Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Review
Adult Oral +
Review of Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food
Adult Oral +
This product is manufactured by Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc..
According to our data, this Hill's Healthy Advantage recipe provides complete & balanced nutrition for the maintenance of adult cats. In other words, this formula is AAFCO approved.
Unlike other AAFCO approved cat foods which rely in laboratory testing to substantiate nutritional adequacy, this recipe has undergone feeding trials. In the pet food industry, feeding trials are often considered to be the superior testing method.
Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Adult Oral + provides complete and balanced nutrition for the maintenance of adult cats.
We'll begin this review of Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Adult Oral + with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.
The first ingredient is chicken by-product meal. 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.
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 cats.
The second ingredient is corn gluten meal. 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 third ingredient is whole grain corn. 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 cat food.
Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
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.
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 cats to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.
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 cat food should certainly warrant further questioning.
The fourth ingredient is pork fat. Pork fat is typically collected while cooking pork using a process called rendering. Pork fat is a relatively high quality source of essential fatty acids. In particular, pork fat is high in linoleic acid, an important omega-6 fatty acid.
The fifth ingredient is powdered cellulose. Powdered cellulose is produced from minuscule pieces of wood pulp and plant fibers. Other than its fiber content, powdered cellulose lacks any nutritional contribution.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Adult Oral + are not as important as the first five ingredients.
However, collectively they still have a significant impact on the overall quality of the product. Therefore, we'll continue discussing the remaining ingredients in this Hill's Healthy Advantage recipe.
Next we have brewers rice. 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 next ingredient is natural chicken liver flavor. As the name implies, natural chicken liver flavor provides chicken liver flavor to the product. This particular flavor is derived from natural sources which may or may not include real chicken liver.
Then we have lactic acid, which is an organic compound. Lactic acid is most likely used in this recipe as a preservative.
Moving on, we have soybean oil. Soybean oil is an omega-6 fatty acid source. Unlike other oils (flax, canola, etc), soybean oil does not provide omega-3 fatty acids; However, the balancing omega-3 fatty acids are most likely supplied by another oil or fat source in the product.
Moving on with this review, we have potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is a potassium supplement.
The next ingredient in this review is choline chloride. Choline chloride is member of the B-vitamin complex (vitamin B4).
Our next ingredient is flaxseed. Flaxseeds are an outstanding source of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. They also provide a notable amount of protein, B vitamins, and various minerals.
calcium sulfate is the next ingredient in this recipe. Calcium sulfate is a food additive that helps control acidity levels and functions as a firming agent. It's not a desirable ingredient, but it is considered safe by the FDA in small quantities.
Next on the list is iodized salt. Iodized salt is simply table salt mixed with very small amounts of iodine-containing salt. Iodine is an important natural element required by cats to maintain good health.
The remaining ingredients in this Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food recipe are unlikely to affect the overall rating of the product.
Our analysis of the ingredients show that this product derives a considerable amount of protein from non-meat ingredients. This is an undesirable property because plant based protein often lacks many of the necessary amino acids required by cats. This property is typically found in lower quality products.
In summary, we recognize that this product does not contain any artificial colors, artificial preservatives, or anonymous meat ingredients.
The official PawDiet rating for Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Adult Oral + is 1.0 out of 5.