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

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Royal Canin vs Hill's Science Dog Food - Featured Image

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

There are dozens of dog food brands, and each offers several varieties. 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. We understand and 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 top-notch dry dog food for pups with sensitive skin or wet food for dogs with sensitive stomachs, Hill’s Science Diet has you covered.

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    About Royal Canin

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Early Cardiac Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin is owned by Mars Incorporated, which is a mega-conglomerate that owns several companies like Kellogg’s, Hershey, Cadbury, and Nestlé. Other dog food companies that Mars Incorporated owns include Iams, Eukanuba, and Pedigree.

    However, Mars Incorporated didn’t acquire Royal Canin until 2001. It’s a much older company that formed in 1968 in Gard, France, and has been dedicated to producing high-end dog food since then.1

    Royal Canin is a high-quality brand with plenty of variety, including prescription dog food. However, it is a bit pricey compared to many other companies that offer similar quality dog food.

    Pros
    • Several formulas available
    • Prescription and non-prescription foods available
    • Nutritious recipes
    • Foods for all kinds of allergies and sensitivities
    • Many flavor options
    Cons
    • Expensive

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    About Hill’s Science Diet

    Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d

    Like Royal Canin, Hill’s Science Diet is owned by a mega-conglomerate. In 1976, Colgate Palmolive acquired it, which is the same company that makes toothpaste! 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.2

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

    Pros
    • Many options available
    • Prescription and non-prescription foods 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 nutritious 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 sizes, 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 need a prescription for this dog food, and compared to many other formulas, it’s expensive.

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

    Pros
    • Multiple sizes 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 ideal. The wet formula is great for picky eaters or dogs with fewer teeth, and the low-fat gastrointestinal formula is also an excellent choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Its high fiber content helps 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, and since it’s a wet food, it doesn’t last quite as long as dry food. You’ll also need a prescription from a vet to order it.

    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
    • 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 doesn’t like wet food, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice. It’s pricier than many other dry dog foods, but compared to the wet food version, it’s quite affordable. You can purchase multiple sizes to order in bulk, and it’s an outstanding choice for dogs with food sensitivities.

    The food 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 sizes available
    • Great for dogs with food sensitivities
    • Easy-to-digest formula
    Cons
    • Requires a prescription
    • Expensive

    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 the 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 sizes available, and the food is available for a great price.

    You don’t need a prescription to order, and most dogs love the flavor. 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 quantities available
    • 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 reach a healthy weight, it also does a phenomenal job helping them maintain it. It has outstanding nutritional value and helps improve your dog’s overall health.

    It’s not a prescription dog food and it’s available in multiple sizes, so you can easily try it with your dog before 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.

    It not only helps support your dog’s intestinal health but also promotes healthy bacterial growth in their stomach. Although it is expensive, the formula is ideal for picky eaters and 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
    • Expensive

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

    While Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet were both affected by the large-scale melamine recall in 2007, since then, Royal Canin hasn’t had any issues with recalls. Conversely, 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 eating the formula with the excess vitamin D, most pets fully recovered by simply switching to a diet with the appropriate amount.

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

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

    Taste

    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, Hill’s is slightly more affordable.


    Selection

    Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet produces several dog food formulas for different situations. However, Royal Canin has a whole line of dog food specifically for different breeds. With this much customization and selection, Royal Canin is the winner.


    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 prefers 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 will enjoy a top-notch diet. So, while we recommend Hill’s Science Diet because of the slightly lower price tag, either brand will keep your dog healthy and well-fed for years to come.

    Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet both 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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