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Dog Food Ratings

Please be aware that Hill’s is voluntarily recalling some canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. More information here.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food

by Hill's
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 10, 2019
Updated

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.

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TYPE
Dry Dog Food
PRICE
$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
Sensitive Digestion
PACKAGE
4, 15.5, 30 lbs
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
Colgate-Palmolive Company

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Nutrition

Nutrition

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

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 23.60%

Min. Fat 15.20%

Min. Carbs 54.20%

Max. Fiber 1.60%

Max. Ash 7.00%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min Protein: 23.6%

Min Fat: 15.2%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 1.6%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 0%

Calories

Calories

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.

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FDA Alert

FDA Alert

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.

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50.3%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
43%
43
Total Ingredients
3
Controversial Ingredients

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.


  • Chicken
    Chicken is a nutritious meat that provides protein, fat and other nutrients to dogs. Raw meat contains about 75% water which is cooked off during the making of dog food. This leaves only a fraction of the protein content in the final product weight. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals in the first five ingredients (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein). However, chicken is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Brewer’s Rice
    Brewer's rice is the small, broken fragments of white rice that are left over when rice is milled. It's used in dog food since it's not considered aesthetically pleasing enough for human food. It's a cheaper alternative to whole rice or other grains, providing calories but only modest nutritional value. It is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken Meal
    Meat meals are the result of cooking. Water is removed from meats to create a protein-rich meal powder. Meat meals contain about four times the protein meats do, so generally, they're a good source of nutrients. Chicken meal is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.

  • Yellow Peas
    Yellow peas are a good source of carbs, fiber and protein. Peas are starchy but high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. We consider this a healthy dog food ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that there is a potential link between peas and canine heart disease. It is still too early to draw conclusions so we cannot yet say if potatoes are a generally high-quality dog food ingredient or should be avoided.

  • Cracked Pearled Barley
    Barley is a type of grass and a cereal grain. It is a source of calories and several nutrients, including protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, niacin and various minerals. Barley provides carbs, energy, fiber and other healthy nutrients for dogs. Barley is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. Cracked and pearled means that the barley bran has been removed and then ground.

Controversial Ingredients

  1. Brewer’s Rice
  2. Brewer's Rice is basically white rice that has been broken into smaller pieces. It's a waste product of the milling process and considered a low quality ingredient because it's missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice.
  1. Chicken Liver Flavor
  2. Artificial flavors are added to increase the chance your dog will want to eat the food. The generic term artificial flavor is used to represent a large number of possible additives, some which could be harmful. These flavors may include but not list controversial ingredients such as propylene glycol, BHA and more.
  1. Pork Liver Flavor
  2. Another artificial flavor. The generic term artificial flavor is used to represent a large number of possible additives, some which could be harmful.  


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.


Artificial Preservatives

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.


Artificial Colors

No artificial colors, either. That’s really great.


Artificial Flavors

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.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
70%
3
Brand Recalls

Hill’s has an above-average number of dog food recalls. Here are more details.

Date:
01/31/2019
Recalled Products:
"Hill’s Prescription Diet: c/d Multicare Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #3384, Lot #102020T10 or 102020T25 i/d Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #3389, Lot #102020T04, or 102020T10, or 102020T19 i/d Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew, 5.5 oz., SKU #3390, Lot #102020T11, or 112020T23, or 122020T07 z/d Canine, 5.5 oz., SKU #5403, Lot #102020T17 or 112020T22 g/d Canine, 13 oz., SKU #7006, Lot #112020T19 i/d Canine, 13 oz., SKU #7008, Lot #092020T30, or 102020T07, or 102020T11, or 112020T22 j/d Canine, 13 oz., SKU #7009, Lot #112020T20 k/d Canine, 13 oz., SKU #7010, Lot #102020T10 w/d Canine, 13 oz., SKU #7017, Lot #092020T30 or 102020T11 z/d Canine, 13 oz., SKU #7018, Lot #102020T04 or 112020T22 Metabolic + Mobility Canine Vegetable & Tuna Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #10086, Lot #102020T05 or 102020T26 w/d Canine Vegetable & Chicken Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #10129, Lot #102020T04 or 102020T21 i/d Low Fat Canine Rice, Vegetable & Chicken Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #10423, Lot #102020T17, or 102020T19, or 112020T04 Derm Defense Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew, 12.5 oz., SKU #10509, Lot #102020T05 Hill’s Science Diet: Adult 7+ Small & Toy Breed Chicken & Barley Entrée Dog Food, 5.8 oz., SKU #4969, Lot#102020T18 Puppy Chicken & Barley Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #7036, Lot#102020T12 Adult Chicken & Barley Entrée Dog Food, 13 oz., SKU #7037, Lot#102020T13 or 112020T23 Adult Turkey & Barley Dog Food, 13 oz., SKU #7038, Lot#102020T06 Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée Dog Food, 13 oz., SKU #7040, Lot#102020T13 Adult Light with Liver Dog Food, 13 oz., SKU #7048, Lot#112020T19 Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entrée Dog Food, 13o oz., SKU #7055, Lot#092020T31 or 102020T13 Adult 7+ Beef & Barley Entrée Dog Food, 13 oz., SKU #7056, Lot#092020T31, or 112020T20, or 112020T24 Adult 7+ Turkey & Barley Entrée, 13 oz., SKU #7057, Lot#112020T19 Adult 7+ Healthy Cuisine Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew Dog Food, 12.5 oz., SKU #10452, Lot#102020T14 or 102020T21 Adult 7+ Youthful Vitality Chicken & Vegetable Stew Dog Food, 12.5 oz., SKU #10763, Lot#102020T04 or 112020T11"
Cause:
Elevated levels of Vitamin D
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
11/28/2015
Recalled Products:
This was actually a product withdrawal, rather than a recall. All date codes of the following canned dog foods were withdrawn: Science Diet Dog Adult Perfect Weight Chicken & Vegetables, 12.8 oz., UPC #5274229750, Ideal Balance Slim & Healthy Chicken, 12.8 oz., UPC #5274230770, Science Diet Dog Small & Toy Adult Gourmet Beef Entrée, 5.8 oz., UPC #5274249660, Science Diet Dog Small & Toy Mature Gourmet Beef Entrée, 5.8 oz., UPC #5274249680, Science Diet Dog Adult Beef Entrée, 13 oz., UPC #5274270390, Science Diet Dog Adult Beef & Chicken Entrée, 13 oz., UPC #5274270400, Science Diet Dog Mature Adult Gourmet Beef Entrée, 13 oz., UPC #5274270560
Cause:
Labeling problems.
Class:
III
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
5/30/2014
Recalled Products:
Hill's Science Diet Adult 1-6, Small & Toy Breeds, Premium Natural Dog Food, packaged in 15.5 lb (7.03 kg) bags. Manufactured by: Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., Topeka, KS.
Cause:
The product may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
62 bags
Source
Transparency

Transparency

Score
75%

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?

(email response)
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.


(Phone response)
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?

(email response)
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.


(phone response)

We do utilize the AAFCO feeding trials, the info will be on the bag.

What country are your products manufactured?

(email response)
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?

(email response)

With our manufacturing facilities, we do not have tours.


What qulity measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?

(email response)
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?

(phone response)
We own our manufacturing facilities, we do not outsource production.

Do any parts of your product come from China?

(phone response)
Taurine and L-carnitine

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food

by Hill's
CHECK PRICE NOW
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