You know the saying, “You are what you eat.” Indeed, our diet defines how we feel, how long we live, and what energy levels we have. But this saying equally applies to our four-pawed friends. The quality of the dog food makes a huge difference in the canine’s life, and it can either prolong or cut the life’s longevity. With this in mind, we initiate the Royal Canin vs Science Diet comparison investigation that would help us uncover the truth about the best dog food brand among these two giants.

By the end of this article, you’ll learn what is the best dietary option for your furry companion based on the nutritional profiles of these foods, ingredient quality, and recall history. If that’s what you consider when deciding on the specific pet food brand, then here it is. Read this article till the end, and you’ll be equipped with the information you are missing to make an educated choice.

About Hill’s Science Diet

Science Diet is one of the brands of Hills, a pet food manufacturing giant. The Hills company started in 1930 when a young blind man Morris Frank revealed that his guide dog Buddy, a German Shepherd, suffered from kidney failure. As it turned out, that health issue was the result of poor nutrition and the dog owner asked Dr. Mark Morris Sr., an experienced veterinarian, for help. The doctor and his wife developed a new dog food formula in their kitchen that was meant to help Buddy live longer, maintaining his health with balanced nutrition. That’s how the first Hill’s recipe was born.

Later, Dr. Morris' son, Dr. Mark Morris Jr., created a line of pet food to be available through vets and pet professionals. And this line was called Hill's Science Diet, which included high-quality recipes for pets with different needs at different life stages. In 1976, Hill’s pet nutrition company was purchased by Colgate-Palmolive Company.

The company started its route with a single recipe for Buddy and has grown into a huge worldwide-known corporation on a mission of assisting pets all over the globe to live healthier and happier.

Our Science Diet Top Picks

When defining if Hills vs Royal Canin dog food makes a better choice for your pet, you can’t do it without taking a closer look at both options. So we’ll start our investigation with a detailed overview of Hills Science Diet recipes.

Hill's Science Diet Adult No Corn, Wheat, Soy Dog Food

If you take the ingredient list of dog food seriously and do not allow any fillers in the pet’s diet, here’s your lifesaver. This recipe by Hill’s Science Diet is packed with functional ingredients only and contains zero corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives. There is a mix of chicken meat and meal that delivers the optimal amount of protein, gluten-free grains that fuel your canine with energy, and healthy fats that are responsible for skin and coat conditions. It’s fortified with supplements that enrich your dog’s body with vitamins and minerals required for overall well-being.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Small & Mini Dog Food

Chubby pets are cute, but excessive weight is no good for many reasons. A balanced diet offered by Hill’s Science Diet is a great option for owners of small canines who would like to take control of their pet’s weight and bring it back to the norm. This clinically proven recipe ensures safe and effective weight loss in small adult dogs, promising visible results in around 10 weeks. It features an above-average level of protein and an optimal content of fats, fiber, and carbs for nourishing daily meals. The key ingredients are chicken, barley, brown rice, peas, corn gluten meal, and chicken meal to ensure lean muscle development and normal energy level maintenance.

Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew Dog Food

If you would like to maintain your dog’s health with a delicious and balanced wet recipe, here it is. This stew is made of roasted chicken mixed with tender vegetables to please even the pickiest eater. The soft stew texture is loved by pets, but it’s also beneficial for those pooches that do not drink enough fresh water. Being enhanced with the combination of healthy ingredients and essential vitamins, this formula ensures a strong immune system, beautiful coat, and lean muscle.

Science Diet Pros

  • Comparatively more budget-friendly
  • A variety of recipes that tailor specific needs
  • Mainly quality ingredients
  • Both grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes

Science Diet Cons

  • Uses some artificial flavors
  • Adds fillers to some recipes

Read our full Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food Review.

About Royal Canin

Royal Canin is 20 years younger than Hill’s Science Diet, but age is not the defining factor in the brand’s popularity. As we know, both are a hit among pet parents.

Jean Cathary, a vet who mainly worked with horses and bulls, came to the conclusion that nutrition is the key to the animal’s longevity and health. With that belief, he started a dog food manufacturing brand in 1968 by introducing so-called ‘yellow soup’ for dogs.

Later in 1972, the Royal Canin company was purchased by the Guyomarc'h group, which provided plenty of financial and research resources to develop more quality formulas for pets.

As of now, Royal Canin is owned by Mars Petcare. The company claims that its pet food is the first medicine every dog should take to improve its health condition. It offers tailored nutrition that ensures the long and happy life of our four-pawed friends.

Our Royal Canin Top Picks

Still looking for the answer to the question of what is a better solution: Hills vs Royal Canin? That’s the right approach because making rushed decisions is the surest way to choose the wrong thing.

Royal Canin Medium Digestive Care Dry Dog Food

If your adult canine weighing 23-55 lb. has some tummy issues, it’s time to switch to a new Royal Canin diet. This option offers tailored nutrition for medium-sized canines with sensitive stomachs. Since this recipe is enhanced with prebiotics and fibers that promote healthy digestion, your pet is likely to improve gut health on this diet. However, you’ll see by-products and corn in the ingredient list and this might have a negative impact on your dog’s stomach. Generally, corn is not the best ingredient for dogs because their stomachs are not designed to digest this food.

Royal Canin Poodle 8+ Adult Dry Dog Food

The greatest sales point of Royal Canin dog food is that the company offers breed-specific recipes for different dietary needs. For instance, this formula covers the dietary needs of purebred senior Poodles in the golden years. The recipe supports healthy aging with an exceptional complex of antioxidants and an optimal phosphorus content. It is also packed with essential nutrients like taurine and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain sharp sight, a healthy heart, a strong immune system, and smooth skin. However, Royal Canin tends to overuse by-products and fillers in this recipe.

Royal Canin Adult Canned in Gel Dog Food

If your adult dog requires digestion support, here’s a Royal Canin’s wet formula that meets this criterion. It’s been specially formulated for adult pets over 10 or 15 months (depending on the breed) with the purpose of maintaining gastrointestinal health. Because of the perfect blend of nutrients, your pet will forget about soft stool or throwing up food. Besides, this formula will also contribute to skin and coat health due to the vitamins and minerals. Your pooch will enjoy the flavor, saying nothing about the gentle texture. An empty and clean bowl is guaranteed, so if you have a picky eater - give this recipe a try.

Royal Canin Pros

  • Balanced diets for pets of different ages, breeds, and sizes
  • Available through many retail stores and online
  • Recipes contain prebiotics for digestion support

Royal Canin Cons

  • Relies on by-products and corn heavily
  • Wet recipes include carrageenan
  • Slightly overpriced for the quality of the ingredients
  • Might be hard for pets to digest due to the use of gluten-based grains

Read our full Royal Canin Dog Food Review.

Types of Dog Food from Royal Canin and Science Diet

Both these brands offer tailored nutritional recipes for dogs of all ages, breed sizes, or health conditions. So, we’ll compare Royal Canin vs Science Diet dog food to get a better vision of which of these companies offers more variety. Let’s see the chart first.

Dog Food Type

Science Diet

Royal Canin

Dry dog food

48 recipes

132 recipes

Wet dog food

38 recipes

47 recipes

Dog treats


5 recipes

As you see, Royal Canin offers almost two times more recipes than Science Diet. It is explained by the fact that they have breed-specific options both in dry and wet formulas. It means that you can find perfectly balanced nutrition for your Pomeranian, Poodle, Labrador, Bichon Frise, German Shepherd, or any other breed in the company’s product line. The brand also offers puppy, adult, and senior recipes to meet the needs of these breeds. If your pet has special health conditions or food sensitivities, there are formulas that would be suitable for your canine.

Science Diet by Hill’s is not worse in terms of variety. Even though this brand ranges its product line by the dog’s life stage, size, and diet requirements, there are some decent options for you to choose from. What we find particularly interesting in their product variety is that they offer recipes formulated without wheat, corn, or soy. If you believe that your four-pawed friend should adhere to consuming pure and light food it could easily digest, you’ll love these formulas.

Nutritional Value Comparison

When comparing Hill’s Science Diet vs Royal Canin, we can’t miss out on checking the general nutritional value of these brands. Of course, that would be a very subjective conclusion driven by the mid-range figures, but that’s still an indispensable piece of information we can’t ignore.

Science Diet

Royal Canin

Dry dog food










Wet dog food










The best diet for a dog is the nutrition that relies on quality animal proteins obtained from meat and then enhanced with plants and supplements. As we see from the chart above, the dry food options of both companies offer nearly the same percentage of proteins in their recipes. The amount of fat is also nearly equal, but Royal Canin gets an edge on the fiber level in its formulas.

However, we strongly recommend you to check the nutritional profile of every recipe individually to obtain accurate information and be sure it meets the dietary needs of your pet.

Ingredients and Flavours Comparison

Assume you eat pizza every single day. How long will it take you to get bored with your favorite snack? The same goes for dogs. Food is not only meant to fill our tummies, it delivers a sort of satisfaction and tickles our sense buds to awaken new emotions and feelings.

Is Hills Science better than Royal Canin by the flavor variety criterion? We should admit that yes. Even though both companies have a great number of recipes with chicken flavor in many variations, Science Diet offers more tastes to choose from. Apart from chicken, there are turkey, salmon, beef, and liver with different types of plants like barley, rice, and vegetables. Royal Canin uses mainly chicken tastes with added pork by-products and artificial flavors.

The quality of ingredients in Science Diet recipes is superior to Royal Canin foods. A Royal Canin ingredient list is always headed with corn or chicken by-products, whereas Science Diet uses real meat or meat meal as the core of the formula. Both brands use corn and wheat as fillers, but Science Diet has them in the list following quality functional ingredients like brown rice, peas, and some more. Following the logic that the more product they add, the closer to the beginning it would be on the list, we assume that Hill's Science Diet compared to Royal Canin uses fewer fillers.

Price Comparison

Sometimes the product price plays a crucial role in the decision-making process. If you are concerned about the price tag of these two brands, this section will be useful for you.

Science Diet

Royal Canin

Dry dog food

$ per lb



$ per kcal



Wet dog food

$ per lb



$ per kcal



As the chart says, Science Diet is a more wallet-friendly solution. Considering the fact that the ingredient quality looks more appealing, this is definitely a bargain. However, there are always some cheaper and more expensive food options within both of these brands, and the quality of the final product will also vary.

Product Safety and Recall History

Thrilled to know which company has a more promising recall history? Then keep on reading.

Let’s start with Royal Canin and its series of notable recalls. The first urge to recall thousands of recipes sold exclusively at vet stores emerged due to the excessive amounts of Vitamin D3. In April and May 2007, the company was involved in a huge recall, which affected dozens of pet food manufacturers due to the potential melamine contamination.

Hill’s Science Diet recipes have been recalled numerous times. The first recall was announced due to the melamine contamination in April 2007. In June 2014, the FDA reported potential salmonella contamination in one recipe for toy dog breeds. In November 2015, seven canned dog recipes were withdrawn because of the labeling issue from the marketing side. And, finally, some of the canned recipes were recalled in January 2019 for the reason of elevated levels of vitamin D.

Royal Canin vs Science Diet Dog Food: Which Should You Choose?

So, are you ready to make up your mind about the wisest nutrition choice for your pet? We know that it’s tough to choose between these two brands, and that’s exactly the reason we’ve picked them for this article.

The product line might seem similar to many dog parents as both Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet offer nutritionally packed recipes for all pets. They cover pooches of all sizes, breeds, ages and deliver great feeding solutions to their caring owners. These companies provide dogs with special nutritional needs with some of the most delicious and beneficial diets in a variety of flavors.

Overall, both Royal Canin and Science Diet get high scores mainly due to the assortment of formulas they deliver and their quality.

So, what is better Royal Canin or Science Diet? In terms of the ingredient quality, price, and flavor variety, Science Diet is a winner in this contest. However, Royal Canin offers some sophisticated and balanced recipes from the special vet series, targeting more pets with some health conditions. In the long run, it is you who knows better what your dog needs. But as you are choosing between these two brands, you’ll never go wrong in any way.

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