Royal Canin Dog Food Review
- High standard of production and quality control
Royal Canin comes with French flair, but it’s just one of the many Mars brands of pet food. Arguably it’s the most “premium” Mar brands compared to Advance, Optimum, Nutro, Iams, Pedigree, My Dog, and bottom dollar budget “food” Good-o, but it’s still a Mars brand.
We’ll take a look at Medium Adult as a benchmark for our Royal Canin dog food review.
What the marketing says
Royal Canin use the slogan “Health Nutrition Since 1968”. That doesn’t mean their food is formulated primarily for the nutritional needs of your dog. Keep in mind it’s a product, designed for profit, and Mars makes a very lucrative profit out of this brand.
Don’t be fooled by Royal Canin breed specific formulas either. Any solid premium pet food should cover nutritional basis of any dogs regardless of breed. If your specific breed is prone to specific conditions then there’s no reason you can’t address those with supplements, either from natural ingredients or from a pet store. Breed specific formulas offer Royal Canin an excellent marketing angle.
What the labelling really says
There are four main ingredients in the food, so don’t be duped by “meat as the first ingredient”. The 2nd and 3rd ingredients happen to be corn and… more corn 🤷 This is a cunning labeling trick known as “ingredient splitting” where an ingredient is split into two to make another ingredient (meat) look more significant. It’s possible there’s twice as much corn (maize) in the formula as meat, and given the 4th ingredient is wheat flour we’re likely faced with 3 parts grain to 1 part meat.
Not the “premium” canine diet we were expecting?
The 7th ingredient is more wheat, and given it’s known to be one of the most common causes of allergies and itchy skin that’s not good. Ironically, if your dog develops an allergy or itchy skin your vet will recommended a scientific “sensitive” formula, likely from Royal Canin (or Hill’s). There’s no real science though, it’s just that sensitive anti-allergy formulas don’t contain common allergens, like wheat.
Credit where credit’s due, larger manufacturers have better regulation and standards within their factories. Combined with better quality control we have some assurances with standard.
Unfortunately when it comes to “prescription” diets, or diets targeted at specific breeds, then Hill’s and Royal Canin are the only options. Generally Royal Canin formulas seem marginally better than Hills, and with both brands the wet foods tend to have significantly more meat compared to the grain-based dry formulas.
The protein in Royal Canin Medium Adult is a mediocre 25%, and with a fat percentage of 14 we can guestimate the food is around 45% carbohydrates, mostly from grains. That isn’t great, and not what you would expect given the premium price.
Many premium dog foods these days opt for natural preservatives to extend shelf life. This doesn’t seem to be the case with any of the Mars product, with Royal Canin being no exception. There’s some concern about ambiguous antioxidants, which is what we find included here.
Royal Canin Dog Food Review Summary
It’s a shame how limited we are with prescription diets for our pets, with Hill’s (Colgate-Palmolive) and Royal Canin (Mars) being the only companies large enough to offer such a wide and cleverly devised range. The dry foods all seem to be grain-heavy and high carbohydrates, which doesn’t conform to what we know about even basic canine nutrition, let alone specific health conditions.
Overall Royal Canin dry dog foods contain a great deal of corn and allergenic grains like wheat. If you’re worried about the health of your pet it’s worth researching more natural diets for their condition, and tailor a diet to suit. If you wish to go with Royal Canin (perhaps at the recommendation of your vet), then opt for the wet over the dry, or at least a mixture of both.
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Dehydrated poultry protein, maize flour, maize, wheat flour, animal fats, dehydrated pork protein, wheat, hydrolysed animal proteins, beet pulp, fish oil, minerals, soya oil, yeasts and parts thereof, hydrolysed yeast (source of manno-oligosaccharides (0.05%)). ADDITIVES (per kg): Nutritional additives: Vitamin A: 12500 IU, Vitamin D3: 800 IU, E1 (Iron): 43 mg, E2 (Iodine): 4.3 mg, E4 (Copper): 13 mg, E5 (Manganese): 55 mg, E6 (Zinc): 133 mg, E8 (Selenium): 0.11 mg – Preservatives – Antioxidants.
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 44.9%|
- High standard of production and quality control
- Formulated mostly with corn and wheat