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Vital Essentials vs Hill's Ideal Balance

Vital Essentials vs. Hill's Ideal Balance

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

Guaranteed Analysis: Hill's Ideal Balance vs. Vital Essentials

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.

Vital Essentials Dog Food vs. Hill's Ideal Balance Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Vital Essentials Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 51.7% 23.5%
Crude Fat 26.4% 17.8%
Crude Fiber 2.2% 1.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Vital Essentials Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 53.4% 26.6%
Crude Fat 33.1% 19.7%
Crude Fiber 6.6% 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.

The comparison table above shows that Vital Essentials dry dog foods provide significantly more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance. More specifically, Vital Essentials guarantees at least 28.23% more protein. Similarly, Vital Essentials wet dog foods provide significantly 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.

Vital Essentials dry dog foods clearly provides more fat than Hill's Ideal Balance. In fact, the difference between the fat content is roughly 8.56%, which is a significant amount. Similarly, Vital Essentials wet dog foods provide significantly more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance wet foods.


There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude fiber content of the two brands. With regards to wet dog food, Vital Essentials and Hill's Ideal Balance also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Vital Essentials Cat Food vs. Hill's Ideal Balance Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Vital Essentials Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 51.9% 32.5%
Crude Fat 18.2% 21.9%
Crude Fiber 3.3% 0.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Vital Essentials Hill's Ideal Balance
Crude Protein 60.9% 43.6%
Crude Fat 28.6% 22.1%
Crude Fiber 3.7% 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.

On average, Vital Essentials dry cat food recipes contain 19.45% more protein than Hill's Ideal Balance recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the protein content of Hill's Ideal Balance and Vital Essentials. Similarly, Vital Essentials wet cat foods provide significantly 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.

There is a small difference between the fat content of Hill's Ideal Balance and Vital Essentials. We can see that Hill's Ideal Balance guarantees about 3.67% more fat than Vital Essentials. In addition, Vital Essentials wet cat 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 Vital Essentials. However, this difference is relatively small and doesn't represent a significant difference between the two brands. For wet cat foods, Vital Essentials and Hill's Ideal Balance provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

Vital Essentials Pet Food Ingredients vs. Hill's Ideal Balance Pet Food Ingredients

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

Caramel
Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Pork Plasma
Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Powdered Cellulose
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 Vital Essentials & Hill's Ideal Balance?

Vital Essentials has been recalled 4 times.

  • July 8, 2015: Listeria monocytogenes
  • Jan. 15, 2016: Salmonella
  • Feb. 24, 2018: Salmonella
  • April 16, 2018: Salmonella

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

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Vital Essentials Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $31.04 $1.98
Per Calorie $0.0141 $0.0011
Dry Cat Food Vital Essentials Hill's Ideal Balance
Per Pound $38.64 $2.49
Per Calorie $0.0220 $0.0013

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 Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials Pet Foods

You can purchase Vital Essentials pet foods from the following stores:


43 Recipes In-Stock Today

43 Recipes In-Stock Today

13 Recipes In-Stock Today

21 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Hill's Ideal Balance Pet Foods

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


10 Recipes In-Stock Today

1 Recipes In-Stock Today

2 Recipes In-Stock Today

4 Recipes In-Stock

Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Vital Essentials Hill's Ideal Balance
Dry Dog Food 6 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 2 Recipes
Dog Treats 30 Treats 3 Treats
Dry Cat Food 4 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 2 Recipes
Cat Treats 8 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores