Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Review
Review of Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food
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 growing kittens and pregnant/nursing 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 Kitten provides complete and balanced nutrition for growing kittens and pregnant/nursing cats.
We'll begin this review of Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Kitten with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.
The first ingredient is chicken, which is an excellent source of protein and fat.
The second ingredient is brown rice. Brown rice is naturally rich in fiber and various minerals including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Relative to other grains, brown rice is easy to digest.
The third ingredient is dried egg product. Dried egg product consists of shell-free eggs which are easy to digest and contain high quality protein. Egg protein is often given the highest biological value (BV). The BV metric measures the usability of the ingredient's protein.
The fourth ingredient is whole grain wheat. 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.
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 fifth 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.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Kitten 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is produced by cooking chicken using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of chicken and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.
The next ingredient is soybean protein isolate. Soy protein isolate is a highly refined/purified form of soy bean protein. Roughly 90% of soy protein isolate is protein. The inclusion of non-meat protein typically degrades the overall quality of protein in the recipe. This degradation is due to the inferior amino acid profile of plant based proteins.
Then we have pea protein concentrate. Pea protein concentrate is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein concentrate 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.
Moving on, we have 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.
Moving on with this review, we have cracked pearled barley. Cracked pearled barley is barley with the outer husk and bran layers removed. Similar to regular barley, cracked pearled barley provides carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Cracked pearled barley is however not as nutritious as regular whole grain barley.
The next ingredient in this review is pork protein isolate. According to AAFCO, "Meat Protein Isolate is produced by separating meat protein from fresh, clean, unadulterated bones by heat processing followed by low temperature drying to preserve function and nutrition." Pork protein isolate ingredient contains a minimum of 90% protein, maximum of 1% fat and 2% ash.
Our next ingredient is soybean meal. Soybean meal contains more than 50% protein. Therefore, soybean can significantly boost the protein content of the product. The inclusion of non-meat protein typically degrades the overall quality of protein in the recipe. This degradation is due to the inferior amino acid profile of plant based proteins.
natural chicken liver flavor is the next ingredient in this recipe. 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.
Next on the list is lactic acid, which is an organic compound. Lactic acid is most likely used in this recipe as a preservative.
The next ingredient in this recipe is calcium sulfate. 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 we have dicalcium phosphate. Dicalcium phosphate (misnomer for dibasic calcium phosphate) is commonly used in pet food and treats as a dietary calcium supplement. It can also be found in breakfast cereals, enriched flour, noodle products, pharmaceutical tablets, and toothpastes.
The next ingredient is oat groats. Oat groats are obtained by removing the inedible outer husk of oats. Unlike other ingredients derived from oats, groats are not processed further and therefore contain the whole grain.
Oat groats provide a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, and various minerals. Whats more, non-contaminated oats are gluten free; however, oats are typically processed and grown near ingredients which contain gluten and therefore contamination is not unusual. Always check the packaging to ensure the product is gluten free if your pet has allergies to gluten.
Then we have fish oil. Fish oil is defined by AAFCO as "the oil from rendering whole fish or cannery waste." It is typically rich in omega-3 fatty acids and therefore a good fat source. However, the specific fish used to obtain the oil is not specified and therefore we cannot make any specific claims.
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 substantial 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 Kitten is 2.0 out of 5.