To be cleаr, I аm reviewing the Science Diet drу cаt food for аdults, аged between 1 аnd 6 уeаrs.
I got mу cаt from the locаl аnimаl shelter аbout 7 months аgo аnd she is now аbout 2 уeаrs old. She hаs become а treаsured pet. The Hills Science Diet compаnу provided food to mу locаl shelter аs to mаnу others: а clаssic exаmple of doing well bу doing good. I received а complimentаrу bаg when I аdopted mу cаt.
I did some serious reseаrch on cаt food аnd leаrned more аbout it thаn perhаps I cаre to know. Informed views vаrу, аs with virtuаllу аnу subject, on the merits of drу versus wet cаt food, on the quаlities of different brаnds, аnd on cost.
On drу versus wet -- I feed mу cаt predominаntlу wet food consistentlу with most but not аll recommendаtions. But she gets аt leаst some drу food dаilу аnd I feed drу food when I аm going to be out of the house for most of the dау, аs it cаn be eаten аt the cаt's own pаce. Mаke sure the cаt hаs plentу of wаter аvаilаble.
Hills Science Diet is а long time mаnufаcturer of pet food with аn estаblished reputаtion. This drу food for аdult indoor cаts is а high quаlitу product which hаs been аdvertised аs suitаble for weight control, with proteins аnd аntioxidаnts. The product is nutritionаllу complete аnd bаlаnced in аccordаnce with estаblished аnd recognized stаndаrds (АFАSCO). With some wishful thinking, perhаps, I hаve designаted mу cаt аs "indoor" аlthough she looks уeаrninglу outside. She hаd this food аt the shelter аnd аfter some experiementing I hаve settled on it аs her indoor cаt food. She аlwауs eаts it reаdilу, both when I feed it аs her dаilу food аnd when I feed it аs а supplement to her wet food, аnd leаves nothing left over. The food comes in smаll pellets, sometimes triаngulаr but more recentlу round in whаt I think is аn improved version. I аm confident in аnd trust this product аnd the cаt likes it. It hаs received high reviews from impаrtiаl аnd cаpаble professionаl reviewers. I hаve relied upon severаl detаiled reviews in аddition to mу own experience with the product.
The product is not the most inexpensive, but it is worth it. It is not аs eаsу to find аs supermаrket brаnds but is reаsonаblу аccessible.
Аll told, аn excellent drу food for аn indoor cаt. I аm hаppу with it, the cаt is hаppу with it, аnd I enjoуed leаrning аbout it.
It is a high quality food as it has around 60% meat content compared with the average 8% in supermarket brands, and as cats are carnivores, they obviously need more meat that cereals in their diet to be healthy. This food also seems to be free from artificial colourings etc unlike cheaper brands which are full of them to appeal to the owner.
My cats also love the taste and go crazy for it at meal times, it has a very strong smell so presumably tastes strong as well and also has a nice texture, it almost feels moist.
It is a lot more expensive than supermarket brands but you only need to feed a small amount as it is very concentrated although as it's so tasty I'd recommend only feeding the amounts stated on the packaging as your cats might get a bit greedy as it tastes so nice so it shouldn't work out too expensive on a cost-per-day basis.
Shopping for some puppy food I came across the aforementioned product. I do not usually buy this food but it was on offer at the time. My puppy has been eating this food for three weeks so I wanted to share my findings........
The food comes in a re-sealable bag so it stays fresh and also doesn't smell out your cupboards. It is made of good quality plastic so it probably won't split. There is a feeding guide on the back of the bag which is very helpful when keeping a check on how much you should be feeding your puppy. It has a complete nutritional breakdown and list of ingredients.
As stated on the packaging and also on the website 'Hill's Science Plan Puppy, Healthy Development, Large Breed Chicken is formulated for healthy skeletal development in large breed puppies. With clinically proven antioxidants and optimal mineral levels'.
When I first opened the bag I was pleased that the biscuits of this complete dog food were not too big. - roughly the size of a 5p. I have had a problem before where my puppy has eaten his dinner too quick and been sick and the larger biscuits have made him choke. The biscuits look very appetizing even to me and they also smell ok.
Quality and taste:
I have a large Labradoodle Cross who is 5 months old and he loves this food. He hasn't turned his nose up once. I have also found that my puppy has not had a bad tummy since he has been eating this food which is good. His coat is also lovely and shiny since being fed this premium quality pet food. The food is said to provide the minerals needed for his development and promote a good immune system which I truly believe. He is as energetic as always . He had a slight sniffle before changing to this food and it has cleared up. I do not know if there is any relation between the two but you never know.
Chicken (minimum Chicken 30%, Chicken and Turkey combined 45%): Ground maize, chicken and turkey meal, animal fat, digest, maize gluten meal, dried beet pulp, cellulose, fish oil, potassium citrate, salt, vegetable oil, potassium chloride, L-carnitine supplement, disodium phosphate, L-tryptophan, vitamins and trace elements. Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, citric acid and rosemary extract.
The food comes in the following weight bags; 1 kg, 3 kg, 7.5 kg and 15 kg.
I purchased SCIENCE PLAN PUPPY LARGE BREED CHICKEN 3kg bag from Pets At Home on a two for £20.00 offer. One bag can be purchased for just over fifteen pounds so I thought that this was an offer that I can't miss especially as this is a top end pet food. It is widely available online.
A prime quality product however a little on the expensive side but well worth the money - owner and pup completely satisifed!
I have a 1 year old Lab x Lurcher and had been feeding her Bakers complete. She was pumping all throughout the day and her poo has very sloppy. It was only then that I did some research and was so shocked I decided to change immediately to the best dog food I could afford. I opted for Hill'sTM Science PlanTM Canine Adult Advanced FitnessTM Medium dog with Chicken. It is formulated to support lean muscle and healthy vital organs. With clinically proven antioxidants, lean proteins and omega 3's.
I opted for Hill's Science Plan adult dog food. At first it appeared very expensive, but I found 2 great offers, firstly Pets at Home Online (has better offers that the shop often doesn't get) had the 12kg bags on special offer for £29.99 each and they were on buy one get one half price. The second great deal I found was from vetuk.co.uk which has the 15kg bags on offer for £28. The normal rrp can be around £46-56 so I really would shop around.
Hills Science Plan understands that the balance of nutrients in dog food is extremely important and that inbalances can lead to many common diseases. There is a full chart breakdown on its website hillspets.co.uk. It has a protein content of 20g which is ideal (18-22 is ideal), 15% fat and contains lots of vitmanins and minerals to improve your dogs health and immunity. I would recommend viewing the full content on their website.
Medium with Chicken (minimum Chicken 20%, Chicken and Turkey combined 30%): Ground maize, chicken and turkey meal, soybean meal, animal fat, maize gluten meal, digest, flaxseed, vegetable oil, salt, potassium citrate, L-lysine hydrochloride, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, taurine, L-tryptophan, vitamins and trace elements. Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, citric acid and rosemary extract.
I was very happy to find out that when I registered my dog on Hills website (google it) I received a £5 off voucher for any 1.5kg or more. Then I received a postcard for £20 off a 10kg bag or more, the bags were on special for £30 so I managed to get it for £9.99! they really do reward you for sticking with them and paying that little bit extra. I felt like a valued customer and have continued using the product ever since.
My dogs opinion
As my dog is part Lab it is true that she eats anything in a matter of seconds however I tested this on my picky Yorky who really liked it. Both dogs stopped smelling so bad and became more solid when they went to the toilet. The chunks are quite large so my dog has to chew them rather than swallowing them whole which is good. I have been very impressed with this food and have already stocked up on the special offer prices.
For those on cheaper brands such as bakers or pedigree, I really would recommend researching the product. Those that spend a lot on commercials and bright packaging will find that this is substitued by cheap food. I have been told that the additives in cheaper brands doesn't have to be advertised if it took place before the meat reaches the factory. So be wary and do your research.
*What is Hills Science Plan?*
Hills Science Plan is a range of complete pet foods, catering for cats, dogs, puppies and kittens and available in both dry and wet food. The range includes high quality every day pet foods, as well as a selection of specialist veterinary diets designed to help with a number of different complaints and illnesses- such as joint care, dental care, sensitive stomachs, hair ball control and low fat/calorie.
*The product itself*
Where to start with introducing Hills Science Plan? Well, firstly, if you are a pet owner and have had to take your dog or cat to the vet at some point, the chances are high that you would either seen Hills stocked in the surgery, or the vet treating your pet will have recommended it to you as firstly, yes, it is a very good and popular food, but secondly there are some quite awful vets out there who will push this food on you because they get commission for selling it. Anyway, despite being a Veterinary Nurse, and being engaged to marry a Vet, I've never used Science Plan much until recently.
My two cats really couldn't be more different- Meg is pretty simple- she isn't too fond of dry food, but will eat pretty much any moist food, meaning she is relatively easy to feed. The eldest one however, my lad Jet, loves dry food- he is a strange little thing and will often shun moist foods in favour of dry cat kibble, so his diet consists mainly of this. Like most cats though, he gets bored with the same food pretty quickly, so unlike with my dogs, I can't stick to one or two brands with him- I am constantly swapping and changing to find something he will eat.
As a rule, I won't use cheap cat food- no Whiskas, Go-Cat, Felix and so on- they are so full of junk, artificial crap and have extremely little meat in them, so I don't feed them to Jet. However, we've tried most of the premium foods also and because he gets bored of things so quickly- our options are running out!
Hence, the recent trial of Hills Science Plan. With nothing Jet would be willing to eat for tea that night, I brought a bag home from work for him to try.
Jet is around 5 years old, so it was the Science Plan Feline Adult Optimum Care variety I selected for him, which is suitable for cats aged between 1 and 7 years and comes in a variety of flavours- chicken, tuna, lamb and rabbit. The food is a dry complete diet, which means it is in the form of small biscuit style kibbles and provides everything your cat needs for a healthy, happy life and if you so wish, no other foods need to be fed.
The food is formulated to provide optimum nutrition, as you may have guessed from the name and has numerous key benefits including a special blend of clinically proven antioxidants for a healthy immune system, carefully balanced vitamin and mineral levels to help sustain healthy organs, lean protein for strong muscles, omega 3 and 6 for a luxurious, glossy coat and lastly, it is made to be gentle on the digestion system of your feline friend.
It, also, has a minimum of 40% fresh meat or fish, which is a refreshing change to other, low quality cat foods which can contain as little as 4% and the dry kibble design of the food means it will assist greatly in oral care- helping to clean teeth whilst your cat crunches the kibble- keeping teeth white, strong and free of plaque, breath fresh and gums firm and healthy and lastly, being a dry food, it should encourage your cat to drink more water, which will help to maintain a healthy urinary tract function.
This food comes packaged in the easily recognisable and familiar clean and professional looking white plastic bags in which all Hills products are supplied in and in this case, the bag is decorated with orange and we're clearly told the name of the product accompanied by a rather gorgeous looking little cat! On the reverse, you'll find all the usual information such as feeding guides, nutritional information, ingredients and contact details for Hills.
The bag has a handy resealable strip running across the top to enable the food to be kept fresh even after opening but unfortunately, there is no mention of the packaging being recyclable.
*Price & Availability*
As Hills is classed as, what is called, a 'specialist' food, you will not find it in supermarkets- only approved stockists such as certain pet shops and most veterinary surgeries. Prices do of course vary from place to place, but from the surgery I work at, prices are as follows:
For from I have seen, in other vet surgeries, pet shops and online- these prices appear to be around average.
Getting Jet to eat sometimes can be as difficult as trying to get blood from a stone. I'll find a food he likes, he'll eat it quite happily for a couple of months and then that is it- he'll just stop, and refuse another mouthful for no apparent reason. Of course, I have made this problem worse by catering to his every whim- getting him new food when he demands it instead of insisting he eats what I give him, so I really have no one to blame but myself, but even so- getting food inside him can be somewhat of a nightmare.
As I mentioned earlier, he'll only really eat dry food, and I won't give him cheap, low quality cat food, so this therefore limits us quite a bit- he has tried, eaten and enjoyed and then turned his nose up at most cat foods by now so the trial of Hills Science Plan was really just another thing to try him with, in a bid to find something he'll eat long term. I hated the surgery I worked at before the one I am at now- we were made to really push Hills onto customers and that is something I do not believe is right, as I feel you should only recommend a food if it really is for the good of the animal, which is thankfully what we do at my current surgery.
Anyway, sorry I'm rambling again! After hearing good reports from both colleagues and clients alike, I was looking forward to trying Jet on the Hills. Back at home that evening, I mixed a small amount of his previous food which he had been refusing with his new Hills, as not to cause a stomach upset and then called Jet through for his dinner. He had his usual round of sniffing and licking at the food and then decided to sample a small piece- the Hills was pretty much identical in appearance to his old food, the kibbles were just a tiny bit larger so I didn't really think Jet would notice, but after leaving him to eat his dinner and then returning later- I was amused to find every bit of old kibble left in his dish, and all the Hills kibble gobbled up! I was relieved, and very pleased he had eaten it, but only time would tell if he continued to enjoy it long term.
The next day, I left out his old food as he had eaten entirely Hills the night before with no ill effects to his stomach and he enjoyed his Hills just as much as the previous night. Jet is a bit of a grumpy bugger but he was purring throughout his entire meal and was making some right old crunching noises, which indicated the food was very good for his teeth which of course, is only a good thing, helping to give them a good scrub clean as he chewed the food. I also found the kibbles were perfect size for his mouth- Jet is a very small little cat and can sometimes struggle with larger kibble foods but he managed the Hills with ease.
Much to my amazement, it has been 3 months since I put Jet onto Hills and he is still enjoying every meal and his dish is cleared every time. I can't tell how long this will last, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we have finally found a food he is happy to eat long term- purrs are still heard loudly throughout his meal and he gets incredibly excited about meal times which is lovely to see as I know he is enjoying his food. The fact that Hills comes in four flavours probably also adds to his enjoyment of his food, I can buy a different flavour every time the bag needs replacing and it keeps Jet's interest. He has enjoyed most of the flavours, with the exception of the rabbit, but he has never really eaten that meat before until now, so maybe he'll get use to it in time.
Since being on the Hills, I honestly have to say I have noticed a huge overall improvement in Jet, and no, this isn't another person in the veterinary profession trying to sell Hills to people, it is my honest opinion! His coat is incredibly shiny, with less dandruff than before, his eyes look bright, he is more alert and we've not had as many problems with urine infections, which is something he is quite prone to. His teeth were thankfully never too bad but I'm happy knowing Hills is hopefully going to help keep them this way.
The food may sound initially expensive and maybe it is for those on a tight budget but it is so worth it- it is incredibly high quality and has greater nutritional value so you will need to feed less to your cat than a poor quality food like Whiskas or Go-Cat and you are doing your cat a favour in the long run- a good food means a good, healthy, long life. I tend to purchase the 400g bags and these last Jet, with Meg having the occasional bowlful, around 2 weeks, with is very good value indeed.
Overall, I cannot sing its praises highly enough. Jet has been happy to eat it for over 3 months, so that is saying something in itself, and the fact that it is healthy, high quality, affordable and readily available clinches the deal for me. I wish I had tried it with him sooner, I really do.
Hills as a range of cat i think is really good. Yes its expensive but as previous reviewers have pointed out it is rich and unless you have a greedy guts cat they eat less. I did try Iams on my cat & she turned her nose up at it!
She is a half pure breed & unfortunately the half pure breed bit is giving her early onset arthritis in her hips (she is only 9). The vet initially started her on long term metacam which is basically an anti inflammatory pain killer not really that good for the kidneys in that longer term however.
On my last visit to the vets the nurse gave me a sample of a new prescription cat food from Hills that the rep had dropped in. After a month of substituting this new prescription food for the old food my cats metacam dose has been more than halved. The food comes in either tins of soft food or pellets, Its called Hills JD
Anecdotally from the vets several other people including the head vet had noticed the same effect - in fact my vets cat is now completely off the metacam.
I myself have 2 kittens and every morning i feed them Hill's Science plan. They both seem to love the biscuits and it shows. Both of them have such soft coats and are really energetic and playful (although i supose that is to be expected as they are Kittens). I do put some of this however down to the food they eat. I was reccommended this food by my local pet shop as they said although it is more expensive than some other can food brands available, its well worth paying a bit extra. The bags may appear dear but if you buy the larger bags you benifit from a better price and it will all be eaten at some point. I find the chicken flavour bscuits to be a particular favourite of my cats althought i have tried other flavours and thy have never turned there noses up at any, really good quality food for your Cats
~~*~~*~~ Hills Science Plan Adult Chicken ~~*~~*~~
Doughnut is my pride and joy - she's an expensive little bugger but I love her. However, when it comes to her food - the most expensive is not always the best. Hills food is ruddy pricey at £45 ish for a 15kg bag so usually I'd get something a lot cheaper like Skinners or Burns dried food (she's fed the 'hypoallergenic and no additives' stuff cos lord knows she's got enough energy without anything else adding to the equation).
The reason the little pig is being fed the caviar of canine kibble is due to the good people at Hills - we won a years supply of the stuff whilst at Crufts and rather than waste it or sell it on; the brown dustbin that is my dog is being fed better than I am. Hills sent us a bag of puppy as she was only 11 months at the time and 4 bags of adult (their estimation of 5 bags for 6 months) and since she's a Labrador, I knew there'd be no problem switching her food over with regards to taste (she'll eat owt) and digestion capabilities ('cast-iron gut' springs to mind). The puppy food was a nice size for her age but would have been too large for her at 3 or 4 months or equally for smaller breeds. People think I'm strange but I taste dog food - how do you know if it's really salty unless you try it? (for the record - supadog lamb and rice is disgusting but pedigree chum complete is simply delightful especially the cheese parcels, no really - try it). Hills puppy was adequate; bland but palatable! Thought you'd like to know.
So, anyway. The adult chicken is ginger in colour and hard (not squishy like Bakers chunks) and takes her an average amount of time to crunch through which is a bonus as this means her Doberman friend has time to eat hers before Dee trots across for the leftovers. It must smell good to the canine fraternity as the aforementioned Doberman will often leave hers to snatch a biscuit from Dee whereas the latter never leaves hers until it's all hoovered up. Plus it tasted ok to me too.
I've got quite a few breeder friends (breeders of dogs not just friends who are nymphomaniacs) and none of them use Hills which isn't a great advert but due to the expense, it's hardly surprising. And yet, Doughnut's coat is thick and shiny, there's no 'dandruff' and her skin's in good condition - her eyes are clear, her nose is damp and her pads are soft (all indicators point to a good diet). If it weren't for the price I would definitely keep her on this diet for the rest of her life but £20 a month extra for the next 15ish years could be better spent on a luxurious Caribbean holiday.
Hills can be bought from any good retailers although some internet shops do free delivery and it's definitely worth shopping around for a good deal. The high quality packaging may have affected the price as it's a very strong plastic with a re-sealable top and easy carry handle on the outside. The distinctive white colouring and 'science plan' all add to the feeling that this is quality merchandise. From experience of working with dogs for most of my life, I know that some people cannot feed their dogs on anything but Hills but there are cheaper alternatives that produce the same results.
Now for the so-called science bit. This food was picked for me by Hills so I had no say in whether I wanted the light version or sensitive stomach (luckily I have a normal lab). So I received the Large-Breed stuff which is for an adult dog (1-7 years) weighing over 25kg. It has L-carnitine in it to "help maintain optimal body weight (helps avoid extra stress on the joints), lean muscle mass and muscle strength" - she's kept her weight on and has good solid hind muscles with solid hind and forelegs and her heads still a good shape so that's true. It also contains "chondroprotective agents glucosamine hydrochloride and chondrotin sulphate, natural 'building blocks' for joint cartilage, to help maintain healthy joints and facilitate joint mobility" - now this is a bonus since healthy hips and elbows are essential as I'm hoping to breed from her - every little helps with growing bones. I can't say she's moving better because there was no problem before - she's only 13 months now but it could affect her over the year. It's nice that it's included in her food though if it were necessary I would merely add the two vitamin supplements into her food anyway. There's loads of ingredients so I'm not going to list them but the main point is that it has a minimum 35% chicken and turkey combination which is pretty impressive for a dog food.
Hills Science Plan Adult Chicken has definitely gone down well with Doughnut so I can recommend it on that basis but when it's gone it's gone - bugger paying that price!
If you're particularly intrigued due to my insightful review, you can always find out more from the Hills website - www.hillspet.com which tells you many random pieces of information and blinds you with science until you don't even know whether you should feed your dog at all (I recommend feeding it once in a while or it may get a little tetchy and eat your neighbour's child - imagine the law suit).
Thanks for reading.
Caroline and Doughnut 2008
Review will appear elsewhere...
My three cats adore this food. In fact, being choosy little so and sos, it's the only dried food that they will eat all the time.
I bought it on the recommendation of my vet, who argued that it was one of the most nutritionally balanced diets on the market for the moggies. At first, I was quite sceptical, since when you compare weight for weight, a bag of this is about five or six times the price as a pack of Go-Kat, and twice the price of the moggies' usual food, iams. However, this is an extremely rich pet food, so the cats eat proportionally less of it than other foods, balancing the cost out a little.
Obviously, I can't comment on the taste myself, but it seems to be a very definite hit with the cats. Since they've been eating it, their coats have definitely become more glossy too, which has helped to convince me to keep buying it!
Hills also offer a range of specialist diet foods for cats with stomach or urinary tract problems - useful for one of ours who has FUTD.
Since 2004 Soul has been diagnosed as having an allergy to grass and pollen.
As a result of this, he pulls out his fur and scratches a lot more than the average cat would. After his diagnoses by a vet, Soul now has to have monthly injections to counteract his allergies. At the time it was also suggested that he be fed on this diet, as he may be allergic to normal cat food. Since this could not be tested for, we jointly decided that putting him on this diet, may help control his condition.
* Which conditions is this food for?*
Well, first of all its for any age cage between the ages of 1-9 who suffer with dry, itchy and flaky skin. Its also for any cat wanting a shiny healthy coat that would be the envy of all the other cats.
* What are the benefits? *
The food is full of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids; they nourish and replenish the essential oils within the skin. Hills also claim that it will help to relieve scratching and shedding, as well as being something delicious to eat for your moggy.
* Should this be fed to your cat immediately, and in the same way as you would feed it with tinned food?*
With regards to the amount you should feed your cat, this varies according to its weight. Soul is fed twice a day as most cats are, and we weigh out the same amount for both meals.
Your vet will advise you on the appropriate amount of food for your animal.
It is important to remember, that when introducing it to your cat, you should increase the new food and decrease the other. This should be undertaken during the course of a week, enabling your cat a steady transition from the old food.
While on this diet it's important they you don't feed your cat on dairy products, as like with humans these too can cause allergies.
* What was Souls verdict on the food?*
If Soul was able to speak (boy would he be worth a lot of money), he would say stay well clear of this, as it was the most disgusting thing on earth.
Let me explain, the food very much resembles pellets, theyre dark brown and have a very bland smell to them. During the course of Souls first week on this, he never seemed satisfied, throwing up 9 out of 10 times, and rapidly gaining weight. This was sad to see, as wed worked hard on getting his weight down as his previous owners fed him too much. You maybe confused, as yes I did say he was throwing it back up but gaining in weight. My only answer to this is, that as the food was so bland and left him hungry, he was probably finding something nicer else where.
Anyway, we took him back up to the vets to let them know he was getting on.
Unfortunately for Soul and us, we were told that he must stay on it as his previous tinned food might have been aggravating his condition as well. Although not happy, we decided to persevere for another week, and hoped that things might have improved.
This was not to be the case, as he was still increasing in weight and still being sick.
* What were the final results?*
Enough was enough in my eyes, and I couldnt go on seeing him suffer like that. Back up the vets we went, and unbelievably they still said we should keep him on it.
Cutting a long story short, my little boy is no longer on it and is back on tinned food.
His weight is back down to normal, hes no longer sick, and it certainly hasnt made his condition any the worse for it. Mind you the vets still believe hes on it to this day, but some how I dont think Soul will be dropping us in it!
I know we went against the vets advice, but in this case we felt and still feel that weve done the right thing for Soul.
* Where can I get more advice?*
As well as seeking your vets advice, visit www.hillspet.com, for further information on the food, and the other types available.
* So would you recommend it?*
Although Soul and ourselves give it a big thumbs/paws down, I wouldnt rule this food out for other cats. As with anything in life, what works for one, mightnt work for another. If youre recommended this particular diet plan, or any of the other in the series then Id say give it a go.
* Further Information*
Visit www.hillspet.com, as I said for more info, as well as www.pet-supermarket.com for current prices and ordering.
This particular food can be bought in 2kg bags costing £12.99, and in 5kg bags costing £25.99. Although expensive, if it helps your cat then it's certainly worth the money.
I wonder how many other people take their new puppy or dog to the vet when they first get him, to be checked over? I would think alot of us do, now I wonder how many are advised by the vet (mine was companion vet-inside pet's at home store), to give them the best start- use hills?
That is what advice I was given.
So we headed to the counter with a 7kg bag of Lamb and rice for puppy's (£25.99), happy in the knowledge that we were doing good by our new family member.
Laddie was 7 weeks and 3 days old at that time, and rather plump and very healthy. This 7kg bag lasted us almost 6 weeks, when buying a replacement bag- we bought locally, from a small pet shop- a 3kg bag for £11.99 (pet's at home charge £13.50), but they didn't have the lamb and rice- they only had 'chicken', same type though- for puppy's.
I'm going to go back to the vet's check now...all was fine remember?...A few weeks into his time with us, we noticed him scratching and biting himself alot, I bathed him- and the vet checked him for flea's, none...the vet was clueless.
Three day's into his new flavour Hill's food (the chicken), he developed chronic diarrea and vomiting, we took him to the emergency vet's, whom had to put him on a drip. The next day- we collected him, although we were told he was fine, he diarread as soon as he got home. The vet saw him again, gave him an injection of antibiotics, and pills for the next few days, and advised 'hills recovery food' costing £5 for three tins!!! This all cost £44.99, which I thought cheap- as Laddie's health is the only thing important to me. He ate the tiny amount of hill's recovery food I was told to give, the next day he passed solids, so I did as told and increased the food. That night he covered the whole of our hallway in vomit and diarrea.
The small pet shop advised me to stop the pills, stop the hill's food, and use plain boiled pasta. I did that for three days, gradually increasing the feeds, and on the 3rd day mixed dog food (not hills) in with the pasta. His drinking water was replaced from tap, to filtered, boiled and then cooled water.
I am happy to say he seem's ok now. But he lost alot of weight, and had a shaved leg from where the drip was, also missed alot of walks as he was too tired.
I then found out the following...
1) Hill's ingredients are not 'the best'
2) It contains alot of junk
3) dogs can have allergy's to certain food's, like dairy
4) there are much better food's out there, that are also
5) Vitalin & James wellbeloved are both cheaper, and don't contain dairy, eggs, chicken (vitalin has chicken fat though) wheat, wheat glutin etc nor do they have colourings, preservatives etc in their Lamb and rice flavour.
6) If Hill's give's dogs and puppy's a strong immune system,
how come my puppy got so sick for no apparent reason?
7) An allergy to the food you feed your dog can give them
itchey skin and even flakes (remember my vet being
8) The 100% satisfaction gaurentee with Hill's food- isn't
as simple as taking back the food to shop, it took 4 day's
to be sorted out and for refund from shop.
9) DON'T BOTHER WITH HILL'S!!! IF YOUR VET PUSHES THAT FOOD
ON YOU- HE GETS COMMISSION FOR IT- CHANGE YOUR VET.
I tried my cat Tazziwu on this food because I wanted to ensure he was getting quality food. This stuff being so expensive, it had to be good! He loved it from day one, and it's quite economical to use too. I am away a lot and have an automatic dry food feeding system, which I fill with this food. Big advantage is that, unlike with canned food, there is never any waste because of course, it does not go dry and is not around long enough to go mouldy. Always ensure, though, that when you leave cats unattended for long periods with free access to a dry food dispenser, leave PLENTY of water for them. I suggest leaving not one but at least THREE different water receptacles. If you feed dry food without water it is very bad for your cat's digestive system.
To sum up; if my cat likes the food, then I buy it, no matter what the cost. This food comes in several varieties depending on the size or health of your cat. I can only speak for the standard variety - or rather, Tazziwu says a big THANK YOU for his food!
I adopted my cat Maggie at ~9 months of age from the shelter. She was pretty skinny at that point. I fed her Science Plan regular adult food in the amount recommended on the package. My roommate had a cat, too, who unfortunately got sick. Maggie started eating the other cat's food, who had lost all appetite. Anyway, five months later, my cat had gone from 7.5 pounds (American, i.e. 3.4kg) to 12.5 pounds (5.7kg). My vet said she needed to lose weight and we put Maggie on a diet, starting with the 'light' food, then switching to w/d and later r/d food (prescription diet). It took Maggie a year to lose the weight on 1/2 cup of r/d food a day. But then, cats are supposed to lose weight very slowly, otherwise they lose muscle mass instead of fat. Now she's down to 10.4 pounds (4.7kg) and looks just fine. I don't know why, but Maggie seems to have a very efficient metabolism. She is now getting just over half a cup of the r/d food to maintain her weight. Does she nag me for more? Sure! But believe me, the way she inhales the food, she wouldn't stop eating on her own. In fact, the couple of times she got into the food container, she gorged herself so much that she had to throw up later on. I think she is just not a cat who can be free fed. I tried giving her some canned food a couple of times, as a treat. But guess what? She preferred the dry food. For me, Science Plan has worked amazingly well. Even though Maggie gets very little food, she seems to get all the nutritional supplements she needs (had bloodwork done). My second cat, Shelby, that I adopted just six months ago is eating the 'light' food. My vet said the 'light' food is not really a diet food, but a reduced calorie food suitable for indoor cats, or inactive cats. This time around I am much more careful and pay close attention to Shelby's weight. It is much easier to prevent your cat from becoming overweight than to get it to lose weight. I found that Scien
ce Plan has pretty much a food type for any situation you might be in. It is true that the Science Plan cat food is pretty expensive compared to no-name dry cat food. But compared to canned food, I think it is still pretty cheap, especially when you feed as little as 1/2 a cup a day.
My cat was slightly overweight and, having taken him to the vet for his usual vaccinations, the vet recommended that, for the good of his heart and his kidneys, he should try and lose a bit of weight. She recommend a Hill's Science Plan special diet for him. He loved the biscuits and we spent a small fortune each month buying them from the vet, thinking that we were doing him a favour. We took him back for his first weigh in after three months but he'd put on a few ounces. The vet insisted that we hadn't been sticking to the diet or somebody else had been feeding him. We persevered with the diet for a couple of years - and he was still overweight. Eventually he got bored with the biscuits and that, coupled with our straitened financial circumstances, encouraged me to buy normal Go Cat type biscuits and supplement this with tinned cat food. He enjoyed the biscuits and the meat, and we enjoyed the monetary savings! By this time, we'd given up taken him to the vet for weigh ins, and only took him once a year for his boosters. He must have been on the "normal" cat food for about three months when we took him to the vet for his boosters and, lo and behold, when the vet weighed him, he'd lost 2lb! She had no idea that we'd stopped using Hills and very smugly told us that she knew the diet would work eventually. Her face was a picture when we told her that we'd taken Jules off the diet some three months previously!! So, don't be conned into buying expensive special diets for your cat. The food itself is probably nutritious and cats enjoy the taste - but then most cats seem to do quite well on good old Whiskas and Go Cat too. By the way, Jules is now very trim. I'm thinking about changing my diet to Whiskas and Go Cat!!
Sometimes words of truth come from the most unexpected places. Sometimes truth is so brutally honest that all you can do is accept it and move on with life. Over the last few weeks, these words spoken by Curly have kept coming back to me. Do you remember what movie that line's from? Five weeks ago my husband and I had the perfect life. We had a beautiful 105 year-old farmhouse, a jeep, two cats and a beta fish. We went out on dates together, cuddled on the couch and listened to great music or sat with our dinners on our lap in front of the television and watched football (sorry folks, American football). That all changed when Bailey, a cute, innocent, rolypoly golden retriever puppy entered our lives. Her sad brown eyes gazed adoringly at us and our hearts melted. How could anything this cute, this innocent be anything but joy and happiness? As with all pet owners, we provide Bailey with everything a growing puppy needs. Toys litter the house, her favorite being Teddy, a bear that is carried from room to room and is a constant companion. We researched what kind of food to give her and ended up with Iams large growth for puppies. I know, I know, this is a section for Hills Science Plan. Be patient. I'm getting there. We also bought Bailey "babysitters." These took the form of rawhide chew bones and pig ears. The pig ears are her favorite. They keep her occupied (thereby quiet) for hours at a stretch. It was heaven. Want to read a book; give the dog a pig ear. Want to watch television without being stepped on, gnawed at or slobber upon; give the dog a pig ear. You get the idea. And, through all these ministrations Bailey grew. As she grew, her outdoor piles grew. As she grew, those piles got more aromatic, more dense and more retch-inducing. However, we were pround of Bailey. She was only ten weeks old yet she was fully house trained. Then came that fateful morning when I opened the door t
o the laundry room where she sleeps and just about passed out. I should have been warned by the green cloud seeping from the space between the door and the floor, but I wasn't. The odor hit me full force. The evidence was right in front of me. Three huge piles of the blackest, gooiest, most disgusting dog poop I'd ever seen. I gagged. It was close, but I managed to back up, take a deep, clean breath and walk into the room to the outside door where I promptly escorted the evil, wretched, dog outside. For the next two days it was the same thing, piles upon piles of black goopy dog poop. Finally there was no choice but to take the poop machine to the vet and find out what was wrong. After being poked and prodded in places no one has a right to be poked and prodded, the doctor gave us vitamins and electrolytes to replenish what the diarrhoea was removing from Bailey's body. She also gave us cans of Hills Science Diet in a can. Apparently this is a mild food for canines that have stomach irritations. She also told us that Bailey shouldn't receive any more pig ears because they are very high in fat and can cause stomach problems for some dogs. We were devastated. In one fell blow our babysitter had been removed from us. Bailey remained on the Hills Science Diet for a full five days and has just celebrated her second morning of a poopless laundry room. We've returned her to the other food because it has vitamins and things that are needed for her large growth body, however, the Science Diet was an excellent food for helping her system return to normal. We don't feed Bailey Science Diet because it's first two ingredients as a dry food are corn meal and chicken by-products (what the heck are chicken by-products? Ground up beaks and claws?). The first two ingredients for Iams dry food are chicken and corn meal. Much more attractive. I like the fact that unlike the cheaper, grocery store brands,
Iams doesn't color the food to look like corn and peas and doesn't spend the money to form it into little sausages or steaks. I've seen Bailey grab "kitty crunchies" from the litter box before so I'm pretty sure that color and shape doesn't mean much to her. For the factually minded, the Hills Prescription Diet that we fed Bailey during her recovery was Canine i/d, 415 grams (she had two cans a day). Its main ingredients are: water, egg product, turkey, rice, ground corn, liver, and soy fiber. It contains a high level of crude protein and moisture (which makes sense since the first item is water). Bailey still craps bigger'n the cats but at least she does it outside (we love leaving doggie bombs around the back yard for the occasional neighbor kid that wanders through) and they're back to their normal shape and texture. I'm sure by the time she's full grown, she'll crap bigger'n us too, but hopefully we have a little bit of time before that happens. So, all that is to say that I do indeed recommend Hills Science as a recovery formula for pets suffering from stomach ailments. However, if Iams is available in the UK, I recommend that as the food of choice for the "normal" dog.
Ingredients include water / beef / barley / cornmeal / liver / dried whey / natural flavours / animal fat / dried beet / vegetable oil / corn gluten meal