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Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin is a low-priced dry dog food with overall lower quality. This product has 3 controversial ingredients, two of which are artificial flavors. The food additionally has a high amount of carbs, compared to its protein and fat - but excellent meat and fat quality. Hill's Pet Food has an above-average number of recalls. The company, however, was mostly transparent when answering our questions.Read the Full Review Below
The food has high carbs and low protein and fats, making it less nutritionally balanced compared to other dog foods we evaluated. Carbohydrates are cheap so they keep the food’s cost low and they are nutritionally useful to dogs in the right amounts. However, high amounts of carbs can reduce the much-needed meat-based protein and fat content.
To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more
Min. Protein 23.60%
Min. Fat 15.20%
Min. Carbs 54.20%
Max. Fiber 1.60%
Max. Ash 7.00%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min Protein: 23.6%
Min Fat: 15.2%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 1.6%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 0%
392 Calories per Cup
This product has a somewhat high amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Slightly higher calorie foods like this are typically best for fairly active dogs who need a moderate amount of daily calories. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount. It's helpful to know that weight loss foods often have fewer than 340 calories per cup, weight maintenance foods typically range from 340-380 calories, and high-activity dog foods are usually over 400 calories.
Grain-Free Dog Foods
This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.Learn More
Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, 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), Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 3 total controversial ingredients and 1 of them is found in the first five ingredients. This is concerning because the first 5 ingredients make up most of the product.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at a dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
Hill’s dog food is made in the United States, which ensures a high level of food quality standards.
Meat & Fat Quality
The label shows Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, and Soybean Oil as the major meats and the added oil. All of them clearly label which animal and plant they come from, very transparent.
This product contains no controversial preservatives. It’s good to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.
No artificial colors, either. That’s really great.
Chicken Liver Flavor and Pork Liver Flavor are used in this dog food. Both are artificial flavors that are unnecessary and controversial, see above. The food would be better without them.
Hill’s has an above-average number of dog food recalls. Here are more details.
We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.
How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?
Hills is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, and responded to the first email in 3 days, but provided incomplete answers and suggested that a call be placed. Depending on the context of the question, this could be seen as helpful or it could be seen as a hurdle to receive an answer. The answers below are a combination of both email and phone responses and will be clear where the info came from. Since the call was not recorded, the responses received from the call has been paraphrased - they should not be seen as exact statements from the company.
Does Hills have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?
More than 150 veterinarians, food scientists, technicians and PhD nutritionists at Hill's develop Science Diet® and Prescription Diet® brand pet foods to meet the needs of your pet when it's well or when it's sick.
Can't share the names of these professionals for privacy reasons.
Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?
See the previous answer.
Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?
Each ingredient is analyzed to ensure its safety before it is included in the food your pet eats. We analyze our products' ingredient profile for over 50 nutrients and conduct feeding trials to ensure your pets get the precise nutrition they need. We do utilize feeding trials, While some of our Science Diet® products were launched "as formulated", the feeding trials will continue in the background and labels will be adjusted as the trials are completed.
We do utilize the AAFCO feeding trials, the info will be on the bag.
What country are your products manufactured?
We make every bag of our dry pet food in our own US facilities with highest quality natural ingredients from North America and Europe. These ingredients must meet our strict requirements for purity and nutrient content, which exceed industry standards.
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
With our manufacturing facilities, we do not have tours.
What qulity measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?
We maintain the highest standards of quality control for our manufacturing facilities, our ingredients, and our finished products. We source meat and poultry ingredients from USDA inspected plants. As part of a vigorous vendor certification program, vendors must check raw ingredients before shipment to our manufacturing facilities.
Frequent inspections of our suppliers, analytical testing of incoming ingredients, and testing of our finished products all confirm our commitment to quality. Also, Hill's® demands compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and Hill's high quality standards, so your pet's food is produced under clean and sanitary conditions.
The pet food industry is highly regulated in the U.S. by the USDA, FDA and state departments of agriculture. Additionally, Hill's® is a member of the Pet Food Institute, a trade industry organization that works to maintain high quality standards in pet food manufacturing.
Does Hills own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?
We own our manufacturing facilities, we do not outsource production.
Do any parts of your product come from China?
Taurine and L-carnitine
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.