Royal Canin is one of the most popular dog food brands on the market today. With a wide variety of products catered to dogs’ specific needs and life stages, Royal Canin aims to provide optimal nutrition.
But how does Royal Canin dog food really stack up? This comprehensive review will examine Royal Canin’s key recipes, quality of ingredients, recall history, and value for money. Read on to learn everything you need to know to make an informed choice for your dog’s diet.
An Overview of Royal Canin Dog Food
Royal Canin was founded in 1968 by Dr. Cathary in France. It was initially developed to cater to specific nutritional needs of breeding dogs. Today, Royal Canin offers an extensive product line divided into different categories:
- Breed-specific formulas – Tailored nutrition based on a breed’s unique characteristics and nutritional needs.
- Size-specific formulas – Designed for a dog’s specific size category like small breed, medium breed etc.
- Lifestyle formulas – Formulated for dogs with certain lifestyle needs like high activity levels.
- Veterinary diets – Prescription formulas to support dogs with specific health conditions.
- Age-specific formulas – Crafted to provide optimal nutrition during key life stages like puppyhood or senior years.
Royal Canin follows a nutrient profile system to craft and customize their formulas. They aim to provide precise nutritional solutions for a dog’s unique requirements. The brand utilizes extensive research and expertise to develop their dog foods.
So how does this translate into their actual recipes? Let’s analyze some of Royal Canin’s key formulas next.
Analysis of Key Royal Canin Dog Food Recipes
Royal Canin has an overwhelming number of products, so it helps to focus on their best selling and most recommended formulas:
1. Royal Canin Mini Puppy
- For puppies up to 10 months old
- Kibble size, texture and nutrients tailored for miniature breed puppies
- Promotes healthy brain development
- Supports bone and joint health
- Kibble designed to encourage chewing
- Protein sources: Chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, brewers rice
- Carbohydrates: Brewer’s rice, corn, wheat
- Fiber: Wheat fiber, cellulose, oat groats
- Vitamins & Minerals:dl-Methionine, Calcium carbonate, Choline chloride,dl-alpha tocopherol,Niacin supplement, Vitamin A supplement etc.
Mini Puppy uses chicken by-product as its primary protein source. This isn’t the most premium protein for puppies. It also contains corn, wheat and rice – controversial grains that are common allergens for dogs.
Overall, this formula may provide basic complete nutrition for miniature breed puppies, but it relies on cheaper grains and by-products versus high-quality protein sources.
2. Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult
- Tailored for purebred German shepherds over 15 months
- Supports skin health and digestive health
- Kibble shape encourages chewing
- Includes EPA and DHA for joint health
- Protein sources: Chicken meal, pork meal, chicken fat
- Carbohydrates: Brewer’s rice, wheat, corn
- Fiber: Wheat fiber, cellulose, oat groats
- Vitamins & Minerals: Fish oil, biotin, Vitamin A supplement etc.
This diet uses chicken and pork meals rather than by-products. However, corn, wheat and rice continue to appear – ingredients German shepherds may not tolerate well.
It provides breed-specific nutrients like EPA and DHA for joints and biotin for skin health. But the grains bring down the overall quality of the recipe.
3. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Adult
- For medium-sized adult dogs from 22-55 lbs
- Helps maintain ideal weight
- Supports joint health
- Enhances digestive health
- L-carnitine helps burn fat
- Protein sources: Chicken meal, chicken fat, pork meal
- Carbohydrates: Brewers rice, wheat, corn
- Fiber: Wheat fiber, oat groats
- Vitamins & Minerals: Fish oil, green tea extract, Vitamin E supplement etc.
This formula comes from Royal Canin’s Size Health Nutrition line. It provides a tailored calorie count to help medium-sized dogs maintain an ideal weight.
It includes pork meal and chicken meal as concentrated protein sources. However, it also contains fillers like corn, wheat and rice. Green tea extract and L-carnitine are included for fat burning.
4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Moderate Calorie
- Veterinary therapeutic diet for urinary health
- Helps dissolve struvite stones
- Reduces urinary pH
- Provides controlled nutrients for bladder health
- Low magnesium, phosphorus, protein, sodium
- Antioxidant complex
- Protein sources: Chicken meal, chicken fat, egg powder
- Carbohydrates: Brewers rice, corn
- Fiber: Powdered cellulose
- Vitamins & Minerals: Fish oil, sodium tripolyphosphate, potassium citrate etc.
This prescription urinary SO diet is designed to promote a healthy urinary environment. It helps dissolve struvite stones by controlling key minerals and urine pH.
The formula uses chicken meal as its primary protein with minimal filler ingredients. However, it still contains brewer’s rice and corn. Overall an improved recipe compared to Royal Canin’s regular line.
Recall History of Royal Canin Dog Food
Royal Canin has a very limited recall history over its 50+ years:
- August 2021 – Select Sensitive Skin canned dog food recalled due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D
- February 2021 – Prescription Renal Support D canned dog food recalled due to excess calcium levels
- May 2007 – Several chewy vitamins recalled for melamine contamination
Overall, Royal Canin has a very minimal history of recalls and safety issues. Their quality control and production facilities ensure consistently high standards.
Royal Canin Dog Food Reviews from Pet Owners
What do real customers think of Royal Canin dog food? Here are some common pros and cons from buyer reviews:
- Picky dogs seem to love the taste
- Formulas catered to specific breed or health needs
- Kibble texture and shape designed for a dog’s jaw type
- Notices improvements in skin, coat, energy etc.
- Vets often recommend Royal Canin diabetic, renal etc formulas
- Puppies transition well to the puppy recipes
- Consistent results when fed exclusively
- Expensive for the quality of ingredients
- Controversial grains like corn frequently used
- Some dogs don’t like the hard texture of the kibble
- Caused diarrhea or allergic reactions in some dogs
- Lots of filler ingredients like wheat, corn, rice
- More vets promote due to marketing vs nutrition
The majority of buyers are pleased with the specialized formulas from Royal Canin. However, many feel the price doesn’t match the average quality of ingredients used. Large amounts of grains and fillers seem to cause digestive upset in some dogs as well.
Royal Canin Dog Food – Everything Pet Owners Must Know
Is Royal Canin a high-quality dog food brand?
Royal Canin is an average quality dog food brand. They use some high-quality proteins like chicken meal or fish meal. However, they also rely heavily on cheaper fillers like corn, wheat and brewer’s rice. Their recipes cater to specific breeds, sizes and health needs, but the ingredient quality isn’t considered premium.
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Is Royal Canin worth the price?
Royal Canin is generally more expensive than competitors with similar ingredient quality. They invest heavily in research, customized kibble shapes and veterinary formulas. However, many feel corn, wheat and other controversial ingredients should be limited in premium-priced dog food.
Does Royal Canin tailor recipes to a dog’s breed?
Yes, Royal Canin designs specific formulas to meet the unique nutritional requirements of certain dog breeds. For example, their Boxer formula supports muscle tone. The Chihuahua recipe contains tailored calories and antioxidants. And the Dachshund formula includes joint support.
Is Royal Canin dog food better than Purina?
Royal Canin and Purina both produce average quality dog foods at relatively affordable prices. Purina relies more on corn in their formulas while Royal Canin uses brewer’s rice as a key filler. Both brands have breed-specific diets but Royal Canin is generally more expensive.
Is Royal Canin linked to any lawsuits?
Royal Canin hasn’t faced any major lawsuits or legal issues. In 2021, a few lawsuits were filed after dogs were sickened by a recalled formula. But Royal Canin worked quickly to contain the issue and settle any claims. Overall, they have avoided major legal scandals.
The Bottom Line – Is Royal Canin Worth Trying for Your Dog?
Royal Canin offers precisely formulated nutrition for a dog’s specific needs and stage of life. The brand has extensive expertise in crafting customized recipes with kibble designed to promote chewing and dental health.
However, serious dog owners should examine the ingredient lists closely. Corn, wheat, rice and other fillers appear frequently – even in premium-priced formulas. While great for breed or condition-specific needs, Royal Canin may not be the best choice for everyday nutrition for all dogs.
Focus on your individual dog’s sensitivities and nutritional requirements. Royal Canin can provide tailored recipes to address certain health issues under veterinary guidance. But for a foundational diet, you may want to avoid heav