Everything You Need to Know About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Hill’s Pet Nutrition:

  • Has been around since the Thirties
  • Created four brands, each with a different aim
  • Focuses on supplying excellent recipes for all dog breeds
  • Creates ranges offering nutritional food for various health conditions
  • Developed wet and dry food with vets and nutritionists

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a familiar name in my household. My six-year-old Bichon Frise, Freya, enjoys the Hill’s Science Diet kibble every day. Chicken flavor, of course.

Throw in some chopped carrot and she’s happy (even more so when I put a little real chicken in there too).

Hill’s Pet Nutrition has been around for a long time – since the 1930s. In this article, you’re going to see how the brand first came about, the people involved, and why the company stands out from others in the pet food industry.


A Man First Helped a Guide Dog

It all began with a guy called Morris Frank. He was blind and had a guide dog who went with him to events. Frank wanted to let people know about Seeing Eye dogs like Buddy (his own dog).

He met a veterinarian called Mark Morris Sr, who believed pets could enjoy better health with fewer problems stemming from specific health conditions if they ate more healthily.

Frank asked Dr. Morris Sr if he would find a better food source for Buddy, and so that’s what happened.

Since Frank and Buddy were traveling a lot, Dr. Morris’ solution of sending the food in jars didn’t work, as they rarely arrived intact. Frank decided to switch to cans… and bought the good doctor the machinery and cans he needed to make this work.


The Hill Packing Company Got Involved

Morris Frank obviously liked the formula Dr. Morris had come up with, as he teamed up with a packing company to start selling it. The company was called Hill Packing Company.


Hill’s Pet Nutrition Was Born

After the partnership was formed, the name changed to Hill’s Pet Nutrition – a name now synonymous with one of the most reliable pet food brands around. The original recipe became known as Canine k/d, but this was just the first of its kind.

The main line was Prescription Diet, the name given to pet food recipes specifically created to help dogs and other pets be better able to manage ongoing illnesses and conditions.

The Colgate-Palmolive Company bought the business in 1976. The name, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, has remained the same. The range has grown from then on, with several dozen different formulas marketed in over 80 countries.


They Focus on Developing Better Dog Food

You’ve probably realized this in the potted history I gave you above. The original idea behind Hill’s – the idea that food could help improve a pet’s health – remains the core belief behind today’s entire range.

There are several elements that support this too. Firstly, every recipe goes through an intensive development process. They have over 220 vets involved in this process.

Secondly, the ingredients used in the recipes are as good as you’d expect in something you’d buy and eat on your own. They exact high standards from creation to the finished product.

When Freya first came to live with me, I wanted to give her good food – something I could rely on and that she would love. Hill’s came recommended by the vet. This dates back to 1968, when the original Science Diet range started to become available through veterinarians. Many vets recommend it today, as ours did.


There Are Four Major Hill’s Brands

These are the four brands you’ll see if you look for Hill’s dog food:

  1. Prescription Diet – formulated to help certain conditions
  2. Healthy Advantage – advanced nutrition with many benefits
  3. Science Diet – dog food based on different life stages
  4. Bioactive Recipe – based on knowledge of dog genes and biology

You can buy wet food in cans or dried kibble, which comes in bags of assorted sizes.

I found buying the smallest bag was the best option to begin with. I could see whether Freya liked it (a big hearty YES from her), and then I started buying bigger bags as they worked out cheaper.


You Can Buy According to Health Condition

This is the best way to find the most relevant product for your dog. They cover everything from aging care through to weight management. Fourteen different health conditions appear on their official site. You can select the best one for your dog and see all available products catering to that condition.

Heart, kidney, liver, and urinary care are among the options. There are others covering dental care, thyroid care, and joint care. You’ve also got products designed to improve and maintain the condition of your pup’s skin.


You Can Buy According to Other Needs Too

Freya is a Bichon Frise, so she is a small breed dog. I remember spotting the small and mini breed variety for dogs from Hill’s, and so I went with that.

You can buy according to your dog breed too. There are other options for medium breed and large breed dogs. As with everything else from Hill’s, these are formulated to cover recommended nutritional requirements for that size of dog.

Another way you can search for the best Hill’s dog food for your pooch is to look according to age. There are puppy-focused products that deal with the first 12 months of life. Beyond that, you can go by adult ages from one year, from seven years, and from eleven years on for senior dogs.

Freya is munching her way through the 1-6 years kibble at present, so next year she’ll move on to the next age range.


Some Products Cover Additional Needs

Aside from choosing for different breed sizes, you can also buy products containing no grains and no corn, soy, or wheat. If you know your dog has a problem with one or more of these, you should be able to find a product that works well for them. You can even switch to a different dry or wet food if you have a pregnant or nursing bitch.


There is Often Overlap Between Products

I’ll use Freya’s Science Diet as an example. She has the Perfect Weight kibble, so this falls into several categories:

  • Science Diet
  • Dry food
  • Weight management
  • Adult 1+

The official Hill’s Pet website allows you to search according to your pet’s needs, so this makes life much easier for you.


Bottom Line: Plenty of Products for All Dogs

I’ve always fed Freya with Hill’s Science Diet. I’ll continue doing so too. I’m going to switch to the seven-plus age bracket next year, but other than that, no change in this household!

Regardless of the breed or age of your dog, and whether your pooch has any health conditions or issues, this range  has something ideal to treat them to each day.


Writer: Allison Whitehead

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