The Science Diet brand is owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., a company whose goal it is to “help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets”. By incorporating the principles of veterinary science into their recipes, Hill’s provides pet owners with recipes that nourish their dog’s whole body. The company was founded in 1901 by Dr. Mark Morris Sr., a man who believed that “nutrition could be used to improve the lives of pets with certain health conditions”. And thus the Science Diet brand was born. This brand features a wide variety of pet food recipes that offer specialized nutrition for dogs in different life stages, of different lifestyles, and with different health problems.
According to the Science Diet website, the brand is devoted to research and innovation – they are constantly updating and upgrading their products to provide more complete and balanced nutrition. The brand website states that Science Diet uses high-quality ingredients backed by nutritional research with a balance of essential nutrients to meet the specific needs of different dogs. In fact, Hill’s owns a 180-acre Pet Nutrition Center where they house 450 dogs and 450 cats who are responsible for taste-testing and approving Science Diet products.
In addition to using high-quality ingredients in their recipes, Science Diet also claims to hold themselves to the highest standards for safety and quality in the production and manufacture of their products. Hill’s employs more than 220 food scientists, veterinarians, and Ph.D nutritionists to develop and formulate their recipes. Science Diet only sources their ingredients from suppliers whose facilities meet strict standards and each ingredient is examined for safety and quality before it is used in Science Diet products. Not only does Science Diet monitor the production of their recipes all along the way, but they conduct final safety checks on the final product as well.
Science Diet Dog Food Recalls 2017:
As you have already learned, the Science Diet brand is produced by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. This company is owned by Colgate-Palmolive and headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. This brand is often marketed as a high-quality brand and, in fact, it is commonly recommended by veterinarians. Unfortunately, this information is incorrect and misguided because Science Diet formulas often contain low-quality ingredients. This being the case, you should not be surprised to learn that Science Diet products have been recalled numerous times in recent years. Here are the details for some of the most recent recalls:
- In March 2007, the FDA issued a recall for Science Diet Savory Cuts canned cat foods due to melamine contamination.
- In April 2007, Hill’s issued a voluntary recall of Prescription Diet cat foods due to melamine contamination.
- In June 2014, the FDA issued a recall for Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed dry dog foods due to potential salmonella contamination.
- In November 2015, Hill’s withdrew a number of its products from pet store shelves due to labeling issues – nothing was actually wrong with the product.
Science Diet Pet Food Coupons 2017
When shopping for Hill’s Science Diet dog food you will find that the prices vary greatly from one recipe to another. A 3.5-pound bag of standard Hill’s Science Diet Adult Grain-Free Dry food costs about $15 while some of the more specialized recipes cost closer to $100 for a 25-pound bag. Hill’s Science Diet wet food comes in a variety of sizes ranging from small 5.5-ounce cans to larger 12.8- or 13-ounce cans. The average cost for a large can of Hill’s Science Diet wet food ranges from $2.50 to $3.00. To save money on these products, look for Hill’s Science Diet dog food coupons online.
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Science Diet Dog Food Reviews
While many pet food manufacturers offer specialty diets for pets of certain sizes and ages, Hill’s Science Diet takes it one step further. Not only do they offer specialized formulas for puppies, but they also have age-specific formulas for adult dogs 1 year and older, adult dogs 7 years and older, and senior dogs 11 years and older. In addition to these specialty diets there are also a number of formulas designed especially for small and toy breeds as well as large-breed dogs – there are even special formulas for dogs that are pregnant or nursing. While Hill’s does use many quality ingredients in their formulas, you need to be careful of the recipes that use lower quality ingredients like wheat flour and corn gluten meal. Many of Hill’s products do not list a source of protein as the primary ingredient and many of them include a number of artificial additives and filler ingredients.
Is Science Diet Dog Food Good for my Dog?
While Science Diet is marketed as the number-1 pet food recommended by veterinarians to promote health in dogs, it is difficult to see why. Science Diet is very similar to Royal Canin in that it is a brand that offers an overwhelmingly large selection of products, most of which are extremely similar in their make-up. If you review the ingredients list for several Science Diet products, you will see that many of their recipes are made with corn- and wheat-based ingredients. While Science Diet does use some quality proteins like chicken meal, the benefits of these ingredients are often outweighed by the use of non-nutritive fillers and low-quality ingredients. Overall, you can certainly do worse than Science Diet but if you want a high-quality product for your dog you can certainly do better.
Science Diet Dry Food: The Science Diet brand offers thirty different options for dry dog food. Many of their formulas are catered to dogs of specific sizes and life stages – there is even a recipe catered to the nutritional needs of pregnant dogs. Science Diet dry foods come in classic and grain-free recipes and they can be divided into age categories for puppies, young adults, adult dogs, and senior dogs. Many of Science Diet’s dry food formulas are designed for specific health conditions such as digestive problems, joint problems, skin sensitivity, and weight management. Here is a list of categories for Science Diet dry dog foods:
- Advanced Fitness
- Healthy Development
- Healthy Mobility
- Age Defying
- Sensitive Stomach & Skin
- Perfect Weight
- Small and Toy Breed
- Large Breed
- Light Recipe
- Oral Care
- Active Longevity
Science Diet Canned Food: In addition to a wide variety of dry foods, Science Diet also has a large selection of thirty different canned food options. Similar to their dry food offerings, Science Diet canned foods can be divided into categories by size, age, and life stage and there are formulas catered to dogs with specific health problems or unique nutritional requirements.
Science Diet Dog Treats: Not only does Science Diet offer dry dog food and canned dog food, but they also offer nineteen different kinds of treats. Science Diet dog treats range from jerky snacks to baked biscuits and training treats. Here is a list of the types of treats Science Diet has to offer:
- Jerky Snacks
- Jerky Strips
- Grain-Free Treats
- Baked Light Biscuits
- Dental Chews
- Training Treats
Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Food Recipe Review:
This Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Food formula is said to contain “high-quality protein and thoughtfully sourced ingredients”. If you actually look at the ingredients list, however, you may question this statement. Science Diet describes this formula as clinically proven nutrition that “provides balanced nutrition for a visible difference”. The website claims that this recipe will improve the condition of your dog’s skin and coat in 30 days while also supporting his immune system and his digestive system. This recipe supposedly includes an exclusive blend of omega fatty acids and a clinically proven blend of antioxidants, not to mention plenty of easily digestible ingredients. Furthermore, Science Diet says that this recipe contains no artificial additives including colors, flavors, and preservatives.
The first ingredient in this Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Food formula is chicken which, as promised, is a source of high-quality protein. What you need to know about fresh chicken, however, is that it may contain up to 80% moisture by volume. When the whole dog food product is cooked to a moisture level of 10% (as per the guaranteed analysis), the actual volume of protein that the fresh chicken contributes could be much lower. You will notice that chicken meal also appears on the ingredients list. Chicken meal has already been cooked to remove moisture so it is a highly concentrated source of protein, but it appears so low on the ingredients list that it may not provide much protein in comparison to the carbohydrates listed before it.
After the chicken comes whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum, whole grain corn, and corn gluten meal. Do not let the words “whole grain” fool you here – corn and wheat ingredients are not considered quality ingredients for dog food. In fact, these ingredients have a high risk for triggering food allergies or sensitivities in your dog – they also offer very limited nutritional value. Cracked pearled barley is a quality carbohydrate and a good source of dietary fiber, though it does contain gluten. Whole grain sorghum is gluten-free and a decent source of carbohydrate. Supplementary carbohydrates in this Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Food formula include dried beet pulp and flaxseed. Beet pulp provides dietary fiber and, to some degree, helpful prebiotics, but it is sometimes considered a questionable ingredient.
The remaining ingredients in this Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Food formula consist primarily of fats, flavorings, supplements, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The fresh fruits and vegetables like apples and broccoli provide some supplementary fiber as well as natural sources for key nutrients, but they are at the end of the list so they are probably not present in very large quantities. The main source of fat in this recipe is pork fat which, as a named animal fat, is a decent ingredient. Soybean oil and flaxseed are plant-based fats which help to balance the omega fatty acid content of the recipe but they are less biologically valuable than animal fats. The vitamin and mineral supplements help to balance the nutritional content of this recipe, though it would be better to see some chelated minerals used.
Overall, this Science Diet Adult Advanced Fitness Dry Food formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 24.5%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 15%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 2.2%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Vitamin E (Min) – 729 IU/kg
- Taurine (Min) – 0.11%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.0%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.7%
- Calorie Content – 363 kcal/cup
Because Science Diet offers such a large variety of products, it is difficult to judge the quality of the brand as a whole. If you believe what the Science Diet website has to say, you will believe that this brand uses wholesome ingredients and that the brand holds their manufacturers to high standards for quality. If you dig a little deeper into the Science Diet repertoire of products, however, you will start to notice some red flags. For one thing, many Science Diet recipes include corn- and wheat-based ingredients which have a high risk for triggering food allergies or sensitivities in dogs. You will also notice that many of the life stage and size-specific recipes have very few differentiating qualities. If you don’t have a lot to spend, Science Diet dog food is not the worst you can do but your money would certainly be better spent elsewhere.