Hill's Pet Nutrition

Our History

Inspired by a Guide Dog

In the late 1930s, Morris Frank, a young blind man, was touring the country with his guide dog, Buddy, promoting Seeing Eye® dogs. However, Buddy, a German shepherd, was suffering from kidney failure, and Mr. Frank asked Dr. Mark Morris Sr. for help. Dr. Morris believed Buddy's illness was the result of poor nutrition, so he developed a new pet food with his wife, Louise Morris, in their kitchen. Louise and three other women continued making the food in the Morris family basement, storing it in Ball® jars. Raritan Ration B was the forerunner of Hill's® Prescription Diet® k/d® Canine and is developed for dogs with renal failure and insufficiency.

Dr. Morris mailed the food to Mr. Frank, who was traveling the country with Buddy. However, the jars often broke in transit. Morris Frank arranged for delivery of several thousand cans and a hand-operated canning machine to Dr. Morris. His staff then started canning food.

A New Partnership

In 1948, Dr. Morris contracted with Burton Hill of the Hill Packing Company in Topeka, Kansas, to can the food with a new name, Canine k/d®, and licensed Hill to produce his pet food formulas.

In the following years, the partnership between Dr. Morris and the Hill Packing Company evolved into Hill's® Pet Nutrition, and it continued to grow and add formulas of therapeutic pet food to its Prescription Diet® line of products. Dr. Morris established a research laboratory in Topeka in 1951, when four Prescription Diet pet foods for dogs were available.

Dr. Morris' son, Dr. Mark Morris Jr., continued to help grow Hill's Pet Nutrition over the next several decades. The younger Dr. Morris noticed a demand for consistent, high-quality pet food for use in research. As a result, he developed a food for healthy pets. 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 50 pet foods formulated for many lifestages and special needs in healthy pets.

Hill's Today

In 1976, the Colgate-Palmolive Company purchased Hill's Pet Nutrition. Today Hill's® pet food products are available in 86 countries around the world. The company sales reached $1 billion in 1999, and continues to grow each year. Veterinarians worldwide recommend and feed their own pets Hill's products more than any other brand of pet food.

At the Hill's Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka, Kansas, a staff of veterinarians and board-certified specialists in nutrition and internal medicine work alongside a staff of companion pets to develop nutritious and tasty pet food. Each companion pet has a team to provide it clean, roomy living quarters, exercise areas, an agility course, and other human and animal companions. The world-class facility also houses a fully equipped veterinary hospital certified by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) — conforming with the highest standards of small animal veterinary hospitals today.

Today, Hill's Pet Nutrition carries on the tradition of caring that began in 1939 with one remarkable veterinarian. Our Prescription Diet®, Science Diet® and Ideal Balance pet foods offer the highest-quality pet nutrition available.

®/ Seeing Eye is a trademark owned by Seeing Eye, Inc. Ball is a trademark of the Ball Corporation.