Hill's Pet Nutrition produces several variations on their d/d formula as part of its line of therapeutic veterinary diets. This special food comes in canned and dry versions and you can obtain them only from a vet, because they are designed to help treat skin conditions and food sensitivities in our canine companions. All d/d formulations contain only one unusual animal protein and one starch as their main ingredients.
The Main Ingredients
Hill's Pet Nutrition makes four formulations of its d/d veterinary diet, each of which contains a different protein. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires pet food manufacturers to list their ingredients by weight. This means that the list of ingredients must start with the primary ingredients and end with the more minor ones. Three of the Hill's d/d formula dog foods list potato among their main ingredients, which is a carbohydrate. The main source of protein is either venison, duck or salmon, depending on the formulation. The fourth d/d formulation contains brewer's rice as the carbohydrate and dried egg product as the protein source.
Why Is This a Special Diet?
Hill's d/d diets are sold only through a veterinarian, because they are formulated by the manufacturer to treat pooches with skin issues, usually due to a food allergy, or those who have food sensitivities. The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates this type of food because it is viewed more as a drug than a food. Thus, manufacturers of diets, like d/d formulations, must show scientific evidence to the FDA that proves the foods are effective in treating the conditions that they claim on their packaging. In the case of d/d canine diets, they contain a only one carbohydrate and one protein, which aren't found in most commercially-available dog foods, so that they won't trigger an allergic reaction.
Ingredients to Make the Food Complete
Hill's canine d/d contains pork fat, soybean oil and fish oil, all of which may help keep the skin and coat moist, which helps to prevent itching, according to petMD. These healthy fats also provide a source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids to reduce skin inflammation and make the food palatable for Fido. Hill's d/d contains additional ingredients, like vitamins and minerals, necessary to maintain your pup's bodily functions. According to HillsVet.com, this formulation follows the feeding profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This means that the food is considered "complete and balanced" for adult dogs and will provide your pooch with the nutrition he needs.
Your Vet's Recommendation Counts
Consult with your vet if your pup is experiencing any tummy trouble or itchy skin because he could have a condition, like dermatitis, a gastrointestinal problem, or a food allergy or intolerance. Your vet may prescribe Hill's d/d to help treat his condition or narrow down what he is allergic to. If your pooch is allergic to any ingredients in his current food, he shouldn't react to the novel ones found in the Hill's d/d food. Your vet also may choose another prescription option for your pup, including Hill's z/d, Purina LA, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic or Iams Response FP. Note that the Hill's d/d formulations aren't appropriate for puppies and pregnant or nursing mother pups.
- Hill's Pet Nutrition: d/d Canine Foods
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pet Food Labels -- General
- petMD: Itch-And-Scratch-Bite-And-Lick!
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Skin Problems
- The Whole Dog Journal: Veterinarian-Prescribed Dog Foods
- HillsVet.com: Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition for Dermatology Specialists
- petMD: Fats and Oils: Good for Your Dog’s Health?
- VeterinaryPartner.com: Food Allergy Trials in Dogs
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.