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 puppies and pregnant/nursing dogs. In other words, this formula is AAFCO approved.
Unlike other AAFCO approved dog 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 Puppy provides complete and balanced nutrition for growing puppies and pregnant/nursing dogs.
We'll begin this review of Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Puppy with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.
The first ingredient is chicken. Although chicken is an excellent protein source, raw chicken contains more than 60% moisture. After cooking, the relative meat contribution of chicken is dramatically reduced. Therefore, it's important to ensure that other meat sources are included within the first few ingredients to ensure the product derives most of its protein from meat.
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 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.
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 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.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Healthy Advantage Dry Food Puppy 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 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 next 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.
Then 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, we have dried beet pulp. Dried beet pulp is the by-product which remains once sugar has been extracted from sugar beets. The primary contribution of beet pulp is dietary fiber.
We'd also like to note that beet pulp is fairly controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that beet pulp can promote intestinal health and regulate blood sugar. However, opponents claim that beet pulp is an inexpensive filler.
Moving on with this review, we have 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.
The next ingredient in this review 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.
Our next ingredient is 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.
lactic acid is the next ingredient in this recipe, which is an organic compound. Lactic acid is most likely used in this recipe as a preservative.
Next on the list is 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 next ingredient in this recipe is 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.
Next we have green pea. Green peas are starchy members of the legume family. Other than carbohydrates, peas are notably high in plant based protein and various vitamins and minerals.
The next ingredient is apple. Apples are high in dietary fiber and provide a modest amount of vitamins and minerals.
Then we have cranberry. Cranberries are rich in dietary fiber and provide a modest amount of vitamins such as vitamin C and minerals such as manganese.
Moving on, we have carrot. Carrots are an excellent source of dietary fiber and minerals. In addition, carrots are rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant which is a precursor to vitamin A.
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 most of its protein from animal based sources. This is an excellent property because meat based protein contains all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs. In our option, this is one of the most important properties to judge when reviewing pet food, therefore we believe this is an exceptional product in this regard.
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 Puppy is 3.5 out of 5.