Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult 6+ Review

Chicken Meal, Rice and Barley Recipe

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult 6+ Chicken Meal, Rice and Barley Recipe

PawDiet Rating

2.50
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Review of Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult 6+
Chicken Meal, Rice and Barley Recipe

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 Large Breed Adult 6+ Chicken Meal, Rice and Barley Recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for the maintenance of adult dogs.

Ingredient Review

We'll begin this review of Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult 6+ Chicken Meal, Rice and Barley Recipe 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 brown rice. Brown rice is naturally rich in fiber and various minerals including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Relative to other grains, brown rice is easy to digest.

The third 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 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 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.

Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult 6+ Chicken Meal, Rice and Barley Recipe 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 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 next ingredient is whole grain oats. Whole grain oats provide a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, and various minerals. Whats more, non-contaminated oats are gluten free; however, oats are typically processed and grown near ingredients which contain gluten and therefore contamination is not unusual. Always check the packaging to ensure the product is gluten free if your pet has allergies to gluten.

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 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.

Moving on with this review, 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.

The next ingredient in this review 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.

Our next ingredient 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.

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 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.

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

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 choline chloride. Choline chloride is member of the B-vitamin complex (vitamin B4).

Moving on, we have vitamin E supplement. Vitamin E is an essential vitamin required by dogs.

Moving on with this review, we have l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, which is a feed-grade vitamin C supplement.

The next ingredient in this review is niacin supplement. Niacin is 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.

The remaining ingredients in this Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Adult 6+ 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.

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 Large Breed Adult 6+ Chicken Meal, Rice and Barley Recipe is 2.5 out of 5.