Hill's Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy Review

With Chicken Meal and Barley

Hill's Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy With Chicken Meal and Barley

PawDiet Rating

3.00
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Review of Hill's Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy
With Chicken Meal and Barley

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 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 Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy With Chicken Meal and Barley provides complete and balanced nutrition for growing puppies and pregnant/nursing dogs.

Ingredient Review

We'll begin this review of Hill's Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy With Chicken Meal and Barley with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.

The first 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.

The second 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 third ingredient is pork meal. Pork meal is produced by a process called rendering. In short, the rendering process involves cooking pork until the moisture level falls below 10%. By removing the moisture, we're left with a concentrated protein powder made with pork (i.e. pork meal).

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 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.

Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy With Chicken Meal and Barley 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 whole grain sorghum. Whole grain sorghum is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. This cereal grain also provides a modest amount of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.

The next 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.

Then 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.

Moving on, 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 with this review, 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 next ingredient in this review 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.

Our next ingredient is 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.

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 natural pork flavor. As the name implies, natural pork flavor provides pork flavor to the product. This particular flavor is derived from natural sources which may or may not include real pork.

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 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 is 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.

Then we have potassium chloride, which is a potassium supplement.

The remaining ingredients in this Hill's Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy 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.

Final Thoughts

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 Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Puppy With Chicken Meal and Barley is 3.0 out of 5.