Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food Review (Canned)

Hills Science Diet PUppy Chicken and Barley Wet Dog Food

Review of Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Canned Dog Food

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 the 4 wet dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

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Product Rating AAFCO
Science Diet Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree 3 G
Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree 3 G
Science Diet Puppy Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables 3 G
Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables Tray 3 G

Recipe and Label Analysis

Science Diet Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree 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 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%

Ingredient Analysis

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, which 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 Hill’s 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Science Diet Puppy looks like an average wet product.

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 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

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

Which means this Science Diet product line contains…

Near-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.

Our Rating of Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Canned Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy is a grain-inclusive moisture-rich dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

Has Hill’s Brand Dog Food Been Recalled?

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Hill’s.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More Hill’s Brand Reviews

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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.

References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

05/11/2021 Last Update