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General Questions - Feeding and Treating with Hill's® Pet Foods

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Feeding and Treating with Hill's® Pet Foods

How can I enhance the taste of my pet's food if my pet is a finicky eater?

Taste tests show that pets prefer Hill's® pet foods to many other leading brands, however we realize some pets can be picky eaters. To help you in this situation, we suggest following one or more of the tips below to encourage your pet to eat.

 

  • If you are starting to feed your pet a new food, refer to the 7-Day Transition Schedule. A gradual transition from the current food to a new food helps wean your pet from one food to another.
  • Meal feed your pet by measuring the appropriate daily feeding amount of food and placing it in your pet's bowl. If you are feeding your pet more than one meal during the day, divide the amount into the number of feedings for the day.
  • For dogs, allow 10-20 minutes for your dog to eat, then remove the remaining food and wait to feed your dog until his next meal. Remember, food tastes much better when we have an appetite!
  • If you are feeding your pet dry food, try hand-feeding by holding the kibbles of food in your hand and feeding it to your pet in small portions for the first few feedings.
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of warm (not hot) water to one serving of your pet's dry food. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to soften the kibbles, then serve. Moisten enough food for one meal feeding at a time so the food doesn't spoil. Do not leave moistened food out more than four hours.
  • You can make pet food gravy to mix with the dry food by adding a few tablespoons of warm (not hot) water to the equivalent canned pet food. Spoon the gravy over the dry food and serve. Be sure to only make enough for one serving at a time so the food doesn't spoil.
  • To help enhance the flavor of both dry and canned food, add a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or the liquid drained from tuna canned in water. Only make enough for one serving so the food doesn't spoil. (Do not use this tip for Prescription Diet® z/d® or d/d® pet foods.)

 

How much should I feed my pet?

Just as eating amounts vary from person to person, eating amounts vary from pet to pet. Most Science Diet® foods have a feeding guide on the package to help you determine the proper amount to feed your pet. However, the feeding guide is intended as a starting point. It's critical to your pet's health that his or her physical condition be monitored regularly and the feeding amount adjusted as needed. To access the suggested feeding guide for your pet's Science Diet brand pet food, refer to our online product selector.

How do I switch foods?

Pets are creatures of habit and may need some help in switching to a new food. Unless recommended otherwise by a veterinarian, gradually introduce any new food over a seven-day period. Mix the new food with your pet's former food, gradually increasing the amount until only the new food is fed.

Most pets readily accept these foods, but some are more reluctant than others to give up what is familiar to them. If your pet does not easily switch, you may want to try one of the following suggestions:

  • Warming the food or adding warm water enhances the food's smell and flavor.
  • Do not leave food available at all times. Consider meal feeding every three to four hours, 15-20 minutes each time.
  • To help enhance the flavor of both dry and canned food, add a small amount of low-sodium chicken broth or the liquid drained from tuna canned in water when transitioning your pet from one food to another. (Do not use this tip for Prescription Diet® z/d® or d/d® pet foods.)

 

See transition tips and video for cats or dogs.

Does Hill's make Science Diet® treats for dogs?

Yes. Visit our online Science Diet product selector to help you choose which treat is just right for your dog. Or try our homemade treat recipe using your dog's canned or dry food.

Can I give my dog a treat although he is eating Prescription Diet® pet food?

Prescription Diet Canine Treats are a low-calorie, restricted mineral treat for dogs being fed Prescription Diet foods. You can provide up to 10 percent of your dog's daily energy needs by feeding Prescription Diet Canine Treats and still maintain the appropriate nutritional profile to aid in managing the underlying condition. Ask your veterinarian if Prescription Diet Canine Treats are right for your dog being fed the following Prescription Diet products:

  • Prescription Diet® b/d® Canine
  • Prescription Diet® c/d® Canine
  • Prescription Diet® g/d® Canine
  • Prescription Diet® h/d® Canine
  • Prescription Diet® k/d® Canine
  • Prescription Diet® r/d® Canine
  • Prescription Diet® w/d® Canine

For pets fed Hill’s® Prescription Diet® z/d®, Hill’s® Prescription Diet® d/d®, or Hill’s® Prescription Diet® i/d®, we have a compatible treat. These treats are called Hill’s® Prescription Diet® Hypoallergenic Treats® . These Hypoallergenic Treats are available through veterinary clinics.

For dogs fed a Prescription Diet product that is not listed above, we suggest making a homemade treat using the Prescription Diet food you feed your dog and following the recipe below.

Can I give my cat a treat although she is eating Prescription Diet® pet food?

For cats fed Hill's® Prescription Diet® z/d®, Hill's® Prescription Diet® d/d®, or Hill's® Prescription Diet® i/d®, we have a compatible treat. These treats are called Hill's® Prescription Diet® Hypoallergenic Treats®. These Hypoallergenic Treats are available through veterinary clinics.

For cats fed a Prescription Diet product that is not listed above, we suggest making a homemade treat using the Prescription Diet food you feed your cat and following the recipe below.

Homemade Treat Recipe Yield: approx. two dozen treats

Using canned food:

  1. Open the can and shake the loaf of food out of the can.
  2. Cut the loaf into 1/4" thick slices, and then cut the slices into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Bake the treats in a microwave oven on high for approximately 2 ½ to 3 minutes.
  4. Store baked treats in the refrigerator and discard leftovers after 5-7 days.
  5. Homemade treats should not exceed 10% of your pet's total daily intake because heat alters the nutritional characteristics of the food.
  6. Do not freeze homemade treats.

 

For a conventional oven, follow the instructions above and place the bite-sized pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until crispy.

Using dry food:

  1. In a blender, add 2 cups of dry food and grind into a powder.
  2. Pour powder into a mixing bowl and gradually add about 1 to 1 ¼ cups of water, stirring until it forms a dough consistency.
  3. Shape into individual "treats" or "cookies" and flatten the dough using the back of a spoon (the cookies will not flatten like standard "people cookies" do.)
  4. Place treats on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until crispy.
  5. Store baked treats in the refrigerator and discard leftovers after 5-7 days.
  6. Homemade treats should not exceed 10% of your pet's total daily intake because heat alters the nutritional characteristics of the food.
  7. Do not freeze homemade treats.

 

Cookie cutters make treats fun to make and serve.

Only Prescription Diet® a/d® Canine/Feline food, Prescription Diet® n/d® Canine and Prescription Diet® s/d® Canine foods cannot be made into homemade treats using the above recipe. However, you can use the following recipe for homemade treats for these foods:

  • Roll the canned food into little balls and place in the freezer to serve later as a frozen treat. Since it is not possible to bake n/d® Canine into treats, this is a great alternative. Also, this is refreshing to pets during the hot summer.

Can I give my pet a nutritional supplement?

Before giving any supplement to your pet, discuss it with your veterinarian, especially for pets diagnosed with a disease or illness. Prescription Diet® brand pet food is designed to nutritionally manage pets' conditions via specific key product characteristics, so supplements could seriously jeopardize your veterinarian's nutrition recommendations.

Is it okay to feed my pet table scraps or "people" food?

We agree with veterinarians who strongly believe that feeding pets table scraps or "people" food can lead to excesses or deficiencies of nutrients in your pet's diet which over time may lead to health problems for your pet. Therefore, we do not recommend feeding any food other than the Science Diet® or Prescription Diet® food you're feeding your pet, unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise. Instead, feed a few kibbles, a small spoon of canned food, or try our homemade treat recipe.

How do I choose the ideal Science Diet® food for my pet?

Science Diet foods are specifically formulated to meet the energy and nutrition needs of pets of all lifestyles and life stages. Use our online product selector to help determine which Science Diet food is best for your pet's needs.

Which Prescription Diet® pet food product is the best for nutritionally managing more than one medical condition with my pet?

We recommend you visit with your veterinarian regarding this question. Your veterinarian is the best resource regarding your pet's health and is the most qualified person to supervise the nutritional management of multiple health issues for your pet.