Natural Balance vs Hill's Ideal Balance

Natural Balance vs. Hill's Ideal Balance

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

Guaranteed Analysis: Hill's Ideal Balance vs. Natural Balance

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.

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

Dry Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 26.6% 23.5%
Crude Fat 12.9% 17.8%
Crude Fiber 5.4% 1.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 38.8% 26.6%
Crude Fat 19.1% 19.7%
Crude Fiber 7.1% 4.8%

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.

If you look at the average percentages of crude protein, you'll notice that Natural Balance typically guarantees 3.13% more protein. This is a fairly small difference between Natural Balance and Hill's Ideal Balance, but still worth mentioning. In addition, Natural Balance wet dog foods also provide more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Like protein, fats are an essential part of a dog's body. Fats are needed for the proper development and function of the canine body.

The table shows that Natural Balance provides far less fat than Hill's Ideal Balance. The difference in fat content is roughly 4.96%. For wet dog foods, Hill's Ideal Balance and Natural Balance provide roughly the same amount of fat.


According to our data, Natural Balance guarantees 3.75% more fiber than Hill's Ideal Balance. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. In addition, Natural Balance wet dog foods also provide more fiber than Hill's Ideal Balance wet foods.

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

Dry Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 37.1% 32.5%
Crude Fat 14.3% 21.9%
Crude Fiber 5.6% 0.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 47.4% 43.6%
Crude Fat 19.1% 22.1%
Crude Fiber 6.9% 3.3%

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.

Our analysis shows that Natural Balance guarantees 4.68% more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance dry cat food recipes. For wet cat foods, Natural Balance typically provides a little more protein (about 3.77% 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):

  • Help transport nutrients across cell membranes
  • Fats produce metabolites, which help control inflammation
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Fats improve the taste/texture of food.

There is a relatively large difference between the fat content of Hill's Ideal Balance and Natural Balance. On average, Natural Balance dry cat food recipes contain 7.54% less fat than Hill's Ideal Balance recipes. For wet cat foods, Hill's Ideal Balance typically provides a little more fat (about 2.99% more).


Hill's Ideal Balance dry recipes contain 4.69% less fiber than Natural Balance dry recipes. This difference in fiber content is a notable difference between Natural Balance and Hill's Ideal Balance. For wet cat foods, Natural Balance typically provides a little more fiber (about 3.70% more).

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

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

Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Dried Tomato Pomace

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Natural Balance.

Giblets
Beet Pulp
Poultry Giblets
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Lactic Acid)

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

Caramel
Pork Plasma
Powdered Cellulose
Pea Protein Concentrate

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

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

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

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

Natural Balance has been recalled 5 times.

  • July 21, 2007: ofbotulinum toxin
  • May 4, 2012: Salmonella
  • June 18, 2010: Salmonella
  • April 27, 2007: Melamine
  • April 17, 2007: Melamine

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

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $2.59 $2.04
Per Calorie $0.0016 $0.0012
Dry Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $3.06 $2.77
Per Calorie $0.0020 $0.0015
Wet Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $4.90 $3.32
Per Calorie $0.0100 $0.0098
Wet Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $5.08 $7.16
Per Calorie $0.0116 $0.0161

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 Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance and Hill's Ideal Balance. 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 Natural Balance Pet Foods

You can purchase Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance Hill's Ideal Balance
Dry Dog Food 27 Recipes 6 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 31 Recipes 2 Recipes
Dog Treats 33 Treats 3 Treats
Dry Cat Food 14 Recipes 4 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 39 Recipes 2 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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