Hill’s Science Diet Adult Plus (Canned)

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Plus canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.

The Hill’s Science Diet Adult Plus product line includes 8 wet 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 Adult 7+ Beef and Barley Entree (1 star)[M]
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Turkey and Barley Entree (1 star) [M]
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken and Barley Entree (1 star) [M]
  • Hill’s Science Diet Small/Toy Adult 7+ Chicken and Barley Entree (1 star) [M]
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Savory Stew with Beef and Vegetables (3 stars) [M]
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables (3 stars) [M]
  • Hill’s Science Diet Small/Toy Adult 7+ Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables (3 stars) [M]
  • Hill’s Science Diet Small/Toy Adult 7+ Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables Tray (3 stars) [M]

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken and Barley Entree was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken and Barley Entree

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 18% | Fat = 15% | Carbs = 59%

Ingredients: Water, chicken, cracked pearled barley, whole grain corn, pork liver, dried whey, dried beet pulp, soybean oil, corn gluten meal, chicken liver flavor, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), iodized salt, potassium chloride, iron oxide color, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), taurine, l-tryptophan, beta-carotene

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.1%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis18%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis18%15%59%
Calorie Weighted Basis16%32%52%
Protein = 16% | Fat = 32% | Carbs = 52%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient is 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 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 fourth ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The fifth ingredient is pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The sixth ingredient is dried whey, a by-product of the cheese industry. Dried whey consists of about 75% carbohydrate and can also contribute a limited amount of protein to a dog food.

It’s used in canned dog foods as a gelling agent and is an item with little nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient is 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.

The eighth ingredient is 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.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

Next, iron oxide is a synthetic color additive used in industry to impart a reddish color to food — and paint. In its natural form, this chemical compound is more commonly known as “iron rust”.

We’re always disappointed to find any artificial 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?

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 Science Diet
Adult Plus Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Plus 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 18%, a fat level of 15% and estimated carbohydrates of about 59%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 24% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.

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

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

However, with 32% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 16% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Plus is a plant-based wet dog food using only a limited amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.

Not recommended.

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
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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Special FDA Alert

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

A Final Word

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For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Notes and Updates

04/05/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials