They don't come much bigger than Hills Pet Nutrition, who have a presence worldwide and have been at the forefont of veterinary prescription diets for many years. In fact you need to know that Hills sponsor a lot of expensive veterinary conferences and target vets very aggressively with their promotions, which is why Hills get's prescribed so often when you take your dog to the local veterinary surgery. They get good profit margins! The company was started by veterinary surgeon Dr Mark Morris.
According to the Hills website Dr. Mark Morris was an exceptional vet. He believed that we should take pet healthcare as seriously as our own. That's why he opened the very first vet clinic for family pets. Before then, vets had mostly treated large farm animals and working horses and dogs. Mark Morris saw the link between poor nutrition and illness in pets, so he developed a pet food that was superior to any other on the market.
The company started small, with Mark and his wife making the food themselves for their patients. The turning point for Dr.Morris came when he met a blind man called Morris Frank. Frank's much-loved guide dog, Buddy was suffering from kidney disease and he asked Dr. Morris if he could help him.
Dr Morris knew that because many of the commercial pet foods available at the time were high in phosporus and protein to make them taste better, feeding them could harm the kidneys. So, he set about developing a food that was low in salt yet high in flavour and nutritional value.
This food became Hill's Prescription Diet k/d™, which went on to become the first commercially available Hill's pet food. For some pet owners, Hills are in the same camp as Iams and Eukanuba in that they conduct experiments on animals. This is not the place to enter that debate, and there's plenty of info on the web about it. Here we're just looking at the food and you as a customer have to weigh up the pros and cons of buying food from a well established manufacturer against the cost of a bag
For this review we're looking at a couple of the Hills Science recipes - the choice seems almost endless in the range, which can be a bit confusing!
Not much to query in the ingredients, unless you're not into soya, and some include wheat, both of which some brands avoid in the natural food sector.
Expect to pay £40 to £50+ for a 12kg sack, depending on variety, which is quite a bit higher than some natural foods - but you're also paying for the name!
The star rating is based not just on quality of ingredients, but if the food offers value for money!
Chicken (minimum Chicken 20%, Chicken and Turkey combined 30%): Ground maize, chicken and turkey meal, pea bran meal, ground wheat, cellulose powder, dried beet pulp, digest, flaxseed, vegetable oil, L-lysine hydrochloride, L-carnitine supplement, potassium chloride, salt, L-threonine, L-tryptophan, DL-methionine, taurine, vitamins and trace elements. Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, citric acid and rosemary extract. Calcium 0.72%, Phosphorus 0.58%, Sodium 0.18%, Potassium 0.80%, Magnesium 0.12%, Omega-3 fatty acids 0.83%, Omega-6 fatty acids 2.93%, Zinc 224mg/kg, L-Carnitine 310mg/kg, Vitamin A 11380IU/kg, Vitamin D 457IU/kg, Vitamin E 652mg/kg, Vitamin C 76mg/kg, Beta-carotene 1.6mg/kg.
Protein 20%, Fat 8.5%, Fibre 11.2%
Chicken (minimum Chicken 14%): ground maize, wheat, poultry meat meal, soybean meal, animal fat, digest, flaxseed, maize gluten meal, pea bran meal, fish oil, vegetable oil, calcium carbonate, L-carnitine, ground rice, taurine, salt, vitamins and trace elements. Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid. Calcium 0.72%, Phosphorus 0.55%, Sodium 0.18%, Potassium 0.83%, Magnesium 0.13%, Omega-3 fatty acids 1.96%, EPA 0.33%, Omega-6 fatty acids 3.13%, L-Carnitine 326mg/kg, Vitamin A 15815IU/kg, Vitamin D 674IU/kg, Vitamin E 652mg/kg, Vitamin C 76mg/kg, Beta-carotene 1.6mg/kg.
Protein 21%, Fat 15.5%, Fibre 3.6%