Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult (Dry)


Rating: ★★★½☆

Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult product line includes 13 dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

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

  • Royal Canin Pug 25
  • Royal Canin Boxer 26
  • Royal Canin Poodle 30
  • Royal Canin Bulldog 24
  • Royal Canin Chihuahua
  • Royal Canin Shih Tzu 24
  • Royal Canin Dachshund 28
  • Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel 25
  • Royal Canin Golden Retriever 25
  • Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier 28
  • Royal Canin Labrador Retriever 30
  • Royal Canin German Shepherd 24
  • Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer 25

Royal Canin Boxer 26 was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Boxer 26

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, chicken fat, oat groats, wheat gluten, pork meal, natural chicken flavor, dried beet pulp, sodium silico aluminate, pea fiber, fish oil, vegetable oil, dried tomato pomace, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, potassium citrate, sodium tripolyphosphate, dl-methionine, hydrolyzed yeast, taurine, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), inositol, niacin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, l-carnitine, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), l-tyrosine, tea, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%19%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%21%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%41%35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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 chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.

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

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low 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.

The seventh ingredient includes pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

After the natural chicken flavor, we find beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

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 six notable exceptions

First, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, we note the inclusion of 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.

In addition, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

Next, pea fiber is a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no nutritional value to a dog.

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

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult looks like an average dry 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 29%, a fat level of 21% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten contained in this recipe, and the corn gluten meal and soy protein isolate contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken and chicken meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.


Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Those looking for a similar dry dog food for puppies from the same company may wish to visit our review of Royal Canin Breed-Specific Puppy food.

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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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

01/23/2010 Original review
02/16/2014 Last Update

  • Robert McCarthy

    Beau is a Berger Picard, He’s quite a handful, 2+ years old.

  • Robert McCarthy

    Thank you!

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hi David-
    I am glad to hear it works for you. I think that should be the owners number one concern-Does it work for my pet? If the answer is yes, your happy with it, great!
    I want to offer a different perspective :) My dogs eat a varied diet-dry(rotated varieties, brands etc) canned, dehydrated, raw. In the dry, While I tend to feed more grain free type foods, I have no problems rotating in grains from time to time. Several of my dogs have recently gone in for their checkups, and passed with flying colors-including full bloodwork-and they are from 1 yr old to 15 and 1/2 years old.
    Its all about what works for your individual pet, but we must also not fool ourselves into thinking that doing well on something equates to “top quality” or the best of ingredients. I fed proplan for years and my dogs did great on it-BUT, it was my unhappiness with the quality of ingredients that caused me to seek out other alternatives for them-and, I am glad that I did.

  • David Tudor

    well said. The RC German Shepard is a great breed specific food. They really have the knowledge and science to deliver a great product.

  • David Tudor

    Insider perspective: I just (very) recently left RC to move to another State, Ohio. I was what they call a “nutritional advisor”. My 12 years as a Human nutrition and medical experience meant nothing to my job relating to Dogs and Cats. I realize my background was beneficial yet highly useless when relating to an omnivore (dog) and carnivore (cat) diets of animals.

    I am amazed daily by the ignorance of Humans who believe their pet must be exactly like them: “I’m a vegetarian, so my dog must be vegan.” I don’t LIKE corn, so my dog is allergic to corn.”

    Seriously, I know for a FACT that the breed specific RC diets are studied, tested and researched for over two years with 100% success before release. If they fail by 1-2% after the study, they start over. PERIOD.
    I am proud to tell you that my Maltese had her 1 1/2 year check up. He told me: “in 23 years, I have never seen a more perfect specimen of a Maltese. This is Best of Show Material. Perfect Heart, bones, eyes, coat…
    My goodness what are you feeding her?”

    I told him she has only had Royal Canin, and no table food.
    “That must be it,” he said.
    I corrected, “Actually, she has never had tap water, only filtered; NOT distilled. Plus daily exercise and grooming with lots of love.”
    So, in my humble opinion, MY DOG does great on the food. As a realist, I know that dogs are all different and have different needs. The breed specific is great for most of its specified breed, but nothing is perfect for the 90 million different dogs. I am sad to read the “internet bullies” comments, but hope you get some insight from someone on the inside.
    It works for me, and I know many people who swear by it. I also know some who don’t know what they are talking about who are put in positions to criticize without merit. Just my opinion.

  • Robert McCarthy

    Thank you!

  • John Modell

    My goodness… What emotions and biased opinions flying around in here!! Every dog (like every person) is different, so different foods are going to have varying effects on different dogs. I have a 3yo German Shepherd. He had the typical tummy problems (soft & runny) and itchy skin. I went through a dozen different food approaches including THE most expensive, and the whole/organic etc. etc. etc. -all to NO avail! The ONLY food that has given my boy normal and good digestion, and no more itching, was the Royal Canin GSD 24 formula. You can go on and on and on and on and on and on… debating this one, but for WHATEVER reason, this stuff works for a lot of Shepherds. Just look at actual reviews on different sites, and you will see that 95% of GSD owners who post (so many with the typical GSD “issues”) swear by this stuff. ‘Nuff said – everybody can now put away their “opinions and analysis”. :-)

  • InkedMarie

    Check the date of my album. You may have been looking at his puppy pictures. There are other pictures but not sure where.

  • Betsy Greer

    That’s funny. I just looked at your pictures and Beau is much smaller than I thought he would be from Bob’s pictures. He’s cute. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Berger Picard in person.

  • InkedMarie

    Lol, beaus cute, bobs good looking. You can find an album in my pictures on fb, I think entitled “meeting Beau”

  • Betsy Greer

    Bob? Or Beau? ; )

  • InkedMarie

    He is!!!

  • InkedMarie

    The infamous Beau! Lol, I know Bob & Beau in real life. He’s on the cover of “In the Company of Dogs”! Also, I saw him in our local newspaper today!

  • Crazy4cats

    I saw the pic of your guy. Very handsome indeed. I love his ears. My dogs’ ears are floppy and I’m always envious of the stand up type. Best wishes.

  • Robert McCarthy

    I pay about the same as Blue Buffalo

  • Pattyvaughn

    He’s cute!

  • Robert McCarthy

    My Berger Picard, Beau.

  • InkedMarie

    Nice seeing you here! Share a picture of Beau!

  • Robert McCarthy


  • InkedMarie


  • Crazy4cats

    I’m sorry, I don’t feed RC, so I don’t pay anything for it. I’m feeding Victor right now. I have fed Kirkland in the past with similar ingredients to RC at half the price. Like I said, if it is working for you, it’s probably worth the price. I know what it is like going thru several foods getting frustrated. I just wish RC didn’t cost so much.

  • Robert McCarthy

    My Berger Picard does well on Royal Canine German Shepherd 24. It’s a good food.

  • dchassett

    There have been quite a few posts from people with the diarrhea issue and BB. They were also recalled awhile back because of way too much Vitamin D.

  • Robert McCarthy

    Blue Buffalo gave my dog diarrhea.

  • Robert McCarthy

    It costs less than some of them. What do you pay for RC German Shepherd 24?

  • Crazy4cats

    It sounds like it is a good food for your dog. I just can’t help thinking that it is soo expensive for the average ingredients it has. But, I guess if you have struggled finding a food that works for you, it is probably worth the above average price? Best wishes.

  • Robert McCarthy

    it is a good food.

  • Robert McCarthy

    what do you feed?

  • Robert McCarthy

    I tried Merrick, Blue Buffalo, raw and others, too rich for my dog and he got diarrhea. Royal Canin gave him a good stool and he is happy and eating. It works for us. It is a good food.

  • Amanda Rausch

    I basically thought that since breeds like my lab are susceptible to different ailments, this breed specific food was approaching those ailments with different ingredients…. but… I’d love to take the time to compare each label to see how different the foods really are. Lab 30 was supposed to address cataracts since that is an illness labs are prone to. But what exactly is in the food that helps this and how is different than a food for breeds that aren’t known to suffer from cataracts? That is my question.

  • PuppyLover12

    Quit advertising this poor quality food, we’re not buying this garbage.

  • PuppyLover12

    I’d join in any plan to put Royal Canin out of business.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hey Guys,

    Everyone has a right to his own opinion about a particular dog food — even if that opinion doesn’t happen to agree with your own.

    Unfortunately, recent remarks here compel me to remind all involved to adhere to Our Commenting Policy which states:

    “… we delete comments that exceed the boundaries of courteous behavior. This includes remarks that are rude, profane, mean-spirited, disrespectful, lack good manners or otherwise unrelated to the topic at hand.”

    Flagged comments in violation of this rule have been removed.

    Thanks for your understanding. Please be more respectful of fellow contributors when posting.

  • Hot stuff

    Wisdom comes with education not the types of comments from self proclaimed experts

  • LabsRawesome

    Oh yeah, I miss good ol whats his name? Joe, 102 sparki, Alex, Peter, Simon, Laura, Dogsonthehill, I’m sure I missed about 10 other names that person posted under.

  • Shawna

    Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Meg Smart taught clinical nutrition for over 30 years (per her blog). In an interview with “Angryvet” she states

    “I see a benefit in feeding whole foods whether cooked or raw. Genetically the dog and the anatomy of its digestive tract are closely aligned with that of the wolf. So we can use this as a dietary model when designing diets for the domestic dog.” – See more at:

    The only ones that want you to believe dogs are too far removed from the wolf to not benefit from a similar diet are those selling/making carb heavy diets and nutritionists that work for those selling/making carb heavy diets.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You are missing a huge part of what was an ongoing exchange where this person would challenge what everyone on here said and then put “No replies please” at the end as if we have no right to our opinions or to even back them up with fact. Yes, I finally got frustrated with this person, especially after some of the nastiness they spewed. Many of us did. Anyone who doesn’t want to hear the opinions or point of view of others is ignorant, by their own choosing.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, we should eat like chimpanzees, and we are much further removed from them than dogs are from wolves. 10,000 years isn’t even a drop in the bucket evolutionarily speaking. Their digestive tract has not changed that much.

  • Pattyvaughn

    This is an educational site and there is nothing wrong with educating people. Other people, such as you, will read these comments and hopefully gain an education. Maybe not the one you were looking for.

  • Alison Haughney

    Who is to say that this person is ignorant just because she has an opinion that you don’t agree with? The fact that you are being disrespectful enough to call this person ignorant makes me wonder if you aren’t being hypocritical in a way.

  • Alison Haughney

    They may be descended from wolves, but think about how long dogs have been domesticated and bred for specific characteristics, further removing them from their wolf ancestors. They are no longer like wolves. We may have been descended from apes and share 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees, but is it best for us to eat like them? We are pretty far removed by this point. It’s called evolution.

  • Alison Haughney

    Your opinion about advertising has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she is happy with Royal Canine Breed Specific diets. If his/her pets are happy and healthy, then why is it right for you to question his/her judgment. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if he/she likes the food, then who are you to suggest that there is a problem with that? Also, this person said nothing about whether the company “cares?” He/she is simply going by the way his/her dogs feel, which is what every pet owner should care about. Each product works definitely for each pet and she/he simply cares about the health of her dogs.

  • Mary

    I switched to merrick grain free for my Pekingese and he seems to enjoy it.

  • Joe

    Damn I just bought this, thought it was better.

  • Pingback: Hello from VanCity! - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums

  • Loco Cholo

    Do you really believe that Royal Canine is seriously caring what kind of breed you own? Advertising consists of one thing, emotional manipulation:)

  • Loco Cholo

    I agree RC is made weak and sold at an outstanding price! Some people feel better spending more and telling themselves it’s a great product. I am happy I switched from RC to Blue Buffalo:)!

  • Joseph Baker

    All of my GDS’s “chew”. The don’t chew like humans do but they crunch the food a bit before swallowing. My most recent GSD addition who only does well on Royal Canine GS24 to keep the diarrhea away, unfortunately loves the food so much that he does not chew and was making himself sick. I also worried about bloat. The large star shape of the kibble is supposed to make them slow down but it didn’t work on my boy. So I break up the kibble and soak it in water a bit. All I know is that after trying every other high-end food for this guy. RC has gotten rid of the diarrhea and horrible gas and has made his coat look fantastic. He obviously loves it and his weight is back up where it needs to be. My other dogs were doing fine so I did not switch them, their kibble is smaller and they still crunch the food.

  • Joseph Baker

    I have a GS that I fostered and have since adopted. It was the same situation for me. He came to me on cheap dog food with diarrhea and over months of trying pretty much all of the high-end foods appropriate for him, he was still having diarrhea and was starting to lose weight. Royal Canine for GSD is the only product that finally gave him solid stools. He is gaining his weight back, his coat is getting so soft and shiny and he is back to being master Frisbee dog.

  • Vicki Quinn L’Heureux

    My dog eats tortoise poop but will not eat anything else when it comes to dog food except this brand

  • Guest

    my dog is tortoise poop and doesn’t care but when it comes to food he hates everyone except for this brand so far.

  • Lara

    There are a lot better foods you can feed you Papillon. Orijen, Acana, Wellness Core, Natures Variety just to name a few.

  • Lara

    I agree, ignorance is bliss.

    Just a quick thought: Dogs are closely related to wolves and therefore should eat a primarily meat diet like wolves. Do different types of wolves get fed different foods? No, because it is pure marketing.

    I’d rather pay less money for a food like Taste of the Wild or Natural Balance, than feed Royal Canin.

  • Betsy Greer

    Some people are brave on the internet, aren’t they. I respect people wherever I go ~ in person or online. I hope that it’s you who’s being the “brave” one and that you don’t go around swearing at people you don’t know in person. : (

  • Cyndi

    Oh, now you’re trying to delete your comments? Lol!

  • Cyndi

    HDM wasn’t even responding to you! Why are YOU being a nosey “Bitch”?!

  • Rocky Viazzani

    No!!! I did NOT ask a question…. Even if I did it’s none of your business… Bunch of cranky old Biddys on this page need to get laid. Jesus!!!

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Excuse me….but you did ask a question about the food and HDM replied. Btw, I don’t know where you came from but you sure weren’t taught any manners or class there. I can’t really take people who choose to speak like you do seriously. If you want to sound like a thug, you succeeded.

  • Boxermom

    Do you live in the U.S? Royal Canine changes in different countries… The American Royal Canine usually have meat as first ingredient, while in many other countries the first ingredient is corn/ rice… Very annoying.

  • Rocky Viazzani

    I didn’t ask for your opinion, nosey Bitch!

  • Rocky Viazzani

    It would be easier if you simply respected my wishes instead of being a “Bitch!” It’s none of your damn business really is it!!! People are always so brave on the net! Just shut the f*ck up!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Ignorance is bliss. No replies please, I’m good.

  • Rocky Viazzani

    My Persians are on Royal Canine Persian and my Bull terriers are all on Royal Canine Bull Dog 24. They are in the best of health and I believe “Breed Specific” is the way to go. Before Royal Canine they turned their noses up! Thank you. *No replies please* I’m good!!!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Do you have the Boxer formula? That’s the ingredient list above – the ingredient vary slightly from breed to breed.

  • zellko

    This is not the ingredient listing on the package I have here. First ingredient: corn.

  • Tracy’s mom

    Exactly, low quality food- was not great from the beginning.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If you’ve read my posts, that’s a point I emphasized. There are low quality by-product meals and low quality meat meals and vice versa. I don’t believe that the quality of the food will be altered significantly by switching chicken by-products for chicken meal. Royal Canin makes a low quality food – I’m sure the chicken meal they were using wasn’t great and that their chicken by-product meal will be coming from the same grade of chickens that their chicken meal came from. The difference might be the addition of some organs and heads, so what?

  • Tinky’s mom

    I think the issue is not if a company uses ‘by products’ or not-as humans sometimes eat them too (for instance in France, and I can explain that…), but these dog food companies put garbage into the dog food. I would say as long as the ‘by products’ are human grade, no one would say anything but they are not. I don’t even think most of their ‘real meat, for instance chicken or turkey’ are human grade. What that means is they are using meats which are considered not safe for human consumption, as they can be toxic, dangerous, infected or otherwise cause an issue. Same issue they can cause in pet-don’t understand why the government makes a difference between pet and human food-to me pets are family members deserving the same protection under the law.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Michelle –

    As Patty stated – you’re preaching to the choir. I’ve subscribed to WDJ for years.

    I do stand by what I said in my previous comment. I don’t believe switching chicken meal for chicken by-product meal with alter the quality of this (already low quality) food. Both chicken meal and chicken by-product meal can vary greatly in quality – there are some excellent by-product meals and some low quality by-product meals, just as there are some excellent meat meals and some low quality meat meals.

    This article may better explain things – as you will see there’s not a significant difference between the nutrient composition of chicken meal and chicken by-product meal:

    You should also be aware of the fact that, per AAFCO definition, named meat meals can contain animals that have died prior to slaughter (i.e. “downers”). There is also nothing in the definition of either named meat meals or chicken by-product meal that states that the meat must be properly stored – you could get unrefrigerated meats with either. Also, the only protein in which there is a differentiation between meal and by-product meal is chicken – so for other protein sources (i.e. fish, venison, lamb, etc.) there is no such thing as “by-product meal”. What you are getting when you feed a food containing, say, “lamb meal” is essentially a lamb by-product meal.

    As Patty pointed out I feed my dogs quality by-products. By-products are an important component of the canine diet and very healthy as long as they’re derived from quality sources.

    I would highly recommend you read Susan Thixton’s “Truth About Pet Food Ingredients” to better understand meat vs. named meat meals vs. named by-product meals etc. etc. It’s an eye opener to those that think a named by-product is always a high quality ingredient.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You’re preaching to the choir. Hound Dog Mom is a raw feeder. When she feeds by-products, she is giving her dogs things like grass fed beef liver or kidney, deer heart or spleen, etc. not animal by-products. She formulates her own balanced recipes. She understands the limits and shortcomings of all kibble. And what the likely quality of the ingredients are.

  • Michelle

    LOL. Please do yourself a favor & read the dog dry food recommendations of the Whole Dog Journal. Oftentimes, by-products are a lower quality meat…. meat from “downers” (diseased animals unable to walk), animals with tumors, meat scraped off the slaughterhouse floor or stored improperly (not refrigerated). Plus, Royal Canin charges a premium price considering the crap they are feeding. They care more about their own profit than being honest with their customers & providing what is best for their customer’s companion animals… You can get higher quality food for the same price, or even lower than what Royal Canin charges.

  • Michelle

    Are you kidding me??? How is it that Royal Canin & Lifetime have the same rating!! Royal Canin is full of corn! & they are going to start using meat by-products! Whereas Lifetime has no corn or wheat & no meat by-products!

  • Michelle

    Are you kidding me??? How is it that Royal Canin & Lifetime have the same rating!! Royal Canin is full of corn! & they are going to start using meat by-products! Whereas Lifetime has no corn or wheat & no meat by-products!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Breed specific food is just a marketing ploy – don’t fall for it. Royal Canin makes a mediocre food and sells it at a premium price.

  • Jolie & Gizmo

    Is Royal Canin also a good food for Papillons? I noticed the different breeds and noticed that my dogs breed isn’t listed.

  • Andy Rosener

    update from my dachshund: still feeding a mix, now 1/2 RC, 1/4 Orjen and 1/4 Ziwi Peak. Living in Abu Dhabi, Orjen is not available so I have to bring it from abroad, but Ziwi Peak is, albeit expensive! My dachshund is doing absolutely well so I will stick to a basic RC diet. The RC bashing on this website is quite bad, but people don’t realise that in may places there is no choice of hundred brands available, and not everybody is a millionaire either…

  • Pattyvaughn

    Royal Canin charges filet mignon prices for junk, how is that totally focused on the animal?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If Royal Canin was “totally focused on the animal” they’d use better quality ingredients.

  • Pet club India

    Thanks for sharing above information, Keep it on update. Royal Canin focus totally on the animal, with the aim of improving daily life and ensuring better health for dogs and cats through nutrition. Put simply, only knowledge of the real nutritional requirements of dogs and cats and respect for their individual needs can make the development of nutritional solutions suited to their needs possible.

    Whether you have a small, medium, maxi or giant dog, whether you have a pure breed dog, whether you have a cat, Royal Canin can offer unique nutritional answers that will guarantee :

    * An optimal digestibility and palatability
    * The proper nutrients and level of nutrients to meet the energy requirements
    * The proper nutrients and level of nutrients to maintain a healthy skin and coat
    * Adapted kibbles (textures and shapes) for the jaws of the dog to make them easier to prehend and chew.
    Eshop Pet Club India

  • Alexandra

    Lol Patty!! That can be the next big thing in food industry. Fresh, frozen, and dehydrated!!!!!

  • Alexandra

    I had no idea they were that different in foods for breeds!!! LOL!! So you are screwed if you have a mix and don’t know what they are??? Stars or circles oh my!!!!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Oh no no no – they’re different shapes too! The bulldog looks like an s and the golden (or lab?) formula is a nugget with a hole in the middle. The shape of the kibble is very important – every breed is designed to eat a different shape of food.

    Oh man, all I’ve got to say is there must be a lot of gullible people out there for this stuff to still be on the market.

  • Alexandra

    Hi HDM,

    I was thinking that the would continue to have consumers pay the same or more for the downgrade in ingredients.

    The “breed” formulas are a bit of a joke. All they do is change the order of the ingredients. Lol.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I doubt it’ll change the quality of the food much – there’s not a big difference between chicken meal and chicken by-product meal in terms of digestibility and nutritional value assuming they’re using a quality by-product meal. Nearly 50% of chicken sold in supermarkets for human consumption is contaminated with feces – so there’s no way of getting around it, it’s in the chicken meal too. The only sad part is, despite the fact that by-product meal is cheaper and less appealing to consumers, I’m sure they’re going to continue to charge $2/lb. for the junk.

    The dogs at my shelter are eating RC now – we got a pallet donated. I was very careful to make an even mixture of the various breed formulas in the feed bin. I was hoping that this would essentially result in a formula appropriate for the predominantly mixed breed population at my shelter. I wouldn’t want to cause any negative long term health effects by feeding the bulldog formula to a pitt mix or the labrador formula to a shepherd mix, etc.. lol.

  • alphabich


  • Pattyvaughn

    My dogs eat chicken poop on occassion, but I don’t pay a premium price for them to do so. Shame on them.

  • Alexandra
  • Brinny

    Hi Sharron,
    My mom has a very picky Chihuahua. The only way she would eat kibble is if she let it soak in water. I bought my mom a bag of Victor Grain Free Salmon (and Beef), and she gobbled it right up. Have you tried Victor yet?

  • sharron

    i feed lexee the royal canin yorkie or the chihuahua since she is
    both – i know there is a much better food that i can give her
    but she won’t eat it and believe me i have tried most of the high end dry food made – this is the only dry food she will consistently eat without me having to add things to it to entice her.I would love to feed her a food that is higher quality but if she won’t eat why bother, i just end up donating it anyways

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, your homemade diet seems to be fine. If you only give this as a snack then you cannot attribute their good health to it. Bad ingredients are bad ingredients.

  • TerieV

    I use the ShihTzu variety more as a snack for my 3 since I make their dog food. They’re all very healthy, no medical issues, one is almost 9 yrs old and acts like a puppy. They also get raw veggies. I think whatever you feed, if your dog is healthy, with bright eyes and a good coat, fine. Just like not every diet works for every human, dogs are different too. My vet says it seems to be working fine.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would rather have something natural like pumpkin , psyllium, or chia seeds to do that than to feed my dog aluminum.

  • Pattyvaughn

    FOS is.

  • Dodger


  • Dodger

    sodium aluminosilucate helps absorb water in the gut. You’re bigger breed dogs allow more water in the gut and this will help absorb the water. It’ll cut down on loose stools.

  • Dodger

    Isn’t MOS a prebiotic that promotes healthy digestion in the gut? Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

  • melodie

    If nutrition problems are prevented, the vets wont make as much money. Some are overcharging us pet owners and even blackmailing us with our pet food ife dont come in for a visit. It is rediculous…

  • melodie

    I switched my dachshunds food from RC to Orijen as well. I got the same results initially (she FINALLY didn’t fart terrible smelly farts all the time as well!) After about a year, she started licking her paws and scratching and her eye a lids are swelling a bit. I need a better food for her. She is 3 years old.

  • InkedMarie

    I know you! How’s Beau?

  • Bob McCarthy

    We have been using Royal Canin with great success. Our Berger Picard no longer has diarrhea and is doing very well.

  • Bob McCarthy

    We have been using Royal Canin with great success. Our Berger Picard no longer has diarrhea and is doing very well for the first time in one year.

  • shihtzumom

    I hadn’t but what a great goal to work towards! Aimee you are amazing!

  • aimee

    You are welcome… Have you considered getting “boarded” in nutrition?

  • shihtzumom

    We all thought she was amazing, I think the book would be a good investment. Thanks again for the suggestions aimee!

  • aimee

    Glad you liked it! Awesome that your class incorporated Dr Yin’s handling techniques.

  • shihtzumom

    Great Idea Aimee! We actually watched her DVD in my companion animal behaviour class, but I would love the book to refer to!

  • Jack Tripper

    ya its an anti-caking food additive. either way, i cant imagine its very good for you.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I read something the other day that said human food manufacturers routinely ignore FDA guidelines on maximum aluminum levels. I can’t believe dog food manufaturers are doing any better, but even if by some chance they are, I’ve never had reason to add sodium aluminosilucate to anything I’ve ever made to eat. I’m not sure I’d want to start now, no, I’m sure I wouldn’t.

  • JellyCat

    New Orijen formulas are all potato and wheat free.

  • JellyCat

    Actually, I’m not sure if sodium aluminosilucate approved as a food additive. It used to be only approved for direct contact with consumer items.

  • aimee

    Hi shihtzumom,

    As a student I’d voice my opinion to the Dean that nutrition needs to be given more focus in the program. Good Luck in your career.

    P.S. I’d recommend Dr Sophia Yin’s book Low Stress Handling well worth the money!

  • shihtzumom

    Thanks! I hope I can too. I can only bite my tongue for so long! Lol

  • Jack Tripper

    congrats! hopefully you can get a position at a vet that isnt peddling science diet. and if they are, get em to get rid of it and stock champion petfoods (acana, orijen) instead :)

  • shihtzumom

    Just wanted to put my two cents in here as a vet tech in training, i am in my second year of the veterinary technician program at a very reputable school. I will say we only do one course in “animal nutrition”. There was 133 pages in the manual “canine/feline nutrition and care”, and guess how many were related to nutrition? Thats right zip. The nutrition part of the course? An online tutorial on the Hill’s website, we even got t-shirts and measuring cups from Hill’s for doing the quizzes.

    Do I feed my Shih tzu Hill’s? Absolutely not, and nor will I ever. I feed Dawson a premade raw diet, and will hopefully one day be able to feed a homemade raw diet. I hope to encourage everyone to feed their dog to the best of there ability, while that may not be a raw diet for everyone, I will hopefully be able to get them to feed a better quality food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    By your logic, nobody but a doctor should be giving you advice about nutrition and you can’t possibly learn how to properly feed yourself, so you should quit eating.
    Nutrition isn’t rocket science.

  • Jack Tripper

    with the exception of chelated minerals working with protein or water working with dehydrated food, the notion of ingredients working together sounds more like alchemy than science. it sounds like something science diet might be pushing onto vets. sure our food has corn gluten meal, unnamed animat fat and soybean oil but its not about the ingredients themselves, its about the ingredients working together. anyways, as i stated below, to each his own but to come to a site where dog foods are analyzed and criticized, to expect any different is nonsensical.

  • InkedMarie

    I wish vets would realize how important nutrition is to a dogs health. Some illness cn be “fixed” by proper nutrition.

  • Jack Tripper

    i have no experience with this food, however, it seems pretty good. if you think it’s good, more power to you. it’s only when people are feeding their animals 1star garbage where i would feel the need to tell them otherwise. this food appears to be fortified with more vitamins, minerals and amino acids than any other food i’ve seen so that should help make up for any deficiencies it has. anyway the point of this site is to be informed and offer opinions so i wouldn’t get offended when ppl provide their opinions to you, especially if it’s something like “you could get this 5star food for the same price as this 3star food” they’re only trying to help.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hi there

    I am not sure why you have a problem with people having opinions on what to feed or not to feed. How does that make any one a snob? I also do not believe that one must be avet in order to have an educated thought in their head. I have no problem with what others choose to feed(I feed a variety of products and have fed different levels of quality over the years, but even I would not fool myself in to believing that those lower quality foods are the answer or that I am doing my best while using them. If you feel that it works for your dog, great. However keep the name calling to yourself as its no more appropriate than me calling you a “scumbag food lover”.

  • BryanV21

    One doesn’t have to be a doctor or nutritionist in order to know that eating McDonald’s day in and day out is unhealthy.

    And that same reasoning can be applied to the way myself and others try and help people do better for their pets.

    If you don’t agree that’s fine. But unless you’re going to offer reasons for your opinion, then do us all a favor and go away.

  • LabsRawesome

    Your “logic” is skewed, because your are drinking the kool aid that Royal Canin reps serve to you. And by your logic no one should have a point of view on nutrition, if they are not a Vet. So your opinion has no merit, since you are not one. I wish I could down vote your comment more than once.

  • Shawna

    “Who are you to determine what a professional has or has not learned?”

    Of course not all professionals fit into a nice neat category but we’ve heard things like the below over and over again. The data below comes from two vets. This is just one of many, many examples.

    “My nutrition training in vet school, like every other vet student’s, was provided by one of the major pet food companies. I asked Dr. Royal why it is that animal nutrition often becomes a major passion for holistic veterinarians, yet most traditional vets rarely address the subject.

    Barbara explained nutrition is just one of those things that medicine in general seems to forget about. It’s the lost part of health care in both human and veterinary medicine, and she believes this is a huge problem. The focus is on things we can treat. What is the disease? And what medication or surgery will treat it?

    Dr. Royal feels much of the problem results from who is doing the research, and also who is funding it. Profit-making enterprises like pet food companies and drug manufacturers aren’t going to conduct or pay for research into things that won’t improve their bottom line.

    Unfortunately, companies WILL fund studies and public relations campaigns to challenge consumer trends that can potentially hurt their bottom line. The backlash we’ve seen against raw diets for pets and homeopathy are recent examples. The results of this type of research are typically misleading, essentially worthless in terms of their scientific value, and a waste of financial resources. The cost of one double blind, placebo-controlled study is around a million bucks.”

    Some vets advocate “species appropriate” nutrition while others advocate foods like Royal Canin. Many of us here on DFA simply side with those that advocate species appropriate. There are LOTS of them to chose from..

  • InkedMarie

    I’m just a pet owner but rely on my experiences to know what makes a good food. I also offer advice based on my experiences. I don’t need a degree in anything to do this.

  • InkedMarie

    I dont condemn people for feeding “horrible” foods but I’m happy to point out an inferior ingredient list and that you can buy a superior food for the same money.
    One does not need to be a “veterinary professional” to know what a good dog food is. Most vets don’t know very much about nutrition. All of the vets I have had are happy to suggest what they sell in their office: Science Diet, Royal Canin, Purina. No thanks, my dogs deserve better than that.
    You mentioned that you tried quite a few “superior” foods and they didn’t work. There are hundreds of foods out there to try. They don’t all work for every dog.
    As far as keeping our opinions to ourselves, sorry but that won’t happen. If you don’t want to hear our opinions, then feel free to form a group that doesn’t include us.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    “I’m sure most of you are not licensed veterinarians nor nutritionists, so please, keep your opinions to yourself.”

    Then I guess by your logic you shouldn’t be expressing your opinion either since you’re just a tech..

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The problem is, I don’t think most people know what “doing good” means. I thought my dog was “doing good” on veterinary recommended Purina products. Then I tried some quality high protein foods and realized that he wasn’t really “doing good” before. Then I tried a balanced raw diet and now I know the true definition of “doing good.” Every food I fed up to now my dogs were merely surviving, now they’re thriving. I dog can survive on a food like RC – but it will never thrive. I’ve fed 1 start to 5 star products, kibble to canned to dehydrated to raw and dogs do better and better the closer their diet is to the ancestral diet – I’ve seen it with my own eyes. RC is a mediocre food with a premium price tag.

  • JellyCat

    Dear Brittany, this forum is a public place and people simply share their opinions and give each other advice.
    As far as knowledge about nutrition, many of us here have appropriate education for being able to make informed and educated opinions. Many of us have degrees in sciences, animal health and human health. I don’t feel like it is appropriate to provide people here with your credentials because for instance I’m not giving people professional advice.
    You don’t have to listen to RC representatives and go to their work shops to learn how ingredients work together. If you combine poor quality ingredients you can provide basic nutrients for maintenance; however you will not make a good quality product designed to promote health.
    I believe you in that vets have a lot of education in nutrition provided by major feed manufacturers. However, I’m glad to see vets selling good quality kibble and raw in some clinics. In fact, more and more clinics sell good quality foods

  • Brittany Dean

    If someone says their dog is doing excellent on this “horrible” food as most of you DFS are calling it, please do not try to get them to switch with your lack of knowledge or credentials. Just because these “grain free” foods seem appropriate, it’s not always about the ingredients themselves but how they work together. I have a 6 year old boxer pitbull mix who I tried on quite a few of those SUPERIOR feeds that this site suggests, and let me tell YOU that she does better on Boxer 26 than any other food! Why are you people even on this page condemning RC, shouldn’t you be sticking to your pages about Origen, TOTW, Merrick and whatnot? If someone says that their dog is doing great on this food, DON’T COME DOWN ON THEM! I’m sure most of you are not licensed veterinarians nor nutritionists, so please, keep your opinions to yourself and leave those of us alone who successfully feed the “inferior” products to our beloved canines! Also, you sound rather ridiculous saying that a veterinarian knows nothing about nutrition! I am a RVT and I had to learn quite a bit about nutrition and how ingredients work together! Who are you to determine what a professional has or has not learned? So, in conclusion, please Dog Food Snobs, stop condemning these foods that you feel are inappropriate for your pet, because ours do just fine!

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  • Pattyvaughn

    Nope, it’s mail order, but I’ve got a pup with problems that were starting to look like they were going to be serious and they make a food that is designed to help with that issue so I thought I’d give it a try and I’ve had really good results.  Turns out that I really like the fact that they deliver to my door, that was the one thing I thought I wouldn’t like, not the delivery, ordering over the internet.  If your interested in learning more, go to and read the Brothers Document and their FAQs.

  • Isabel

    @Pattyvaughn Thank you for your advice. I know, its so annoying having to try so many foods and hoping your dog will like it and respond well to it. I never heard of Brothers dog food, is it easy to find? For example, can I find it at Petco?

  • Pattyvaughn

    You could go to the forums and read under Dog Food Ingredients.  There is a thread about grain and potato free dog foods.  However as grains go, rice is one of the easier ones for dogs to stomach and potato is problematic for many dogs.  Personally I feed Brothers Complete, but I meant it when I said I was glad you found something that worked for your dog.  It can be a real pain trying 15 different dog foods before you find one that works, I’ve been there.  I would just like to add that I truly believe it is healthier for a dogs digestive tract and immune system if they eat a variety of foods, so consider looking for a couple more foods that your dog can tolerate that you can rotate between.

  • Isabel

    @pattyvaughn The rice she doesn’t have a problem with, it’s the potato. Any time I tried a kibble that contained potato, she would drool and lick excessively. With the Bulldog formula, she is not. If you know of a kibble that is potato and wheat free that is better, let me know

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m glad you found something that works for your dog, but this is still a very high starch food.  Carbohydrate is starch.  At 24% protein and even less than that of fat, this food is about half starch.

  • Isabel

    I have tried many different types of kibble for my 6 yr old English bulldog, like Orijen, Wysong, Natural Balance, Instinct, and none of these helped her with her digestive or skin issues. Royal Canin Bulldog 24 has proven so far to be the best kibble I have tried. I think that any food containing starches, potato, wheat, and corn was not agreeing with her. This formula of food doesn’t contain any of these ingredients and it has worked. I top off the kibble with some Wysong Archetype with water for a little raw boost and probiotics and she inhales it!!

  • BryanV21

    My initial reaction would be to slap them.

  • Clattymanky

    with dry food dogs don’t chew, they bite the dry food shatters and it spreads all over there mouth and then they swallow the best thing would be a nice big fresh raw meaty bone and a big slab of green tripe

  • Clattymanky

    I am the owner of Yorkies and my breeder feeds her dogs a homemade and raw diet.  She told me about the food programs I guess with shows and stuff they find the breeders and contact them

  • Clattymanky

    I have my boys on raw and my friend with Yorkies said I quote “raw meat is bad for dogs, royal canin is the best food out there”
    I am too polite to laugh in his face

  • exotica


  • Betsy Greer

    I was talking with a friend over the weekend that is getting ready to surprise her boys.  They’re going to visit their two week old Golden puppy for the first time this weekend at the breeder’s home!  The boys won’t have any idea what they’re doing at this woman’s house they don’t know until they see the puppies.  ::goosebumps::  Those boys have been wanting a puppy so badly for a long time ~ they’ll be thrilled!

    Anyway, over soccer, we chatted out of ear shot of her kids about crates, vets, training, food, etc.  When we got onto the subject of food she told me that the breeder uses Black Gold.  Aagghhhh!  Nooo!  Fortunately, she now knows that her first priority will be transitioning their pup to a different food as soon as it’s reasonable to do so.  

  • InkedMarie

    I understand. My pbgv came to me on Eukanuba puppy and my brittany on Nutro Natural adult (she was almost 5mos old). I know neither one is up to my standards for dog food but I also understand that breeders can’t always afford to feed a higher quality food. I’m just glad neither of mine fed Ole Roy, I honest to god would have passed on the pups

  • Shawna

    Oh yeah, our rescue gives out the same Purina pamphlet to new puppy parents. We also get pallets of free food – which none of my fosters consume. :)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Oh I’m sure, I bet they’ve got all kinds of marketing going on. I specifically know Royal Canin employs “breeder territory representatives” (as well as vet territory reps) and I’m sure the Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, and Hills have similar positions. I know I got one fancy Pro Plan folder with Mabel – it opens up and has tabs with dividers for health records, puppy care info, pedigree, etc. and of course tons of Purina coupons and a nutritional pamphlet I got a kick out of. Did keep the folder though, aside from the fact the front is a giant Purina ad, the sectioned off compartments are really handy for organizing her paperwork.

  • Shawna

    I would bet that the big guys have better breeder programs then the smaller companies…  Don’t know that, just a guess…  ;)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I agree. I’m not sure why so many breeders are fooled into feeding this garbage. Very good breeders often use these foods as well which puzzles me, you’d think being so into their animals, and good breeders obviously very interested in their animals health by investing in genetic testing and what not, that they’d do a little more research about food. My male was on eukanuba large breed puppy with the breeder and my new pup’s breeder had her on pro plan large breed. Didn’t even both transitioning the puppy, the sample bag the breeder sent me home with went right in the trash – where it belongs. lol.

  • BryanV21

    I just had to vent a bit, because of a situation with a new customer.

    They recently got a Yorkie puppy, and the man said they switched from Eukanuba, but he couldn’t remember to what. He asked his wife and she said Royal Canin, because that’s what the breeder was using.

    It annoys me to no end that people are basically tricked into thinking this is a good food because that’s what breeders and veterinarians use/suggest. And why wouldn’t they trust those people? But those people either do not know or are trying to make a few more bucks. Ticks me off.

  • S_kiet

    i would never feed this to my chih even when they were on this food from the breeder they werent that fond of it they only reason they ate it was that they had no other choice its over rated and over priced my two love orijen and nature varity insinct kibble

  • divadame

    my dog a chihuahua is not too fond on this and will only eat a small amount so I will be looking for another brand

  • Alex71

    I just checked the Royal Canin boxer bag I have and the first ingredient is chicken meal

  • Shawna

    Hi Sallyann_tosa ~~ you and Prn007 are right to be concerned.  Corn is definitley NOT a “high quality” protien.  It is, when processed, very digestible but once digested the amino acids from the protein are not well used by the body — just under half of the amino acids become waste for the kidneys to have to filter out.. 

    Waste that the kidneys have to filter out is not what I would call “high quality” RC?

  • Sallyann_tosa

    If you will notice, it is no longer “28″ just chihuahua, the protein level dropped to 26 (as the price went up). RC tells me that corn is a high quality protein, but I think it is just a cheaper ingredient. I switched to RC small breed weight management as that is still chicken for the main ingredient with protein being 30%. After many years of using their product, I am disappointed and will now be looking for a different high quality food. I did make a post on RC facebook page, I encourage you and others to do the same because of the impact this site can have.

  • Prn007

    Just purchased a 15# bag of Royal Canin Chihuahua 28 for $50 at Petco and noticed that the first ingredient in no longer chicken meal but corn. Doesn’t sound good.

  • LabsRawesome

     You are feeding RC Shih tzu to Shih Tzu Lhasa mixes, and a Papillon? I don’t know about that. It can’t be good for Lhasa’s and Papillions. It’s made for Shih Tzu’s. Lol, just kidding. I hope you realize that this “breed specific” dog food, is just a marketing gimmick, to make people feel special. For the price you are paying, you could do much better than RC. I would suggest a grain free food, much more species appropriate.  :)

  • TerieV

    RC Shih Tzu is the first dry food my dogs have actually eaten! 2 are Shih Tzu-Lhasa mixes, the other a Papillon, but they all love it. I was in shock! They still get their organic chicken thigh & fresh veggies but it’s nice to have something they will eat to supplement what I make them.

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  • Triumph9

    How come you increased the rating from old 3/5 to 3,5/5? I don’t see anything different apart from adding the part regarding sodium selenite, which wasn’t really a positive addition. Another change was the conclusions at the end where protein and fat went from “average” to “near average”, as well as meat content lowered from “average” to “below average”. Again, not any positive changes.

    So what really increased the grade of this kibble to 3,5?

    And how come this Breed-specific adult kibble has 0,5 higher grade than the “Breed-Specific Puppy” version when that kibble contains a prebiotic (fructooligosaccharide)?Just to clarify, I’m not criticizing, I’m just curious.

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  • Ccrderrocha

    While you are correct dogs teeth are not designed like ours to chew; your incorrect in stating that shapes are a rip off.  I too have a boxer who had a severe problem keeping any dry food down.  I was a major medical problem.  The minute my vet suggest RC for boxers the problem was eliminated.  He now does “chew” the kibble and slows down when he eats.  This has allowed him to become an amazing example of the breed.  Just wanted to add this comment as it might make a difference for someone else experienciing the same problem.

  • Sallyann Johnson

    I would like to see the Royal Canin food review updated, they have changed many of their formulas. I was using Chihuahua 28 and my dogs were doing very well on it, with the first ingredient being chicken meaL. Now it is just chihuahua, first ingredient is corn and protein has gone from 28% to 26%. The stools have a stronger odor and are bulkier. I am very disappointed with RC after telling me for years how they specifically developed this food for chihuahuas and their need for 28% protein, better stools etc. Price went up, package size went down and now I am buying corn instead of meat. Time for me to find a better quality food for the price I am paying.

  • andy

    I am feeding my 2 1/2 year old short haired Dachshund a mix of 2/3 RC Dachshund 28 and 1/3 Orijen (switching through the varieties for some change). Works really well, shiny coat, good poop, no allergies etc. Although I have learned on this site that RC is “only” 3 stars I will stick to it

  • Ren

    Boxers have a different jaw structure then most dogs so having a larger kibble make it easier for my boxers to eat their food. When I switched from Eukanuba to RC their dandruff and bad breath went away. They have a ton more energy and their coats are soo shiny and soft. I would Recommend RC and BB both good food and I’ve never had an issue with it

  • sandy


    Dogs don’t chew! Their teeth are designed to rip flesh and swallow whole! Kibble shapes don’t do anything special. It’s a rip off.

  • Rebecca

    I would go back to Earthborn. It is better quality than RC. Most vets learn little about nutrition and what they do learn comes from pet food companies themselves. If your dog is eating fast and gulping his food, you could place a ball in his dish that he has to eat around or feed him from a “slow feed” dog bowl.

  • melissa


    Given that your dog came with not one, but TWO foods that are limited purpose/ingredients, I suspect that your dog has stomach issues and you may not want to “rock the boat” with switching him off of it. I would stick with the Natural Balance-easier to pay the price for the food, then for a flare up of whatever the dogs’ condition is.

  • sandy

    Better food, better nutrition, less vet bills!!

  • Bob K

    Rachelle Cashion – What dog foods are available near you? Do you live near a Menards, Costco or Farm & Fleet? Costco has a Kirkland brand (4stars), Menards sells Diamond Natural (4 Stars) and Nutro Max (3 stars), Blains Farm and Fleet has Taste of The Wild (4 Stars) and a few other brands.

    Remember to transition sowly to new dog foods, also take him to the vet for a full checkup including a full Fecal test for parasites including: Giardia, Crypto and Coddidia along with a Heartworm test. I suspect somewhere in your adoption contract you also need obedience class.

    Rather than skimp on quality dog food, how about eating lunch out one less time a week or one less Starbucks a week so your dog can eat a great food.

  • Rachelle Cashion

    Thank you for an amazing compilation of information! We are the proud new adoptive owners of a German Shepherd who is TWO today! We received two dry dog foods for him: Hills I/D Gastrointestinal Health and Natural Balance LID (Lamb & Brown Rice). He also “came” with a love of cheese sticks (treat) and chicken added to his meal.
    I appreciate how much I’ve learned about dog food from your site! I will not continue with Hills and cannot continue with Natural Balance (a bit pricey). Any thoughts/advice? We have yet to introduce Guinness to the vet but will also seek his recommendation. Thank you again! I am studying as fast as I can…before I run out of Natural Balance! ;)

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  • Bob K

    Debbie – Its not all that hard to get a dog to loose weight. 1.) Exercise more for both you and the dog, 2.) Cut down half the snacks and treats 3.) Feed what is recommended for a dog your size (Yes – Measure or weigh it) 4.) Play more with your dog 5.) Cut down half the table scraps and left overs.

    Diamond Natural Lite is a 3 star food without corn that is a third the price of what you are currently feeding your dog. A few other 4 star options: Premium Edge lite, Professional Adult Dog Rice & Chicken Low-Fat Formula, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Dog Light Formula, Vet’s Choice Holistic Health Extension Lite, NutriSource® Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula

  • sandy


    All the dogs that were on a diet here at my house lost weight on the foods I listed above, not DIET foods!! I feed them a food with at least 30% protein and grain free and watch the calories. My dog that still needs to lose maybe 3 pounds is eating 2/3 cup a day. He’s 30 lbs down from 38. One of my other pugs was eating half & half Merrick Wilderness with Blue Buffalo Wilderness and lost weight as well. Went from 28 to 24 pounds eating 1 cup a day and walking daily. It’s too hot and humid right now in TX for walks so everyone is eating 2/3 cup. The pug vet said weight loss of just 2-5% per month is good for them. I lean towards the lower end and don’t push them too hard at losing weight fast since it’s more like a lifetime diet change, healthy eating change. When cooler weather comes, we’ll be walking daily for sure. Just keep their calories in check and take into account all treats. Maybe start your pug diet at 350 calories (treats included!)

  • Debbie

    thank you everyone for your input…its just I have an over weight pug and was looking for something for her to get her weight down but not something thats almost all corn….the Iams I was getting is a large bag of food…not the little one… I was curious as to what other people fed theres..and I was going on the vets recommendation of the breed specific Royal Canin and she also mentioned Blue Buffalo…

  • melissa

    Sounds like Debbie is paying Ny prices! In this area, Iams is fairly “expensive” depending on where you get it. Its amazing how eye opening it is when you look for higher rated foods and discover that they are not so much more. I personally steer away from anything that claims “breed specific” because no matter what the breed, dogs typically require the same nutrition, unless a medical issue is present. I do not think the breed specific RC warrants any type of higher pricing, and I personally would look for others.


    A higher price does not equal better quality as I think most of us here have learned. If you can afford the Iams prices, you can afford without stretching the budget many of the 4 star or higher foods.

  • Jonathan

    And all those foods Sandy mentioned are less per pound then the little 2.5 pound bag of Royal Canin. :-) That was my point above, Debbie. It doesn’t need to be expensive to be better. $17 bucks for Iams?? Jeeze!

  • sandy


    My pugs have eaten several brands. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon and Duck formulas, Core Reduced Fat, Natures Variety Prairie Salmon and Prairie Chicken formulas, Natures Variety Instinct Duck & Turkey, Amicus, Brothers fish formula, Merrick Turducken and Wilderness formulas, Natures Select Salmon & Sweet Potato and Natures Select Grain Free and the Natures Select Hi Protein (only 27%, not high at all). No GI issues with any of these. I feed mine 2/3 to 1 cup a day depending on the calorie count of the food. I keep their calories at 350-400 a day.

  • Bob K

    Debbie – There is a big difference in dog food prices and more money is does not mean better food. You need to do your homework and be a smart educated consumer. For a rough idea of prices check out:

    Of course prices may have changed in the last 6 months and depending where you live and what stores are available, your options may be different.

  • Debbie

    thanks Jonathon but I wanted to know if anyone had any problems with it ? All dog foods are high priced if you want a quality one…right now I am feeding mine Iam’s proactive weight control a two star that cost me 17.00 a bag so if I’m gonna feed my pugs a better food at a high price it will be worth it to spend a little more…

  • Jonathan

    Sure, Debbie, I can give you some feedback on the entire breed-specific line. It’s a gimmicky, over-priced 3-star food that costs more than twice as much per pound than Earthborn Primitive Natural or Taste of the Wild. :-)

  • Debbie

    Any one out there have any feed back on the Royal Canin for pugs?

  • Bob K

    V – There are lots of supplements for dogs perhaps an Omega 3 (fish) and Omega 6 (safflower) combo pill or there are also some food supplements such as PETCO Omega Plus Skin & Coat Supplement for Dogs.

    Bathing every 2 weeks is pretty frequent, Why? Does he smell? Back off to bathing three weeks or a month if you can. Make sure you get all the shampoo off, rinse him good. Does he scratch or bite himself? Lots of dogs have dandruff but a good diet helps greatly for most dogs.

    As I stated in the previous posting, there are lots of dog foods that use chicken meal, rice, brown rice, oatmeal,……. You’ll have to do some research on whats available in your area. A few possibilities: 1.) Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Adult Dog Formula, 2.) HealthWise Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Adult 3.) Premium Edge Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetables Formula 4.) NutriSource Adult Chicken & Rice 5.) CANIDAE® Chicken & Rice formula Best of luck, reading the dog food bags.

  • V

    Bob K- can’t remember the type of food cause it has been a long time. Yes, I did transition the food slowly instead of replacing it. I bathe him every 2 weeks with Vets Best shampoo. We do pay alot for his food and it would be great if we could change it something less expensive.

  • Bob K

    V – What other foods have you tried that made your dog gassy? What brand and formula did you try? Did you transition to the new food over a two week period? How often do you bathe your dog? What type of shampoo? If you try another dog food, try one that has a similar ingredients list to what you have been feeding your dog. The top ingredients for this are: Chicken meal, rice, brown rice, oatmeal, pork meal, rice flour, chicken fat, natural chicken flavor, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), soy protein isolate, anchovy oil…. There is nothing special about this food other than the marketing hype that is specific for your breed. You pay a premium for this 3 Star food when you could be feeding a 5 star food which provides better nutrition and saves you money at the same time.

  • V

    We have been feeding our 7yr old English Bulldog Royal Canin Bulldog Specific his whole adult life. He has never had a problem with gas. I have noticed if I switch for savings sake he is very gasy(sp?). The shape of the food also helps him not gulp the food and at least chew it once. Thank God we have never had any serious issues with his health. Only thing, in the last year or so I have been noticing his skin is flaking, any suggestion on a supplement I can add?

  • Bob K

    Kim – You are getting sucked into marketing hype. There really is nothing special about this 3 star food other than the label on the bag that makes it specific for your Bully. You are paying a premium for a 3 star food. They also have british bullies. not much difference. Most look like overweight pitbulls.

  • Kim

    Would a French Bulldog have the same nutritional needs as an English Bulldog? My French Bulldog has enjoyed Royal Canin puppy food, but I recently switched him to the RC Medium Adult dog food and he doesn’t enjoy it as much. Also, he gulps it, which I understand is something bulldogs do. They don’t carry RC French Bulldog food in the States, but I assume the RC English Bulldog food would be just fine?

  • Elena

    Royal Canin is the only brand that works for my dog. I did my research – have read what ingredients good dog foods should have and what ingredients good dog foods should not have. I’ve spent much time reading articles and watching movies with veterinarians explaining what a dog, as a carnivore, should eat. All that lead my to try switching my dog to a grain free diet. Alas. Although I’ve tried switching it gradually and giving it time, my dog just had problems with digesting it. Diarrhea, vomiting.

    Now we are back to Royal Canin, a grain-based dog food with suspicious, indigestible ingredients. My dog’s coat is shiny, poop okay, no diarrhea, no vomiting, no allergies.

  • Denise

    My 3yr old Golden Retriever has been eating Royal Canin Calorie Control High Fiber for 1 week, vet recommended. He now has 3 hot spots around his head. Could he be having an allergic reaction to the food? Seeing vet tomorrow, just wondering what your opinion is…thanks.

  • Gordon

    No worries Mike. That will inevitably occur a lot due to all us typing almost simultaneously, and one beats the other by a millisecond in the ‘submit’ button depression, lol. It’s all good.

  • Jonathan

    Thank you Gordon, I forgot to mention that part about kibble moisture. And yes, Debbie, this food is seriously expensive when you consider it is no better than a $28 dollar bag of Pro Pac!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Gordon… Due to the wonders of the Internet, our two comments “crossed in the mail”. I’ve added your name to the previous one.

  • Gordon

    That was meant to refer to Jonathan’s comment (above comment), not knowing that Mike was about to post a response also.

  • Gordon

    In addition to the above comment, you should take into calculation consideration that kibble also contains 10% moisture on average. So if you read the Dry Matter Basis calculation explanation on this website, it will make more sense.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Debbie… Jonathan and Gordon are correct. For more information please look in our Library for the articles about dry matter basis and how to estimate the carbohydrate content in a dog food. Hope this helps.

  • Debbie Tucker


    I agree with Mike that this does not seem to be a food with great ingredients, and it is therefore highly overpriced. The nutritional content is also not high level.

    However, it will improve some dogs, as will most mid-level foods if the dogs were previously fed something of lower quality. I have many people tell me how their dog was on a really good food, and it turns out that they THOUGHT it was a really good food because of advertising or the sales person, and when I tell them what they should be looking at and for – OOPS – not so good. Just because a dog improves on a food does not mean that the dog is at his BEST on that food, and sometimes it takes a bit more searching and tweaking to find this out. I have seen many dogs go from improved to fantastic by changing food when the dog ‘plateaus’ but still displays certain physical evidence of things that could be improved.

  • Jonathan

    Debbie, the specific purpose of using “dry matter basis” is to accurately estimate the carbs and compare the good stuff in canned foods (fat and protein) to dry kibble. When looking at canned product, the amount of fat and protein versus carbs is usually significantly better than the ratio in dry food. Also, you must take into account the “ash” content which, I believe, Mike estimates some where around 7%? That is why it never adds up to 100. Hope that helps.

  • Debbie Tucker

    Hello – I love your site and recommend it to many of my grooming clients.

    One thing I would like to know is why your nutritional analysis seems to allow for nutrition other than protein, fat and carbs=100%? I say this because if you add protein and fat (which are on the label) and deduct this number from 100, that should be the carb amount, yet you consistently register a lower amount on your dials/meters.

    Since I believe that carb level over 40% adds to a lot of problems due to excessive yeast (problems ranging from dry skin, dull coat, excessive shedding, recurring ear problems to constant scratching, foot licking, swollen and red paws, discolored hair, hot spots, running eyes, constant and severe ear infections, etc.), I think that many of your carb estimates may be lower than the actual amount.

    I hope you can clear this up for me. I have read the FAQ’s and not seen it addressed.

    Additionally, I wonder why the wet food info has an estimated dry food matter content. When we feed wet food, we are feeding the protein on the label, not in the dry food/pre-water-added form. As it is now, I think people would figure they are feeding terrific protein with canned foods, which does not seem to be the case.

    If I have missed an explanation or otherwise come to a wrong conclusion, please set me straight.

    Thank you.


  • Bob K

    Margie – What “good dog foods” have you tried without success? You are paying a premium for this 3 star food. There are many 4 and 5 star foods I suspect your dog would also thrive on and leave more money in your pocket. How much per pound are you paying for this 3 star food? I am glad you found a food that works for your loved one.

  • Roger Prows

    That last post sure seems alot like industry spam to me.

  • Margie Sandau

    There are so many good dog foods on the market these days and I have tried several. But I must admit that after not only going to the website I have attached below which made complete sense as well as putting my GSD who had trouble gaining weight as well as itchy skin on German Shepherd 24 she is thriving! She’s gaining weight, shiny coat and looks amazing. CHECK OUT THIS WEB SITE ON GERMAN SHEPHERD 24

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Sapphire… Maize is just another word for corn (in the UK and elsewhere). The two words mean the same thing.

  • Sapphire

    I see thank you for clearing that.

    I also what to know what is the difference between “maize” and “corn” ?.

    When they say “maize” it means the hole plant and not only the grains?

  • Jonathan

    Yeah, that’s significantly lower quality. However, the crustaceans and the cartilage are not a bad addition. They add Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfate to the food which are recognized as beneficial for joint health. While the amount of G and C are not usually at a “therapeutic” level in a kibble, it’s inclusion certainly doesn’t hurt anything.

  • Sapphire

    Hi! in the version of this food for latin america the ingredients quality is lower.

    Here is the poodle food ingredients:

    maize, dehydrated poultry meat, vegetable protein isolate, animal fats, barley, maize flour, maize gluten, hydrolysed animal proteins, vegetable fibres, beet pulp, vegetable oils (soya and borage), minerals, fish oil, yeasts, L-lysine, fructo-oligo-saccharides, DL-methionine, sodium polyphosphate, taurine, L-cystine, hydrolysed crustaceans (sourse of glucosamine), L-tyrosine, green tea and grape extracs (sourse of polyphenols) marigold extract (source of lutein), L-carnitine, hydrolysed cartilage (source of chandroitin)


    This is the first time I see the crustaceans and the cartilage described in a food.

    Also even if the ingredients are lower the price of the food is very high for example the 1.5 kg bag is $17

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  • Josh Stepka

    Hi Mike! Geat website here! We have an english bull dog in the house. As a puppy she was on nutra source. Then Diamond naturals fo a while and the last two months the bull dog formula. she recently had two bladder stones the size of golf balls removed and several smaller ones. vet said to stop feeding what we are feeding but seems like good feed to me. My hounds get Native stage lll should we switch her to that?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi James… He’s probably just fine. But if symptoms worsen or his appetite doesn’t improve, it’s quite possible your dog needs to see his vet. Wish I could be more help.

  • James Mc Grath

    we have a miniature schnauzer that is 8 months old. we are feeding him royal canin mini junior, but in the last few days he has been eating very little food. we give him a small tin of tuna once a week and he eats that straight away, he also gets a pedigree dentastix every second day which he also eats. everything else with him is normal, he’s drinking well, as playful as ever and is going to the toilet as normal. could he just get tired of the same food. thanks for you help

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Mario… There’s no way for any of us to know what your dog will ultimately like. Yes, you can try changing to a new kibble. But if you decide to offer a canned “topper” to mix with his kibble, try a better quality one. Kibble is least like what a dog would naturally eat than any other type of food (raw, canned, home, etc.). So, it could be a challenge at this point to get him to eat a dry food.

  • Mario

    I got from a friend that is moving out of the country an Olde English Bulldogge, he is 3, the problem is that he used to feed him with human food, now I’m trying to correct that and I got him a bag of Royal Canin Bulldog 24, what is killing me is that he doesn’t even look at his bowl when I give him his food, some times what I have to do is mix it with half a can of Purina Alpo and that seems the be the only way. Questions: A) Should I try another brand of dry food?. B) Since Purina Alpo (Canned) got so poor review, should I try a different brand like Cesar Bistro that got a better review and keep mixing it up?

  • ed

    Royal Canin gets no respect from the “food elitists” but there is a reason Champion dogs all over the world use it. Plain and simple it works. I used to think the breed specific formulas were a gimmick but they really are effective, especially the Labrador formula.

    Excellent product from a science driven company.

  • jet

    My GSD could not gain weight and his poop was always soft or runny. I have tried the top of the line foods also. Then I decided to give the GSD Royal Canin a try. Since then he has gained weight and he now has firm bowel movements. You just have to keep trying until you get it right. Too bad all dogs didn’t have the same digestive tract.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Liz… not aware of any specific problem with reasonable amounts of peanut butter. But why not try “topping” your dog’s kibble with a nice canned food. We’ve been doing this for Bailey for years. After all, what could possibly be more boring and unnatural than kibble?.

  • Liz Davis

    I have a 2 yr old boxer who has been a very picky eater since day one. I have tried a number of high priced, high quality dog foods just trying to get him to eat. The one I finally settled on was Royal Canine Boxer. This is the only food I have found that he will eat most of the time,..although there are days when I have to dap a little natural peanut butter on the top to interest him. Once he gets started, he eats most of the 2 cups in his bowl(usually 2 Xday). I often wonder if the peanut butter is ok for him. If there is something I should know about PB, I would appreciate the advice. Otherwise I will continue to dap a little on his food. Max is a happy, healthy boxer and that is how I want to keep him.

  • Kiza Ethan

    ROYAL CANIN – The only dog food that has worked for my two Irish Wolfhounds. I thought about the individual breeds being a sales pitch…. until I tried it and saw the difference in my dogs. Everything needs balance. My vet also agreed that most dog foods are not tested but said Royal Canin is and it is top of the line. Usually we get what we pay for. I highly recommend it because I give it to three of my other dogs as well and they have definitely benefited from my changing. I could sell the product ….that is how much better I think it is- On top of that my dogs LOVE it.
    I might add that I was buying (I thought) the best dog food prior to the change (in TWO different brands) Until I found Royal Canin and it is just a tad higher dollar wise. I do not need to look any farther – my dogs health is the proof of my BEST choice. May we all have happy healthy dogs and give each one what is best for them.

  • Jonathan

    Well, started mixing in RC bulldog 24 with Sadie’s Wellness Large Breed and Earthborn grain free. She LOVES IT! It is big kibble… almost “treat” sized.

  • Jonathan

    Yeah, per pound, the Royal Canin foods are the most expensive in our store. In particular, the small breed formulas. Like where do they get off charging 17.99 for a 2.5lb bag of Chihuahua when Wellness Core Ocean Fish is 14.99 for 4lbs? It’s just silly. I guess Bulldogs are prone to flatus. My dog doesn’t have an issue. I was just thinking maybe that’s why they leave out the gluten in their food that claims to reduce gas. Which makes me wonder why they don’t just leave it out of their entire product line. They must be printing money given their prices versus the cheap fillers.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Jonathan… Since (like us humans) each dog responds to the same ingredient in its own special way, it’s impossible for me (or anyone) to assure you this low gas marketing claim actually works. In any case, I would agree that designs of most of these breed-specific formulas touches on the realm of parlor tricks. There are probably some subtle feeding differences between breeds. But it amazes me how people can be so attracted to these type formulas yet (even with very competitive pricing) miss foods with much higher (and better) meat content. Such is the world of commercial dog foods.

  • Jonathan

    Hey Mike, I recently got a couple of coupons for free 6lb bags of Royal Canin Dog food and after reading all the ingredients, I chose the “Bulldog 24″ because it was the only formula in their line that did not contain corn gluten or wheat gluten. I wonder… one of the things it says it “does” for Bulldogs is reduce flatulence. You suppose this is why there is not hard to digest gluten meals? Instead of a gluten meal, it has pork meal, so I was pretty happy about an extra meat. I, of course, don’t have a Bulldog. I have a golden/lab mutt. But both the lab and the golden formula have corn gluten meal, which I have no interest in feeding to my dog. Then again, those formulas both have higher protein (granted, from added gluten) but do you think she will be fine with a couple of bags of Bulldog 24? I figure the “breed specific” thing is little more than gimmicky marketing.

  • CC

    When your dog vomits regularly, immediately stop the dog food and give it cooked boiled chicken and rice instead. If he stops vomiting, it was probably the dog food, if he keeps vomiting, rush him to a vet and pay for the test to check for pancreatic problems, a very serious condition, probably caused by food.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Dave… vomiting a completely undigested meal 6-8 hours after eating concerns me. Looks like you need the help of a vet to solve this one. Wish I could help.

  • Dave

    Thanks, Mike, for recommending a lower fiber food to stop gas in our 2yo Bullmastiff. The Boxer and Bulldog formulas stopped the flatulence. However, we have been on the Bulldog food for the past 5 days and she has been throwing all her food up once a day 6-8 hours after she eats. It is all undigested food. Any thoughts?