Science Diet dog food is from Hill, a brand well known for its prescription diet digestive care recipes and other formulas with autocomplete results. But are the brand’s regular recipes worth it? Hill’s Science Diet has a lot of products to offer, and a recall history that should be examined, but overall, people seem to love this dog food.
For Science Diet Dog Food reviews, we’re going to take a closer look at Hill and how they got involved in the pet food business. Then, we’ll look at each product line that Hill created and the benefits of each line of dog food. Finally, in our reviews, we’ll take a look at how dog food from Hill holds up against its competitors and why it’s a favorite food for so many pet parents.
Before we get into the Science Diet product line, let’s take a look a Hill and how Science Diet dog food came to be.
- About the Brand
- Dog Food Reviews
- What Dogs Should Eat Science Diet?
- What Dogs Should Not Eat Science Diet?
- How Does Science Diet Dog Food Measure Up?
About the Brand
Hill makes Science Diet as well as other dog foods, including prescription dog foods and bio-active recipes. We’re only going to cover Science Diet in this dog food review, but knowing that the Hill name also has a prescription diet lets you know that it takes dog food seriously.
Origin of the Hills Science Diet
Science Diet dates back to the late 1930s when Morris Frank, a blind man, was touring the United States with his guide dog, a German Shepherd named Buddy. Buddy was experiencing kidney failure, and Frank took the dog to a man named Dr. Mark Morris and asked him for help developing food for Buddy. Dr. Morris and his wife went to work making new pet food in their kitchen, which was the forerunner to the Hill Prescription Diet for dogs with renal or kidney problems. The dog food was stored in mason jars, which often broke in transit on their way to Buddy, so Dr. Morris began canning it for transport.
In 1948. Dr. Morris partnered with the Hill Packing Company in Kansas to can his dog food. He licensed it to them so they could produce it under the name Hill. The partnership grew over the years, and eventually, Dr. Morris’ son took over, developing a food meant for healthy pets that became known as Science Diet.
Hill Pet Nutrition
The Colgate-Palmolive Company purchases Hill Pet Nutrition in 1976, expanding it throughout the world. The brand still has a pet nutrition center in Kansas where a staff of vets and nutrition specialists works together to create nutritious, delicious pet food.
Nutrition-First Food Philosophy
One of the great things about Science Diet food is that the brand still believes that strong bones, a beautiful coat, and healthy digestion all go back to nutrition. The team at Hill’s chooses ingredients based on the specific nutritional needs of dogs of every shape and size.
The ingredients are of high quality, too. Science Diet only uses ingredients from suppliers that meet stringent quality standards, and they analyze each ingredient to make sure it has the proper nutrients. Safety checks are completed along the way and again when each product is finished.
Dog Food Reviews
Let’s take a closer look at the extensive Hills Science Diet dog food available in our dog food review.
Puppy Science Diet Dog Foods
Hill Science Diet has multiple options for puppies, including dry and wet dog food recipes.
We’re going to take a closer look at one of the most popular dry puppy food recipes to get a better idea of the ingredients that Hill uses. Some are plant based, but most are not. These recipes have a fairly high meat content, though they do use some meat meals in their food so make sure you know what fitness chicken type of basis protein you’re giving your dog.
Hill Science Diet Puppy Chicken & Barley Recipe Dog Food is formulated for the developmental needs of puppies, helping them start living healthy. The small bites kibble is perfect for small mouths and meant for dogs up to one year of age or dogs who are nursing.
Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavoring, Dried Beet Pulp, Pork Liver Flavor, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
Chicken meal is the main ingredient, which is considered a high-quality source of concentrated protein. As you can see, the next few ingredients are whole grains like wheat, corn, and sorghum. While the chicken meals do provide a lot of protein, a lot of the next leading ingredients aren’t as nutritionally dense as some of Hill Science Diet’s competitors. Note that this food is also available in a Small Bites formula.
Other dry puppy recipes include:
- Puppy No Corn, Wheat, Soy Dog Food – The first five ingredients in this puppy food are Chicken, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Oats, and Cracked Pearled Barley, delivering comparable protein as the Chicken & Barley recipe above without some of the less desirable grains.
- Puppy Small Bites Chicken, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe – This recipe is specially formulated for small and mini breed puppies.
- Puppy Large Breeds – This recipe contains a nutritious amount of chicken fat. Other ingredients include Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Oats, Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, and Corn.
- Puppy Large Breeds Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe – Lamb meal is the main ingredient in this recipe, but it’s follows by Brown Rice, Wheat, Sorghum, and Brewers Rice. Again, some of these ingredients don’t hold a lot of nutritional value for puppies, though some pet parents are very happy with this and other Hill recipes.
Wet puppy foods from Hill are:
- Puppy Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Puppy Small Paws Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Puppy Small Paws Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables
- Puppy Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
Adult Dog Science Diet Dog Foods
Hill Science Diet has many options for adult dog foods. One of its most popular is its Science Diet Adult Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food. The ingredient list for this food is:
Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene.
Lamb meal delivers a punch of high quality protein in this Science Diet adult dog food, but as you can see, there are a lot of grains in this dry dog food recipe that some pet parents might want to shy away from, though according to customer reviews, pet owners love this food.
Other Science Diet adult dry dog foods include:
- Perfect Weight Dog Food
- Perfect Weight Small & Mini Dog Food
- Perfect Weight Small Bites
- Perfect Weight Large Breed
- Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe
- Large No Corn, Wheat, Soy
- Large Chicken & Barley Recipe
- Small Bites No Corn, Wheat, Soy
- Sensitive Stomach & Skin
- Sensitive Small & Mini Chicken Recipe
- Sensitive Large
- Sensitive Grain Free
- Sensitive Small Bite
- Healthy Mobility Large
- Healthy Mobility Small Bites
- Adult Oral Care
- Light Dog Food
- Light Small Paws
- Light Small Bites
- Large Light Dog Food
- Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe
- Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe
- Small Paws Lamb Meal & Brown Rice
- Small Bite Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe
- Chicken & Barley Recipe
- Small Bite Chicken & Barley Recipe
- Perfect Digestion
Hill Science Diet has plenty of wet dog food recipes for adult dogs, too, including:
- Healthy Cuisine Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew
- Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew
- Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Beef & Barley Entrée
- Turkey & Barley
- Chicken & Beef Entrée
- Light with Liver
- Perfect Weight Chicken & Vegetable Entrée
- Sensitive Stomach & Skin Salmon & Vegetable Entrée
- Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Vegetable Entrée
- Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew
- Savory Stew with Chicken & Zucchini No Corn, Wheat, Soy
- Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
- Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables
- Savory Stew with Beef & Zucchini No Corn, Wheat, Soy
- Small Paws Savory Stew with Chicken and Vegetables
- Small Paws Chicken & Barley Entrée
- Small Paws Savory Stew with Beef & Vegetables
- Perfect Weight Hearty Vegetable & Chicken Stew
Senior Dog Science Diet Dog Foods
One of the great things about Science Diet is that it has so many options for older dogs. Some brands have a recipe or two, but Hill has quite a few to choose from.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Dog Food from Hill Science Diet dog food:
Chicken, Brewers Rice, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Corn, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Pork Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Carrots, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Citrus Pulp, Spinach, Fish Oil, Iodized Salt, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Lipoic Acid, Choline Chloride, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Natural Flavors, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene.
Although there are a lot of grains in this recipe, we are happy to see that there is fairly good meat content. The first ingredient is real meat, and it’s fortified with the vitamins and minerals that older dogs need to stay healthy.
Other senior recipes from this dog food brand are:
- Adult 11+ Small Paws
- Adult 7+ Senior Vitality Small & Mini Dog Food
- Adult 7+, Senior Vitality, Chicken & Rice Recipe
- Large Breed Adult 6+ Senior, Chicken, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe
- Adult 7+ Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice
- Adult 7+ for Senior Dogs, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown
Special Science Diet Dog Foods
We mentioned the special recipes from Hill Science Diet when we talked about adult dog foods, but because this brand has so many to offer, we wanted to take a close look at each and what makes them unique.
Hill Perfect Weight
Hill Perfect Weight is formulated for weight management, promising visible results within ten weeks. It’s formulated to support lean muscle development, and the high protein and high fiber recipe with L-carnitine and coconut oil help to support your dog’s metabolism. There are options available for mini, small, and large breed dogs, too.
This dog food brand also has Light recipes, which have lower calories and are meant to help inactive dogs maintain a healthy weight.
Sensitive Stomach & Skin
Sensitive Stomach & Skin Hills Science Diet food includes a prebiotic fiber to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and is highly digestible to help relieve discomfort. This recipe also contains vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids to maintain skin and coat health.
Science Diet dog food has two Healthy Mobility recipes, one for small dogs and one for large. These recipes contain EPA from fish oil to maintain healthy cartilage and natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint maintenance over time. Hill nutrient content protein promises results in 30 days.
Oral Care dry dog food is balanced to promote and improve dental health. It’s clinically proven to clean teeth and reduce plaque and tartar buildup while also freshening breath.
Finally, Perfect Digestion is a Science Diet adult food that contains prebiotic and the brand’s proprietary ActivBiome+ to improve digestion and overall well-being. This recipe helps your dog’s body absorb and use nutrients properly while providing balanced nutrition for lean muscle development and optimal vital organ health.
What Dogs Should Eat Science Diet?
Science Diet dog food has so many recipes that it’s suitable for just about any dog, especially those with sensitivities and special diet needs.
As you saw throughout our Science Diet dog food review, this brand has recipes for dogs at all life stages. We were impressed with their attention to breed sizes and how they have different formulas to meet the needs of mini, small, medium, and large dogs across their life spans.
Hill has a lot of options for dogs with allergies or sensitivities, including those that help with digestion and skin health. That said, pay attention to what your pet is sensitive to before assuming that the Sensitive Stomach & Skin line is a fix. The main protein and first ingredient is chicken, which is the cause of a lot of pets’ food allergies. That said, it does contain healthy omega 6 fatty acids and other ingredients to help with skin and coat health, so it depends on what sensitivities your dog experiences.
Although many Science Diet recipes contain grains like wheat and corn, there are recipes available that specifically leave these ingredients out so its easy enough to avoid them if needed.
We were a little torn on this one because, although Hill has a lot of different recipes, they don’t offer that wide a range of proteins, meat content, or protein content. If your dog doesn’t like dry food with chicken as the main protein, you don’t have many options. Still, there are enough Science Diet adult wet dog food recipes that you should be able to find something for your picky eater.
Large and Small Breeds
We mentioned this a few times in our dog food review, but Science Diet really does a great job of covering a wide range of dogs with the recipes they offer. This includes mini, small bites, small paws, and large breed formulas.
What Dogs Should Not Eat Science Diet?
We wouldn’t really say that there is a type of dog that shouldn’t eat this brand, but there are a few things to think about before buying it for your pup.
As we mentioned throughout our dog food review, some of these Hill recipes contain a lot of grains that aren’t necessarily good for dogs. Grains like rice and oatmeal are considered higher quality for dogs, but most people like to avoid grains like wheat, corn, and soy. Unfortunately, a lot of these recipes contain those ingredients.
That said, if this is something you’re really worried about, don’t let it be a deal-breaker. There are a few recipes that are free of wheat, corn, and soy that you can choose if you want to avoid them.
If you are having a difficult time choosing a dog food, don’t hesitate to ask your vet. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to feeding your dog, and your vet is always there to help you make the right call.
How Does Science Diet Dog Food Measure Up?
Overall, we’d say that Hill Science Diet is a slightly above average brand. They don’t have a significant or recurrent recall history and touch device users have positive reviews, even with swipe gestures and a rare bad comment in the reviews. Hill has a lot of professionals on staff that contribute to the recipes, and there are many options to choose from. We also really like that this brand makes prescription dog food that you can only get from your vet. Even though it’s a completely different product line, we like the idea that Science Diet is made by the same company that vets trust to feed dogs with serious health concerns.
As we’ve mentioned, look at the ingredient list to make sure you know what you’re getting. This brand is not plant based or anything like that. The recipes contain animal protein and some plant based ingredients like pea protein, but you should always know exactly what you’re giving your dog.
While we were disappointed by the number of grains in some of these recipes, we still think Science Diet adult and puppy foods are a pretty good option. They have a reasonable protein content and contain things like omega 6 fatty acid that make this quality dog food so popular. If you have any concerns, talk to your vet before purchasing.
I grew up in a household that was filled with animals. I believe that my fate as a dog-loving person was sealed in early childhood since my parents owned several dogs of varying sizes and breeds. There was no choice but to take care of and learn about dog habits and the best animal care practices — otherwise, I’d be clueless about how to go about the creatures I was surrounded by day and night.
As a life-long puppy lover, I know a thing or two about dogs and how to go about caring for them in the best way possible. Although I’m not a professionally trained dog behaviorist, trainer, or veterinarian, all of my knowledge and experience with canines comes from a place of love and a deep-rooted passion for dogs and animals in general.
Seeing as dogs kept me company throughout every stage of my life, I decided to follow a different path in my academic life and obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Marketing Management and Digital Advertising, which ultimately allowed me to combine my professional training and personal experience by creating the ultimate dog lover’s resource website! Along with my husband, Dave, I run MySweetPuppy for like-minded dog lovers who want to have a single, clear, and reliable information source about anything and everything related to dogs and their well-being.