very expensive and I thought I was doing the best for my beloved dogs.  After being on this food for 8 months they both suddenly died from cancer.  Undetected spleen tumors that burst and they bled internally.  They died very quickly and they shocking thing is they died exactly 2 weeks apart from the exact same thing!  The 7 year old died first.  I am convinced the food had everything to do with this as NOTHING else changed in their lives.  BEWARE OF THIS FOOD.

  • Pingback: dry canine food|Dog Food & Nutrition : Dry Canine Food vs. Wet Food | Animal Rescue()

  • Meig

    My miniature dachshund had horrible intestinal problems consisting of massively bloody diarrhea, so the vet put her on Hill’s Prescription W/D, which completely solved the problem and she ate it for 16 years. She lived to be 17 years old. I want to feed my animals the best (my other dachshund eats Blue Buffalo and my cat eats Nature’s Balance), but I also think results speak for themselves as well. I think a lot of this dog food business is just that: business. None of these premium foods existed 20 years ago and one of my friends fed his dog Wal-Mart Old Roy and the dog lived to be 20 – a black lab mix. What really upsets me is people who are made to feel guilty for not spending a fortune on their pets’ foods. These same pets would have been euthanized otherwise, and are greatly loved. In this economy, people should not be made to feel guilty for feeding their pets whatever they can afford, especially if that enables them to keep their pets. I’m just saying’ …

  • sandy

    Have yall tried Nutrisca or a food similar to Nutrisca which uses lower glycemic ingredients – lentils mainly.



    http://horizonpetfood.com/ Horizon Legacy & Amicus

    Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance line

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for the tip I have a 11yrs olf poodle with diabetes for a yr in half 2 yrs in Feb I have problem with keeping his glucose stable and he did terrible on W/D too and scratched qll the time I am going to try the Solid Gold garlic, Vit E brewers yeast Bear wouldn’t eat green beans but I will try again Thanks

  • Hi Hayley… Until you mentioned this particular news item, I was unaware of the problem. Maybe another reader can shed some light on this. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  • sandy

    Have you asked their customer service department?

  • Hayley

    Our 15 year old diabetic dog was doing well on the Purina Diabetic food until the manufacturer stopped supplies by VETS. We were moved to Hills W/D by the vets recommendation and then suffered with a dog who poo’d constantly. He went 3 times a day on the Purina diet but it seems this stuff made him go lots and indoors something he had never done in the past. It was almost as if the poor chap had to go every 2 hours. Our vets wanted to change him to something else, but we have managed to source the Purina Diabetic food by the internet and we are going to get him moved back to the food that suited him and kept him stable. Our question is whether the Purina has been withdrawn from market completely or just withdrawn from certain vets or have vets made that decision themselves?

  • Sydney

    I rescued a dog from my local shelter a couple months ago and he was diagnosed with diabetes a couple days later. Nigel is a 5-year-old shepherd-type mutt. My vet immediately prescribed Hill’s w/d (dry) along with 2X daily insulin shots. I’ve never liked Science Diet, but thought that the prescription might be better quality, so I bought a bag. I paid $35.58 for a 17.6 lb bag. Reading through the ingredients was really disappointing, and then stumbling across this review confirmed the food’s low quality. Also, I was shocked to hear that powdered cellulose (#2 ingredient) is really just saw dust. Diabetic dogs need fiber, but c’mon! I decided to give the food a try, though, because my vet was adamant that it would work. Every week we went in to check his blood sugar and things didn’t seem to be improving much. He wasn’t gaining any weight and his blood sugar was all over the place. The vet kept telling me to keep with the food, but increase his insulin 2 more units. Finally, after increasing to 11 units of insulin 2X daily, his blood sugar spiked to 325. I dumped the food.

    I didn’t have a clue what to switch him to initially, but did a lot of research into a diabetic dog’s needs. Low fat content seemed to be the most important, so I scoured through the reviews on here to find a decent quality, low-fat food. I came across Solid Gold Holistique Blendz, which had a slightly lower fat content than the w/d and was similar in protein & carbs, but contained better quality ingredients. It was also comparable in price to Hill’s w/d. Nigel has been eating the Solid Gold for slightly over a week now, along with green beens, a small clove of garlic, 200 IU vitamin E and 1 tablespoon of brewer’s yeast added to his food every day. The vet tested his blood sugar today and it was down to 78! We overshot a bit, as ideally the vet would like him around 110, but we’re on the right track. The vet told me to lower his insulin and continue feeding him what I’ve been feeding him.

    I’ll probably make a few more adjustments to his diet before I get it were I want it, but I’m excited that he’s making progress. I don’t think I could have figured it out without the information on this site. The reviews are very thorough and useful. Also, I would recommend steering clear of Hill’s w/d. There are so many better foods out there. Figure out what is truly best for your animal. Nutrition is your biggest tool in keeping your pet healthy!

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    @Potvin, you are certainly entitled to your opinion….but mine is that these “reviews/ratings” are certainly NOT bogus! They are meant to inform and help dog owners with appropriate food choices. No one food works for all dogs, and there are a lot of choices out there, some good, some bad. I for one appreciate this site and Mike’s hard work. It helps me when I’m looking for certain things for my animals. Btw, if you feel this site and it’s “reviews/ratings” are bogus why did you even comment or read them?

  • Hi Potvin… Our ratings are never based upon expected results but rather ingredient quality and the apparent meat content only. Have you read this review? Especially the part that says:

    “This review is designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food. However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.

    For a better understanding of how we analyzed this product, please be sure to 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.”

  • Potvin

    Our three year old Scottie loves this food and thrives on it. His puppy food was Wellness Complete Health Super5Mix Chicken Recipe, which he enjoyed, and then we changed to Wellness Core Original when he got older because it was grain free and we thought he might have some allergy problems because of his excessive licking. Later we changed to Acana Pacifica on the advice of the pet store owner who thought Wellness’ quality had diminished. He did not like the Pacifica, he ate it, but reluctantly and later he developed some problems with blood in his stool. We were not sure why this was, but we thought it might have been the food or the Milk Bone treats we gave him. We never found out why he was having this problem(might have been unrelated to food) but on the recommendation of the vet we tried the Prescription Diet WD, which they also sell, so of course they recommend, but he seems to like it, his weight is steady, his stools are good but he still licks excessively. Each dog is different, so I find these reviews a little bogus.

  • sandy

    Here are some possibilities for you that aren’t full of corn and soy. Wellness Super 5 Healthy Weight (6-10 fat), Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice (6), Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight (10), Blue Buffalo Longevity Mature (8), Nutrisource Weight Management (9-12), Dogswell Shape Up Chicken & Oats (8-9), Natural Balance Reduced Calorie (8), Nature’s Select Chicken Meal and Rice with Glucosamine (8), Nature’s Select Chicken & Beef with Salmon & Sunflower Oil (8), Nature’s Select Ultra Lite (6), Nutro Natural Choice Lite (8), Solid Gold Holistique blendz (8), Solid Gold MMillennia Beef & Barley (12), Amicus senior & weight Management (10.5-12), Wellness Core Reduced Fat (10-12), Wellness Small Breed Healthy Weight (9-11).

    You can add fiber with the pumpkin or even use psyllium powder from the health food store – sugar free/color free. And maybe use some digestive enzymes.

  • Nicole

    My dog (62 lb lab/pittie mix) was recently diagnosed with Pancreatitis and a week after feeding chicken and rice I am suppose to reintroduce dog food – thought Solid Gold Holistique would be good, but vet says it is too “rich.” If a dog food starting with oatmeal and main protein being whitefish is too rich, I’m not sure what to feed. So I came home from the vet today with a bag of prescription Hills WD and knew of its low quality, but I just want her stool to get back to normal! I feel so bad for my girl. I’ve tried pumpkin, greek yogurt, etc and nothing has worked in the last week. Hoping WD will at least get her back to normal but after another week, I am going to need a new low-fat, higher fiber, somewhat bland dog food to start blending in. Any suggestions?

  • Gordon

    OMG! A whopping 64% in DM carbs. Oh boyyyyyyy. Don’t they save money, but charge you a fortune. If only the protein and carb levels were swapped the other way around.

  • Melissa


    I am very curious to hear how your experiment with Wellness went. My 6-year old Brittany has the same gastrointestinal issues as your dog. She spent a few awful nights in emergency over the course of a year and finally the vet prescribed W/D. She has been on it now for 2 years and has had NO problems. However, I hate to be feeding her this junk. I tried to switch once to a better quality low-fat high fiber food but she got sick again. I am at a loss! Would love to hear your update.

  • DavidG

    From experience, I have to mirror the other people’s negative comments about Hills W/D.

    A few weeks ago, we found out that our 12-year old Wheaten developed chronic pancreatitis. She seems to be in great health other than elevated levels of an enzyme that points to the disease.

    Our vet recommended a low fat diet, and recommended the Hills Prescription W/D for her. Bad move.

    Her stool volume (at least) tripled, and she just wasn’t her happy self anymore. I expected this food to be good quality because of the price, and because it can only be bought from your vet, we fed it to our dog without question.

    After seeing the change in our dog, I did some research and came across this site and have since returned the Hills food and opted for the Blue Buffalo Longevity Senior food – because of it’s low (8%) fat and holistic ingredients. There may be better choices (Orijen, Canidae, etc) but all seemed to have higher fat content.

    It’s too early to tell if Blue is our long term answer, but she seems to find it appetizing, and she’s back to her happy self again.

    Shame on Hills for packaging the cheapest ingredients and selling it as a high end dog food as a regimen for pancreatitis. The feeding instructions on the bag are also WAY out of whack – almost double what she’s used to. The goal of this company is, without a doubt, charging the highest price possible, use the lowest cost ingredients, and “recommend” that your dog eats twice as much than she needs. Nice.

  • Diana

    Hi Sara,

    You sound just like me in trying to find a good quality food for your baby. I commented last year about my cocker spaniel w/a history of allergies and malignant melanoma.
    Have tried almost all the high quality foods you can find – that don’t interfer w/his allergy profile, and ended up back on the w/d kibble. Truly it is the only food that keeps his tummy and intestines in balance. He is much happier on it also. If you think about it, if your baby is always having loose stool, it can wear the immune system down so that he picks up other illnesses and feels miserable.
    I add a probiotic called acidophilis. I sprinkle it on the kibble. I found that using pumpkin for a long period of time, actually caused more problems w/his intestine. I also now boil/broil chicken breast and give him this w/his kibble. I feel this adds the necessary meat that he may be missing from the w/d.
    Just thought I would share my experience w/you since it sounded so familiar to my baby’s issues.

  • Jonathan

    Judi, give your pup any 4 or 5-star kibble, canned, or raw food and just make sure she gets the correct amount of calories. This food is a hot pile of industrial waste and carbohydrates. I know that, ethically, as a random commenter on a site, suggest that a “prescription food” be discarded, but when it comes to weight lose, there is no reason to feed this junk. NONE. If anyone is using this for weight loss, as advised by a Doctor of Veterinarian medicine, throw the remaining quantity away, set it one fire, and never completely trust what your vet says to you again. This is simply a bag of indigestible plant fiber (saw dust) that makes your dog think he’s full. There is nothing nutritious about it. If you are using it for a diabetic dog, then why the hell does this food have so many carbohydrates that must be neutralized by the absurdly high fiber content? Why not just make a food that’s low carb, low glycemic index, and high protein? There is no reason, except for profit margins. i love the idea behind this food… “oh no, our unnatural concoction of refined carbohydrates has made a dog diabetic or over-weight! Okay, I know how to fix it! Let’s just give it more of the same, but this time with a ton of fiber!”

  • Judi

    My dog is on RD (I just took her off) and her skin is very dry, she doesn’t look good. She’s apparently overweight (chihuahua) but I don’t believe this is a healthy food. She also hates it, and only will eat it when it’s been sitting all day and nothing else is offered. I’m looking for a homemade low fat dog food, or some healthy brand for her. I feel bad that I made her eat it for so long.

  • Sara

    thank you sandy, i actually just started him on the wellness super 5 reduced fat kibble yesterday. while i think that the core reduced fat seems better in general (and .5% higher fiber), i am worried since the w/d is SO high in grains (corn) that the grain free (core) would be way too abrupt a transition. the wellness super 5 seemed closest in makeup to the w/d but with much better ingredients and no preservatives. baby steps. will see how it goes. even if he ultimately cannot handle 100% non w/d and we end up still mixing a bit of w/d wet into a good kibble i will feel much better about what we are giving him. i would love it if we could axe the w/d all together but not at the expense of having his stomach torn up again.

  • sandy

    And maybe some salmon oil for his skin.

  • sandy


    Wellness Core Reduced Fat has 8.5% fiber and the Core Ocean (which is a little smaller kibble) has 7%. Maybe doing a half & half mixture of that and your current kibble and a little pumpkin would still be enough fiber for your little one.

  • Gordon

    Yeah, good points Shameless. I didn’t take into consideration using these as a permanent remedy. As a short term one, the professor I referred to suggests this as a faster way of clearing the bowels, regarding animal illness due to swallowing synthetic undesirables.

    The pumpkin suggestion is not a bad idea, but I would add mashed kale by sprinkling it onto the BARF. Kale is also gluten free with the added benefit that it’s one of the most potent sources of lutein.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Gordon – My guess is that Benefibre is just as bad as Metamucil with worrisome ingredients:

    Ingredients – Psyllium Husk, Gelatin, Polysorbate 80, Caramel Color, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake

    Maybe ‘Lake’ colors are better than other colors, but WHY EAT chemical colors?

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Sara – Sounds like you’re between a rock and a hard place, as some say! I like Gordon’s suggestion to contact the canine nutritionist at The Possible Canine.
    Also, like Jonathan suggests, feed some plain pumpkin puree. Pumpkin is sometimes viewed as a miracle food for doggie digestive problems. Here’s a little blurb about pumpkin for dogs:
    Like Gordon, I advocate raw feeding. Since your dog isn’t accustomed to raw, I would transition to raw (BARF or similar 5-star raw) very slowly with the W/D canned food. Feed a small amount of pumpkin puree with each meal.
    Quality food can heal.

  • Gordon

    Or even added with Benefibre or Metamucil. A professor of Veterinary Science in particular Avian science at the university of Sydney backs that up.

  • Jonathan

    Fiber can always be added simply with canned pumpkin or other high fiber veggies.

  • Gordon

    I’ll confirm with a dog trainer that knows the creator of BARF personally to confirm the actual fiber content.

    Its crude fibre estimate is around 2%, so if you’re dog requiresmore fibre then don’t go get it. My dogs thrive on it, like I’ve never seen anything else do.

    It contains absolutely no chemicals, preservatives, heat processing, colouring, fillers, or added sugar and salt.

    I’m no canine nutrition expert, but do speak from self-educated learning from reference reading, and own empirical experiences.

    May be another Vet can help you than the one you’re disappointed with. Or you may want to consult with a commentator here who recently claimed that they’re a canine nutritionist who speaks in great detail about individuality in every dog and how there may be specific remedies for specific individual canine allergies. If interested check out http://thepossiblecanine.wordpress.com/.

    Anyway, good luck!

  • Sara

    The worst that can happen is Dante ending up in the ER having bloody stool and in pain which is horrible. He has not had such an episode recently (since being on WD regularly) so I am trying to be careful. I should also note that I just spoke to BARF and they only offer 5% fiber max, not the 17% which is mistakenly listed on this website.

  • Gordon

    Your welcome Sara. I see where you’re coming from. But what’s the worst that can happen? I’m sure he would survive BARF on a few serves.

    You might even be able to contact barfworld explaining your problem, and they may even offer you free samples to see what how your dog gets on with it.

    You say you’re at a loss as to what to do. What have you got to lose?

  • Sara

    Hi Gordon I appreciate your help. The raw diets do seem to be good for skin issues but Dante’s issue is really his stomach and WD which is high fiber food with almost no fat (and garbage fillers) is most certainly causing the scaly skin (albeit fixing the tummy issues). I am very nervous about trying raw foods on him because his stomach is so sensitive. When he has food other than the W/D you can actually audibly hear his stomach struggling to digest (churning, squealing, rumbling) which inevitably ends in a “blowout” so to speak.

  • Gordon

    Sara – I am wiling to bet I can help with your dog’s problem.

    I recommend BARF raw dog food.

    As I’m from Australia, I wouldn’t know where you can physically go to, to get BARF dog food in the US. However, I do remember a commentator say it is available in a store in Jupiter, Florida.

    Alternatively to get this food in the US, go to http://www.barfworld.com/.

    For your dog’s problem, I suggest choosing the lamb BARF formula.

    BARF dog food comes frozen and it also contains an estimated fiber content over 16.4%.

    Good luck and give it a go. You may or may not thank me.

  • Sara

    Our 6 year old chihuahua has had tummy troubles since he was a puppy. We started him off on very high quality food and every few weeks he had horrible bloody runny stools and was vomiting. He would end up in the doggie ER dehydrated. He has been tested for everything under the sun and we basically have come to the conclusion that he has doggie IBS. At some point, his vet switched him to WD canned food and we mixed it with kibble. The stomach upsets would slow down to a rate of two to four times a year. After a particularly bad incident 2 years ago, the vet switched him to W/D kibble with W/D wet and the vomiting, bloody runny stools STOPPED. Now, he seems to be having skin trouble (dry, crusty patches) and i am sure it’s because of the W/D being garbage. I just don’t know what to do anymore because we have tried good quality sensitive foods and they don’t work. I feel like we fixed one issue and created another. W/D has 16.4% fiber which I am certain is the magic ingredient that is binding Dante’s stools up. I have done exhaustive research and no other food comes close in fiber. Do I mix in pumpkin as added fiber? Please help. What is the mildest, highest fiber food out there? Our vet is wonderful but feels if it’s not broken don’t fix it and you know how they are with Hill’s…..

  • sandy


    Have you tried feeding smaller portions? Over feeding can lead to undigested foods in the gut leading to over-population of intestinal organisms, leading to intestinal issues such as loose stools, IBS…

    Or maybe adding a spoon of some pure smashed pumpkin.

    Or maybe using a food with a higher fiber content like Wellness Core Ocean (7%), or Blue Buffalo Wilderness (6.5%).

    And of coarse a slow transition from the I/D.

  • Hi Rita… The sum total of all I know about TOTW is presented in this review. Unfortunately, I cannot provide customized product recommendations for each reader. For more information, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • Rita Smalls

    I have a 6mo. old standard poodle. the breeder I purchased him from had him on Taste of the Wild dog food. For the past couple of weeks he has developed loose stools. When it first started, I took him to our vet and she couldn’t find anything wrong. She prescribed some tablets but little change. I took him in today for his shots and to see why his stools were loose. Again she could not find anything wrong with him. She prescribed K9 ID dry dog food for him. When I asked her if he could resume his regular food, she said after about 1 month I could switch him back. How good is Taste of the Wild or should I look for another dog food. The vet seems to think that Taste of the wild is too rich for him. Any suggestions. thanks

  • Hi Matt… Oops. That figure was incorrectly entered into our database. Thanks to your tip, I’ve now corrected the error.

  • Matt

    W/d is supposed to be very high in fiber but on the fiber content you have 1.5%, why is that?

  • Hi Jeff… Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian, I cannot provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Many of our readers have successfully treated their dogs with a low protein dog food like K/D. In any case, early stage kidney diseases does not appear to be influenced by protein.

    However, you may wish to visit our article “Low Protein Dog Foods”. And be sure to check out our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Hope this helps.

  • jeff

    just read your review on hills k/d for canines…..my golden age 10 was just diagnosed with the early stages of kidney problems…..hence they sold me a bad of this food…..now that i read your review, im wondering if i should actually feed him this product…..he has been on natures choice for years, and has seemed to do very well on it….your opinion please…

  • Connie

    My 16 year old dog has been diabetic for 6 years. At the advice of my vet, she was put on Hills Science Diet w/d. The vet also advised us that she could have beef, chicken and some vegetables (corn was a huge NO). One day, I actually looked at the ingredients on the bag of w/d…the first item listed was CORN! At that point, I went to my local pet store, spoke with the owner about what I was looking for. I decided to try the chicken and pearl millet. My dog’s glucose has leveled and she is doing much better than she ever did on the Hill’s foods! She has been on the Canine Caviar for 4 years now. At her last checkup a month ago, my vet said she is in excellent condition, and if not for the cancer she also has, she would live to be at least 23 years old!

  • Hi Nanci… I’m so sorry to hear about your dog’s persistent colitis. And I can certainly understand how important it would be for you to find a dog food to treat the problem. Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian, you’ve asked a question I don’t feel qualified to answer. Although I’m sure there are specific dog foods that could help, we try to limit our reviews to reading and interpreting pet food labels only. We never attempt to judge the ability of any dog food to treat a particular health certain problem.

    In any case, if your dog’s colitis is related to his diet (which may not be the case), why not consider a better quality grain-free product. Or a limited hypoallergenic dog food. Hope this helps.

  • Nanci

    Hi and thanks for this wonderful site. My dog was diagnosed w/plasmacytic colitis in July. My vet has tried SD I/D, Z/D and now he’s been on W/D for 14 wks. No improvement @ all. Can you suggest something that I can present to vet? Dog just turned 4; he was on Solid Gold Holistic Blends and Wellness Salmon & potato before the colitis. Oh, he also now chews his feet & scratches a lot.

  • Hi Doug… I’m still planning to write these articles with the help of our veterinary consultant, Dr. Donna Spector. But that could be a while longer. I would recommedn you follow your vet’s advice. But until you can get that guidance, try to find a low fat dog food. Of course, “low fat” is a subjective phrase. So, that number depends upon who you ask. Assuming the average kibble (in our database) to be about 16% fat (dry matter), I’d try to find a good food with a fat number below 10-12% or so. Our low protein (low meat content) list may contain some foods that meet your criteria. Hope this helps.

  • Doug

    Back on 5/4/10 you commented that you were planning to add a number of articles about specific health conditions (diabetes, pancreatitis, weight loss, etc.)… each of which will include a list of recommended (4 and 5-star) dog foods that may help with those issues.

    My dog was recently diagnosed with pancreatitis and the vet put him on Hills w/d canned. He was on Blue Buffalo until that time. Any recommendations as the vet wants a low fat food? Also I do not see a review of the canned Hills w/d which seems to have different ingredients from the dry. Thanks.

  • Hi Zoe… I’m so sorry to hear about your dog’s recent surgery. And I can certainly understand how important it is to avoid more stones. Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian, you’ve asked a question I don’t feel qualified to answer. Although I’m sure there are specific dog foods that could help, we try to limit our reviews to reading and interpreting pet food labels only. We never attempt to judge the ability of any dog food to treat certain problems or deliver specific health benefits. I wish I could be more help.

  • Zoe

    My dog had surgery in July to remove struvite stones. The vet prescribed Hills prescription w/d because she is a little overweight and this should help prevent stones from reforming. I’m concerned about the quality of this brand, but do not know what other alternatives I have. I do not want her to have stones again and I would like to give her better food. Any suggestions?
    Thank you for your information.

  • Hi Tina… It sounds like you’re describing two unrelated problems here. With the help iof your vet, you should be able to control the allergies.

    And it seems to me your vet is giving you good advice about feeding your dog a low fat dog food. Pancreatitis can be quite painful and a low fat diet is probably one of the best ways to treat it.

    Assuming you prefer a kibble, the average dry food in our database is about 15-16%. So, depending upon who you ask, a low fat kibble should be one with a fat content about 11-12% or so. You should be able to find a number of these in our list of low protein dog foods.

    Hope this helps.

  • Tina

    Dear Mike
    I am so glad I stumbled on to your website. FINALLY someone out there is exposing the dog food industry for what it realy is and what I have know it to be for the last 7 years! God bless you.

    I have a 10 year old Westie and he has food allergies so for the past 7 years I have had him on Solid Gold Holistic diet. Recently I went out of town and he ate my yorkies food which had the Holistic mixed with a Merricks canned. Upon my return he was full blown food allergy reaction which led to a vet visit and steriod shot on Oct. 7. On thursday Oct 28 he had some vomiting and was quite lethargic. Later that evening he was running a temp and I knew something was terribly wrong.Took him to the vet friday, well long story short he has Pancreatitis. Now my vet wants me to put him on the Hills w/d and when I read the ingrediants I WAS NOT HAPPY! She said that the Solid Gold Holistic has too high of a fat content. Im not sure I agree with her.
    I am worried that he is going to start chewing his feet raw, scratching uncontrolably and be miserable. I dont want to see him suffer so please help with suggestions on what my options are as far as low fat low allergic food for my guy.
    Kind Regards Tina

  • Gretchen Moylan

    I have no suggestions for food substitutes for W/D, but both my dogs had loose stools due to stress, so I started adding probiotic powder to their meals. You just sprinkle whatever amount is appropriate for their weight to the top of their kibble (or mix it into wet food, if that’s what you feed), and it works its magic from there. It has made all the difference in our dogs’ digestion. Neither is on any Hill’s foods, but I thought this might help some of you who are on W/D exclusively for loose stools be able to get away from it and on to a higher quality (and often times less expensive) food.

  • christy

    Please let me know when you find a dog food similar in make -up to the W/D. It is the only food that has been able to firm up our boxer’s stools. Thank you.

  • Hi Elena… Since I’m not a veterinarian it would be misleading and inappropriate for me to suggest a dog food replacement to treat your dog’s diabetes. However, what you should be looking for is a dog food with a low glycemic index (slow conversion of the food to blood sugar) and higher fiber.

    We hope to be posting a list of suggested dog foods that meet this criteria. But it could be a little while before we get to this important project and its associated research. Some simple advice… watch our for carbohydrate content. High protein (with a reasonable fat content) would seem to me to be preferable.

    And of course, be sure to check with your vet before feeding any food to your diabetic “patient”. Hope this helps.

  • Elena Marinelli

    My dog is diabetic and on Hill’s w/d. She eats it but that when she has a bowel movement she eats the stool and now one of my other dogs is eating her stool. I mentioned this to the vet and he just looked at me and repeated what I said. He never gave me any suggestions. I’m very frustrated. I don’t know what to do. I want to take her off this Hills w/d food. I don’t think she’s digesting it and I don’t want her or the other dog to eat the stool. They never did this before. It started with Hills w/d dog food.

  • Hi Rhonda… There are few dog foods out there that match W/D for its fiber content and its low fat levels. I’m hoping to find a few similar foods and put them into the form of a suggestion list later this year. In general, I’m rarely concerned about feeding any lower-rated dog food for the short term (a few weeks, or maybe a month or two). But longer term, I always worry about magnifying a recipe’s shortcomings and the potential consequences. Be sure to talk this subject over with your vet.

  • Rhonda Stell

    I have my dog on Hills Canine w/d. I had to switch my dog to w/d because of runny stools. Is there an over-the-counter dog food that works as well or that it is comparable to w/d?


  • Hi Diana… Glad to hear your little guy’s disease appears to be in remission. Like you, I’m torn between the two choices… improving food quality versus maintaining the currently acceptable status quo. As you probably already know, I’m not a veterinarian so it would be misleading for me to make a specific recommendation without scientific (and predictable) certainty.

    But I’m also no fan of the ingredient quality used to make most of Hill’s products… especially fore the money. There are certainly better products out there.

    On the other hand, things seem to be stable right now. So, why switch?

    Yet when you mention molds and mildew (I’d like to add the possibility of mites, too), you may be surprised to find out there may be a connection between grains and a common health condition known as atopic dermatitis.

    If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to read my article, “Dangerous Canine Diseases Linked to Grains in Dog Food“.

    If you do decide to make the switch, be sure to do so very GRADUALLY… a process of dovetailing the “new” into the “old”… increasing a little bit at a time over a two week period.

    Because you love your dog so much, I’m sure you’ll make the right decision. Hope this helps.

  • Diana

    My cocker spaniel has been on w/d dry and canned for the last 4 years. He is a rescue and has allergies, gastric problems, ear problems, and bad knees. Last year, we discovered a tumor in his mouth that was malignant melanoma. It was excised and we are treating him w/the new vaccine for this type cancer. He is doing very well w/no regrowth and no evidence of metastic disease to the lungs or lymph nodes.

    I was wondering if a better food may help him or if just keeping him on the w/d due to the fact he has had no more disease since last year. I know some nutrients can help prevent cancer regrowth and others can make it grow back or faster. I have consulted his oncologist and they say if it isnt broken don’t fix it and just leave everything the same. I just want to do what is best for my baby and help not only prolong his life, but make it better by maybe getting rid of some of his allergies. We had him tested and he has low positive to corn, fish and beef. Otherwise, the allergies are mainly due to grasses, molds and mildews.

    Thanks for any help you may be able to give!

  • Jen Pickerill

    Hello! Have you reviewed Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d? My 11 1/2 year old Lab/Chow mix has been placed on this food due to his arthritis and ACL knee surgery. I am not sure that this j/d is a quality food for my buddy! 🙂 Looking for you input. Thank you for such a wonderful source of information!

  • Hi Bette… I can really feel your frustration, here.

    Our ratings are based upon 2 main concepts… ingredient quality and estimated meat content. It’s never been my intention to prescribe a particular dog food to treat a serious health condition. For that, you’ll need to consult a veterinarian.

    However, later this year, I’m planning to add a number of articles about specific health conditions (diabetes, pancreatitis, weight loss, etc.)… each of which will include a list of recommended (4 and 5-star) dog foods that may help with those issues.

    By the way, Innova and Wellness are both excellent foods.

    Sorry for the delay but the reviews are keeping me quite busy for now. Hope this helps.

  • Bette

    So what DO I feed my 10 year old blind, diabetic Dalmatian? He was on Hill’s u/d to prevent stone formation (I had one Dal die from that years ago) until diagnosed with diabetes and went onto w/d. He has adapted well — put on a healthy weight (he was NEVER obese — underweight problem until diagnosed) with w/d — coat good, but I’m ashamed to say I never looked at ingredients. And he has had some terrible habits — he’s eaten his own poop and lately has been licking the bowl so I don’t think he’s getting enough nutrients (although, again, his weight is good). If this is so bad, and it’s what my Vet prescribed, what do you recommend I try? I saw one website recommended Innova, among other foods, and I’m thinking of trying that or Wellness as my other dalmatian has terrible skin and digestive problems (he’s an 8 year old rescue I’ve had for 3 weeks). Thanks for any help!

  • Pet Owners


    Thank you for all you put into your reviews — Yet another WONDERFUL resource I am able to spread the word about.
    This stuff was “prescribed” my own dog by veterinarians, before I had any clue whatsoever regarding The Truth.

    RE: Final Thoughts above:

    Please do NOT consult just any Veterinarian for anything remotely pertaining to diet — unless a HOLISTIC Veterinarian who actually has knowledge regarding species-appropriate nutritional requirements/diets for our dogs and cats.
    We must do research on the “relationship” between the Veterinary Universities and Commercial Pet Food Conglomerates before letting a veterinarian “advise” or “prescribe” ANYTHING pertaining to pets’ dietary needs!!

    Harvard Law Paper explains it all: