Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix (Tubs)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

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Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix product line lists four tubbed dog foods, each 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 Healthy Mix Beef Stew
  • Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix Rice and Lamb Stew
  • Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix Simmered Chicken Stew
  • Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix Chicken and Beef Medley

Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix Rice and Lamb Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Ol' Roy Healthy Mix Rice and Lamb Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 47%

Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, rice, lamb, peas, carrots, vegetable oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), vitamin and mineral (calcium pantothenate, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin, thiamine hydrochloride, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese sulfate, folic acid, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement), tapioca starch, salt, potato starch, inulin, yeast extract, turmeric

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%2%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%9%47%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%21%44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fourth ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2

Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fifth ingredient mentions peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).

Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.

A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.

However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.

That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago3, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.

So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.

In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

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 Healthy Mix Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix looks like an above-average wet dog food.

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 36%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 47%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 9%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 25%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix is a plant-based wet product using a moderate amount of chicken or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

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

09/01/2012 Original review
03/16/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  3. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances
  • Storm’s Mom

    Sorry Maskwright totally missed your original post when I responded to Katie. Did you happen to notice the expiration date on the gravy mix? Just wondering if that had anything to do with what happened to your poor girl? Hopefully she’s all better now? That’s some pretty awful customer service though, wow. I’d steer clear of any company who doesn’t answer phones, even more so if they didn’t call me back.

  • Maskwright

    I change my dogs food regularly so that she would be used to a variety of food. When she was a puppy, she got an upset stomach once transitioning to dog food and the symptoms caused by it weren’t even close to what happened the night I gave her the gravy mix. I even mixed the pack with her food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That isn’t necessarily true. If you always leave your dog on the same food long term, you are creating a situation in your dog that sets it up for stomach upset. If you change your dogs food regularly their stomach and intestines stays healthier and they don’t have problems with food changes. My dogs’ kibble changes weekly and their raw food change every meal and they have not had diarrhea in over a year and a half since I started feeding this way. Variety supports a wider range of probiotics in the gut and that gives a nice boost to the immune system and helps your dog handle things that are not it’s normal food.
    Many of us here practice rotational feeding.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I’d agree that the 1st change or the 1st few changes can be hard on a dog’s system, but once the dog is used to changing foods randomly, there is no need to do it gradually. The inability to switch instantly is a sign of an unhealthy gut. For example, the 1st couple times my guy switched foods (between 2 totally different brands, protein sources, etc) he had a bit of a rough go, but he can now have 1 kibble in the morning and another totally different one at night without any ill effects. I can switch foods whenever I want, to/from whatever I want, and he’ll be just fine to make an “instant switch”. Digestive enzymes and probiotics can help to strengthen the gut over a relatively short period of time to make this easy transition possible, as can canned pure pumpkin.

  • Katie Adeline Slone

    changing food is always hard on a dog’s system, it needs to be done gradually

  • Jdode

    The thing that almost everybody misses is the amount of dry dog food that has to be fed to the dog. Ol’ Roy requires you to feed the dog twice the amount as Iams. Buyers see a 30 lb bag of Ol’ Roy for $14 and a 30 lb bag of Iams for $28 and they think they’re saving lots of money. However, they forget to look at the serving size. They actually end up buying twice as much of the Ol Roy, in order for the dog to get all the nutrition required for their size. Why would anyone want to clean up twice as much poo? Look at the serving size! You will be shocked.

  • Jules Rose

    No, no no no, that last paragraph is so incorrect. Many dogs “survive” on this food, much like you could survive on eating your own excrement every day, but you can almost guarantee most of those dogs are not healthy and will have a much shorter life span than dogs that are actually well taken care of.

  • dogboy

    Why is it that people who feed their dogs such cheap, low quality foods like Ol Roy always feel the need to attack those who provide information to help pet owners make healthy choices for their pets? Is it a guilt thing, or a lack of concern for their pets health thing?

  • dogboy

    Feeding Ol Roy is like feeding your kids McDonalds. Of course they love it, but its not healthy for them in any way.

  • Lizvilla

    I am going to be a jerk, but it needs to be said: if you can’t afford to feed a dog properly then you really shouldn’t have one in the first place. Ol’Roy and all the other cheap brands are garbage.

  • InkedMarie

    A couple things: whomever told you that Old Roy was a better brand is wrong. Two, when you add new food to your dogs current diet, you need to add a little at a time, transition slowly. That’s probably why she had the diarrhea

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    Another victim of the “too good to be true” saying. Sorry you had to go through that.

  • Maskwright

    I took my dog to the groomers one day and decided to pass the time at Walmart. I thought I’d get my dog a treat for suffering through a bath and came upon ol Roy gravy mix. It was 95 cents and someone had told me it was one of the better brands to buy that wouldn’t hurt my wallet. So when I got home with my dog I opened the pack and mixed it with her regular dry food. She ate it all and the day went on like normal until about 9 at night. Every hour until about 3am we were running outside because of her diariah. She would then go inside and shake and cry. Sadly the diariah didn’t end for 24 hours. She wouldn’t eat or drink. It scared me to death. I called the number on the bag but they never answered or called me back. iwill never buy or recommend this to anyone.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Diana Gillihan –

    Even though your dogs like Ol’ Roy – it’s really really bad, about as bad as it gets. If you’re going to continue feeding the Ol’ Roy I’d suggest looking into the Healthy Mix Tubs for canned food (what this review is for – it sounds like you’re just feeding the regular “meatloaf” canned) and Ol’ Roy Pure Balance. Both, while not the best foods available, are a huge step up from the regular Ol’ Roy dry and canned food. Your dogs will thank you for it. :)

  • Diana Gillihan

    i like ingredients of Ol Roy and all my dogs love the canned,dry variety, and all the treats.Two of my dogs are 16 yrs old. Even my cats beg for a taste of the canned Meatloaf when i open it for the dogs-they like it better than their canned catfood!.

  • Celry

    My teckel/jack russell mix has had an operation to remove oxalate stones from his BLADDER, not kidney.  Vet suggested giving him some wet food every day to increase the amount of moisture intake.  I found Ol’Roy Chicken Lamb and Rice in large cans perfect as I needed to keep his protein in check but wanted chicken as the first ingredient instead of by-product.   He loves it and he’s doing very well.  

  • Diane

    More great information! Thank you so much. You have been so helpful!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    You’re welcome!  I just hope they’re willing to give you the information you need!  Another food made at a human facility is The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food.  You add water and serve.  When I make it I actually like it to soak overnight.  It is not a raw food.

  • Diane

    Oh, Sandy, thank you so much for taking the time to provide me with so much wonderful information. How kind of you!  I want you to know that I am truly most appreciative of your kindness.  I will call Ol’ Roy – now that I know what to ask!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I would contact Ol Roy and ask if this food is made in a human food plant or not and see if they give you more info on the plant.  I use Weruva which is made in Thailand in a human food plant which they explain on their website:

    http://weruva.com/safety-first.php

    Also wanted to note that Vital Life Cuisine is almost identical:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/vitalife-cuisine-dog-food/

    http://www.vitalifemadewithlove.com/

    Maybe they’re made in the same place??

  • Diane

    My main concern is that this is a product of Thailand.
    Is my concern a legitimate one? I have tried top quality dog food for my dog
    and he just pushes his bowl around and won’t eat it. I end up throwing it out.
    However, he LOVES Ol’ Roy’s Simmered Chicken Stew and gobbles it down and looks
    for more. I would feel much better if it was made in America. Thoughts
    welcomed  . . .

  • LabsRawesome

     Hey Betsy, I think owner is one of those “wacky” people that thinks Ol’roy is a great food…..lol

  • LabsRawesome

     Hi Ownerofahappydog, Thank You…. I take that as a compliment.  :)  I am guessing that you feed Ol’roy? If so I don’t believe your dog is as happy as you might think…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Hi Ownerofhappydog,

    Be careful, or I’ll count you amongst the wacky dog nuts on DFA. I mean, why else would you be here if you weren’t one? ; )

  • Ownerofhappydog

    The wacky dog nuts are out again….

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Valerie……….

    You are so right!! They even use the bad plastic for their tubs. What ever the label might or might not say I would not trust them. 

  • Valerie Noyes

    Yep, and I’ll feel better about their efforts when the original Ol’ Roy line is gone.  Not everyone is going to get educated or in a lot of cases even care.  So the truly dangerous foods like this, Beneful, Alpo, etc just have to go.

  • http://www.prairie-creations.com/ Krissy

     At least Ol’ Roy IS TRYING, and they are producing a better quality product.  Some of that is because their customers are becoming educated and switching to other brands so they are losing money.   So they want to win those customers back. 

    So for those that need to buy their dog food locally in walmart this is at least an option that is a step up from trash.   Between the wet Healthy Mix (the healthy mix kibble is trash, it’s compared to Beneful!) and their Pure Balance at least walmart shoppers have a good wet and dry option to pick from that are decent quality.  I wonder why they didn’t make their two better quality foods to have the same name and are part of a “line” of foods.   But then their Healthy Mix is supposed to be like the beneful tubs which is cheaper than the beneful tubs and is better quality.  So why is anyone still feeding beneful tubs I wonder. 

    But at least they are trying…. which is a lot more than some other brands right now.

  • Valerie Noyes

    EvesHumanMom, I really hope that all of the criticism and reviews are making an impact on some of the more notorious dog food brands.  If so, we need to keep it up and spread the word even more.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to think we could really make a difference?  We need to have minimum quality standards in place.  Having limited means shouldn’t mean people have to play russian roulette with their dogs lives.

  • EvesHumanMom

    Hi, Delgada Dawn,
    I see your point about people who have different expectations and needs, but with the criticism, at least people who come to DFA know what they are getting into.  Also, I can’t help but think the negative criticisms are part of the reason why Ol’ Roy now has this healthy mix and Hill’s is reformulating to include better ingredients.

  • Delgada Dawn

    People need to stop being so critical with Ol’ Roy. Walmart makes FOOD. Thats it! Its not for people who do research on calories and amounts of fat vs carbs. Its for people who need to keep their dog alive with the money they have! I would love to pick up a 50 lb bag of food for $25, but I can AFFORD to get something I’m more comfortable with. Some people think dog food is the same and some people just don’t care. The cheaper the ingredients, the cheaper the food.

    So don’t “dog” Walmart and their brand! *pun intended*
    Scoff all you want, hundreds of thousands of dogs do just fine on this food throughout the world.

  • http://www.prairie-creations.com/ Krissy

    Thanks for doing a review on this food Mike!!!!!!

    Mike do you happen to know the actual calorie count per tub?  I never did get a straight answer on that one so I’m sorta winging it.

    After we switched our dogs off beneful I ran into a problem of one of our three NOT wanting to eat another kibble as well as several canned brands that I bought.  I bought a couple of these as a last ditch effort to find a food local that she would eat.   She does eat this food.  But after giving our second dog a taste of it he now turns his nose up at most other 4-5 star brands and does his happy dog dance just before his bowl hits the floor.  So I guess three and a half stars could be a lot worse, I’m just glad to find something that my little female dog likes. 

    But I do add in a little bit of Blue Buffalo Wilderness (grain-free) kibble (1 oz) and a bit of raw beef (chuck roast diced, NOT ground) or chicken/turkey breast diced up (1 oz).  I don’t cook either of those meats and they are left raw.  Then add a bit of water to make a gravy of sorts with 2.3 oz of the wet healthy mix food and she gobbles that down just fine.  If I feed her more she doesn’t finish it and if I feed her less she’s still hungry so that seems to be the magic number for her.  She’s not a good eater to start with.   My male dog that is a bit overweight and bigger gets a bit more food than our smaller female.  While our larger golden retriever has a different diet but still a mixture of grain-free kibble and a 1/2 can of wet.   

  • victoria

    wow, I’m shocked that ol roy actually has a decent food, not that I would buy it, but another option for wal mart shoppers. 

  • Dog Food Ninja

    I know that we question products that have too much fat… but this product is shockingly low in fat, particularly for a wet food.  Fat is an essential nutrient, and carbs are not.  One thing I have been looking at a lot lately in the Paleo diet is the disagreement different sects have around appropriate fat level.  My two cents on that, and in dog’s ancestral diet, can be summed up in two words: bone marrow.  Yes, most game meat is lean.  But, in both dogs and prehistoric man, the hunter would have selected the fattiest parts to eat first, and would have certainly eaten the bone marrow which is highly fatty.  Calories from fat are extremely important to balance out calories from protein.  Too many calories from protein without fat can lead to protein toxicity.  The Inuit Indians noted a condition they called “rabbit starvation” which is when all they could hunt was rabbit, which is so lean, people would still physically starve even though they were in fact eating.  A dog would eat the entire rabbit.  And the marrow in all the little bones in the rabbit’s body would help balance out the protein overload.  I don’t buy the “low fat/low carb/high protein Paleo, nor do I think it’s good for dogs.  Now, in this case there is enough calories from the carbohydrates to more than balance out the protein, but as we all know, those aren’t the good calories.  Fat and protein are.  In any account, I remain unmoved by Ol’ Roy’s tub ‘o’ chicken flavored rice.  But it is certainly better than their dry death-in-a-bag food.  lol           

  • Dave’s Hounds

    Yes Monkey – I always need to add that my exception is Ziwipeak. Sorry I left that out.

  • monkey

    This is in no way supposed to be rude. But don’t you use ziwipeak air dried? Or only the canned?

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I wouldn’t buy any foods made outside of the USA

  • richard lavigne

    In canada, the old roy pet food in can are manufactured in Canada.
    Is it the same quality or better than the products évaluated

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZOHT6ZZJUDBYNJDVMFQM6KVOWU TheyCallUsMonmouth

    Walmart actually made an “above-average” food. Props to them, maybe I can switch back soon when I get more money lining my wallet. :P

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    First one!!  FYI: this is made in Thailand and distributed by Ol’ Roy.