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Premium Food vs. Supermarket Food

As vets, we are often asked:

“What is premium pet food?”

“What is the difference between premium foods and supermarket brands?”

“Which food is best for my pet?”

The pet food industry has witnessed a significant transformation in recent years, with a growing awareness of the importance of proper nutrition for our furbabies. Amidst a sea of options, two categories stand apart: premium pet food brands, and the more accessible (often cheaper) supermarket brands.

What is Premium Pet Food?

The term "premium pet food" refers to a category of pet food products that are considered to be of higher quality, made with superior ingredients and formulated to meet specific nutritional needs.

1. High-Quality Ingredients. Premium pet food often contains real, recognisable ingredients, such as high-quality meat sources (chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.), whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. These ingredients are carefully selected for their nutritional value and are less likely to include fillers, by-products or artificial additives.

2. Nutritional Balance. Premium pet food is formulated to meet the specific nutritional requirements of different life stages and breeds. It aims to provide the right balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to support optimal growth, development, and maintenance of your pets' health.

3. Specialised Formulas. Many premium pet food brands offer specialised formulas to address specific health concerns, such as weight management, joint health, food sensitivities and allergies.

4. Scientific Research and Backing. Premium pet food companies often invest in research and collaborate with veterinary nutritionists to develop their formulations. They conduct clinical trials and tests to ensure the efficacy and safety of their products, basing their decisions on scientific evidence.

5. Digestive Health Support. Premium pet food may include ingredients that promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of digestive issues. This can involve using easily digestible ingredients and avoiding common allergens or irritants.

6. Transparency in Labelling. Premium pet food brands tend to provide more transparent and detailed information on their product labels, clearly listing the ingredients and nutritional content.

Why Do Vets Recommend Premium Pet Food?

There are a number of benefits to feeding your pet a premium pet food such as Hill’s, rather a cheaper supermarket brand:


At first glance you might assume that because premium foods are higher priced than most supermarket brands, you are spending more money to feed your pet. However, this isn’t quite as it seems! Because the food is more densely packed with nutrients, you won’t need to feed as much.

Less Waste

Because premium food is highly digestible, there is less waste to clean up on the back lawn or in the litter tray.

Suitable for Different Life Stages

The nutritional requirements of puppies and kittens are different to those of adult dogs and cats. Hill's Science Diet foods are 100% balanced for healthy nutrition, with the precise nutrients, vitamins and minerals that growing puppies and kittens need to thrive.

Similarly, senior pets require an age-appropriate diet that is supportive to joints, lower in calories, easy to digest, high in fibre and gentle on teeth.

Specifically Formulated for Common Health Conditions

Hill’s Prescription Diet provides specialised, clinical support for specific health conditions, including:

  • Weight

  • Skin & Food Sensitivities

  • Urinary

  • Digestive

  • Dental

  • Joint

  • Kidney

If your cat or dog is facing any of these conditions, please consult with our vets who will conduct a thorough examination before recommending the best food options for your pet.

Verifiable Claims

Premium brands can demonstrate their health claims with scientific data and evidence.


A lot of testing goes into making sure that the food tastes great!

On a final note, it is essential to note that the term ‘premium’ in pet food does not have a standard regulatory definition, and different brands may use the term to varying extents. Therefore, we encourage you to read labels and consult with our vets prior to selecting the premium pet food that best suits your pet's individual needs.


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