Natural Balance vs Hill's Science Diet

Natural Balance vs. Hill's Science Diet

In this comparison article for Natural Balance vs Hill's Science Diet, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Natural Balance 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 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 Science Diet Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Hill's Science Diet 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 Science Diet Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 25.9% 24.5%
Crude Fat 12.6% 14.8%
Crude Fiber 5.4% 4.3%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 38.5% 26.0%
Crude Fat 19.2% 17.2%
Crude Fiber 7.2% 3.9%

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.

As you can see, Hill's Science Diet and Natural Balance guarantee a similar amount of crude protein. For wet dog foods, Natural Balance provides significantly more protein (about 12.50% more).


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.

If you look at the average percentages of crude fat, you'll notice that Hill's Science Diet typically guarantees 2.13% more fat. This is a fairly small difference between Hill's Science Diet and Natural Balance, but still worth mentioning. In addition, Natural Balance wet dog foods also provide more fat than Hill's Science Diet wet foods.


Hill's Science Diet and Natural Balance both provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. For wet dog foods, Natural Balance typically provides a little more fiber (about 3.26% more).

Natural Balance Cat Food vs. Hill's Science Diet Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 36.2% 35.2%
Crude Fat 13.6% 18.5%
Crude Fiber 5.7% 5.8%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Crude Protein 46.2% 38.5%
Crude Fat 19.7% 22.0%
Crude Fiber 7.0% 4.4%

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.

There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude protein content of the two brands. For wet cat foods, Natural Balance provides more protein (about 7.76% 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.

The table shows that Natural Balance provides far less fat than Hill's Science Diet. The difference in fat content is roughly 4.94%. For wet cat foods, Hill's Science Diet typically provides a little more fat (about 2.25% more).


Both brands provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. For wet cat foods, Natural Balance typically provides a little more fiber (about 2.67% more).

Natural Balance Pet Food Ingredients vs. Hill's Science Diet Pet Food Ingredients

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

Pea Protein
Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace

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

Beet Pulp
Canola Oil
Poultry Giblets
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
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
Wheat Gluten
Beef By-Products
Corn Gluten Meal
Pork By-Products
Whole Grain Corn
Whole Grain Wheat
Powdered Cellulose
Dried Tomato Pomace
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.

Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance & Hill's Science Diet?

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 Science Diet has never been recalled.

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $2.61 $1.91
Per Calorie $0.0017 $0.0012
Dry Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $3.46 $2.79
Per Calorie $0.0022 $0.0017
Wet Dog Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $4.82 $3.00
Per Calorie $0.0098 $0.0072
Wet Cat Food Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Per Pound $4.98 $4.38
Per Calorie $0.0108 $0.0085

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 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 Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance Pet Foods

You can purchase Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance Hill's Science Diet
Dry Dog Food 25 Recipes 32 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 31 Recipes 31 Recipes
Dog Treats 27 Treats 15 Treats
Dry Cat Food 12 Recipes 18 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 36 Recipes 39 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

Compare Natural Balance To

Compare Hill's Science Diet To

Brands Similar To