Royal Canin Vs. Science Diet Dog Food In 2023

As a dog owner, one of the most important decisions you need to make is which food you should feed your pup. There are many different brands on the market – Royal Canin and Science Diet being two of them. 

But what makes these two so different? Which brand should you be feeding your dogs? Let’s find out! 

The biggest difference between Royal Canin and Science Diet is that they have completely different philosophies about creating a well-balanced diet for your pet. While both offer plenty of flavors and variations, each company has its take on ingredients and its purpose in the formula. It’s always hard to know what the best dog food is. 

There are hundreds of different brands, but some stand out more than others in quality and price! In this guide, we will review 2 top contenders: Royal Canin and Science Diet. We’ll break down their pros & cons across several categories so you can make an informed decision that works for your pup! 

Here are some products from both brands to make it easier for you to see which suits your furry friend the best!

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food was exclusively developed for small dog needs. It has all the quality and taste you expect from Royal Canin, just in a size that can lighten your daily load. Inside each bag is 185g of kibble made to satisfy the appetite of a smaller pup – which means you don’t have to buy as much food at once! 

And because most nutritionists recommend feeding about 3/4 cup per meal, this bag will last over 20 days. If you want high-quality dry food with balanced nutrients tailored specifically for small breeds that go down easy on your wallet, give Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food a try today!

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dry Dog Food is designed to help dogs maintain a healthy weight. Dogs of all ages from 10 months to 8 years, between 9 and 22 pounds, will get the food they need with this formula’s L-Carnitine that promotes fat metabolism. 

You’ll also find exclusive flavors for enhanced palatability in Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Dry Dog Food, as well as EPA and DHA to support skin and coat health with proven kibble technology to reduce tartar formation.

Key Features:

  • For dogs 9-22 pounds
  • Fresh, natural ingredients
  • L-Carnitine for fat metabolism support
  • Exclusively flavored to enhance palatability

Royal Canin Puppy Junior Pet Food

Royal Canin Puppy Junior Pet Food

Royal Canin dog food is perfect for small breeds at any age, especially in their first two years of life. This formula includes the right amount of protein to keep your pup satisfied and active. 

And because they’re just a little bit more delicate than regular-sized puppies, this food contains much less fat and phosphorus too! Crunch on!

It has a highly digestible protein and single-source, enhanced meat meal that will promote the best possible nutrient absorption. The small kibble size is recommended for pups with new teeth, so chewing isn’t difficult and sensitive gums are protected. 

Made with specific nutrients to support digestion while also helping reduce tartar formation on your puppy’s teeth, Royal Canin knows that nurturing the energy needs of young dogs can be vital to provide ferocity when needed or calmness otherwise.

Key Features:

  • Provides essential nutrients for growing puppies
  • Highly digestible proteins absorb better than others
  • Enhanced kibble technology reduces tartar buildup

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Adult Dry Dog Food

When it comes to medium-sized dogs, they’re famous for their energy and have previously served as working dogs. Maybe your medium dog is more of an indoor companion or spends time outdoors hunting. 

Whatever the case may be, Royal Canin Medium Dog Food helps him maintain natural defenses throughout life while providing the balanced energy he needs to maintain a healthy weight.

Brighten up your best friend’s day with the Royal Canin Medium Dog Food! This nutritious and satisfying food offers an optimal balance of nutrients, proteins, fiber, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, antioxidants to support a dog’s natural defenses. The delicious taste that every medium-sized pup is sure to enjoy.

Key Features:

  • Dog approved, veterinarian recommended
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Limited ingredients: no corn or wheat to cause allergies in your pet
  • Natural enzymes promote digestion and nutrient absorption

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Chicken Recipe 

Hill's Science Diet Adult Dog Chicken Recipe 

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Chicken Recipe is made for adult dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin. This dry dog food is enriched with real chicken, which delivers important nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep you healthy. 

For extra skin protection, Hill’s also added omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E. 

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Chicken Recipe is a wholesome meal with real chicken, whole grains, antioxidant-rich vegetables, and omega-6 fatty acids. 

It helps to promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat and provides generous doses of vitamin E for immune system support. With this recipe backed by decades of cutting-edge research to show your dog will love the taste every single time you feed them!  

Key Features:

  • Packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids 
  • Provides support for healthy skin and lustrous coat 
  • Highly digestible to help support maximum nutrient absorption

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed 

Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed 

You know your pup needs the right nutrition to stay healthy. Achieving a stellar balance of high-quality protein and carbs is crucial for any dog’s diet, so the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food provides precisely this. 

With a diverse array of important vitamins like Vitamin E and scientifically developed chelated minerals for an optimum intake, it meets your pup’s dietary needs. 

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed is for large or giant dogs, weighing 55lb-110lbs. This food formulation meets both the nutritional and physical needs of adult and senior dogs with joint support features tailored to manage a dog’s weight if desired. 

The ingredients in this dog food ensure no worries about any hidden animal proteins, such as pork and beef. All components meet strict requirements, ensuring they’re quality-controlled when produced—something you’ll never worry about with other brands!

Eating a healthy diet can enhance your pet’s quality of life. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed dog food is meant to help maintain a healthier heart, skin, and immune system with antioxidants like Kaneka Q10 and folic acid–and tastes great too, thanks to the real chicken meal formula!

Key Features:

  • Supports joint and cartilage health
  • Promotes healthy teeth
  • Provides glucosamine to reduce bone loss
  • High in calcium, fat, vitamin A & D

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe 

Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe 

Gentle stomachs will love this tasty food designed with real chicken and brown rice. 

Manufactured in the United States, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe is specifically made to support your dog’s needs. This wholesome recipe has everything your pet needs for a complete diet, from bone strength to healthy skin and coat health. 

We provide crisp kibble sized just right for little mouths struggling to maintain their weight or needing modest amounts of calories due to muscle mass loss from illness or surgery.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe is helping your precious pooch live a fuller, longer life. This formula provides delicious protein that satisfies their hunger while promoting healthy joints and bones. Your pup will also have a shiny coat to impress his friends at the playgroup!

Key Features:

  • High-quality protein and calcium for bones and muscles
  • Omega-6 fatty acids to promote skin health
  • Antioxidants with vitamins C&E to enhance immune system health
  • All-natural ingredients without preservatives or artificial colors
  • Made in the USA


Buying Guide

Brand Histories

Royal Canin

Royal Canin was founded by Jean Cathary in 1968. He is a French Veterinarian who saw that their diet caused many skin problems with dogs. He first created his yellow soup recipe and documented its success in creating its dry food, which has been used for most dog-owners since then. Royal Canin is a brand of pet food for dogs and cats that was founded in 1972 by two French veterinary surgeons. Guyomarc’h Group bought Royal Canin, who had already established nutritional expertise with specialized canine diets; they expanded their range and sold products across Europe. 

In 1980, they released a puppy recipe that became sought-after until 1990, when it was replaced by an adult formula for large breeds to better meet the needs of developing pets over time. The philosophy of Royal Canin has not changed since it was first started in France. 

The company, which is now widely known worldwide for its pet food products and supplements to help pets live a healthier life, began with the purchase of Guyomarc’h Group by Paribas Group. In 1985 exports increased to America. Shortly after that, expansion into other markets happened quickly, thanks mainly to their attention on making a living better for all animals, from small cats or dogs to big horses. 

To this day, they continue winning awards, including those given out at World Pet Show Awards, because people can trust them when looking for any product related specifically to feeding your little furry friend!

Hill Science

The story of how Science Diet dog food was created starts with a man who loved his guide dog more than anything. His pet, Buddy, suffered from kidney failure, and Morris Frank enlisted the help of Mark Morris to improve their quality of life together. 

Dr. Morris was puzzled by the kidney problems his dog Buddy had developed. After some research, he concluded that a poor diet might cause this issue and designed food specifically to help with it. 

More than just helping out Buddy’s kidneys, what Dr. Morris didn’t know at first is that other dogs in need of health supplements found relief from issues such as arthritis or diabetes thanks to his invention! 

In the late 1940s, Dr. Morris partnered with Hill Packaging to produce and package his pet food items as demand for them skyrocketed; eventually, this was turned over to his son, who created what is now known as Hill’s Science Diet, which includes 50 different recipes catered specifically towards pets of all life stages and special needs. 

Hills is a brand that many veterinarians and animal lovers can agree upon. With more Veterinarians worldwide using it for their pets than any other brand, Hills pet food products are the best in quality nutrition there is to offer.


To know what our canine companions need for their dietary needs, we must first understand that they can be much more sensitive than humans. 

It is important when it comes to food and how quickly the allergies or bowel trouble might flare up if not properly cared for.

We all know that pets’ tummies are often delicate. A change in diet from one day to another could wreak havoc on them, which means being sure about its nutritional content before offering anything new should always be done with caution as well as understanding their daily requirements better so you’ll have an easier time knowing exactly what your pet will eat without any problems arising because of those sensitivities.

Ensuring your dog has adequate nutrients can be an arduous task. Different food brands have a wide range in their nutritional content, and you may not know which one is the best for them until they experience it firsthand. 

Crude Protein And Meat Comparison

Protein is an essential part of a dog’s diet. Without sufficient protein, dogs can develop serious health problems such as liver disease and kidney failure. 

Our data demonstrate that Royal Canin guarantees 3% more protein than Hill’s Science Diet for senior or overweight dogs with specific dietary needs in mind like dental care and weight management. In addition to the higher levels of proteins found within their wet foods compared to Hill’s dry food options, they also provide 33% less fat per cup (only 2 grams). 

Amino acids are responsible for cell regeneration, which is why I always make sure to check the protein content of dog food before purchasing it. Royal Canin offers 20-21% in their products while Science Diet only has 18%. 

Royal Canin has a lot of high-quality products for your dog. They use chicken as the primary protein source and offer many different types to accommodate any diet you are looking for, such as weight management or energy levels. 

It’s not just the quantity of protein in each food that matters, but also its quality. Royal Canin contains, on average, more protein than Science Diet does; however, their sources are different and favor a by-product than the real meat, which is considered better for dogs’ health all around.

Crude Fat Comparison Royal Canin Vs Hill’s Science Diet

Fats provide energy, but fats also serve important roles in your dog’s body’s normal development and function by helping with prostaglandins that reduce inflammation, among many other significant parts. Both brands have the same amount of crude fat with little difference. 

Royal Canin typically provides a little more fat content (about 2.69% more) for wet dog foods with significantly higher fiber content than Hill’s Science Diet dog food at about 8%.


The two food brands seem to be the same in a lot of ways. The foods are nutritionally balanced and have an abundance of added nutrients, like vitamins. 

However, Royal Canin’s primary ingredient is carbohydrates instead of protein, which might make it less desirable for some pet owners who want their furry friends to eat animal proteins as much as possible! 

In a head-to-head comparison, the cost of the Science Diet was found to be lower than that for Royal Canin’s formulas. In addition, while both brands had all necessary vitamins, whole grain wheat and minerals in their foods and protein at an appropriate level, only one brand included carbohydrates first on its ingredients list and has an excellent nutritional value. 

This is something your veterinarian may want you to discuss with them before making any purchases. 

Royal Canin dog food was adjudged to be the better choice for small canine breeds, as it has a higher protein content and less fat than its counterpart from Wellness.

Flavors And Options

The most popular brands seem to be Royal Canin and Science Diet. Both companies offer a wide variety of flavors for all types of pups – from those who prefer Chicken flavor to those with allergies! 

So if you’re looking to treat your dog while giving them their food for dinner, there are ways to make it more appealing by mixing flavors to create something new, or adding some water into the dry mix will have created an instant sauce! 

It would help if you were sure to slowly transition your pup from one flavor of food to another. Different flavors can contain other ingredients, so the two types might not agree with his stomach!


Choosing a kibble for your pup is an important decision! There are many factors to consider when selecting the best possible food. You want both quality and affordability, but ultimately it’s up to you what level of investment will suit your budget. 

When in doubt, do some research online or talk with people who have experience caring for dogs. Science Diet’s range of products caters to any pup from a household breadwinner, so you can feed your growing puppy without breaking the bank.


Science Diet and Royal Canin are both available online, but they also come in different forms. Science Diet can be found at pet supply stores and hardware store chains like Lowe’s or Home Depot, where people buy supplies for their home projects. 

It’s sometimes stocked by farm supply/outdoor stores like Tractor Supply Company that sell products to farmers who want the latest technology on farming equipment, animal feed supplements, or other items needed daily on a farm. Grocery Stores often carry it too! 

You have to look around more than ordering from your computer screen if you’re interested in these dry dog foods brands because there is so much diversity of availability with them.


When you’re looking for your perfect pup, it’s important to pick the right food. Royal Canin is a brand that offers not only variety but breed-specific foods with more than 50 breeds covered! 

We love knowing our dogs can be healthy and happy no matter their size or shape, thanks to all of those special formulas made just for him by Royal Canin.

Recall History

Just because a particular brand is popular or well-known doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for you. Safety should be your number one consideration when choosing food, and does not just refer to ingredients – but also includes recalls by the FDA of individual brands.

For this reason, I always look at ongoing, and past recalls in any review on dog food to protect my pup from harm! 

Both Royal Canin and Purina had some recalls in recent years- but which one has more?

In 2006 there was a recall when too much Vitamin D3 caused health problems due to overdosing pets with this nutrient; April 2007 saw another recall after melamine from China found its way into their products; May 2008 also resulted in a Melamine call back because traces were discovered during an inspection. 

And while they may have different brands under each label, both companies experienced these same types of incidents before we even mention any other type of complaints or risks associated with either company!

Hill Science Diet has recalled its products three times in 2007, 2014, and 2015. In contrast, Royal Canin only had one recall back in 2008 for labeling issues. Thus science diet is the winner when it comes to recalls with three while royal canin trails behind at 1!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Trust The Protein Sources Of These Brands?

Royal Canin and Science Diet both list chicken, lamb, and turkey as their primary protein source. 

When you explore some more, it turns out that there is a moderate amount of meat meal or by-product in each dish which can be quite poorly sourced from animals such as pigs (though they are not meant to eat pork) so I think we should avoid any products with this ingredient.

Are They Grain-Free?

Grain is less than ideal for a dog’s diet, but there are plenty of grain-free options out there. Royal Canin and Science Diet offers grain-free products with higher protein & fiber content to compensate for the lack of grains – just like most other brands. 

The best way to find what works best with your pup is through trial and error, which can be expensive!

Which Brand Has A Better Value?

Dogs are man’s best friend, but they need something more than average dog food to stay healthy. Lucky for them, many brands produce quality foods at different prices and flavor combinations! 

In terms of ingredient quality, the Hill’s Science Diet brand comes out on top in many aggregator websites; however, it also has a good track record of providing well-balanced diets that ease ailments and promote healthier pooches.


All dogs deserve the best food they can get, and Royal Canin vs. Science Diet are two of many brands on the market today that make healthy pet foods tailored specifically to a dog’s size or breed type. 

When choosing between these popular choices for quality dry kibble, it is important to consider your specific needs if you have an ill-chosen pup before making a final decision about which one would be right for them! 

Some dogs require more protein than others, and some need sources of vegetables that are not always present in the same quality in every brand, so you have to research each brands’ nutritional values before making your decision on which product will work best for your canine companion!

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