Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight product line includes the 2 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Chicken and Vegetable Entree [M]
- Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Hearty Vegetable and Chicken Stew [M]
Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Chicken and Vegetable Entree was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Chicken and Vegetables
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, turkey giblets, green beans, carrots, green peas, potato starch, egg whites, oat fiber, powdered cellulose, dried tomato pomace, dried beet pulp, pea protein, flaxseed, coconut oil, chicken liver flavor, dicalcium phosphate, carrageenan, choline chloride, iodized salt, dl-methionine, dried apple pomace, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K), folic acid), potassium chloride, l-lysine, calcium carbonate, taurine, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate), l-carnitine, beta-carotene
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 11.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||12%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||27%||47%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient includes turkey giblets, an edible by-product of poultry slaughter. They include the heart, liver and gizzard of a bird’s carcass.
Though the thought of eating an animal’s internal organs may not be appealing to most humans, these items can all be considered a natural part of an authentic ancestral diet.
Giblets are an acceptable and healthy meat ingredient.
The fourth ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
The next ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The seventh item is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The eighth item lists egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.
The ninth ingredient is oat fiber, one of the richest sources of soluble dietary fiber of any cereal grains.
Soluble fiber is especially known for its ability to lower cholesterol in humans (which may not be as important for dogs).
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 10 notable exceptions…
First, we find powdered cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.
Next, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
In addition, this recipe contains beet pulp, a controversial ingredient that is high in fiber. This item is a by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
Next, this food contains pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% 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 meat content of this dog food.
In addition, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber, but also contain about 19% protein.
We also note the inclusion of coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2
Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
Next, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
This recipe also includes taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Additionally, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
And lastly, this recipe contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight
Canned Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight canned dog food looks like an average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight is a canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus receiving 3 stars.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Hill’s Science Diet. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Hill’s Prescription Diet and Science Diet Dog Food Recall Expands to Include 44 Varieties (3/20/2019)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet and Science Diet Dog Food Recall (1/31/2019)
- Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Market Withdrawal of November 2015 (11/29/2015)
- Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Recall June 2014 (6/3/2014)
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩
03/25/2020 Last Update