Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight product line includes the 4 dry 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 to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight [M]
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small and Mini [M]
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Large Breed [M]
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small Bites [M]
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, cracked pearled barley, brown rice, pea fiber, corn gluten meal, chicken meal, dried tomato pomace, oat fiber, chicken liver flavor, flaxseed, dried beet pulp, coconut oil, pork flavor, lactic acid, potassium chloride, l-lysine, dl-methionine, carrots, iodized salt, lipoic acid, 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, minerals (manganese sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), taurine, mixed tocopherols for freshness, natural flavors, l-carnitine, beta-carotene, apples, broccoli, cranberries, green peas
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 10.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||11%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||25%||48%|
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 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 next ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth item is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to canines.
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 can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that can’t be ignored when judging the actual meat content of this product.
The sixth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The seventh item is tomato pomace. This ingredient is a controversial one, 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.
Next, we find 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).
After the chicken liver flavor, 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 and contain about 19% protein.
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 5 notable exceptions…
First, beet pulp is considered 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, we note the use 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.1
Because of its proven safety2 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.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
We also note the inclusion of taurine in this product. Taurine is 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.
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.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight
Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.
Which means this Science Diet product line contains…
Near-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 corn gluten meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 3.5 stars.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Hill’s. 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
- 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. ↩
04/11/2020 Last Update