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Royal Canin Dog Food vs Hill’s Science Diet: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

Royal Canin Dog Food vs Hill’s Science Diet: 2024 Comparison, Pros & Cons

There are dozens of dog food brands out there, and each one can have hundreds of different food choices. This leads to many products to sort through, a great deal of research, and too much misinformation.

You want the best food possible for your dog, but you don’t want to overspend to get it. We understand, and we have highlighted, reviewed, and compared two of the biggest dog food names in the industry: Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet.

Are these two dog foods worth the price, and how do they stack up against each other? We break it all down for you here, so you know exactly what you’re getting and if it’s the right food for your dog.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Hill’s Science Diet

Rating Image Product Details
Winner
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe
  • Multiple size options
  • Great for sensitive stomach and skin
  • Great tasting for your pup
  • Second place
    Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Original Flavor Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Original Flavor
  • Many options available
  • Plenty of flavor options
  • Nutritious recipes
  • Both dog food brands are great, but Hill’s Science Diet offers just about everything that you can get with Royal Canin for a slightly lower price tag.

    Whether you need a top-notch dry dog food for pups with sensitive skin or a wet food for dogs with sensitive stomachs, Hill’s Science Diet has you covered.

    divider-dog

    About Royal Canin

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Early Cardiac Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin is a sub-company of Mars Incorporated, which is a mega-conglomerate that owns tons of companies like Kellogg’s, Hershey, Cadbury, and even Nestlé. Other dog food companies that Mars Incorporated owns include Iams, Eukanuba, and Pedigree.

    However, Mars Incorporated didn’t acquire Royal Canin until 2001. Royal Canin is a much older company that formed in 1968 in Gard, France, and since then, it’s been dedicated to producing high-end dog food.

    It’s a top-notch dog food brand with plenty of variety, including prescription dog food options. However, it is a bit pricey compared to many other dog food companies that put out similar quality dog food.

    Pros
    • Tons of variety available
    • Both prescription and non-prescription foods are available
    • Extremely nutritious recipes
    • Foods for all kinds of allergies and sensitivities
    • Many flavor options
    Cons
    • Expensive

    divider-paw

    About Hill’s Science Diet

    Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d

    Just like Royal Canin is part of a mega-conglomerate, so is Hill’s Science Diet. In 1976, Colgate Palmolive acquired Hill’s Science Diet, meaning that the same company that makes your toothpaste might make your dog’s food!

    However, Hill’s formed before that, way back in 1907 in Topeka, Kansas. Hill’s released its prescription dog food almost 60 years later in 1968, just a few years before Colgate Palmolive acquired it.

    Today, it makes prescription and non-prescription dog foods, both of which are extremely high quality for the price that you pay.

    Pros
    • Many options available
    • Both prescription and non-prescription foods are available
    • Plenty of flavor options
    • Nutritious recipes
    • Foods for all kinds of allergies and sensitivities
    Cons
    • No breed-specific choices

    divider-pawTop 3 Most Popular Royal Canin Dog Food Recipes

    Royal Canin has many prescription dog food recipes, but these three are their most popular offerings.

    1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie Dry Dog Food

    If you’re looking for a top-notch dry dog food to help your pup get cleaner proteins, this Royal Canin recipe is an outstanding choice. The hydrolyzed proteins help your dog’s gastrointestinal and dermatological health, making the food excellent for dogs with food allergies.

    It comes in multiple size options, so your dog can try it out before you order too much, and everything about the formula is highly nutritious and great tasting. However, you do need a prescription for this dog food, and compared to many other dry dog foods out there, it’s expensive.

    But if your dog needs a specialized diet, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein HP Dry Dog Food is an outstanding choice.

    Pros
    • Multiple size options available
    • Great for gastrointestinal and skin health
    • Highly nutritious formula
    • Great tasting for your pup
    Cons
    • Requires a prescription
    • Expensive

    2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf Canned Dog Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf Canned Dog Food

    Not every dog can handle dry dog food, and if your dog needs wet food, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf Canned Dog Food is outstanding.

    The wet formula is great for picky eaters or dogs with fewer teeth, and with the gastrointestinal formula that’s low fat, it’s also an excellent choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It has a high fiber content to help keep your dog feeling satiated, and it’s full of protein and calories to keep them healthy too.

    However, it’s one of the most expensive dog foods out there, and since it’s a wet food, it doesn’t last quite as long as dry food options. You’ll also need a prescription from a vet to order this dog food.

    Pros
    • Great for gastrointestinal health
    • Easy for pups that need soft food
    • High fiber level helps your dog feel full
    • Low-fat formula with plenty of protein and calories
    Cons
    • Requires a prescription
    • Very expensive

    3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Formula

    If your pup needs a low-fat gastrointestinal-friendly dog food but they don’t need wet food, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food is exactly what you want.

    It’s pricier compared to many other dry dog foods, but compared to the wet food version, it’s quite affordable. You can purchase in multiple sizes to order in bulk, and it’s an outstanding choice for dogs with food sensitivities.

    The food itself is easy to digest, and most dogs love the taste. However, it is more expensive than most other dry dog foods, and you will need a prescription to order it for your dog.

    Pros
    • Low-fat formula with plenty of protein and calories
    • Multiple size options available
    • Great for dogs with food sensitivities
    • Easy-to-digest formula
    Cons
    • Requires a prescription
    • Expensive option

    divider-pawTop 3 Most Popular Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Recipes

    Hill’s Science Diet has many different recipes for you to choose from for your dog, but here are three of their most popular ones.

    1. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

    If your dog has sensitive skin or a sensitive stomach but you don’t have a vet subscription for their food, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe is a great choice. There are multiple size options, and the food is available for a great price.

    You don’t need a prescription to order, and it works well for your dog, which is a real win-win. However, since it’s not a “prescription” dog food, you’re not getting a vet-catered recommendation for your pup.

    But since it costs so much less than a prescription dog food, it’s worth trying before you go for one of the more expensive options.

    Pros
    • Multiple size options
    • Great for sensitive stomach and skin
    • Doesn’t require a prescription
    • Available for a reasonable price
    Cons
    • Not a “prescription” dog food

    2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe

    Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Large Breed Adult

    Sometimes, dogs pack on a few more pounds than they should. If that sounds like your dog, the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe might be just what they need to get back on track.

    Not only can this dog food help your pup lose weight, but once they get to a healthy weight, it also does a phenomenal job helping them maintain it. It also has outstanding nutritional value and helps improve your dog’s overall health.

    It’s not a prescription dog food, but it does come in multiple sizes, so you can try it with your dog before you start ordering in bulk.

    Pros
    • Available in multiple sizes
    • Great for weight control and weight loss
    • Improves your dog’s overall health
    • Outstanding flavor
    Cons
    • Not a “prescription” dog food

    3. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Wet Dog Food

    Hill’s Prescription Diet id Digestive Care Low Fat Rice, Vegetable & Chicken Stew Wet Dog Food

    If your dog needs a prescription dog food and you want to go with this brand, Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Original Flavor Pate Wet Dog Food is a great choice.

    As the name implies, it’s ideal for digestive health, ensuring that your dog doesn’t have any reactions even if they have food sensitivities. Not only does it help support your dog’s intestinal health, but it also helps promote healthy bacterial growth in their stomach.

    It is expensive, but this wet food helps with picky eaters and with those that can’t break down harder foods.

    Pros
    • Easy to digest
    • Supports your dog’s intestinal health
    • Veterinary formula
    • Helps promote healthy bacterial growth
    Cons
    • Requires a prescription
    • Very expensive

    divider-pawRecall History of Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet

    While both Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet were affected by the large-scale melamine recall in 2007, since then, Royal Canin hasn’t had any issues with recalls.

    However, in 2019, Hill’s Science Diet had a recall on a few of its wet dog foods due to elevated levels of vitamin D. This recall only affected its wet dog food and not any of its dry foods, cat foods, or treats.

    Fortunately, after ceasing the diet with the excess vitamin D, most pets fully recovered by simply switching to a diet with the appropriate amount of vitamin D.

    divider-dog pawRoyal Canin vs. Hill’s Science Diet Comparison

    Now before giving our final verdict, let’s see how these two brands compare in taste, nutritional value, price, and selection.

    Taste

    It seems as if dogs like both brands, but picky eaters might prefer one over the other simply because of personal preference. It’s more about what they’re used to than which one tastes better.


    Nutritional Value

    Whether you go with Hill’s Science Diet or Royal Canin, your dog is getting a highly nutritious diet. If your dog has special dietary needs, both brands offer a selection that will give your dog all the nutrients that they require to thrive.

    labrador retriever dog eating its food from a bowl
    Image by: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

    Price

    While neither Hill’s Science Diet nor Royal Canin is a budget dog food option, Hill’s is slightly more affordable. It’s a decent amount cheaper cheaper than a comparable option of Royal Canin.


    Selection

    Both Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet have many dog food options for different situations. However, Royal Canin has a whole line of dog food specifically for different breeds. With this much customization and selection, it’s the clear winner here.


    Overall

    You can’t go wrong with either Hill’s Science Diet or Royal Canin, but you might prefer to save money and go with Hill’s Science Diet. Without any nutritional advantage or taste improvement, we can’t justify the higher price tag of Royal Canin dog food.

    However, it is an extremely close decision, and if your dog does prefer one brand over the other, they’re close enough in price to justify giving your dog what they want.

    divider-pawSummary

    Whether you go with Royal Canin or Hill’s Science Diet, your dog is getting a top-notch diet. So, while we recommend Hill’s Science Diet because of the slightly lower price tag, either choice will have your dog healthy and well-fed for years to come.

    So, find a food that they like and get it with confidence. Both Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet have your dog’s health in mind when they make their foods, and that’s what matters the most.

    See also:


    Featured Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

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