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If you’ve read my other reviews for Hill’s foods you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of the company. Thankfully they’ve cleaned it up a bit for their Ideal Balance range.
This review is for the Chicken and Brown Rice recipe. They also have a grain free recipe as an alternative.
Hill’s claim this food to be “natural”, which is mostly true except for one tragic inclusion common to many Hill’s and Science Diet formulas – Brewers Rice. Why oh why Hill’s..?
Let’s put that aside for now, and look at the food as a whole…
The top ingredient is chicken, which is how a decent food should start. We also find chicken meal as the 5th ingredient which is good to see. Realistically, once the food is cooked into kibble form this will become a relatively grain-heavy food, which is shown in the analysis as average protein (22%) and high carbs (over 50%).
When it comes to grains our best options are oats and barley. We find both these grains in the food as well as brown rice, another decent grain and superior to the more common white rice. It’s sad to see such decent grains mixed in with brewers rice which is essentially a cheap waste product thrown out the back door of beer breweries, with no nutritional merit, and a filthy cheap way of bulking up a food to increase profit margins.
Chicken fat is included as an essential source of energy and nutrients, and flaxseed as a great ingredient rich in omega fats for joint and heart health. Pea protein will constitute a proportion of the protein in the food, but I’d estimate the majority comes from the chicken in the food (which is a definite plus). Fruits, veggies, vitamins, and minerals are all included and well considered.
This food is better than most, and a sign the Hill’s company are going in the right direction. I’d really like it if they put your dog before profit and removed fillers like brewers rice.
The grain free recipe is better, so look at that as an alternative.
Where to buy?
Brewers Rice aside we find decent ingredients, chicken, chicken meal, and good choices of grain such as brown rice, barley, and oats.
Brewers Rice really lets this food down, and it’s also grain-heavy and high in carbs.
Chicken, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Oats, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein Concentrate, Flaxseed, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Vegetable & fruit blend (Green Peas, Apples, Cranberries, Carrots, Broccoli), Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Beta-Carotene, Natural Flavors.