Hill's Pet Nutrition

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Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
Subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive
IndustryDog food
Cat food
GenrePet food
Founded1907; 111 years ago (1907) (as Hill Rendering Works)
FounderBurton Hill
Area served
Key people
Burton Hill, Mark Morris Sr., Mark Morris Jr.
BrandsHill's Prescription Diet
Hill's Science Diet
Revenue2.2 Billion

Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc, marketed simply as "Hills" is an American company, a large scale producer of pet nutrition, e.g. dog and cat foods. The company is a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive.


Hill's Pet Nutrition was founded in the spring of 1907 by Burton Hill and started operation as Hill Rendering Works.[1][2] Hill Rendering works provided rendering services to Shawnee County, Kansas and had a contract with Topeka, Kansas to dispose of dead and lame animals. Hill Rendering works produced tallow hides, tankage, meat scraps and farm animal feed including hogs and chicken feed.

Early Picture of Hill Packing Company

By the 1930s,[3][4][5] the name had changed to Hill Packing Company which included a milling division, Hill Milling company. At this time the company was producing farm animal feed, dog food and horse meat for human consumption, processing 500 head of horse per week.[6] The meat was being shipped to markets in Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. Much of the horse meat was sold to the east coast as a product called Chopped and Cured and shipped to Europe as barreled horse loins.

Hill's Dog Food can label

In 1948 Mark L. Morris contacted Hill Packing company to produce Canine k/d, Hill Packing company became the license producer of Canine k/d.[7] In 1968, the food line was made available through veterinarians and pet professionals as Hill's Science Diet. The line has continued to expand, and today includes more than 60 Prescription Diet brand pet foods (prescription foods for cats and dogs with specific diseases, only available through a vet or pet pharmacy) and Science Diet brand pet foods (sold through veterinarians and pet specialty stores). In 1968,[8] Hill Packing company was sold to Riviana Foods[9] then in 1976 the Colgate-Palmolive Company merged[10] with Riviana Foods. Today, Hill's pet food products are available in 86 countries around the world and company sales reached $1 billion in 1999.

Product brands[edit]

Science Diet[edit]

Science Diet was developed in the 1960s by Mark L. Morris, Jr. PhD DVM (February 3, 1934 - January 14, 2007). Dr. Morris Jr. was the son of famed veterinarian, Dr. Mark Morris Sr. DVM, who pioneered the field of veterinary clinical nutrition when asked to create a specialized diet for the original seeing-eye dog, Buddy, a female German Shepherd with kidney disease. That success led Dr. Morris and his son to create additional condition-specific and life-stage pet food formulas under the Prescription Diet and Science Diet brand names.[11]

Prescription Diet[edit]

Prescription Diet is a line of pet foods which, as its name suggests, should be endorsed to assist management of a clinical need, from a veterinarian.

Ideal Balance[edit]

  • Ideal Balance


One Prescription Diet line and five products of the Science Diet line were involved in the 2007 pet food recalls for their inclusion of melamine tainted wheat gluten received from China.[12][13][14][15]


  1. ^ "Estherville Daily News, 18 September 1962 page 1".
  2. ^ "Builders of Topeka 1934".
  3. ^ "Builders of Topeka 1934".
  4. ^ "Trade horses for sale (classified ad)". Belleville Telescope. September 29, 1932. p. 12.
  6. ^ "The Belleville Telescope, 1 September 1932 page 1".
  7. ^ "Hills Pet Nutrition".
  8. ^ "The Salina Journal 18 April 1968; To Sell Hill Packing Firm".
  9. ^ "Riniana Foods Inc. History".
  10. ^ "The Des Moines Register, 13 February 1976 page 25".
  11. ^ "Mark Morris Institute".
  12. ^ "Melamine Pet Food Recall of 2007".
  13. ^ "Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts".
  14. ^ "Press Announcements".
  15. ^ "Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts".

External links[edit]