You can instantly recognize many pet food brands by their name or branding. Pedigree or Purina are good examples of that.
But when it comes to quality and specialized dog and cat food, Royal Canin and Hill’s are some of the most respected and recognizable brands. They have many similarities, but this article will explore the general differences between the two and look at a couple of recipes in detail. Read on to get more tips on where to place your bet in the Royal Canin vs Hill’s competition. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Information About Each Company
- General Royal Canin vs Hill’s Comparison
- Royal Canin vs Hill’s Puppy Food
- Weight Loss Comparison
- Recipe Differences in Kidney Diet and Urinary Health
- Urgent Care vs Recovery Vet Prescription Diets
- Differences in Dental Veterinary Diets
Royal Canin Company Overview
A French veterinarian established Royal Canin in 1968. He worked on improving dogs’ health through nutrition while providing good-tasting food for dogs. That’s how the company laid the foundation for the modern pet food formula.
The brand offers numerous dog food recipes and a significant amount of cat food formulations. Royal Canin focuses on various breeds, but it also has some veterinary recipes.
The company is generally loved and trusted. But, in 2006 and 2007, it had a few food recalls due to melamine contamination and excessive Vitamin D3.
Before getting into the Hill’s vs Royal Canin dog food battle, let’s also look into Hill’s profile.
Hill’s Company Overview
Dr. Morris Frank started Hill’s Pet Nutrition in 1948 after he developed food to help his guide dog, which had kidney issues. It became the first vet-prescribed dog food. Always consult a vet before buying a prescription food, especially if your pet has health problems. Don’t forget that some foods can be bad for your dog.
Hill’s has developed numerous dog and cat recipes, specializing in vet-approved food. Throughout the years, it established itself among the high-quality pet food companies. But since 2007, the company has recalled food at least five times due to melamine, salmonella, and elevated vitamin D levels.
General Royal Canin vs Hill’s Comparison
We’ll complete our comparison and review based on the 10 dog food recipes below.
Nutritional Content Comparison
Dogs need healthy fats and high-quality protein, preferably of animal origin. But the quality of plant-based ingredients is also crucial.
Both brands use ingredients that can be considered fillers or controversial. But if we ask ourselves, “Which is better, Royal Canin or Science Diet by Hill’s?” we believe Hill’s has slightly better components and protein sources. At the same time, Royal Canin offers more recipes higher in crude protein.
Both companies use similar supplements. Carefully following the feeding instructions and calculating the calories is essential so you don’t overfeed your dog. But the two brands share similar values, so transitioning between them should be easy.
Is Royal Canin better than Hill’s when it comes to pricing?
Canin specializes in breeds by offering some top-tier dog food for large dogs and small dogs alike. In contrast, Hill’s provides solutions for various health conditions.
Comparing similar recipes of the two brands makes it evident that Royal Canin is more expensive in almost every case. Considering that the ingredients don’t differ much, most pet parents won’t find any reasons for the higher cost.
Dog Food Recipes Comparison
Let’s check the recipes in detail for a more in-depth comparison of the two brands.
Royal Canin vs Hill’s Puppy Food
Let’s look into dry dog food for small breed puppies. We’ll compare Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws and Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Food.
Royal Canin’s recipe focuses on the immune system and digestive health of small puppies. It’s recommended for small breeds up to 10 months or those that weigh up to 22 pounds.
The first ingredients are dehydrated poultry protein, rice, animal fats, vegetable protein isolate, and maize. It contains:
- 354 kcal/cup
- 29% protein
- 18% fat
- 3.3% fiber 3.3%.
The recipe has added fish oil, minerals, vitamins, and a few probiotic sources. The price starts at $51.19 for a 13-lb bag.
We’ll also look into this recipe to decide the winner between Royal Canin vs Hill’s Puppy Food.
The formula focuses on building lean muscle, immune support, and developmental health. It’s best suited for small breed puppies up to one year old.
The first five ingredients are chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, chicken fat, and whole-grain corn. It contains:
- 397 kcal/cup
- 24.5% protein
- 15.5% fat
- 3% fiber
The recipe has added fish oil, minerals, vitamins, and flaxseed. The price starts at $38.99 for a 15.5-lb bag.
So, where do we stand on the Hill’s vs Royal Canin dog food debate?
Customers rate both recipes highly. They have a poultry by-product as a first ingredient and many filler-like components. Canin’s recipe is a bit higher in protein, but some of it comes from vegetables. Meanwhile, Hill’s has slightly lower fat and fiber content.
We would give the edge to Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws because of its much more affordable price.
Hill’s vs Royal Canin for Weight Loss
Let’s examine dry dog food for weight management. We’ll compare Hill’s Science Diet Adult for Weight Management and Royal Canin Medium Weight Care Adult.
Hill’s recipe focuses on healthy weight loss and lean muscle support for adult dogs of all sizes.
The first ingredients are chicken, cracked pearled barley, brown rice, pea fiber, and corn gluten meal. It contains:
- 299 kcal/cup
- 24% protein
- 9% fat
- 5% fiber
The recipe also includes taurine, minerals, vitamins, and flaxseed. Prices start from $70.99 for a 28.5-lb bag.
To decide on the Hill’s vs Royal Canin Weight Loss topic, we’ll look into Canin’s recipe, too. The formula focuses on building lean muscle, weight loss, and healthy metabolism. It’s best suited for medium-sized adult dogs (23–55 lb).
The first five ingredients are chicken by-product meal, pea fiber, corn, corn gluten meal, and wheat. It contains:
- 256 kcal/cup
- 25% protein
- 9% fat
- 12.5% fiber
The food has added fish oil, minerals, vitamins, and taurine. Prices start from $92.99 per bag of 30 lb.
The ingredients of the two recipes are similar, so it’s not easy to decide on the Hill’s vs Royal Canin dispute. Besides, both are well-liked by dog owners. They also have chicken as the first ingredient, but it’s a by-product in Royal Canin. The rest of the main ingredients for both could be considered fillers.
Canin’s recipe is a bit lower in calories, but the fat and protein content is pretty much the same. We prefer Hill’s Science Diet for weight management because it has a better price and chicken.
Royal Canin vs Hill’s Kidney Diet and Urinary Health
Let’s look at some prescription recipes that can help improve kidney and bladder health. We’ll compare Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO Small and Hill’s Prescription Diet u/d Urinary Care.
Royal Canin’s veterinary recipe specializes in the prevention of struvite and calcium oxalate stones in small breeds.
The list of ingredients starts with brewers rice, corn, chicken fat, chicken by-product meal, and corn gluten meal. It contains:
- 358 kcal/cup
- 10% moisture
- 18% protein
- 15% fat
- 3.6% crude fiber
The recipe comes with added Vitamin B complex, fish oil, and taurine. The price starts at $49.99 for an 8.8-lb bag.
Let’s continue the Royal Canin vs Hill’s Kidney Diet discussion by checking Hill’s prescription recipe. The formula aims to reduce the risk of urate and cystine stones, suitable for different breeds. It starts with brewers rice, corn starch, pork fat, egg product, and powdered cellulose. The food contains:
- 398 kcal/cup
- 10% moisture
- 8% protein
- 17.5% fat
- 3% crude fiber
There’s extra taurine, L-carnitine, and vitamins E and B. The price starts at $44.99 for an 8.5-lb bag.
Can we take a side in this Royal Canin vs Hill’s Prescription discussion? The recipes specialize in different stones, so your vet has the last say.
The main ingredients are similar. Hill’s formula is higher in fat but much lower in protein, which is typically recommended for urinary diets. Nevertheless, due to more competitive prices and slightly better user reviews, we chose Royal Canin as our favorite, especially for small dogs.
Hill’s Urgent Care vs Royal Canin Recovery Vet Prescription Diets
Let’s look into some wet food options for the two brands. We’ll compare Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Recovery and Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d Urgent Care. Both recipes are suitable for cats and dogs.
Before talking about Hill’s Science diet vs Royal Canin, let’s define what a recovery diet is. Royal Canin’s recipe is for dogs and cats (also puppies and kittens) recovering from a serious disease, operation, or trauma. It’s a vet-recommended formula, high in protein for muscle support, very palatable, and soft (so it can be fed by tube).
The first ingredients are water, chicken, chicken liver, gelatin, and powdered cellulose. It contains:
- 163 kcal ME/can
- 9.4% protein
- 5.2% fat
- 3.1% fiber
The recipe has added taurine, fish oil, minerals, and vitamins. The price starts at $62.16 for 24 cans x 5.8 oz.
We’ll also look into Hill’s recipe to decide on Hill’s Urgent Care vs Royal Canin Recovery topic. The formula serves the same goal and focuses on energy-dense ingredients and antioxidants to support a weakened immune system and better satiety.
Both cats and dogs can enjoy the contents of water, turkey liver, pork liver, chicken, and turkey heart. The food contains:
- 183 kcal/5.5oz can
- 8.5% protein
- 5.2% fat
- 0.5% fiber
It has added fish oil, minerals, vitamins, and taurine. The price starts at $71.99 for 24 cans x 5.5oz.
Now, where do we stand on the debate of Royal Canin vs Hill’s for cats and dogs? Pet parents love both recipes. The guaranteed analysis and prices are similar, but Hill’s recipe has more and better protein sources. Also, unlike the Canin formulation, it has no carrageen.
Royal Canin vs Hill’s Dental Veterinary Diets
Finally, let’s compare two more dry veterinary recipes. To take care of our pets’ teeth, we’ll look at Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Nutrition Canine Dental and Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care.
Royal Canin’s recipe improves the oral health of medium and large dogs with special kibble shape, calcium, and phosphorus. The ingredient list begins with brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn, chicken fat, and wheat gluten. The nutritional values are:
- 320 kcal/cup
- 20% protein
- 15% fat
- 4.9% fiber
It also contains added fish oil, minerals, vitamins, and taurine. Prices start at $68.99 for a 17.6-lb bag.
Let’s conclude the Royal Canin vs Hill’s Dental discussion by looking into Hill’s recipe. The dental formula reduces plaque and tartar buildup by employing special fiber matrix technology and appropriate kibble size. It’s suitable for most breeds.
The first five ingredients are brewers rice, whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, powdered cellulose, and chicken fat. It contains:
- 248 kcal/cup
- 18.3% protein
- 16.5% fat
- 10.8% fiber
It has extra minerals, vitamins, and taurine. The price starts at $97.99 for a 25-lb bag.
So, where do the dental recipes fall on the Royal Canin vs Hill’s Prescription scale?
Clients rate both formulas favorably, but Canin’s is a bit higher in calories and protein. In contrast, Hill’s t/d Diet contains a lot more fiber. Both recipes have filler ingredients, and the first two for Hill’s are rice and corn, while the second ingredient in Royal Canin’s is the chicken product. We prefer Royal Canin’s Dental recipe because of this and the Guaranteed Analysis.
Royal Canin vs Hill’s: which one would you choose?
We looked at 10 recipes to discover the similarities between the brands and their particular advantages and disadvantages. Both offer high-quality food and similar recipes.
Selecting one of the two isn’t easy and depends on the recipe and needs of your dog. But based on the few formulas we explored, we chose Hill’s three times and Royal Canin two times. That’s why we give a slight edge to Hill’s.