Hill's Healthy Advantage Dog Food Ingredients

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Hill's Healthy Advantage manufactures roughly 8 different dog food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Hill's Healthy Advantage ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Hill's Healthy Advantage uses roughly 87 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For Hill's Healthy Advantage, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. brown rice
  3. whole grain wheat
  4. cracked pearled barley
  5. soybean meal

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Hill's Healthy Advantage is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is brown rice, followed by whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, and soybean meal.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Hill's Healthy Advantage does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 8 Hill's Healthy Advantage dog foods contain artificial food dyes.

Artificial food coloring dyes are unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. In general, we not not recommend feeding any pet foods that contain artificial dyes.

In 2010, the CSPI raised serious concerns regarding the safety of many artificial dyes. Most of the studies referenced by the CSPI involved prolonged or excessive consumption. Since most dogs consume the same foods throughout their lives, concerns raised by the CSPI are alarming to say the least.

To read more about Artificial Food Dyes, click here.

Animal By-Products

Hill's Healthy Advantage does indeed use animal by-products. More specifically, 1 animal by-product ingredient was found during our analysis of Hill's Healthy Advantage dog food ingredients.

According to AAFCO, by-products are defined as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. In other words, animal by-products are the leftover ingredients that humans typically do not consume (lung, heart, tongue, stomach, intestine, blood, etc).

Many consumers have equated animal by-products with slaughterhouse waste. Animal by-products are still very controversial. Most premium brands have abandoned them in favor of specific named organ ingredients (duck liver, chicken heart, etc).

If you must feed a product with animal by-products, ensure that the specific animal source is specified. In other words, avoid ingredients such as meat by-products or poultry by-products.

chicken by-product meal
1 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are inexpensive low-quality ingredients that can come from practically any animal. These type of ingredients are often used to produce very inexpensive dog foods.

In general, we prefer ingredients which specify the animal source used to derive the ingredient. For example, ingredients such as duck fat are much better than animal fat or poultry fat.

In our analysis, we've looked through all 87 Hill's Healthy Advantage ingredients. According to our data, Hill's Healthy Advantage does not contain any anonymous animal-based ingredients.

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce dog foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 9 controversial ingredients inside Hill's Healthy Advantage products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

whole grain wheat
5 Recipes

Whole grain wheat contains the entire grain of wheat (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Wheat is the second most-produced cereal grain in the world (corn is the first). Although wheat is a controversial ingredient, it is not necessarily undesirable because it provides dietary fiber and many other nutrients. However, wheat contains a notable amount of plant based protein, which is inferior to meat based protein and therefore an undesirable substitution.</p><p>Wheat is also one of the most common ingredients to cause food allergies or intolerance. However, grains such as wheat are typically low offenders in comparison to certain protein sources (such as beef).

The following recipes contain whole grain wheat:

pork plasma
2 Recipes

Pork plasma is the colorless fluid part of a pig's blood. It may sound disgusting, but it's actually very nutritious for dogs. Regardless of the nutritional aspects, consumers are shocked by this ingredient, which is why pork plasma is considered a controversial ingredient.

The following recipes contain pork plasma:

white rice
2 Recipes

White rice is produced by removing the husk, germ, and bran of rice grains. Unlike brown rice which contains the bran and germ, white rice is nutritionally empty.

The following recipes contain white rice:

powdered cellulose
1 Recipes

Powdered cellulose is produced from minuscule pieces of wood pulp and plant fibers. Other than its fiber content, powdered cellulose lacks any nutritional contribution.

The following recipes contain powdered cellulose:

brewers rice
1 Recipes

Brewer's rice is the small fragments of rice kernel that are separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. The fragments do not contain the same nutrition profile of the whole kernel and therefore brewer's rice is a lower quality grain. Brewer's rice is typically regarded as an inexpensive and low quality filler.

The following recipes contain brewers rice:

pea protein
1 Recipes

Pea protein is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein is considered controversial because it provides a substantial plant based protein boost. This boost is undesirable because plant based protein is typically lower in biological value when compared to meat based proteins.

The following recipes contain pea protein:

whole grain corn
1 Recipes

Whole grain corn is the entire corn kernel (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Corn is a cereal grain which provides a modest amount of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein. It also happens to be one of the most controversial ingredients in dog food.</p><p>Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.</p><p>Opponents however believe that positive claims in regards to corn are either half-truths or completely false, we'll discuss a few of the opposing arguments.</p><p>In regards to digestibility, the claims of "highly digestible" are only true if corn is processed into a meal or flour and subsequently cooked. In regards to the protein contribution, we must note that corn is a plant based protein which does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.</p><p>Finally, we'll discuss the claims about vitamins and minerals in corn. Although corn does provide many vitamins and minerals, it not necessarily an exceptional ingredient in this regards. There are many other ingredients which are more complete and biologically appropriate. Therefore the usage of corn as the primary ingredient in dog food should certainly warrant further questioning.

The following recipes contain whole grain corn:

caramel color
2 Recipes

Caramel color is a concentrated form of caramel, a natural food colorant. Caramel color has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. Since our pets do not care about food color, caramel color is an unnecessary addition with possible health risks.

The following recipes contain caramel color:

chicken by-product meal
1 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

During our review, none of the Hill's Healthy Advantage ingredients analyzed were classified as harmful by our system. The absence of harmful ingredients is indicative of a relatively premium dog food brand.

Hill's Healthy Advantage Dog Food Ingredient Lists

Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe For Adult Dogs

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Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Dog Food Chicken Flavor For Adult Dogs (Oral +)

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Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe For Adult Dogs (Small Bites)

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Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe For Adult 7+ Dogs

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Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe For Puppies

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Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe For Large Breed Puppies

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Hill's Healthy Advantage Wet Dog Food Chicken & Vegetable Entree For Adult Dogs

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Hill's Healthy Advantage Wet Dog Food Chicken & Vegetable Entree For Puppies

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