Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food Review (Canned)

Rating:

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Hill’s Science Diet Puppy product line includes 4 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.

Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.

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

Hill's Science Diet Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Water, chicken, whole grain corn, cracked pearled barley, soybean meal, pork liver, fish oil, dicalcium phosphate, iodized salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, iron oxide color, minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate), beta-carotene

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%23%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%23%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%44%33%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 33%

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 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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.

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

The next ingredient is fish oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

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 two notable exceptions

First, 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
Puppy Canned Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Science Diet Puppy 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 28%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.

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 soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

However, with 44% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 23% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy is a meat-based wet dog food using a moderate amount of named meat as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

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.

Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Hill’s Science Diet Puppy dry dog food.

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.

Related Topics

Readers interested in Hill’s Science Diet Puppy wet dog food may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…

Important FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

05/05/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials