Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight product line includes 2 canned dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
- Hill’s 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, green beans, turkey liver, carrots, green peas, potato starch, egg whites, oat fiber, powdered cellulose, turkey heart, 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, l-lysine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (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, calcium carbonate, taurine, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate), l-carnitine, beta-carotene
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 11.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||13%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||28%||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 green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
The fourth ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth 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 ingredient 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 ten 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. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
Next, 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 apple pomace. Apple pomace includes the pulpy solids that remain after pressing apples to extract the juice. It is most likely used here for its fiber content.
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.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
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 modest amount of meat.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight is a canned dog food using a modest amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.
We like this product. However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient, we may have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food
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.
- 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)
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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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. ↩
10/17/2018 Last Update