Instinct vs Hill's Science Diet

Instinct vs. Hill's Science Diet

In this comparison article for Instinct vs Hill's Science Diet, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Instinct and Hill's Science Diet, we'll use up-to-date nutritional and price information.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best pet food brand for your pet. Factors such as ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, product safety, brand history, and cost are among the most important factors to consider.

Throughout this Hill's Science Diet vs Instinct comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Instinct Review Page or Hill's Science Diet Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Hill's Science Diet vs. Instinct

According to AAFCO, all pet food labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of nutrient content. The analysis must provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

All percentages used in this comparison are averages reported on a dry matter basis.

Instinct Dog Food vs. Hill's Science Diet Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 35.6% 24.8%
Crude Fat 20.3% 14.6%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 4.1%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 45.0% 25.9%
Crude Fat 25.0% 17.2%
Crude Fiber 7.9% 3.3%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Dogs require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Twelve of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining ten are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these ten essential amino acids.

The comparison table above shows that Instinct dry dog foods provide significantly more protein than Hill's Science Diet. More specifically, Instinct guarantees at least 10.80% more protein. Similarly, Instinct wet dog foods provide significantly more protein than Hill's Science Diet wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Fats are an absolutely vital component of a balanced canine diet. Not only do fats provide energy, but they also serve important roles in the normal development and function of your dog's body. For example, fats help dogs produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among many other significant functions.

There is a relatively large difference between the fat content of Instinct and Hill's Science Diet. On average, Hill's Science Diet dry dog food recipes contain 5.72% less fat than Instinct recipes. In addition, Instinct wet dog foods also provide more fat than Hill's Science Diet wet foods.


There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude fiber content of the two brands. For wet dog foods, Instinct provides more fiber (about 4.61% more).

Instinct Cat Food vs. Hill's Science Diet Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 44.5% 35.5%
Crude Fat 20.6% 18.0%
Crude Fiber 4.2% 5.7%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 48.3% 38.9%
Crude Fat 24.7% 21.9%
Crude Fiber 8.8% 4.2%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Cats require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Eleven of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining eleven are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these eleven essential amino acids.

Instinct dry cat foods clearly provides more protein than Hill's Science Diet. In fact, the difference between the protein content is roughly 8.93%, which is a significant amount. Similarly, Instinct wet cat foods provide significantly more protein than Hill's Science Diet wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food

There are many ways in which dietary fat contributes to the overall health of our feline friends. Here is a short list of benefits provided by fats (not exhaustive):

  • Fats help with the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Reduce inflammation associated with arthritis
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Prevent or reduce the likelihood of certain heart problems.
  • Aid in the development of the retina and visual cortex.

There is a small difference between the fat content of Instinct and Hill's Science Diet. We can see that Instinct guarantees about 2.57% more fat than Hill's Science Diet. In addition, Instinct wet cat foods also provide more fat than Hill's Science Diet wet foods.


Both brands provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. For wet cat foods, Instinct provides more fiber (about 4.57% more).

Instinct Pet Food Ingredients vs. Hill's Science Diet Pet Food Ingredients

Instinct and Hill's Science Diet both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:

Pea Protein
Tomato Pomace
Dried Tomato Pomace

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Instinct.

Garlic
Canola Oil
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Hill's Science Diet.

Liver
Caramel
Corn Flour
Iron Oxide
Pork Plasma
Poultry Fat
Animal Liver
Brewers Rice
Wheat Gluten
Caramel Color
Beef By-Products
Corn Gluten Meal
Pork By-Products
Whole Grain Corn
Whole Grain Wheat
Powdered Cellulose
Pea Protein Concentrate
Soybean Protein Isolate

We believe that certain pet food ingredients are linked to adverse health affects; these ingredients are classified as harmful.

Instinct and Hill's Science Diet both use the following harmful ingredients in many of their products:

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Instinct & Hill's Science Diet?

Instinct has been recalled 2 times.

  • July 24, 2015: Salmonella
  • Feb. 15, 2013: Pieces of clear plastic in bag

Hill's Science Diet has been recalled 2 times.

  • Jan. 31, 2019: elevated levels of Vitamin D
  • March 20, 2019: elevated levels of Vitamin D

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $3.31 $2.19
Per Calorie $0.0017 $0.0014
Dry Cat Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $4.61 $3.16
Per Calorie $0.0024 $0.0019
Wet Dog Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $5.97 $3.56
Per Calorie $0.0111 $0.0086
Wet Cat Food Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $9.04 $5.43
Per Calorie $0.0190 $0.0113

The average cost-per-lb is heavily influenced by the varying amounts of moisture present in each brand's food products (wet vs. dry food, dry vs. freeze-dried food, etc). However, the average cost-per-kcal eliminates the influence of moisture. Therefore, the average cost-per-kcal is the better metric to consider.

If you'd like to calculate the average cost-per-day or cost-pet-year of feeding Instinct or Hill's Science Diet, input your pet's weight into our cost analyzer widget.

Averages price data can identify whether or not there exists a significant price difference between two brands. However, the actual price that you'll pay for Instinct or Hill's Science Diet will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Instinct and Hill's Science Diet. In addition, we currently have some great coupons for our readers.


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Instinct Pet Foods

You can purchase Instinct pet foods from the following stores:






Where To Buy Hill's Science Diet Pet Foods

You can purchase Hill's Science Diet pet food products from these retailers:







Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Instinct Hill's Science Diet
Dry Dog Food 27 Recipes 32 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 18 Recipes 30 Recipes
Dog Treats 15 Treats
Dry Cat Food 14 Recipes 18 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 17 Recipes 38 Recipes
Cat Treats

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