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What's more important - ingredients or nutrients?

ingredientsNutrients and high-quality ingredients are both important in a pet food. However, high-quality nutrients are especially vital because the body absorbs nutrients, not ingredients. The optimum nutrient blend is the result of quality ingredients that are formulated with these principles in mind:

  • Ingredients should be selected for nutrients, quality and taste
  • A balance of quality ingredients delivers protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals to meet a dog's nutritional needs
  • No single ingredient makes a food better or worse; a dog food is the sum of its parts

Key points

  • You can't assume a dog food is right for your dog simply by reading the ingredient list, because appropriate amounts of precisely formulated nutrients are just as important as ingredients.

A delivery vehicle

Nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients are the delivery vehicles for these nutrients. For example, corn delivers carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and protein — nutrients needed for good health. As ingredient quality increases, so does a dog's ability to absorb and use the nutrients for optimum health.

Here's a close look at dog food ingredients, the primary nutrients they deliver and the health benefits they offer to dogs.

  • Corn, rice, barley, sorghum — Carbohydrates for energy and other nutrients for healthy skin and coat
  • Animal fat, fish oil and vegetable oil — Fats and essential fatty acids for energy, improved taste and healthy skin and coat
  • Fresh meat, chicken, chicken meal, soybean meal and egg — High quality protein for muscle tone and development and healthy skin
  • Cellulose, soybean mill run and beet pulp — Fiber sources that promote intestinal tract health; some are helpful in weight control

The optimum blend

You can't assume a food is right for your dog simply by reading the ingredient list, because nutrients are just as important as ingredients. Making a high quality dog food requires a precise blend of ingredients to meet a specific nutrient profile based on a dog's lifestage, lifestyle or disease condition. Hill's combines nutrient-rich, high quality ingredients to create balanced foods that have been trusted and recommended by veterinarians for more than 60 years.

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