Hill's Prescription Diet Dog Treats Review
Review of Hill's Prescription Diet Dog Treats
The first 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 dog 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 dogs 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 dog food should certainly warrant further questioning.
The second 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 third ingredient is soybean mill run. Soybean mill run is the by-product of dehulled soybean meal production. This ingredient is for the most part made up of soybean hulls, which are nutritionally empty. Many pet owners and experts believe soybean mill run is an inexpensive low quality filler and therefore we've marked soybean mill run a controversial ingredient.
The fourth 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.
The fifth 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.
Next we have 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 dogs.
The next ingredient is soybean oil (preserved with BHA). Soybean oil is not necessarily an undesirable ingredient, however, the artificial preservative BHA is considered to be a possible carcinogen according to the World Health Organization.
Then we have propyl gallate. Propyl gallate is an artificial preservative with possible links to xenoestrogens, a hormone-like compound which can cause reproductive health issues.
Moving on, we have citric acid. Citric acid is an antioxidant commonly used in pet food as a natural preservative. There are concerns regarding possible links between citric acid and canine bloat, but these claims are not backed by any credible scientific evidence.
Moving on with this review, we have 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.
The next ingredient in this review 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.
Our next ingredient is calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is a naturally occurring mineral supplement. Although it's often used as a dietary calcium supplement, it can also be used as a preservative or color retainer.
potassium chloride is the next ingredient in this recipe. Potassium chloride is a potassium supplement.
Next on the list is choline chloride. Choline chloride is member of the B-vitamin complex (vitamin B4).
The next ingredient in this recipe is caramel color. 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.
Next we have vitamin E supplement. Vitamin E is an essential vitamin required by dogs.
The next ingredient is niacin, also known as vitamin B3. It's an essential vitamin that is critical for the metabolism of nutrients and the well-being of the central nervous and GI systems.
Iron oxide is an FDA approved natural food coloring agent. It's commonly found in rusting metal and provides a reddish-brown color.
We believe food colorants are unnecessary ingredients in dog food. Other than potential harm, food colorants do not provide any nutritional value. These type of ingredients are used only to make the food look appealing to humans.