About Hill’s Science Diet
The story behind the Hills Science Diet dog food brand is interesting, as it started out with a need for more nutritious dog food. In the 1930s, a man named Morris Frank was traveling the United States with his guide dog Buddy.
Morris Frank was blind, and his German Shepherd would assist him with tasks he was unable to handle himself. That is interesting on its own, as guide dogs have been around for a long time; establishing a unique relationship with the person they are serving.
Buddy, the guide dog, had kidney problems and was unwell at times, which led Frank to contact Dr. Mark Morris Sr. The doctor performed tests and examined the dog and reached the conclusion that the health issues the dog was suffering from were most likely a cause of poor nutrition – which pointed the finger at the dog food Frank was feeding his faithful friend.
Dr. Morris and his wife Louise began developing their own dog food right there in their kitchen, and Louise and three other women then moved the production down to the basement. It was first packed in jars, but when these broke during transport – the company started storing their dog food in cans.
This was the beginning of a company now known as Hill’s Science Diet dog food. The name came along after 1948 when Dr. Mark Morris partnered with the Hill Packing Company and its founder Burton-Hill. Today, the brand has evolved tremendously, and you can now buy Hills Science dog food in 86 countries across the globe.
About Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food
The Hills Science Diet line currently consists of 17 dry dog food products and several wet food options. There are Science Diet puppy food, Science Diet adult dog food and other Science dog food diets, and the company’s goal has been to provide kibble and wet food that fits all life stages, but also specialized diets for medical conditions and specific illnesses. This is what makes them stand out on the market, as the brand is often recommended by licensed veterinarians.
If we take a look at the ingredients in Hills dog food, we see that many of the products list chicken as their first ingredient. This is usually a good sign and it could be confusing that the brand is only given 3/5 stars, but there is a good explanation for it. Fresh chicken contains up to 80% water, which will be removed during the cooking process.
After the moist is gone, that chicken is unlikely to place as high up on the ingredient list, and it is easy to be led to believe that a product contains more protein than it does. Hill’s Science dog food has whole grain wheat as the second ingredient, and this means that it is grain-based dog food, rather than a meat protein dog food.
There are a lot of healthy ingredients in Science Diet food; like chicken meal, flaxseed, vitamins, minerals, folic acid, taurine, apples, broccoli, green peas, and cranberry, but many of these are listed far down on the ingredient list, something that indicates a low presence of each item. More problematic ingredients are corn and wheat – known fillers with little to no nutritional value.
While this dog food may be suitable for dogs with medical conditions, it does seem to contain mostly fillers, which is problematic, and the reason for the low- to average rate. It is a better dog food than commercial brands sold in the grocery store, but there is room for improvement.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Recall History
When looking into the recall history of Science Diet dog food, we notice quite a few incidents where the food has been recalled by the company. In 2014, Hill Science dog food made the decision to voluntarily recall 62 bags of their small- and toy breed kibble, after potential contamination with salmonella was discovered. It concerned bags sold in Nevada, California, and Hawaii, and there were no reports of dogs have fallen ill.
In November 2015, regarding Science Diet dog food Petsmart made the choice to recall some of their canned products. The announcement was made without specifying why the dog food was being recalled or what had caused the store chain to make the decision, and no further details have been provided since. The recall affected a variety of canned Hill’s dog food products.
The next time a recall was made was in 2021 when Science Diet foods were recalled on two separate occasions. The first recall was filed in January after it was discovered that some canned Hill’s Science Diet products contained elevated levels of vitamin D.
Vitamins are great for dogs, but too much of anything is bad, and very high levels of vitamin D could lead to kidney problems and other health issues. The March recall the same year was an extension of the January recall, where more products were recalled, also with the suspicion of containing too much vitamin D.
Which Dogs Can Eat Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food?
Hill’s Science Diet puppy food is what you would use for a growing dog. How long you use Hills Science Diet puppy products depends on the size and breed of your dog, but the company is making a variety of products for the youngest of dogs. You can choose between wet dog food and kibble, depending on what you and your dog prefer, and start feeding Science Diet dog food from the moment you bring your puppy home.
The company also has a large variety of adult Science Diet dog foods, where you can pick the product you think would work best. One potential issue is that many of the products contain chicken (both fresh chicken, chicken meal and potentially also chicken fat), and this could be problematic for dogs with food sensitivities. Some dogs tend to show signs of chicken allergies, and Science Hill dog food might not be the best option in those cases.
Some of the products sold by Hills Science Diet are therapeutic dog foods – made to reverse, treat or lessen the symptoms of a specific health condition. Some are unsure whether you need a prescription for these, as it can be somewhat confusing.
You don’t need a prescription per say, but you should not use a therapeutic dog food unless your veterinarian has told you to do so. This is due to the altered ingredients in these products, that may not be enough for healthy dogs.
Some websites and pet stores may also require a note from a veterinarian before they will allow you to purchase the product, so make sure you contact your local vet if you think your dog needs one of these products.
List of Best Hill’s Science Diet Dog Foods
1. Science Diet Large-Breed Puppy
This crunchy Hills puppy food is ideal for larger dogs, as the kibble size has been adjusted to aid with their oral health (by removing and preventing plaque and tartar build-up). Science Diet Large-Breed Puppy has vitamin C and E, clinically proven antioxidant benefits and good support for growing bones and joints, and your young pooch will love the flavor of this Hills Science Diet puppy food.
2. Science Diet Small Paws for Small Breeds
If you have a small dog, you might want to consider this kibble; Science Diet Small Paws for Small Breeds has tailored nutrition for the smallest of our furry friends, a reduced kibble size and it is made without any artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. Big dogs and small dogs have different nutritional requirements, and this Hill dog food will help your miniature pups look and feel their best.
3. Science Diet Adult Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs & Skin
With a Hills food like this product, your sensitive dog will get the help they need with their stomach problems. Science Diet Adult Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs & Skin contains a good source of prebiotics, vitamins, and Omega-6 fatty acids, and it contains fiber to help with digestion and metabolism.
4. Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care
Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care is one of the products that many retailers will require a veterinary note before they will sell to you, as it is a dog food that should only be used upon a veterinary recommendation.
It is made in the United States with trustable ingredients, and it is made with a formula that has been clinically proven to aid with digestion in cases where the dog might be medically inclined (due to illness) to struggle.
5. Hill’s Prescription Diet Skin & Food Sensitivities
An optimal balance of nutrients makes the Hill’s Prescription Diet Skin & Food Sensitivities a great option for dogs with food allergies. Hills have removed the ingredients that are likely to cause stomach upset and skin irritation in sensitive dogs, and they have worked together with veterinarians and canine nutrition experts to create a formula that does not only aid with the symptoms, but with the building up the immune system and the body’s own defenses.
Hill’s Science Diet Discount Coupons & Promo Deals
For those living in the United States, going onto the Hills Science Diet website could be a good first step when looking for appealing promo deals. You can also sign up for their newsletter and get first-hand information regarding sales, promos, and discounts, often before the information reaches the general public.
Whether you are looking for a Hills Science puppy food or a Scientific diet for dogs that are already adults – there are probably promos out there somewhere! Many websites like Chewy.com and Amazon offers free shipping on larger orders, and online pet stores may offer discounts if you sign up for regular shipments of your favorite dog foods.
Hill’s Science Diet is overall good dog food made with quality ingredients. It lacks in animal-based protein and is a mostly plant-based diet, but it is significantly higher in quality than many of the cheapest commercial brands.
You have choices like Hill’s Science Diet puppy food, adult dog foods and suitable options for senior dogs, but you can also get Science Diet for dogs with chronic illnesses, temporary disease, and other medical conditions.
There are plenty of options and it is a portion of very accessible dog food – easy to find in pet stores and online, and affordable in comparison to other brands.
Hill’s still only receiving ratings between 2-5-3 stars out of 5, but it does not mean it is a poor or unwise dog food option for your fur friend. Know that there are better options out there, but if Hill’s is a good fit for your budget – it is a dog food that will provide your furry friend with nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and more.