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Ask a Hill's Vet - Providing Tips and Guidances

We are expanding our devotion to healthy, happy pets and offering a service to all pet owners. Now you have the opportunity to ask our team of veterinarians general questions about pet health, wellness, nutrition or issues that arise in pets' everyday lives. Your personal vet should be the primary resource for all of your pet's individual care.

Our Hill's veterinarians will provide professional answers in an efficient manner. If this is an emergency or an urgent care situation do not contact us, immediately contact your local vet who can provide the best and most responsive care.

Don't see an answer to your question here? Ask a Hill's Vet.


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The Hill's veterinary team will respond to your question within five to ten business days, but please note that this service is for general non-critical issues. Your local vet should be contacted to handle medical issues. Also, this service should not be viewed as a substitute for regular veterinarian care.

Also, we will possibly display your question and the vet's answer on this web site for public viewing.

Thanks for your interest in Ask a Hill's Vet!

We're sorry, but we are not currently accepting questions. Due to the overwhelming response to this HillsPet.com feature, we are now evaluating how we may enhance it to better meet the needs of people passionate about their pets.

In the meantime, we invite you to browse our Frequently Asked Questions area or contact Hill's Consumer Affairs.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are experiencing an emergency or an urgent care situation do not contact us. Immediately contact your local vet who can provide the best and most responsive care.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

We'll regularly feature recent questions and subsequent answers from our veterinarian team.

Our 3-year-old dachshund needs to lose weight. He is currently 29 pounds. We would like to get him down to 25 pounds. We're going to switch to Science Diet Light. How much should he be getting per day? He is moderately active. Charles C. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

Our average recommendation for a 3 year old Dachshund for weight loss to 25 lb would be 1 1/2 cups of the Hill's® Science Diet® Light Adult Canine dry. Please check with your veterinarian if you have additional concerns about your dog's weight loss.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

We have a 14-year-old male calico cat who weighs 24 pounds. He is certainly overweight, but not yet obese based on his height and large bone structure. Our vet suggested we transition him to Prescription Diet z/d Ultra Allergen Free. Please provide quantity per day feeding guidance. Ray P. See Answer

Thank you for contacting us.

For a cat at 24 pounds our suggested feeding amount per the guidance on the packaging is 1 cup of the Hill's® Prescription Diet® z/d® Feline Low Allergen Dry or 2-1/4 cans of the Hill's® Prescription Diet® z/d® Feline Ultra Allergen Free canned per day.

Best Regards,

Dr. Jeff, D.V.M., M.S. Learn more about Dr. Jeff.

Should you feed your dog half its food in the morning and half in the evening, or just once a day in the evening or morning? Linda C. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

Feeding your pet twice a day is preferred. A few smaller meals throughout the day will benefit the digestion and metabolism of your pet.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

I have been asked to put my 20 kilogram adult Staffie on the Hill's diet. What amount will I have to feed her each day? Is it once a day or splitting the food into two portions? Thank you. Wendy W. See Answer

Thank you for your questions.

The specific amount of Hill's® brand pet food to be fed (which can be found on the bag or can) is determined by your pet's current body weight as well as his body condition, and is meant to serve as a starting point. Meal feeding, once or twice daily, is typically recommended. Your veterinarian is your best resource for information about keeping your pet healthy.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

We have been trying to find a diet that will help my cat lose weight. We have tried weight control cat food and nothing is working. The vet recommended m/d version of Hill's Prescription Diet food and only 3/8ths of a cup. My cat is eating all of what she is given. However, it feels like I am starving her. She hangs around her food dish even after the food is gone. Could just this little bit of food be good for her? She is one year and five months old and weighs 11.6 ounces.  Stephanie C. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

Obesity is a very common condition in adult cats and can contribute to serious health concerns. I am so glad you are trying to find a solution to help your cat reach a healthy weight. Remember though, one important key to weight loss is that food intake needs to be strictly controlled. Small amounts of food contribute calories that will hinder your cat's weight loss progress. I encourage you to check back with your veterinarian for a current weight on your cat and any appropriate adjustments to her feeding amount. It can be difficult to watch your cat adjust to eating a smaller amount of food and avoid the urge to feed her just a little extra. Your veterinarian can talk to you about feeding options and ways to encourage activity to support weight loss. Remember that you are doing the very best for your cat by helping her to reach a healthy weight!

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

My cats are on m/d through our vet due to their weight (about 20 pounds now). They only get a half cup per day and have gained more weight while on m/d. They are nine years old and indoor only. Is there a better dry food that they could eat? The m/d seems low in carbs but high in fat. Sharon M. See Answer

Thank you for using the Ask a Hill's Vet feature.

Getting cats to lose weight is hard work, isn't it?!! There can be a number of reasons a cat might not lose weight, one of which is overfeeding. I would urge you to check with your veterinarian who is the health expert for your cats. He or she can determine if other options for weight loss are appropriate for your kitties.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

I have two pugs that both weigh approximately 28 pounds each. Everything I read says pugs should weigh 18 pounds. They are eating Eukanuba weight control, and for the life of me cannot see where they can lose 10 pounds. They are both two years old. What should they weigh and what food do you recommend? I really need some help here trying to figure out what is best for them. According to the package, they are allowed 1 to 1 1/2 cups per day. They each get 3/4ths of a cup with a very small amount of boiled chicken added to the kibble. Please help. Mike M. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

I appreciate your concern for your dogs' weight. Obesity has become an epidemic in pets and keeping them at a healthy weight is important to their overall health and quality of life. Dogs can be a lot like humans in that they don't always fits the 'height and weight' charts. There can be many variations including genetics, muscle mass and bone mass that affect a pet's weight. The best way to evaluate whether or not your pet is at a healthy weight is to assess a pet's body condition score in addition to weight. At an ideal weight you should be able to feel your pugs ribs with just a slight fat cover. At the tailbase there will be a smooth contour and you can easily feel your pet's hip bones. Even in pugs there should be a slight waist when you are looking down on them. I encourage you to discuss your concerns with your veterinarian who can provide a body condition score and help you learn how to monitor changes in your pugs' weights. Just as in people, the caloric needs of individual dogs will vary with body size/type, activity and age, and the feeding directions typically found on pet food packages are guidelines as starting points. Your veterinarian can help determine the appropriate amount of food your little pugs should be eating to keep them at a healthy weight. Thank you for the care you are providing your wonderful dogs and I wish them a long, healthy life.

Best Regards,

Dr. Jeff, D.V.M., M.S. Learn more about Dr. Jeff.

I am trying to calculate how much to feed my dogs. I have calculated their daily calorie requirements for their life stage. I need calorie contents for Science Diet Adult Large Breed dry food.  Joe F. See Answer

Thank you for contacting the Hill's Ask a Vet feature.

Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Large Breed Dog Food Dry contains 365 calories per cup. We encourage you to talk with your veterinarian to discuss the appropriate feeding amounts for your pet.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

I have been feeding my adult cat Science Diet Hairball Light for the past two years. They get a quarter cup twice a day. My female cat is overweight. Any suggestions? Another Science Diet food? They do not like the regular dry light. Demaree H. See Answer

I am so glad you are taking the initiative to manage your cat's weight.

If your female cat is spayed, her caloric needs have probably decreased. It's important that you don't just reduce the amount of food your cat is currently receiving as this can deprive your cat of key nutrients.There are specific foods designed to help your cat lose weight in a safe, healthy manner and it's important for your cat's overall health to begin a weight loss program. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination and assess your cat's current body condition and weight and work with you on the best approach for healthy weight loss.

I admire the care you are providing for your cats.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

I have a nine-year-old (normally) 16-pound dachshund. He is on a fixed diet of Hill's Sensitive Stomach, one cup per day. His weight has been stable for four years. He is in good health (per vet visit two months ago). He has put on weight, about two pounds (which is fat). His activity level is actually higher than normal, we have had a new puppy since April 1. He has not been eating her food, we watch that very carefully. Slightly reducing (to 7/8ths of a cup) his food allocation has not reduced it over the past two months. Given his age and size, what feeding allotment of his food do you recommend? David W. See Answer

I'm glad that you are closely monitoring your pet' weight.

Nutritional needs can change over time. Food and exercise play a very important role in treating an overweight dog. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian. In addition to informing your veterinarian what product and how much you are feeding, please inform them of any additional calories your dog may be getting from treats or people food.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

I have a three-month-old neopolitan mastiff. What Hill's product do you recommend me to feed my dog? Mario R. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

All puppies need the basics - precise nutrition, time to play and lots of love - but puppies have individual needs, as well. We tend to think of the early years as the ""healthy years"" and therefore may not give enough consideration to feeding practices. But because of factors like size, breed, age, environment, exercise, heredity and many others, a ""one size fits all"" approach to nutrition just won't work. Improper feeding can increase your puppy's risk of obesity, excessively fast growth, growth-related skeletal problems, poor muscle and bone development and poor immune response. Your personal veterinarian is the best authority on your pet's health and nutritional needs. I would encourage you to ask your vet for a specific nutritional recommendation.

Best regards,

Dr. Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

I have just bought a bag of the Prescription Diet canine t/d, but notice there are by-products in the formula. I've been feeding my dog a food that is completely made from human grade ingredients and no by-products. I am concerned that switching him would be a bad move. Thank you for your time. Mike K. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

As the global leader in pet nutrition, our main objective is to provide wholesome foods that are carefully balanced to deliver appropriate levels of specific nutrients understood to improve health, while avoiding excessive levels of nutrients thought to have detrimental effects on health over the course of a pet's life.

Every food differs on the ingredients used to achieve the best nutrient analysis for that food. Some Hill's® pet foods contain by-products. By-products are common ingredients found in both human and pet food. In fact Vitamin E, gelatin, beef bouillon, beef liver and vegetable oils are all by-products. Chicken by-product meal is a high quality, concentrated source of protein. We use it due to its low ash (phosphorus) content. It is also very palatable. This ingredient consists of ground, rendered, wholesome parts of the chicken. It includes white meat, dark meat, liver and viscera. It is ground into a meal and the bones are extracted. The chickens are sourced from human grade processing plants. Hill's sources meat and poultry ingredients from USDA inspected plants. We maintain the highest standards of quality control for our manufacturing facilities, our ingredients, and our finished products.

Best regards,

Dr. Jeff, D.V.M., M.S. Learn more about Dr. Jeff.

My dog, a French bulldog, is subject to allergies which manifest as rashes on the belly and upper legs. Frequent scratching is a problem. The vet prescribed a medication. What about dog food? Bill T. See Answer

Thank you for your question. He must be uncomfortable.

Nutrition plays a role in keeping dogs skin and hair coat healthy. Hill's does offer products designed for the management of certain conditions. You should ask your veterinarian for his/her recommendations as to what treatments or food would be appropriate for your dog. There is a list of questions located on www.hillspet.com related to skin and coat that you can print out which may aid in your discussion with your veterinarian.

Best Regards,

Dr. Jeff, D.V.M., M.S. Learn more about Dr. Jeff.

My cat is allergic to dust mites and container mites. I get Prescription Diet c/d wet and dry and lately t/d from my vets, but they told me I can't give him dry food anymore. He LOVES dry food! They thought you might have ideas for what I could do for alternatives, like baking the wet till it's crunchy or something like that. What do you think? Donna A. See Answer

This is an interesting question.

Cats that have traditionally been fed dry food are sometimes difficult to transition to a wet food. In this case, it's important for your cat's health to follow your veterinarian's recommendation for feeding wet food. We do have a formula for baking treats and this could be utilized to bake the daily food amount as well. You can bake the canned food your veterinarian has recommended into a crunchy food using the recipe below. It is important to store the food in the refrigerator and discard any leftovers after five days. You might try feeding a small offering of wet food in a separate dish alongside the offering of the baked food to see if your cat will try both and eventually may end up enjoying the wet food alone. Good luck.

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 ¼-inch thick slices, and then cut the slices into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Bake the treats in a microwave oven on high for approximately 2½ to 3 minutes.
  4. Store baked treats in the refrigerator and discard leftovers after 5-7 days.
  5. 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.

Best Regards,

Dr. Jeff, D.V.M., M.S. Learn more about Dr. Jeff.

My cat has just been put on Hill's Prescription Diet k/d. The vet said to check with you to see if you have any kind of treats or something else we can use to continue reward him with. Or is there any food we can prepare as a small treat? Thank you so much. We have been using Hill's for years. Alice D. See Answer

Treats can be made out of the Hill's® Prescription Diet® k/d® Feline dry food. In a blender, add 2 cups of dry food and grind into a powder. Pour powder into a mixing bowl and gradually add about 1 to 1-1/4 cups of water stirring until it forms a dough consistency.

Shape into a "treat" or "cookie" and flatten the dough using the back of a spoon (the cookies will not flatten like standard "people cookies" do.) Place treats on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until crispy.

Best Regards,

Dr.Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

My indoor/outdoor cat has been sneezing a lot. What can I do for him? Nancy D. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

There are a number of reasons why your cat my be sneezing. I suggest you make an appointment with your veterinarian to try to determine the cause and possible treatments He/she is your best resource for your pet's health care. You may want to record as many details as possible such as how often the problem occurs, how long the episodes last and how long the problem has been present.

Best Regards,

Dr. Jeff, D.V.M., M.S. Learn more about Dr. Jeff.

I have a 3-year-old Yorkie that weighs 20 pounds. I have been walking him daily and feed him less food, but he does not seem to be losing weight. He is not a teacup Yorkie. What can I do to help him lose weight? Theodore R. See Answer

I'm glad that you are taking the initiative to address your dog's weight problem.

Food plays a very important role in treating an overweight dog. Along with exercise, a low-fat and low-calorie food is essential in helping your dog lose weight and stay fit. Fiber is also a key ingredient since it helps your dog eat less while keeping him full. Once your dog has been overweight, he may be prone to weight gain and should have an ongoing weight-management plan based on good nutrition, exercise and regular check-ups and weigh-ins. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian. You may want to record information to help you with your discussion with your veterinarian, such as what product and how much you are currently feeding. Additionally, please let your veterinarian know of any additional calories your dog may be getting from treats or people food.

Best Regards,

Dr.Harry, D.V.M., M.S.M. Learn more about Dr. Harry.

My mom has a Yorkie that refuses to eat hard food. She'll pick at it but then won't touch it. She's tried several varieties. She eats it once or twice then just leaves it sitting. Denise D. See Answer

Thank you for your question.

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 warm the food or try adding warm water which brings out the odor and flavor of the food. Do not leave food available at all times. Consider meal feeding every three to four hours 15-20 minutes each time. If you have further questions or concerns please be sure to contact your veterinarian as they are the best authority on your pet's health.

Best Regards,

Dr. Jeff, D.V.M., M.S. Learn more about Dr. Jeff.

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