Feeding time is more than an everyday ritual for your pet — it’s a special bonding experience that engages all of their senses.

Whether it’s a wellness recipe for everyday health or a therapeutic formula where nutrition is a lifeline, pet food only works if your pet wants to eat it. That’s why Hill’s takes a science-led approach to all of the elements that make their mealtime a satisfying and rewarding event.

The experts always get the final word

Every pet food we create is reviewed by the dogs and cats at our Pet Nutrition Center (PNC). Our pet “colleagues” take their jobs very seriously, and they should — their opinions decide which tastes work.

orange cat eating wet food off of plate

In addition to enjoying lots of love and playtime, these pets have several very important jobs, like telling us how our foods impact pets from their noses to their tails. This includes:

  • Which aromas entice dogs and cats
  • The tastes and textures pets love
  • The right size and shape for each of our foods

May the best tasting pet food win

Every flavour profile we create undergoes a series of taste tests with the dogs and cats at the PNC to see what they prefer. We present each group of dogs or cats with different foods and see which one they choose. We record the amount of each food consumed by each pet, and use this data to determine with confidence which one was preferred.

hill’s stews in a white bowl

Ingredient image is for illustration only. Ingredients vary by product.

Understanding the science of flavour

Our team of experts works to ensure all our foods deliver nutrition that appeals to the acute senses of dogs and cats. We employ a full team of scientists who are constantly testing new combinations of scent and taste to create the most appealing pet food flavours.

We look for ingredients that combine high-quality nutrition with flavours pets love. Some examples include:

image of high-quality chicken
image of high-quality beef
image of high-quality lamb
image of high-quality salmon
image of carrots
image of potatoes
container of healthy oil
Oils & Fats

Ingredients images are for illustration purposes only

Not too little, not too much.

We formulate each of our foods with a precise balance of nutrients to meet their specific health needs, including life stage, size or special needs.

close up image of dog’s nose

Decoding aroma

The aroma of pet food can determine a dog or cat’s interest before they even reach the bowl.

A single piece of pet food can have up to 200 distinct flavour/aroma molecules. On a good day, our human noses may only be able to identify 15-20 of them. Using sophisticated techniques, our state-of-the-art analytical lab helps us dissect complex flavours and aromas on the molecular level to help us understand the eating experience from a pet’s perspective.

The Aromagram:
Making sense of scent

For us to compare and replicate different aroma profiles, we first need a way to describe them. Our human sensory panel uses precise language to distinguish distinct aromatic attributes. Descriptors such as “toasted” and “meaty” are used to create an elaborate flavour profile we call the aromagram.

Each aromagram acts almost like a “flavour fingerprint” for a particular pet food. By taste testing with pets and comparing these profiles, we can better understand which ones are liked or disliked by dogs and cats.

Tested textures

The right taste involves all the senses, and the physical attributes of the pet food itself play an important role in your pet’s mealtime.

bowls of wet hill’s foods

Ingredient image is for illustration only. Ingredients vary by product.

Wet pet food & stews

Whether ground, minced, pâté, or stew, wet pet foods make for a great meal because of their satisfying textures and strong aromas. Serve them as a standalone dish or as a tasty topper to dry food.

Shop wet foods

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Shop stews

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Designing a better kibble

image of different kibble shapes

Kibble shapes are designed for different eating preferences and efficacy

image of kibble texture

Texture plays a role and dogs and cats like to crunch and chew their kibble in different ways

image of different kibble sizes

Kibble size matters, especially for dogs, where bigger is better relative to the size of the dog

What it all comes down to: happy, healthy pets

Before any Hill’s product reaches your pet’s bowl, it has already undergone numerous tests and quality checks — by our team of nutritionists, veterinarians, dieticians, food scientists and discerning pets — to ensure mealtime is always a rewarding experience for your furry friend.

See what your pet thinks