Nutro vs Hill's Ideal Balance

Nutro vs. Hill's Ideal Balance

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

Guaranteed Analysis: Hill's Ideal Balance vs. Nutro

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.

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

Dry Dog Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 27.0% 23.5%
Crude Fat 15.1% 17.8%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 1.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 42.7% 26.6%
Crude Fat 24.4% 19.7%
Crude Fiber 6.0% 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.

According to our data, Nutro guarantees 3.52% more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. In addition, Nutro wet dog foods also provide more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance 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 small difference between the fat content of Hill's Ideal Balance and Nutro. We can see that Hill's Ideal Balance guarantees about 2.68% more fat than Nutro. In addition, Nutro wet dog foods also provide more fat than Hill's Ideal Balance wet foods.


According to our average data, Hill's Ideal Balance typically provides less fiber than Nutro. However, this difference is relatively small and doesn't represent a significant difference between the two brands. For wet dog foods, Nutro and Hill's Ideal Balance provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

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

Dry Cat Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 36.1% 32.5%
Crude Fat 16.9% 21.9%
Crude Fiber 5.4% 0.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 51.7% 43.6%
Crude Fat 23.1% 22.1%
Crude Fiber 5.2% 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.

If you look at the average percentages of crude protein, you'll notice that Nutro typically guarantees 3.63% more protein. This is a fairly small difference between Nutro and Hill's Ideal Balance, but still worth mentioning. In addition, Nutro wet cat foods also provide more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance 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.

Our analysis shows that Hill's Ideal Balance guarantees 5.01% more fat than Nutro dry cat food recipes. For wet cat foods, Nutro and Hill's Ideal Balance provide roughly the same amount of fat.


There is a relatively large difference between the fiber content of Nutro and Hill's Ideal Balance. On average, Hill's Ideal Balance dry cat food recipes contain 4.50% less fiber than Nutro recipes. For wet cat foods, Nutro and Hill's Ideal Balance provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

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

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

Pea Protein
Pork Plasma
Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Powdered Cellulose

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

Iron Oxide
Whole Wheat
Wheat Gluten
Vegetable Oil
Feeding Oatmeal
Corn Gluten Meal
Dried Corn Syrup
Ground Whole Wheat
Meat And Bone Meal
Pea Protein Isolate
Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

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

Caramel
Canola Oil
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.

Nutro 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 Nutro & Hill's Ideal Balance?

Nutro has been recalled 4 times.

  • Sept. 30, 2009: small pieces of melted plastic
  • Dec. 13, 2015: Mold
  • May 21, 2009: incorrect levels of zinc and potassium
  • March 16, 2007: Melamine

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

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $2.21 $2.00
Per Calorie $0.0014 $0.0012
Dry Cat Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $2.51 $2.65
Per Calorie $0.0015 $0.0014
Wet Dog Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $5.48 $3.32
Per Calorie $0.0125 $0.0100
Wet Cat Food Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $7.10 $7.12
Per Calorie $0.0152 $0.0160

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 Nutro 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 Nutro 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 Nutro 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 Nutro Pet Foods

You can purchase Nutro 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 Nutro Hill's Ideal Balance
Dry Dog Food 66 Recipes 6 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 45 Recipes 2 Recipes
Dog Treats 12 Treats 3 Treats
Dry Cat Food 17 Recipes 4 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 53 Recipes 2 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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