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 the 4 wet 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 compare prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Science Diet Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree [G]
- Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Chicken and Barley Entree [G]
- Science Diet Puppy Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables (2.5 stars) [G]
- Science Diet Puppy Small Paws Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables Tray (2.5 stars) [G]
Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||23%||41%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||44%||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 item 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 next 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 2 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. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy
Canned Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Science Diet Puppy 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 30% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Which means this Science Diet product line contains…
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other wet dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food 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.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy is a grain-inclusive moisture-rich dog food using a moderate amount of named meat as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
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
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Science Diet 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)
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) when readers click over to their website 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.
Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
11/01/2019 Last Update