Hill's Science Diet Dog Food Ingredients

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Hill's Science Diet manufactures roughly 77 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 Science Diet ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Hill's Science Diet uses roughly 143 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 Science Diet, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. water
  2. chicken
  3. pork liver
  4. brown rice
  5. whole grain corn

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Hill's Science Diet is water. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken, followed by pork liver, brown rice, and whole grain corn.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Hill's Science Diet does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 77 Hill's Science Diet 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 Science Diet does indeed use animal by-products. More specifically, 2 animal by-product ingredients were found during our analysis of Hill's Science Diet 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.

pork by-products
1 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, pork by-products contain nearly all parts of pork 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, pork 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 pork by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain pork by-products:

beef by-products
4 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, beef by-products contain nearly all parts of the beef 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, beef 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 beef by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain beef by-products:

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 143 Hill's Science Diet ingredients. According to our data, Hill's Science Diet 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 12 controversial ingredients inside Hill's Science Diet products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

whole grain wheat
28 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:

dried tomato pomace
8 Recipes
corn gluten meal
32 Recipes

Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the production of various corn products (corn starch, corn syrup, etc). It's very high in protein (nearly 60% protein) and therefore can significant boost the protein content of the product. Because plant based proteins such as corn gluten meal are inferior to meat based proteins (lack many essential amino acids), they are not suitable substitutes.

The following recipes contain corn gluten meal:

wheat gluten
7 Recipes
pea protein
4 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
31 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:

pork by-products
1 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, pork by-products contain nearly all parts of pork 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, pork 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 pork by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain pork by-products:

beef by-products
4 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, beef by-products contain nearly all parts of the beef 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, beef 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 beef by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain beef by-products:

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.

There are certain situations where these ingredients may be necessary. We always recommend contacting Hill's Science Diet for further clarification regarding any harmful or controversial ingredient.

We have identified 1 harmful ingredient used in certain Hill's Science Diet recipes. To learn more, click on the ingredient's name.

menadione sodium bisulfite complex
3 Recipes

Menadione sodium bisulfite complex is a synthetic version of vitamin K that has been linked to many health concerns. Research has suggested possible toxic reactions in liver cells and red blood cells among other serious problems. In fact, one large chemical supplier warns, "The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage."

The following recipes contain menadione sodium bisulfite complex:

Hill's Science Diet Dog Food Ingredient Lists

Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Bites Chicken & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Bites Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult Grain Free Chicken & Potato Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Puppy Small Bites Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Large Breed Adult Chicken Meal, Brown Rice & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Small Bites Adult Chicken Meal, Brown Rice & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult 6+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Light Adult With Chicken Meal & Barley

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Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Chicken Meal & Oats Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Light Adult With Chicken Meal & Barley

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Hill's Science Diet Light Small Bites Adult With Chicken Meal & Barley

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Hill's Science Diet Oral Care Adult Chicken, Rice & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Adult Chicken Recipe For Dogs

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Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Small & Mini Adult Chicken Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Puppy Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult Chicken Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chickien Recipe For Small & Mini Adult Dogs

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe For Adult Dogs

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult 11+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Light Adult With Chicken Meal & Barley

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Youthful Vitality Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Recipe

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Hill's Science Diet Youthful Vitality Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Recipe For Small & Mini Dogs

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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Turkey & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Beef & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Light With Liver

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken & Vegetable Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Savory Stew With Beef & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Savory Stew With Chicken & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Salmon & Vegetable Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Adult Turkey & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Adult 7+ Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew

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Hill's Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Adult 7+ Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew

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Hill's Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Adult Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew

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Hill's Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Adult Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew

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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Savory Stew With Beef & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Savory Stew With Chicken & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Adult Hearty Vegetable & Chicken Stew

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Hill's Science Diet Puppy Chicken & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Puppy Savory Stew With Chicken & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult Savory Stew With Beef & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Adult Savory Stew With Chicken & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Chicken & Barley Entree For Adult Dogs

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult 7+ Savory Stew With Chicken & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Chicken & Barley Entree

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Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Puppy Savory Stew With Chicken & Vegetables

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Hill's Science Diet Youthful Vitality Small & Mini Adult 7+ Chicken & Vegetable Stew

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Hill's Science Diet Youthful Vitality Adult 7+ Chicken & Vegetable Stew

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Baked Light Medium Biscuits With Real Chicken

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Baked Light Small Biscuits With Real Chicken

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Flexi-Stix Jerky With Real Beef

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Flexi-Stix Jerky With Real Turkey

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Fruity Crunchy Snacks With Apples & Oatmeal

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Fruity Crunchy Snacks With Cranberries & Oatmeal

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Hill's Science Diet Grain Free Crunchy Naturals With Chicken & Apples

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Jerky Mini-Strips With Real Beef

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Jerky Mini-Strips With Real Chicken

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Jerky Strips With Real Beef

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Jerky Strips With Real Chicken

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Training Soft & Chewy Treats With Real Chicken

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Soft Savories With Beef & Cheddar

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Soft Savories With Chicken & Yogurt

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Hill's Science Diet Natural Soft Savories With Peanut Butter & Bananas

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