Hill's Ideal Balance Dog Food Ingredients

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Hill's Ideal Balance manufactures roughly 11 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 Ideal Balance ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Hill's Ideal Balance uses roughly 79 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 Ideal Balance, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. brown rice
  3. brewers rice
  4. cracked pearled barley
  5. chicken meal

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Hill's Ideal Balance is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is brown rice, followed by brewers rice, cracked pearled barley, and chicken meal.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Hill's Ideal Balance does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 11 Hill's Ideal Balance 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

According to our records, Hill's Ideal Balance does not contain any animal by-products.

Animal by-products are basically the leftover parts of the the carcass after its been processed for meat. AAFCO defines by-products as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals.

Although by-products are still fairly nutritious ingredients, consumers have equated them with slaughterhouse waste. Therefore, most premium brands, including Hill's Ideal Balance have decided to remove by-products and instead use named organ meats (beef liver, chicken gizzards).

For further reading on the controversy over animal by-products, click here.

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 79 Hill's Ideal Balance ingredients. According to our data, Hill's Ideal Balance 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 4 controversial ingredients inside Hill's Ideal Balance products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

powdered cellulose
2 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
4 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
5 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:

caramel color
1 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:

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 Ideal Balance 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 Ideal Balance Dog Food Ingredient Lists

Hill's Ideal Balance Adult Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe


Hill's Ideal Balance Grain Free Adult Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe


Hill's Ideal Balance Large Breed Adult Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe


Hill's Ideal Balance Mature Adult Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe


Hill's Ideal Balance Puppy Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe


Hill's Ideal Balance Small Breed Adult Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe


Hill's Ideal Balance Regular Canned Adult Roasted Beef & Zucchini Stew


Hill's Ideal Balance Regular Canned Adult Slow Cooked Chicken & Zucchini Stew


Hill's Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals With Beef & Sweet Potatoes


Hill's Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals With Chicken & Carrots


Hill's Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals With Duck & Pumpkin