Ol’ Roy Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Ol’ Roy dog food receives the Advisor’s lowest tier rating of 1 star.

The Ol’ Roy product line includes six dry dog foods, all claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Ol’ Roy Puppy Complete
  • Ol’ Roy High Performance
  • Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition
  • Ol’ Roy Meaty Chunks & Gravy
  • Ol’ Roy Krunchy Bites and Bones
  • Ol’ Roy Kibbles, Chunks and Chews

Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Ol' Roy Complete Nutrition

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 57%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), corn gluten meal, natural flavor, brewers rice, salt, potassium chloride, color added (titanium dioxide, yellow #5, yellow #6, red #40, blue #2), choline chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, niacin, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, manganous oxide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%11%57%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%26%52%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

The third ingredient is soybean meal. Soybean meal is relatively useful by-product — what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

The fifth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized livestock.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

We do not consider generic animal fat — especially when preserved with BHA — a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

After the natural flavor, we find brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

Next, this dog food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Ol’ Roy Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Ol’ Roy Dog Food appears to be a below-average kibble.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 24%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the soybean meal and corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Ol’ Roy is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

10/30/2010 Original review
08/06/2012 Review updated
08/06/2012 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  • cawgrl87

    Around 1 or 2 is when allergy symptoms show. I would guess your dog has an allergy to an ingredient. My dog had a reaction to kibble and bits so I switched him back to pure balance. Its grain free and main ingredient is meat. Its twice as much as old roy but they really do eat less if it’s good quality. Wal-Mart is 45 minutes away so when I can’t make it there, I buy Lassie from dollar General. Its middle grade but decent protien and also grain free. I’d switch the dog food asap. If it’s allergies, the rash may turn into a bloody infected mess.

  • cawgrl87

    I typically feed pure balance but was looking for something cheaper. U get what u pay for. After coming home and reading this, I regret buying the 50 lb bag. Won’t buy it again. I’ll stick with pure balance who’s main ingredient is a named meat source and who lacks grains and other known allergens. Just have to grit my teeth at checkout.

  • Mandy

    We fed this (rotating ole roy flavors) to our beautiful husky mix. We got her around 6 weeks old and she died 5 months shy of her 18th birthday. She was a farm dog. We never knew it was a “bad” food. It was cheap and she liked it. She died of old age…slightly deaf and blind the last year or so…but other than that healthy. You didn’t break your dog 14 years ago. You bought into the hype that you weren’t doing good enough for your baby and wanted to do better. Not all dogs are the same. About a year after she died we learned about the dog food adviser. We gradually switched or remaining dog who was only a few years old at the time to Blue Buffalo. He got bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Tried other foods…he had nasty stools and gas on all of them. He’s now on 4Health but not as healthy looking as he was on the cheap food. I’m sick of spending so much money on expensive foods. We’re trying to figure out what to do next.

  • Danielle

    I’ve feed this to my dog for his whole life he’s 17 years old. Never had a problem until now with my American Bulldog/Pitbull I think she’s allergic to an ingredient plus she has loose poop. I know it’s not good food, but affordable. I’m looking at switching to Pure Balance or Kirklands.

  • Drako Marley

    dont worry this site is on my blocklist as of now i dont put up wiith nazis on the internet.

  • Drako Marley

    lol wrong when did i say that?

  • Betsy Greer

    I know what you’re feeding your dog, because you said you were feeding Ol’ Roy and I was polite in my response to you.

    No need to be so rude.

    BTW, I don’t have the ability to delete posts and I didn’t even flag yours.

  • LabsRawesome

    Actually the video was uploaded in March of 2011, which is 3 years, not 4. I am sure you did not watch the video, as your only purpose here is to flame. The video has pertinent information on how to choose a dog food. Not that you care.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Your comment was deleted because you used indecent language. Posting here is a privilege.

    If you continue with your discourteous behavior, you will permanently forfeit your posting privileges.

    Please consider yourself duly warned.

  • Jo Lene Dawn Sonesen

    I feed my dogs Taste of the Wild I was reading the feeding instructions on O’Roy’s food 5-6 cups twice a day. I feed my dogs 2 cups twice a day. I guess you have to feed so much because there is nothing good in it.

  • Drako Marley

    lol what how do you know what im feeding my dog internet palmreader nice going btw deleting my comment just cuz i said 4 year info/video was useless