Royal Canin is one of the largest breed-specific dog food manufacturers in the world. However, being big isn’t always a good thing. Royal Canin dry dog foods have quite a bit of by-products and lower protein/carb ratios.
Royal Canin Pet Food Reviews
Based out of a massive headquarters in the south of France, Royal Canin boasts having “one of the world’s most advanced pet food manufacturing facilities.” The company also maintains a US headquarters in St. Charles, Missouri, as well as manufacturing facilities in both Missouri and South Dakota, and works under the idea that “that pets are not people; they are unique animals with unique nutritional needs that are distinctly different from our own” according to their website.
About Royal Canin
Royal Canin was founded by French veterinarian Dr. Jean Cathary back in 1968 with the mission to specifically cater to the needs of pets themselves, not only what the pet owners believe the pets may want. As a result of this mission, Royal Canin has been able to stay at the cutting edge of pet food science, often finding themselves well ahead of many of their competitors, who often succumb to the latest fads of the industry. Because of Jean Cathary’s goal, Royal Canin dog food is considered by many dog owners pet food that they wouldn’t even swap for another brand. Royal Canin earns a spot on our list of recommended dog foods for pugs.
Quality of Ingredients
All of the food sold in the United States comes directly from US sources, and most Royal Canin food varieties consist of chicken meals, chicken by-products, chicken fat, and a variety of healthy grains. The company promises that only high-quality by-products such as hearts, livers, and lungs make their way into Royal Canin dry dog food; nonetheless, it’s still by-products.
Is Royal Canin High Quality Food?
After looking over some of their ingredients, it is safe to say that the quality of their ingredients is lower than other leading dog food brands. Brands that offer high quality dog food do not use animal by-product the majority of the time.
Here are some of the ingredients in the Royal Canin product line that caught our eye:
Chicken By-Product Meal
Chicken meal is a powder protein made of dried chicken meat. The meal in Royal Canin food is made of meat by-products.
Chicken fat is one of the top 10 ingredients in most Royal Canin products. This is a by-product that is produced during chicken meal production.
Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal is essentially corn protein; this is also known as maize. What is in your dog food when you see ‘corn gluten meal’ on the ingredients list is a corn by-product.
Fish Oil – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
These are great for your dog’s skin and coat. Just like eating more fish makes our hair shine and skin glow, it does the same to our pets.
Royal Canin also often adds in a variety of vitamins and minerals based on the specific dog’s needs, such as glucosamine and/or chondroitin for breeds prone to joint problems.
Dry Dog Food Product Line
Royal Canin produces a huge variety of foods, catering to most of the standard pure dog breeds individually, but they also have size based selections for those with non-purebreeds. Even further, the company manufactures a different product for each stage of life for those breeds, and often even manufactures sensitive stomach and other specialty choices as well.
This is great if you have more than one dog at home that are different ages and sizes. You can stick to one brand of food and buy your large breed dog and small breed dog the Royal Canin food regardless of their size and life stages.
All of the choices come in wet and dry forms and have specific feeding instructions printed on the sides.
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According to their website, “from a 2 lb. Chihuahua to a 200 lb. Mastiff, different-sized dogs have very different physiological needs, which can make finding the right nutrition complicated. That’s why Royal Canin addresses each size, lifestyle and breed with diets tailor-made for their unique characteristics.”
This means that that standard Royal Canin food comes in four varieties (Mini, Medium, Maxi, and Giant), each catering directly to the needs of dogs within a certain size range. Larger dogs, for example, have additional supplements added to their diet to promote joint health, while smaller dogs need extra vitamins and minerals to sustain their high energy lifestyles.
If your dog suffers from food allergies, there is a grain free food option too. It is important to feed your furry friend food that won’t upset their tummies.
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrtion
Royal Canin gets specific with the Breed Health line, offering dozens of specialized choices that cater directly to the exact breed and meet their unique nutritional needs. And they can get pretty specific too, even making a distinction between golden and Labrador retrievers (according to the website “Both Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers have a scissor bite, but Labrador Retrievers have a tendency to eat more quickly, so they benefit from a kibble that slows them down and encourages them to chew.”)
Royal Canin Breed dog food health benefits and nutrition are specific for each breed of dog. With that kind of scientific dedication, it is easy to see why Royal Canin has stayed at the top of the pet food industry for as long as they have.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
Some dogs might need a specialized diet because of certain health problems, and Royal has a line for that as well. Available for both dogs and cats, the Veterinary Diet line has choices for a wide variety of ailments, ranging from calming support for more stressed or skittish animals to a Hepatic blend made for animals with liver issues. Treats and even vegetarian options are available from this line as well, ensuring that all dogs can be kept happy and healthy.
Royal Canin Lifestyle Health Nutrition
Royal Canin realizes that not all dogs of the same breed lead the same kind of life, and so they introduced the Lifestyle Health line to work with this fact. With three different products (Urban, Indoor, and Sporting), Lifestyle Health allows owns to better tailor their pet’s diets to their activity levels. Each variety also comes in size and age specific formulas, and are also available in canned form.
Product Line Pros:
- The Veterinary Diets line caters to dogs with specific needs
- Food available all sizes
- Caters to all stages of a dog’s life
Product Line Cons:
- Made with animal by-product
- Low carbohydrate and protein content
Royal Canin Dog Food Recall History
To the best of our knowledge, Royal Canin has only ever been recalled 3 times in its history. The first time was due to an excess level of vitamin D in their food. The recall was issued on February 3, 2006 and was for the following items:
- Veterinary Diet Canine Urinary SO Dog Food (13.6 oz. cans)
- Veterinary Diet Canine Low Fat LF Dog Food (13.6 oz. cans)
- Veterinary Diet Canine Calorie Control CC In Gel Dog Food (12.7 oz. cans)
- Veterinary Diet Feline Sensitivity VR Cat Food (5.8 oz. cans)
- Veterinary Diet Feline Calorie Control CC Cat Food (5.8 oz. cans)
- Veterinary Diet Feline Renal LP Cat Food (3 oz. pouch)
The second recall was issued on April 19, 2007 due to melamine derivatives in the rice protein concentrate. The following products were recalled:
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Early Cardiac EC 22
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Skin Support SS21
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Feline Hypoallergenic HP23
- Royal Canin Sensible Choice Chicken Meal & Rice Formula Senior
- Royal Canin Sensible Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Puppy
- Royal Canin Sensible Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Adult
- Royal Canin Sensible Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Senior
- Royal Canin Sensible Choice Rice & Catfish Meal Formula Adult
Finally, the third and last recall was on May 11, 2007 and was due to a fear of melamine contamination in the following products:
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE Chicken and Rice Adult (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE Chicken and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE Lamb and Rice Reduced (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE Chicken and Rice Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE Chicken and Rice Large Breed Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE NATURAL BLEND Adult (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE NATURAL BLEND Senior (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin SENSIBLE CHOICE NATURAL BLEND Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin KASCO Chunks (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin KASCO Hi Energy (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin KASCO Maintenance (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin KASCO Mealettes (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin KASCO Mini Chunks (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin KASCO Puppy (Dry Dog Food)
- Royal Canin KASCO Cat (Dry Cat Food)
Is Royal Canin Worth the Money?
What do you think? In our opinion they are worth the money if your dog likes it. They aren’t a bad brand by any stretch of the imagination and sure are worth trying, especially if your dog has specific dietary needs.
Where to Buy
Royal Canin can be found in most major pet food retailers, as well as a number of smaller stores. Additionally, pet owners can simply order directly from the company’s website, or even through websites such as Amazon.com.
Many of the veterinary diet brands, however, will require a prescription, and as such often might only be available through a veterinarian.