Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Review
Beef and Barley Entree
Review of Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+
Beef and Barley Entree
This product is manufactured by Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc..
According to our data, this Hill's Science 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 Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef and Barley Entree provides complete and balanced nutrition for the maintenance of adult dogs.
We'll begin this review of Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef and Barley Entree with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.
The first ingredient is water. Water of course only provides moisture, a necessary component of wet dog foods.
The second ingredient is beef. Although beef is an excellent protein source, raw beef contains more than 60% moisture. After cooking, the relative meat contribution of beef 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 third 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.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is pork liver. Pork liver is an excellent organ meat which provides high quality protein and fat. In addition, pork liver provides many essential vitamins and minerals.
Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef and Barley Entree 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 Science Diet recipe.
Next we have dried whey. Whey is the liquid which remains after milk has been curdled and strained to manufacture cheese. Dried whey is mostly protein and therefore can significantly boost the reported protein percentage of the recipe.
The next ingredient is 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.
Then 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.
Moving on, we have 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.
Moving on with this review, we have chicken fat. Chicken fat is typically collected while cooking chicken using a process called rendering. Chicken fat is a relatively high quality source of essential fatty acids. In particular, chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an important omega-6 fatty acid.
The next ingredient in this review 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.
Our next ingredient is fish meal. Fish meal is defined by AAFCO as "the clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cutting, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil." Since the specific type of fish is not mentioned, we cannot discuss any specific qualities of this ingredient. In general, anonymous ingredients are low quality inclusions when compared to ingredients such as tuna meal, salmon meal, catfish meal, etc.
calcium carbonate is the next ingredient in this recipe. 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.
Next on the list is 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 in this recipe is potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is a potassium supplement.
Next we have iodized salt. Iodized salt is simply table salt mixed with very small amounts of iodine-containing salt. Iodine is an important natural element required by dogs to maintain good health.
The next ingredient is vitamin E supplement. Vitamin E is an essential vitamin required by dogs.
The remaining ingredients in this Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ 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. This is an undesirable property because plant based protein often lacks many of the necessary amino acids required by dogs. This property is typically found in lower quality products.
In summary, we recognize that this product contains anonymous meat ingredients. These are not necessarily always negative; however, they are typically low quality and inexpensive additions. If the particular anonymous meat ingredient is controversial or low quality, it should have been discussed earlier in this review. Otherwise, it is safe to assume the anonymous meat ingredient is an acceptable addition.
The official PawDiet rating for Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef and Barley Entree is 2.5 out of 5.