Hill's Prescription Diet Heart Care h/d Review
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Review of Hill's Prescription Diet Heart Care h/d
This product is manufactured by Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc..
According to our data, this Hill's Prescription Diet recipe provides complete & balanced nutrition for the maintenance of adult 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 Prescription Diet Heart Care h/d Chicken Flavor provides complete and balanced nutrition for the maintenance of adult dogs.
We'll begin this review of Hill's Prescription Diet Heart Care h/d Chicken Flavor with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.
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 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 third 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.
The fourth 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 dogs.
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.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Prescription Diet Heart Care h/d Chicken Flavor 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 Prescription Diet recipe.
Next we have lactic acid, which is an organic compound. Lactic acid is most likely used in this recipe as a preservative.
The next ingredient is egg product. 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 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 remaining ingredients in this Hill's Prescription Diet Heart Care h/d 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. Since this product is a prescription diet, this property may be required and therefore we cannot make any further statements.
In summary, we recognize that this product does not contain any artificial colors, artificial preservatives, or anonymous meat ingredients.