Merrick vs Hill's Ideal Balance

Merrick vs. Hill's Ideal Balance

In this comparison article for Merrick vs Hill's Ideal Balance, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Merrick and Hill's Ideal Balance, 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 Ideal Balance vs Merrick comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Merrick Review Page or Hill's Ideal Balance Review Page.

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Guaranteed Analysis: Hill's Ideal Balance vs. Merrick

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.

Merrick Dog Food vs. Hill's Ideal Balance Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 37.1% 23.5%
Crude Fat 16.5% 17.8%
Crude Fiber 4.1% 1.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 44.0% 26.6%
Crude Fat 19.7% 19.7%
Crude Fiber 8.7% 4.8%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your dog's diet. Without sufficient protein, dogs can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

Merrick dry dog foods clearly provides more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance. In fact, the difference between the protein content is roughly 13.62%, which is a significant amount. Similarly, Merrick wet dog foods provide significantly more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Dietary fats serves a multitude of roles in the proper development and function of our canine companions. Here are some of the benefits (not exhaustive):

  • Help produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among other critical functions.
  • Aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve skin and coat health
  • Improve the palatially of your dog's food

Both brands provide roughly the same amount of crude fat. With regards to wet dog food, Merrick and Hill's Ideal Balance also provide roughly the same amount of crude fat.


According to our average data, Hill's Ideal Balance typically provides less fiber than Merrick. However, this difference is relatively small and doesn't represent a significant difference between the two brands. In addition, Merrick wet dog foods also provide more fiber than Hill's Ideal Balance wet foods.

Merrick Cat Food vs. Hill's Ideal Balance Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 42.5% 32.7%
Crude Fat 16.4% 22.5%
Crude Fiber 5.0% 0.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 46.5% 43.6%
Crude Fat 19.5% 22.1%
Crude Fiber 6.0% 3.3%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your cat's diet. Without sufficient protein, cats can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

On average, Merrick dry cat food recipes contain 9.79% more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the protein content of Hill's Ideal Balance and Merrick. For wet cat foods, Merrick typically provides a little more protein (about 2.93% more).


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):

  • Aid in the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Improve the health of skin/coat
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Slow the development and spread of certain type of cancers.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure

Merrick dry recipes contain 6.00% less fat than Hill's Ideal Balance dry recipes. This difference in fat content is a notable difference between Hill's Ideal Balance and Merrick. For wet cat foods, Hill's Ideal Balance typically provides a little more fat (about 2.65% more).


The table shows that Hill's Ideal Balance provides far less fiber than Merrick. The difference in fiber content is roughly 4.06%. For wet cat foods, Merrick typically provides a little more fiber (about 2.77% more).

Merrick Pet Food Ingredients vs. Hill's Ideal Balance Pet Food Ingredients

Merrick and Hill's Ideal Balance both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:

Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Caramel Color
Powdered Cellulose

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

Garlic
Meaty Femur Bone
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Hill's Ideal Balance.

Caramel
Pork Plasma
Brewers Rice
Tomato Pomace
Dried Tomato Pomace
Pea Protein Concentrate

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

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Hill's Ideal Balance.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Merrick & Hill's Ideal Balance?

Merrick has been recalled 6 times.

  • Jan. 28, 2011: Salmonella
  • Aug. 8, 2011: Salmonella
  • July 2, 2010: Salmonella
  • Aug. 3, 2010: Salmonella
  • Aug. 13, 2010: Salmonella
  • May 23, 2018: elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone

According to our records, Hill's Ideal Balance has never been recalled.

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $5.52 $2.04
Per Calorie $0.0032 $0.0012
Dry Cat Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $7.38 $2.91
Per Calorie $0.0043 $0.0017
Wet Dog Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $4.30 $3.22
Per Calorie $0.0107 $0.0095
Wet Cat Food Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $5.56 $7.57
Per Calorie $0.0127 $0.0163

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 Merrick or Hill's Ideal Balance, 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 Merrick or Hill's Ideal Balance will depend on your shopping habits.

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


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with retailers featured in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Merrick Pet Foods

You can purchase Merrick pet foods from the following stores:









Where To Buy Hill's Ideal Balance Pet Foods

You can purchase Hill's Ideal Balance pet food products from these retailers:









Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Merrick Hill's Ideal Balance
Dry Dog Food 36 Recipes 6 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 60 Recipes 2 Recipes
Dog Treats 54 Treats 3 Treats
Dry Cat Food 14 Recipes 4 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 36 Recipes 2 Recipes
Cat Treats 2 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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