Pros: Honestly can't think of any.
Cons: High price, cancer causing, low nutrition, cheap low quality ingredients
I recently submitted a review of Science Diet Original Adult dog food. This review was thoroughly ripped apart by people who are truly ignorant of the truth about Science Diet. Im going to try a different approach this time. I know this is eOPINIONS, but for this review itll be eFACTS. Facts that make Science Diet the worst dog food on the market. Just look at the ingredients. This review applies to all Science Diet dog foods as a whole and not just one specific formula.
FACT: The ingredient list is full of cheap fillers that are hard to digest. Its virtually a whos who list of the cheapest, lowest quality ingredients possible. According to Science Diets web site, as of 9/6/03 these ingredients are used in Science Diet dog foods. Here they are along with Naturas explanations in parenthesis.
CORN MEAL (corn is considered to be highly allergenic)
SOYBEAN MEAL RUN (referred to as 'floor sweepings'...nothing more than inexpensive filler w/ little or no nutritional value.)
CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL (questionable nutritional value...much less expensive and less digestible than chicken meal)
PEANUT HULLS (no nutritional value whatsoever, concerns regarding level of residual fungicides that soak into peanut hulls...used exclusively as a filler
CORN GLUTEN MEAL (there is no justification for the use of corn gluten in dog foods only a cheap protein filler)
SOYBEAN MEAL (poor quality protein filler. Meat protein is better absorbed and retained and higher in essential amino acids like methionine, arginine, and taurine. Soybean meal has a biologic value less than 50% of that of chicken meal.)
SORGHUM (low digestibility)
BREWERS RICE (lower quality rice product...missing many of the nutrients found in ground rice and ground brown rice)
ANIMAL FAT (byproduct of meat meal processing...origin of the contributing animals is never known.)
FACT: Animal fat is rendered from an unkown mix of animals that includes euthanized pets, roadkill, tumors, fetal tissue, and dead, dying, diseased & disabled animals in various stages of decay that do no meet USDA standards. The euthanized pets often contain Pheno Barbital, which is the drug used to euthanize them. This drug survives the rendering process and thus makes it into pet food. The FDA has confirmed that euthanized pets are an ingredient in pet foods. The California Veterinary Medical Assoc. confirmed that rendered products can legally include dead pets processed in rendering plants. Colgate-Palmolive, Science Diets parent company, owns one of the largest rendering factories in the country.
CHICKEN LIVER FLAVOR (used in pet foods primarily as a flavor enhancer can potentially contain a disproportionate amount of toxins from the blood.)
BHA, BHT and ETHOXYQUIN. All 3 are proven to cause cancer. BHT & BHA are banned for human consumption in Europe and Australia. Ethoxyquin is manufactured by Monsanto for use as a rubber preservative. Yes, the same thing thats holding your Goodyears together is being used by Science Diet to feed your dog. Ethoxyquin containers are marked POISON. It is listed by the FDA as an insecticide and by OSHA as a hazardous chemical.
FACT: Whole Dog Journal, a monthly periodical dedicated to canine health, conducts a yearly review of dog foods. This publication is largely unbiased based on the fact that they do not accept advertising. Needless to say, none of Science Diets products made their list of top foods. In fact, Science Diet Natures Best with Real Beef and Purina Beneful were the only two specifically mentioned as the worst dog foods based on their lack of worthwhile ingredients.
FACT: According to WDJ, high quality foods should contain the following:
1-Superior sources of protein, either whole fresh meats or single source meat meal (ex. chicken meal rather than poultry meal)
2-A whole-meat source as one of the first two ingredients.
Most SD products contain chicken by-product meal as the only meat protein source, and is either the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th ingredient.
According to WDJ, high quality foods should contain a MINUMUM of the following:
1-Food fragments such as brewer's rice and wheat bran. Beware any food that includes several fragments.
2-Meat by-products - any food that contains meat by-products as the MAJOR protein source indicates a low-quality product.
FACT: SDs philosophy is to use the cheapest ingredients possible. Most of their foods are extremely high in both food fragments and chicken by-product meal.
FACT: As an example, here is the ingredient list for SD Sensitive Skin Adult: Brewers rice, corn meal, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, dried egg product, vegetable oil, animal fat. flaxseed, chicken liver flavor.
Notice the ONLY meat protein is cheap chicken by-product meal? It is listed as the 4th ingredient. All the other ingredients are cheap fillers. This is a typical Science Diet product.
According to WDJ, high quality foods should NEVER contain:
1-Fats or proteins named generically (ex. animal fat/poultry fat instead of beef fat/ lamb meal)
2-Artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin)
FACT: SD uses animal fat in most of its dog foods. They use BHA/BHT/ethoxyquins as a fat preservative in many of its foods.
FACT: According to SD, a 40# dog requires up to 3 cups/day. The same dog requires only up to 2 cups of Innova or Wellness dog foods. They need to eat more SD because it is 33% less nutritious.
Science Diet is one of the biggest marketing scams in the history of the world.
FACT: Hills is heavily involved in the funding of veterinary schools. They give extreme discounts to young vets in order to hook them early. The nutrition seminars at many veterinary schools are run by Hills representatives.
I agree that SD has a terrific reputation, mainly because of idiot veterinarians that recommend its products. I know most people who buy SD have good intentions-to provide their pet with high quality food. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I dont know how many times I have to repeat this-99% of veterinarians know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about pet nutrition. I guarantee I know more about dog food than your vet. Dont just listen to me-look at the FACTS. Look at the ingredient list. That speaks for itself.
If you want the best for your dog, I would recommend: Wellness, Innova, California Natural, Solid Gold, Healthwise, Canidae, Natural Balance or ChickenSoupForTheDogLoversSoul, although Chicken Soups calorie density leaves a little to be desired. These foods contain large amounts of high quality meat protein sources, no fillers, and no cancer-causing preservatives.