Here’s The Scoop: Best Alternative To Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D!

Best alternative to Hill's Prescription Diet I/D
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Prescription dog foods are specially formulated to aid with sensitive stomachs, especially in cases where the dog has certain underlying medical conditions such as pancreatitis.

If you’ve found this article, chances are that you are looking for an appropriate, potent alternative to Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D for your pup. Despite the brand’s general effectiveness, it may just be time for a change!

Whether you want to switch to another prescription diet, or to a diet that requires no prescription, there is a huge variety available in the market.

While this means that you don’t have to be tied down to one brand in perpetuity, it also means that choosing one that is the most suitable for your dog can be a hassle!

Enter Joy Pet Products. In this comprehensive post, we’ve gone into great detail for our readers our recommendations of the Top Three Alternative Prescription and Over-The-Counter Diets!

At this point, it’s important to remind you that before transitioning your dog to another diet, it is highly advised that you ask your vet for approval first!

Once your chosen alternative food has been approved, gradually combine the new diet with the original before fully immersing your dog into the new product. This will help to smoothen the dietary transition as much as possible (and trust me, that’s something you definitely want!).

Alternative Prescription Diets

(Side note: I am a member of the Amazon Associates program. As the title suggests, in this post I will be recommending products that I feel may truly be helpful to readers and their pets. If you do end up buying something by clicking the links on my site, I may receive a tiny amount of commission from the big guys.

And if you do end up buying something- Thank you! I really appreciate your support and I’ll always do my best to put out more quality content for you 🙂 )

As already mentioned above, prescription diets normally will require a professional vet’s approval. These dog foods are specially formulated to limit the chances of any adverse gastrointestinal issues from occurring.

The top three prescription diets recommended below are the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet, and the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet.

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Dry Dog Food 6 lb

Blue Buffalo’s Veterinary Diet is a wholesome and natural product, with ample nutritional value and great taste.

The product comes in the form of a dry dog food and is suitable for all breeds and sizes.

The primary ingredient in the diet is salmon, which has been hydrolyzed to ensure that this excellent protein source is readily digestible.

Fiber and Omega 3/Omega 6 fatty acids derived from canola, flaxseed and fish oils ensure that your dog has boundless energy for daily activities, is able to maintain a healthy coat and skin, has proper cognitive function, and enjoys smooth bowel movements.

Other benefits of the Blue Buffalo Veterinary Diet include:

  • Antioxidants in the form of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, blueberries, and cranberries boost immunity and stop free radicals from damaging cells
  • Vitamins and minerals from potatoes and pumpkins such as Vitamin B, iron and magnesium help to enhance overall canine health. Pumpkin also is the optimal choice for fiber which aids bowel movement.

This product also minimizes the possibility of any gastrointestinal issues as it is formulated with the following aspects:

  • Hydrolyzed salmon protein
  • Grain-free
  • No poultry or chicken by-products
  • No wheat, soy or corn
  • No preservatives or artificial flavors

Furthermore, The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) have acknowledged that the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet delivers complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance of adult dogs.

With 4.3 stars out of 5 from 82 global reviews on Amazon, it is my top recommended alternative to Hill’s Prescription Diet and for any dogs with a sensitive stomach.

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance Dry Dog Food 6 lb

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Dog Food Nutrient Profile

Crude Protein

24.0% min

Crude Fat

12.0% min

Crude Fiber

5.0% max

Moisture

10.0% max

Calcium

0.7% min

Phosphorus

0.5% min

Vitamin E

300 IU/kg min

Soluble Fiber

1.0% min

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

1.5% min

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

2.0% min

Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C)

100 mg/kg min

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Low Fat Canine Formula Dry Dog Food - 32 lb. Bag

Purina Pro Plan Gastroenteric Naturals Diet is another excellent potential replacement for Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D with its mouth-watering taste and high nutritional value. It’s so delicious that you have to make sure your dog doesn’t gorge itself on it!

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It contains high quality protein and nutrients from ingredients such as coconut oil, and also has the inclusion of vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K with minerals such as calcium and zinc.

This highly digestible formula ensures quick absorption into the body whilst boosting digestive health at the same time. With high levels of antioxidants, the diet will help prevent free radical damage and boost your dog’s immune system.

The absence of wheat, corn, artificial flavors and colors reduces the possibility of gastrointestinal problems and therefore is suited for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

With its advantages, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet truly can provide an optimal diet for growing puppies and adult dogs.

With 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 85 customer reviews on Amazon, it is another top notch substitute for Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Low Fat Canine Formula Dry Dog Food - 32 lb. Bag

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet Dog Food Nutrient Profile

Crude Protein

23.0% min

Crude Fat

10.5% min

Crude Fiber

2.0% max

Moisture

12.0% max

Ash

7.5% max

Calcium

0.95% min

Phosphorus

0.75% min

Vitamin E

350 IU/kg min

Linoleic Acid

1.4% min

Manganese

70 ppm min

Zinc

200 ppm min

Vitamin A

15000 IU/kg min

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat LF Dry Dog Food 1.5 lb

Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dog Food is a dry kibble suitable especially for canines with sensitive stomachs. This product is also recommended for dogs with pancreatitis and other gastrointestinal diseases.

The diet promotes efficient bowel movements and a healthy digestive system through the inclusion of easily digestible proteins and prebiotics.

The addition of soluble and insoluble fibers further boosts gastrointestinal health and promotes well-formed stools (constipation be gone!).

The presence of antioxidants boosts the immune system, with omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA promoting cognitive function and reducing inflammation.

With its high caloric content, small portions of this veterinary diet will ensure your dog has sufficient energy to last throughout the day.

Furthermore, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet is formulated with low fat content to minimize any gastrointestinal issues in dogs with fat intolerance.

With a 4.5 out of 5 star rating from 80 reviews on Amazon, it is another highly recommended substitute for Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Dog Food Nutrient Profile

Crude Protein

20.0% min

Crude Fat

8.5% max

Crude Fiber

3.6% max

Moisture

10.0% max

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

0.09% max

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

0.04% min

Alternative Over-The-Counter Diets

Over-the-counter diets require no prescription and therefore does not need a vet’s explicit approval. However, it is usually still a great idea to ask your vet if these diets are suitable for your dog!

Three of the most recommended options are listed below, with thousands of customers providing positive reviews and coming back for more. They include the Natural Balance L.I.D., Hill’s Science Diet, and Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D.

Natural Balance L.I.D.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Food, Beef Formula, 4 Pounds

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet is our top choice as an over-the-counter diet to transition off veterinary diets.

Produced in the USA, it is a high quality premium product with a simple formula to ensure you have full control over your dog’s diet.

The primary ingredient is farm-raised duck, mixed with an easily digestible source of carbohydrate in the form of potatoes.

Not only will the product deliver a complete and balanced diet for adult pets, but it will also help to support digestion and maintain healthy skin and coat.

The product is recommended for all breeds and sizes. For a formulated-for-puppies version of the diet, you can check it out here!

Natural Balance L.I.D. is beneficial for dogs with sensitive stomachs as it does not contain any of the following:

  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Grains
  • Artificial flavors or colors

Natural Balance’s L.I.D. has undergone development for over 125 years(!) amongst certified professionals to ensure that the dry dog food formula delivers nutritional value, high quality and excellent taste.

This is further supported by AAFCO who ensure this product meets the nutritional standard for maintenance of adult dogs.

With 7700+ reviews on Amazon and an average of 4.7 out of 5 star rating, it is the top recommended over-the-counter option to transition off Hill’s Prescription Diet ID.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula, 24 Pounds, Grain Free

Natural Balance Limit Ingredient Diet Dog Food Nutrient Profile

Crude Protein

24.0% min

Crude Fat

10.0% min

Crude Fiber

4.0% max

Moisture

10.0% max

Calcium

0.8% min

Phosphorus

0.6% min

Zinc

80 mg/kg min

Vitamin E

50 IU/kg min

Taurine

0.3% min

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

1.0% min

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

1.5% min

 

Hill’s Science Diet – Sensitive Stomach

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe, 30 Lb Bag

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin is a reputable, perfectly acceptable over-the-counter alternative to its Prescription Diet I/D. It provides the advantageous effects of boosting digestive health and nourishing skin in adult dogs.

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With the addition of prebiotic fiber to support good gut bacteria, your dog will have a balanced, thriving gut microbiome for proper bowel movements (no dry and crumbly poops here!).

Hill’s Science Diet is made in the USA with natural ingredients, and it contains notable levels of Omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E to promote a healthy coat and skin. In addition, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or chicken by-products are added.

Not only is it recommended by vets all over, with over 6000+ global customers and a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, it is no doubt one of the best options available for a sensitive canine stomach.

On a unrelated note, Hill’s is also an excellent option if you have a philanthropic inclination as it contributes to animal shelters by making sure homeless animals are fed all year round.

It is important to note this product is not suitable for puppies, nursing or pregnant dogs. In the case of puppies, a suitable alternative is the Hill’s Science Diet Puppy formula which has close to 6000 reviews and an equivalent rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon!

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe, 30 Lb Bag

Natural Balance Limit Ingredient Diet Dog Food Nutrient Profile (Dry Matter)

Protein

25.9%

Fat

16.0%

Carbohydrate

51.5%

Crude Fiber

1.3%

Calcium

0.95%

Phosphorus

0.77%

Potassium

0.74%

Sodium

0.28%

Magnesium

0.098%

Vitamin E

800 IU/kg

Vitamin C

242 ppm

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

0.51%

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

4.71%

 

Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Salmon & Potato 24-lb

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet uses salmon as a premium protein source, which is then mixed with foods that support digestion such as pumpkin, potatoes and peas.

In addition to a novel probiotic extract, natural sources of fiber such as pumpkin and peas also help to promote optimal bowel movements.

With the addition of flaxseed and fish oil, your dog will also get a generous dose of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to nourish the skin, coat and boost cognitive function.

Other key ingredients include cranberries and blueberries, which are great sources of vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as minerals such as manganese and potassium.

Blue Buffalo’s Salmon and Potato Diet does not incorporate ingredients which may cause allergies or gastrointestinal issues in dogs such as:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Dairy

Finally, like all of the other options already listed, it also does not contain any artificial flavors or preservatives in its formulation.

With the support of AAFCO to guarantee the nutritional value of Blue Buffalo Salmon and Potato Diet, it has earnt a 4.7 out of 5 star rating from over 3400+ customers on Amazon, making it one of the better options available to replace Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Salmon & Potato 24-lb

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Dog Food Nutrient Profile

Crude Protein

20.0% min

Crude Fat

12.0% min

Crude Fiber

6.0% max

Moisture

10.0% max

Calcium

0.9% min

Phosphorus

0.7% min

Vitamin E

300 IU/kg min

Glucosamine

200mg/kg min

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

1.0% min

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

2.0% min

Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C)

100 mg/kg min

What Else Can I Feed A Dog With A Sensitive Stomach?

Dog healthy diet in bowl

Besides the aforementioned diets, your dog would also surely appreciate meals containing quality ingredients such as fresh lean meat with low fat content.

Some dogs do not tolerate fat well, and it can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and poor stool quality (trust me- you do not want to encounter poop that’s stuck halfway).

Lean organ meats such as pork kidney are typically fine in controlled quantities, and any poultry should be skinless if possible. Bland kibble can also always be added to meals to boost the nutritional value of their diet.

If your dog is experiencing stomach issues such as diarrhea, it is recommended that you add plain canned pumpkin to your dog’s diet. Not only is it a good source of fiber to promote smoother bowel movements, but it is also rich in vitamins and minerals.

Probiotics (more on these below) are also an excellent option to add to your dog’s diet as they will help to break down food, improve digestive health, and promote production of good quality stools.

Before adding anything to your dog’s existing diet or switching to a new one, always consider consulting with your vet first to ensure that the food you are providing will be suitable for your pup!

Importance Of Probiotics In Dog Diets

Purina FortiFlora Probiotics for Dogs, Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Powder Probiotic Dog Supplement – 30 ct. box

Whenever your dog is having trouble digesting food or producing consistent stools, consider adding digestive enzymes, probiotics or a prebiotic supplement to help aid digestion in addition to switching over to a more suitable diet.

Probiotics have the ability to:

  • Support and boost skin and coat health;
  • Reduce allergies;
  • Minimize intestinal gas;
  • Eliminate yeast-associated problems;
  • Maintain a healthy internal balance to regulate bowel movements.
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Foods that contain probiotics such as kefir and plain yoghurt may help with digestion although some dogs do not react well to dairy products.

Reputable probiotics such as Herbsmith Microflora Plus and Dogzymes Probiotic are highly recommended if you want to support your dog’s digestive system.

However, one of the best probiotics recommended by vets for dogs is Purina FortiFlora Probiotics.

FortiFlora is suitable for both puppies and adult dogs. It helps to manage diarrhea, reduce flatulence, and balance intestinal microflora to promote a healthy immune system.

Purina Probiotics also contain vitamin C, vitamin E and minerals such as zinc and calcium.

With close to 19000 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, Purina Fortiflora Probiotics will provide exemplary support to your pooch’s digestive system and reduce the likelihood of GI issues.

How To Transition Your Dog to A New Diet

Bulldog puppy eating cabbage leaf
Please don’t just give it a piece of cabbage…

It usually takes around 7 to 14 days to transition a dog smoothly onto a new diet.

For the first 1-2 days: Mix around ¼ of the new diet with ¾ of the old diet.

On days 3-4, mix around ½ of the new diet with ½ of the old diet.

On days 5-6, add around ¾ of the new diet to ¼ of the old diet.

On around day 7, your dog should have fully transitioned to the new diet!

Remember: This is a rough guide and some dogs may require a longer timeframe to adjust to their new diet.

Always ensure that there is fresh clean water available. This will help to support digestion and facilitate problem-free bowel movements as your dog transitions into a new diet.

It would be best to ask your vet and gain their ‘go-ahead’ before transitioning to a new diet. Some dogs may tolerate certain foods less than others, and therefore may be more likely to develop stomach issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

FAQ magnifying glass

What Are Some Of Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Side Effects I Should Know About?

You may have heard or read online about recalls involving the Hill’s Prescription Diet range as recently as 2019. These included the K/D, R/D, C/D, and yes, I/D, variations of the diet.

While this is rightly alarming, it should definitely be noted that these recalls were relevant only to the canned varieties of the food. Dry versions (kibbles) were not impacted in any way, so don’t fret if that is what you have been feeding your pup.

In case you have been feeding your dog canned I/D food, it goes without saying that you should stop immediately.

The major problem detected in canned Hill’s Prescription Diet foods is that they contained an excessive amount of Vitamin D.

While an adequate amount of Vitamin D is essential for optimal canine health, too much of the nutrient can lead to the development of a number of different adverse symptoms. These can include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst and urination

In severe cases of excessive Vitamin D consumption an aptly named condition called “hypervitaminosis D” can result. Renal dysfunction, kidney failure, and even death can be the eventual outcomes.

Do You Need A Prescription For I/D Dog Food?

Given that “Prescription” is right there in the name, the answer to this question is Yes!

A formal prescription must be obtained from a professional, qualified vet before Prescription Diet I/D can be purchased both in store or online.

For alternative dog foods that don’t need a vet’s prescription… Well, just scroll up to see the best options again!

Can You Feed Hills I/D Long Term?

As the ingredients of Hill’s Prescription I/D have been specially selected to be gentle yet nourishing at the same time, it can definitely be a long-term meal solution for your dog.

However, Prescription I/D Diet is usually prescribed only as needed, and most dog owners will transition off it once their pup has recovered from their GI problems sufficiently.

While there’s no issue with its continued use, changing to an alternative kibble (that’s still just as healthy) will likely keep your wallet much happier!

In Conclusion

Selecting a suitable alternative to Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D can be difficult, but hopefully you have found something in this article today among our recommended options to suit your dog’s needs.

For an alternate prescription diet, Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin and Purina Pro Plan are excellent choices.

For an over-the-counter kibble that doesn’t require a prescription, you can’t go wrong with either Natural Balance, Hill’s Science Diet or Blue Buffalo Basics.

It is important to remember that these usually are temporary solutions, and it is always best to consult with a vet first before feeding your dog any new foods!

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