Science Diet dog food has a lengthy list of ingredients ranging from various meats, grains and vegetables to vitamins and minerals. Among these ingredients are some that DogFoodAdvisor considers controversial due to their lack of sufficient nutritional value.
The primary ingredients in Science Diet dog food include chicken, wheat, brewer's rice, sorghum and corn gluten meal. Corn, chicken meal, chicken liver flavor, pork fat and soybean oil are also primary ingredients. Additional ingredients include beet pulp and flaxseed.
Rather than being mostly meat based, this dog food relies on gluten as a protein substitute, meaning that it lacks amino acids that are essential to a dog's diet. The chicken meal makes up for the protein lacking from the chicken that loses most of its substance when dried, as 80 percent of it is comprised of water.
DogFoodAdvisor considers soybean oil to be a controversial ingredient, as it is rumored to be linked to dog food allergies, though there is no conclusive evidence. The food does not contain any probiotics that help in digestion, which would make the food more complete and balanced.
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), any dog food that claims to be "complete and balanced" must pass a list of qualifications for nutritional standards ,which are defined by adult maintenance, growth and reproduction. DogFoodAdvisor, after considering these qualifications, determined that the primarily plant-based Science Diet dog food is a below-average dry food for dogs and gives it their second-lowest rating of 2.5 stars.