Review of Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Hill’s Science Diet Adult product line includes the 26 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the following links to check prices at an online retailer. If you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a referral fee. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, yellow peas, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum, egg product, chicken fat, soybean oil, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken liver flavor, lactic acid, pork liver flavor, potassium chloride, flaxseed, iodized salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, taurine, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), mixed tocopherols for freshness, oat fiber, natural flavors, beta-carotene, apples, broccoli, carrots, cranberries, green peas
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||25%||16%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||34%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The next ingredient lists 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 fifth item is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is 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 egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The next item is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality 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 Science Diet product.
With 6 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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, soybean oil 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.
In addition, flaxseed is 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.
Next, we note the use of 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.
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. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Science Diet Adult looks like an average dry kibble.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 24% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Which means this Science Diet product line contains…
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed in this recipe, and the corn gluten and soybean meals contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
More Top Picks
Has Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Hill’s.
- 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)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
Get Free Recall Alerts
Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.
More Hill’s Brand Reviews
The following Hill’s dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Hill’s Healthy Advantage Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Healthy Advantage Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet B/D Canine Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet C/D Canine Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet D/D Canine Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care I/D Canine Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Canine Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Joint Care J/D Canine Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Canine Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Canine Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Weight Reduction R/D Canine Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Canine Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Plus Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Plus Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Science Diet Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food Review (Canned)
- Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food Review (Dry)
A Final Word
The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.
However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.
For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
05/08/2021 Last Update