Hill's Prescription Diet Weight Reduction r/d Chicken Flavor Review
Review of Hill's Prescription Diet Weight Reduction r/d
This product is manufactured by Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc..
Unfortunately, our team has not been able to confirm that this product meets any AAFCO nutrition profiles. We rely on the companies website to provide this information. However, we were not able to find a nutritional adequacy statement on the company's website. We caution owners from feeding non-AAFCO approved products because these products may not contain all of the nutrients required by your dog.
We'll begin this review of Hill's Prescription Diet Weight Reduction r/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 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 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 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 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.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Prescription Diet Weight Reduction r/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 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 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 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.
The remaining ingredients in this Hill's Prescription Diet Weight Reduction r/d 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. 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.