Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult product line includes 15 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
  • Royal Canin Boxer
  • Royal Canin Beagle
  • Royal Canin Bulldog
  • Royal Canin Shih Tzu
  • Royal Canin Chihuahua
  • Royal Canin Dachshund
  • Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel
  • Royal Canin Poodle (2 stars)
  • Royal Canin Golden Retriever
  • Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier
  • Royal Canin Labrador Retriever
  • Royal Canin German Shepherd
  • Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer
  • Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier (2 stars)

Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Brewers rice, brown rice, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, corn, natural flavors, powdered cellulose, dried plain beet pulp, fish oil, grain distillers dried yeast, vegetable oil, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, sodium silico aluminate, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, taurine, hydrolyzed yeast, 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, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], dl-methionine, choline chloride, magnesium oxide, l-lysine, glucosamine hydrochloride, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], tea, l-carnitine, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%18%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%37%39%

The first ingredient in this dog food is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

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

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

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

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 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 sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal, another plant-based protein booster.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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

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

After the natural flavor, we find powdered cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.

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

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

With five notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, we find grain distillers dried yeast, a by-product resulting from the fermentation of grains separated from distilling mash as a by-product of the production of ethanol (biofuel).

Even though it contains over 40% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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

In addition, 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.

Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

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 a below-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 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten and corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Breed-Specific Adult is a plant-based dry dog food using a below-average amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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

06/22/2014 Last Update

  • sharron

    want to let you know that we are back to normal – lexee is back to drinking water from her bowl on a regular basis – she started last night so all is good again

  • Shawna

    LOL!! Thanks C4d!

  • Dori

    Ahhhhhhhhhh.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I got it Shawna. And, anyway, we luv ya for your knowledge, not your comedic abilities! :)

  • Shawna

    Attempted explanation – apparently another fail.. UHG :)

    In my first post I stated I was telling her not to worry about other peoples opinion and said “In my opinion, not that you asked…” I thought I was being clever but resulted in first fail… :)

  • Dori

    I’m very happy to hear that Sharron. Keep adding the water to her food.

  • Dori

    HUH?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Glad to hear that! :)
    I’d probably keep adding a bit of water to her food so you know she’s getting enough.

  • sharron

    no need to apologize – i didn’t realize that you were joking – i should apologize

  • sharron

    just want to say that i took lexee to the vet this afternoon and she is fine – NOT
    dehydrated – the amount of water i’m mixing with the wet food for the day is the right amount that she should take in

  • Shawna

    The opinion comment was a failed attempt at a joke – sorry.

  • Crazy4dogs

    100% AGREE!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Oh I realize what I had to learn was much more involved, but if she’s having that much trouble, if it was me, I would contact the vet’s office and ask for hands on instruction. My vets are always more than willing to help with things like that.

  • Dori

    C4D, what we suggested about the syringe was for her to get some fluids into Lexee’s mouth, down her throat. She’s not doing subq or giving injections. I wouldn’t think she’d need to be taught that process. Thought you might think she was attempting subq treatments or anything like that. Lexie’s not drinking enough fluids and I and others suggested that she get some fluids by syringe into her mouth.

  • Dori

    sharron, more important than her eating is her not drinking. You have got to get fluids into Lexee or take her to the vet for intravenous i.v. fluids. Dogs dehydrate very quickly especially dogs of the size that you and I have. Lack of fluids is not something you can take your time with or contemplate the best way to do it. Have you tried the pedialyte? Will she lick a little honey off your finger? Very important. I can’t stress this point enough as Storm’s Mom has already said.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Trying to hold down an 80 lb dog that’s fear aggressive of the needle when you’re trying to give sub-q fluids, now that’s tough! :/

  • Dori

    I hate to keep repeating my mantra to one and all that post about how they are continually looking for a food for their dogs because their dog doesn’t like the food people have picked out for them. But forgive me I will say it again. DOGS ARE NOT BORN PICKY EATERS. NOPE! They are made that way by their guardians.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Sharron hasn’t your vet or a vet tech shown you how to use the syringe properly?
    My vet taught us how to give injections and subcutaneous fluids.

  • Storm’s Mom

    You keep saying that “Lexee doesn’t like” and “it’s a struggle”, etc etc etc ..what exactly are you afraid of with/about her?!?! Like, I’m sorry, but she’s a tiny Chihuahua Yorkie, what is the worst that can happen if you try to feed her water in a syringe TO SAVE HER LIFE?!?! She can’t go on for all that long with the only moisture in her diet being from the canned food and the small amount of water you put on it/kibble before dehydration and kidney issues do some serious damage. You just seem so…tentative… when dealing with her, and I don’t get why.

  • sharron

    your opinion does matter to me – i have tried your suggestions and everyone else’s on this site and unfortunately lexee didn’t like the suggestions – i tried raw again this past weekend and she wouldn’t touch it – so i guess i have to go along with want she likes and will eat which is royal canin – i’ve been going through this for 5 yrs, it has to end at some point – i have mentioned the water issue to the vet, this is a new thing for her, she said to add water to wet food, it just makes it really sloppy and lexee won’t eat it or use the syringe

  • DogFoodie

    I think it was probably more like two years ago, Shawna.

  • Shawna

    Yeah freeze dried foods do tend to be pretty high in fat, you are not wrong.

    Seems odd that she is fine with eating after the surgery but not with drinking water? Is it possible that the water is too cold and maybe making her teeth hurt? Have you mentioned this new problem to the vet?

    If you talk with different groups, you are going to get differing opinions for sure. In my opinion, not that you asked… :) In my opinion, raw is always best but I’m not feeding Lexee so in the end my opinion doesn’t really matter for Lexee. Don’t let people bully you or make you feel bad about what you are doing especially when you know you have tried so many foods and had issues along the way.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Well, my suggestion is that you figure out something to get fluids into her ASAP otherwise she’s going to end up in emerg pretty darn quickly with an IV in her, at the very least. A “struggle” with a syringe is far preferable in this situation to the alternative. (and I honestly can’t believe that I even have to point that out to you)

  • sharron

    sorry forgot to answer this part – i did do the syringe that turned out to be a struggle, i got more on her face then in her mouth, also the last time i gave her broth she ended up at the vet with an allergic reaction to something in it – the broth was the only thing different, same dry food mixed with the broth – that was quite a few months ago

  • sharron

    i shouldn’t have generalized and said that all grain free foods make her gain weight – i think the freeze dried is too high in fat – i could be wrong – i don’t know – everything was going well until the surgery and the water problem – food isn’t an issue, hasn’t been for awhile – i do get confused – because i get so many opinions about what i should be feeding her – so i’m sticking with what works for her

  • Shawna

    I understand her weight is fine now. I am simply stating that Lexee lost weight on “grain free” Orijen kibble so when you say above that “grain free” caused her to gain weight, I have to disagree. A specific brand of grain free may have caused an issue but “grain free” was not the problem.

    You seem to constantly and continuously have issue with Miss Lexee. I feel bad for both of you.

    Do you think she would allow you to syringe feed her water or low sodium chicken broth?

  • sharron

    her weight is fine – and right now it’s the least of my problems – since her dental surgery last week she won’t drink water – she hasn’t had any except for what i mix with the can food

  • Shawna

    I think one time we talked about the difference between weight as a number on the scale and body condition. Do you remember that? Body condition is FAR more important than what the scales say.

  • Shawna

    I spoke with Sharron over a year ago and I know many others have spoken with her between than and now and before me.

  • sharron

    the whole weight issue wasn’t something that i came up with – i was told by a nutritionist at the vet clinic that she was 2 lbs overweight – that was like 4 yrs ago – she did gain a lb when i fed her the orijen freeze dried about 2 months ago – she is now back to her normal weight – i don’t believe now that she has been overweight except for that lb that she gained a couple of months ago – i honestly think that the nutritionist is wrong – she has always stayed the same weight

  • Crazy4dogs

    I was discussing foods with sharron just a couple of days ago and I know Dori has been helping her. I’m not sure I’m understanding what her needs are. She said the orijen freeze dried was making her dog too fat. I think maybe she just wants justification for feeding RC?

  • Shawna

    I don’t think you can state that she gained weight on grain free per se –You said this about Orijen a year ago

    “i think she has reached the weight loss goal- she’s going to be too skinny if she loses any more – you can feel her ribs and just about everything else – and now she’s starting to get hungry again like she
    did when she was on the royal canin, and the other foods that contained a lot of carbs” https://disqus.com/home/discussion/dogfoodadvisor/orijen_adult_dry/#comment-1353630811

    I know you’ve fed everything from Oijen to Cesar’s to RC and raw. If RC is what you want to feed her then do it. If people don’t like it then don’t give them the opportunity to give their opinion.

  • Adam

    Would just like to tell my pup Hana story. Hana is a 3 yr old golden doodle. We adopted from a bad situation and she was underweight. After trying most of the big brand dog foods and special organic blends, she still had not put on weight. In visiting my parents boxer who eats RC, Hana ate the boxers food without hesitation. So we switched her to RC. Now RC does not make a golden doodle breed specific food so we have option to mix and match (her formula is equal parts of poodle formula, boxer formula and lab formula). Since the switch to RC Hana has gained and maintained a healthy weight. Her skin and coat has never looked better and she has healthy daily bowl movements. Best part is that she enjoys the food! Our vet has seen this improvement and encourages us to continue on this regimen. So regardless of these test results we will continue to do what we have found works best for Hana and her health!

  • Lotzahenz

    ahh, true, maybe there is just one really heavy one, even better, easier to clean up.

  • Lotzahenz

    My dog has gone from 3 stools in the morning, and 2 in the evening, to 1 in the morning and one in the evening, seems about right to me too. I like that, less clean up.

  • Lotzahenz

    can you give me an idea why my dog LOVES it, over the other supposedly better foods? That is my question. I think we think that dogs just eat MEAT, but that is not at all true in the wild, wolves have a hiearchy in feeding, and they eat the whole animal. The choices parts go to the alpha, the pups get the left overs and all eat bones. Pups are nursing, so eating is training, but the bone building calcium found in bones in vital. My finicky pup will beg for the kibble, but I sat out 6 bowls of other expensive choices (skipped cheap ones) and she turned up her nose at all of them and even picked out the RC in the other choices, when I tried to hide it later to get her to eat it. And, with that said, my cat came and did the same thing, eats the RC like it is candy.

  • Lotzahenz

    but my dogs all love feathers! says the lady who loves feathers on the live bird to stay there, they are a source of protein and calcium found in nature? Like egg shells are super nutritious, the contents of a gut are super nutritious to dogs, as the leader of the pack gets them. I have begun to rethink feather meal and such, it sounds bad but it is simply natural. Corn? Hum, was told not to fee corn to anything, especially my human children, but we LOVE corn too. sigh. Corn is for cows was our motto, makes fat cows.

  • Lotzahenz

    RC was the brand of choice in Europe when we lived there, it was just not affordable at all, cheaper to feed pure beef steak, 10x cheaper to feed chicken for humans.

  • Lotzahenz

    fellow human nurse here too, I say what makes the patient happy, like pizza on a sick stomach, makes the patient well most of the time. I have seen it over and over. I also question why the really expensive stuff, the on the vets wall at $100 a bag is RC? They surely have reasons of scientific nature? If my dog won’t eat the other stuff, then she does anything she can to get to the human food, the cats box, the trash etc and then she is sick for a few days when that happens.

  • Lotzahenz

    I am this person. I have bought over 10 different high quality dog foods (kibble) and my dog has an extremely sensitive digestive system, and the ONLY food she will eat is RC mini ‘special’. She loves it, and will only eat the other choices at the end of the day when she is super hungry. I was here researching “WHY” this is, read the review and am tired of spending money on dog food she just will not eat. I keep considering just buying the cheap stuff, but have not given up yet. WeimyLife, what do you suggest, stick with the overpriced RC?

  • sharron

    since i will be feeding lexee straight can food, what should i look for as far nutrients – right now i have on royal canin low fat canned which ishe really really likes, it’s her favourite – i noticed on the DFA suggested weight loss food list that merrick seems to be a good one – she doesn’t need to lose weight, if she does only 1/2 lb – have tried weruva, she didn’t care for that, i think because it has shredded things in it – she doesn’t like anything shredded – she really prefers a pate

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! Mine will eat the flavored ones loaded in sugar! :)

  • Crazy4cats

    lol :)

  • sharron

    thanks – trying to feed lexee dry is like trying to get my husband to eat yogurt
    just doesn’t work

  • Crazy4dogs

    Storm’s mom is right. If cost isn’t a factor, raw or canned is a healthier option anyway. I use kibble mixed with canned in the morning to keep down the cost because I have up to 200+ lbs of dogs here, depending on the fosters I have.

  • sharron

    i really should just do straight can instead of forcing her to eat dry which she has never really cared for, no matter what brand it is, or whether it’s grain free or not – i usually have to soften up the kibble anyway when i feed it to her – that’s what i’m going to do – just canned – thanks!!!!!!!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Why not just keep her on canned and/or raw?

  • Storm’s Mom

    sharron’s in Canada, Victor’s not available here. I wish it were. Good call on the Earthborn, I keep forgetting about them! (probably in part because the closest place that sells Earthborn is 90mins away)

  • sharron

    oh no she’s not ready yet to eat anything hard – won;t be for another week – still on wet food – i;m just looking into other foods for down the road

  • LabsRawesome

    Victor is my favorite kibble, my dogs do really well on it. Merrick, Earthborn. Check out the 4 and 5 star best foods on this site. Best 4 star foods http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/?s=grain+inclusice+best+4+star+foods

  • aquariangt

    Fromm Gold is grain inclusive and fairly easily tolerated to start moving towards higher quality foods. If that’s too much of a jump, try Precise Foundations or Nutrisource

  • Storm’s Mom

    Nature’s Logic and Merrick’s grain-inclusive formulas are the ones that come immediately to mind.

    Did the vet indicate it’s alright to feed her kibble again? I’m thinking you’d want to be sticking with canned and/or raw still??

  • sharron

    ok thanks a lot – i don’t think she does really well on grain free – what are some decent dry foods that include grains – do you know or can you point me in the right direction

  • LabsRawesome

    I would keep trying higher quality foods. Some stores have free samples, and if you contact manufactures they can send samples to you too.

  • sharron

    thanks – i know there are better foods, my problem is getting her to eat them – she likes RC she eats it more readily than others i have tried

  • aimee

    It is an interesting product and i know someone who used it and thought it effective.

    I’m thinking I did read some research on it and measured cortisol levels did not elevate as much when put in a stressful situation vs control diet. So there is some “hard” data in addition to observation.

    That said I remain a but “on the fence” regarding effectiveness and think it would only help in milder cases.

    The milk protein incorporated in the diet is I believe the same as what is in the supplement Zyklene http://www.vetoquinol.ca/en/index.asp?page=302

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi sharron, You’re definitely not abusing her. But, Royal Canin is only a 2 and a half star food. It does not have high quality ingredients. For the money that you are paying you can get a much higher quality food. Have you read Dr. Mike’s review for RC? It has a lot of red flagged ingredients, and is low in meat protein. The funny thing about RC’s “breed specific” diets, if you look at the ingredients lists they are all very similiar, each different food uses the same ingredients, just in different order.

  • sharron

    the other day i was told by a pet store employee that i am abusing my dog by feeding her royal canin and if i won’t feed her a superior grain free food i shouldn’t own a dog – she does fine on RC – her poops on good, better than they were when i fed her grain free, and she has lost the weight that she gained when she was on grain free, she had gained even with cutting back on the amount served and she still got 3-4 walks a day

  • Pitlove

    Royal Canin; the masters of marketing dog food to uneduated people. This one is my favorite: http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/Veterinary-Products/Canine-Nutrition/Veterinary-Therapeutic-Formulas/Calm

    edit: i really hope my sarcasm was noted.

  • pitlove

    Its funny how the breed specific formulas for other contries have different ingredients. you would think if it was specific to one breed they would contain the same ingredients. lol

  • pitlove

    The reason why most people who are in the vet field believe that RC, Science Diet and Purina are quality, nutrious and wholesome foods is because representitives from those companies are the people who are hired to teach nutrition classes at vet school. The students walk out believeing that dogs are omnivores and that they need “wholesome grains” (as beneful puts it) in their diet. They also come out believeing that dogs do not need a raw diet because they are domistic animals and not wolves. It is a brilliant way for these companies to market their food. It is sad but most vet’s have little to no actual nutrition knowledge about dogs dietary needs at all. Dr. Karen Becker is actually trying to raise money to be able to have holistic nutritional classes taught in vet schools as elective classes for students who want unbias information on dog nutrition. It’s really great what she is trying to do

  • mjfromga

    I think I saw a doggy Bistro in France or something serving their “doggy diners” Royal Canin. Thing is, despite this being so expensive, there’s no way I’d let my Nigredo eat any of this. He’s allergy prone and all that corn etc. is probably bad for him. Irrelevant to this article, my uncle was feeding his dogs Twin Pet dry food. Literally that stuff smells like cardboard.

  • peggy

    I agree! I have chihuahuas and they are hard to please. I feed the Royal Canine Chihuahua and they love it. Never had a problem health wise. To even things out I make all their treats and jerky!

  • Bobby dog

    Yes, some dogs take weeks or maybe months initially for transitions to new foods. Some may never transition well. Finding several foods your dog does well on is something to consider because recipes never remain the same or are discontinued.
    Also keep in mind a food may be marketed as “hypoallergenic,” however that term is misleading. It is only hypoallergenic to a dog if it does not contain a protein the dog is sensitive to; that is individual to each dog. A dog may be sensitive to any protein, fish, potato, peas the list could be simple or it could be endless.
    That’s good you are looking into possible environmental issues; sometimes that’s overlooked. Finding a food with a single protein might be a good place to start. Good luck!

  • Brandy

    Thank you, Susan!

  • Brandy

    Thank you, Bobby Dog! Great info! I’m reluctant to rotate his diet as he tends to have a sensitive tummy & intestinal tract. We thought it was environmental and it could still be.

  • Susan

    Hi Brandy try “Holistic Select” Grainfree Adult/Puppy health Salmon Anchovy & Sardine meal, the grainfree has potatos so if he’s still scratching try their other brands that don’t have starchy potatoes like their Adult Health Anchovy,Sardines & Salmon meal, you can then rotate with their Duck or Lamb as they are single protein kibbles & come under Hypoallergenic kibbles good for dogs with skin problems, here’s their site http://www.holisticselect.com.au/recipes.aspx?pet=dog

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Brandy:
    I had skin issues with my dog that was partly due to fleas and a not so healthy diet. He was red, had allot of fur loss, licking, scratching, sores, and was smelly. My dog experienced allot of crying and waking up in the middle of the night because he was uncomfortable.

    I was feeding canned food and treats that had chemicals and dyes with a well rated GF kibble. To heal him I used a topical antibiotic from the Vet along with oral antibiotics to start the long road to recovery. I began a rotational diet with both kibble and canned foods. I believe the most beneficial part of getting him healthy again was bathing therapy and consistent grooming. It took lots of elbow grease and diligence on my part, eight months worth.

    I have found one protein that he might have a sensitivity to, duck. I am not sure because I want to try another brand to determine if duck might be an issue or if it was another ingredient in the food. After a week on the duck kibble he just became itchy and was rubbing up against anything he could to scratch himself. For all I know he could have gotten into something outside also. You need to consider that it may not be the food it could be environmental. Laundry detergents, floor/carpet cleaners, lawn fertilizer are common culprits.

    I now feed GF and grain inclusive foods, both kibble and canned in a rotation. I change the brand of food, protein, and carb source of the kibble after each bag and change toppers every one to two days. The variety provided by a rotational diet has been positive.
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diet-rotation-for-dogs/

    Another factor that I believe made an impact on his health was the addition of lightly cooked fresh meats, vegetables & fruits, and commercial raw foods as toppers.

    If your Vet feels it is food related, an elimination diet is the only method to determine food sensitivities. Here’s some info on elimination diets:
    http://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/itchy-dogs-%E2%80%93-is-food-the-problem#.VMHbzbnQOpo

    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2499

  • Brandy

    I have a 95lb GS pup that is 23 mos old. Currently trying to find a food that will ease his itchy skin. Honestly, he will scratch until he whimpers!
    He was on Iams lrg breed puppy, until about 2 mos ago. Bender yo has no effect.
    We tried Iams Naturals, and are currently trying RC breed specific (vet’s recommendation & he loves it), but we are still experiencing excessive itching/scratching.
    I’m reading that maybe a grain free diet might be good for this, but I don’t know. It’s all subject to opinion & controversy?
    I’d love to hear from anyone who has had a similar issue & discovered a solution that provided relief.
    Brandy

  • sharron

    thanks – we are doing much better now with food – i had to switch back to RC from orijen and acana – i think lexee has a sensitivity to alfalfa – every time i feed her orijen or acana she starts licking her paws excessively – the alfalfa is the only ingredient that i can think that could be bothering her

  • theBCnut

    Sharron
    First and foremost, you have to do what works for your dog. The best food in the world is no good if your dog starves to death. All you can do is try to improve her diet. It is up to her to eat it. So if it’s RC, feed RC, but don’t give up on trying to give her little bits of fresh foods that will improve her diet. At least it’s not Pedigree or Beneful, those would kill her outright.

  • sharron

    i’ve been called an idiot and have been asked if i am trying to kill my dog by feeding her RC – this took pace at 2 different pet stores – i now buy her RC (moderate calorie) at the vet clinic – i have tried many other foods over the past 5 yrs and she won’t eat them – she likes RC and eats it without any fuss and is doing well on it – i have tried raw (hated it), have done home made twice (both times she brought it all up) and doesn’t like dehydrated

  • WeimyLife

    I work at a dog food store and RC is not my first pick when someone asks for guidance. The corn related ingredients right? Yuck. However, when someone comes to me with a very picky small breed.. RC! The corn gluten acts as an appetite stimulant. Small dogs tend to be finicky. Solves the problem every time!

  • triumph1

    In My German Shepherd that’s about right- much to my amazement.

  • Debra H

    I guess I am curious as to whether it is good for a food to be highly digestible if what is digested is not very high quality, such as brewer’s yeast? Not trying to be negative… but just wondering what is so great about intake of brewer’s yeast.

  • http://magnoliasouthc.blogspot.com/ MagnoliaSouth

    I’m glad you like it. My daughter’s dog has done very well on it. However, I will say that ingredients do matter sometimes. Take for example corn or soy. Those are high allergens, which is unfortunate. I blame the entire dog allergy problem on the AKC. Breeding practices for beauty is never a good idea.

  • http://magnoliasouthc.blogspot.com/ MagnoliaSouth

    I see nothing wrong with comments from those who support RC. I don’t know why it irritates some of you the way it does. Is it really all that necessary to be so vicious? That makes me think of a study that was done on humans who eat organic food. It has been scientifically proven that those who do, think they’re better than everyone for doing so. Go ahead and Google it. So any of you eat organic, by chance?

    My dogs eat Wellness Core Ocean. It’s a very high quality food and I will fully admit that their coats changed beautifully when I made the switch from many years of Nutro Natural Choice (grain free).

    My daughter recently switched to the RC diet and I was amazed at how much her dog’s coat improved. It’s even more luxurious than my dogs’ on Wellness. No kidding! She’s brighter, healthier, more energetic and overall happier.

    As a veteran human nurse for over 23 years, I can say with absolute and utter authority that sometimes actual nutrients are less important. What matters is what makes the patient a better, healthier patient overall. Do you know how many vegetarians still have heart attacks? Do you know how many organic food eaters are diagnosed with colon cancer? As you can see, the average isn’t always the norm.

    Please refrain from insulting those who appreciate this food, even if you don’t.

  • http://magnoliasouthc.blogspot.com/ MagnoliaSouth

    As are you. Just saying.

  • http://magnoliasouthc.blogspot.com/ MagnoliaSouth

    Clearly you seems to have your own attitude problem. Nothing is worse than a know-it-all with a holier-than-thou attitude. If you have something to say, then you should know that calling yourself “truly intelligent” and waving away opinions as someone “claiming to be a vet tech, or even only a vet asst” are the best ways to have people ignore you. Just saying. Kindness is key here.

  • theBCnut

    I would be perfectly happy for her to provide evidence of either, though I am aware of the fact that due to density issues volume could be less accurate.

  • theBCnut

    Yes, I know that they take their studies seriously. That was not in question. What was in question was if their food is 98% digestible, which is what was claimed. I didn’t see anything in your link that speaks to that.

    BTW: Their serious studies are to prove that a dog can survive on a food made of garbage, not necessarily to prove what is actually best nutritionally for a dog.

  • aquariangt

    “The people who create the food are experts in the field–vets, scientists, nutritionists. What other dog food can you say that about?”
    ~Jenna

    Most of them. Including but not limited to Beneful, which is about as garbage as you can get

  • Shawna

    It is apparent that you have no nutritional training or understanding. You say wheat gluten is used for protein as well as carbs and fiber. Yet per Bob’s Red Mill (manufacturer of human foods) wheat gluten has only 1gram of fiber and 4grams of carbohydrates. That’s pretty insignificant especially when you factor that they add actual grains and veggies for fiber and carbs. Plain and simple, wheat gluten is added to inexpensively increase the protein in the diet (wheat gluten has 23grams of protein).

    It might interest you to know that carbohydrates is not an essential nutrient for cats and dogs. A food can be 100% complete and balanced with zero added carbs — some canned foods are this way. In fact, the AAFCO has no minimum requirement for carbohydrates — none, zilch, zero.

    Fat and protein can be utilized for energy as well. HARD working sled dogs are fed a high FAT diet not a high carb diet..

    I’ve been feeding five of my dogs HIGH protein raw for up to 10 years and have had no issues. The other three get a high protein kibble with canned and raw toppers at every meal.

  • Jenna

    The RC company does not conduct the same type of food trials as other companies do. I have been to seminars showing photos and videos, had meetings with vets who worked for RC, and have worked with vets who have actually been to the facilities. They are unique and if you really care to delve into it, then I suggest you do some research on them.

    Not sure what you mean by “feather meal”? As far as you asking about wheat gluten, I do work in animal medicine but I am not a nutritionalist, but I can tell you that it is a highly digestible protein source that is used in conjunction with chicken meal for a balance of correct amino acids chains, carbs, and fiber. Meat alone has no fiber or carbs, so the wheat provides fiber for GI health and carbs that is essential for energy.

    I’ve been feeding all my dogs and cats RC/Waltham for the past 15 years and have had no issues.

  • Shawna

    A “home like environment” is not a home with the different variables that are in place from home to home.

    Veterinary Nutritionist Meg Smart (who TAUGHT veterinary nutrition for over 30 years) states this in an article on her website.

    “The validity of trials conducted on dogs and cats kept in a kennel or research facility is questioned, as these animals do not have the same freedoms and human bonding experiences of the pets kept within a home environment. Most nutritional trials on companion animals are only valid for that particular group, maintained under the same conditions, fed identical diets. Even the results from the relatively simple non invasive digestibility, palatability and feeding trials done in kennels or catteries specifically established and approved to conduct these trials have come under scrutiny when environment, previous diet, gender, breed and age differences are considered” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2013/11/evaluating-nutritional-research.html

    An “expert” who feels feather meal, corn gluten meal or wheat gluten, just to name a few, are appropriate ingredients for a canine diet is laughable in my opinion. Please explain to me what necessary nutrient “wheat gluten” can provide in the diet that ANY meat source can’t.

  • Jenna

    Are you talking about weight or volume? You refer to both in your comments, though they are not the same measurements.

  • Jenna

    http://www.royalcanin.us/about-us/about-royal-canin/science-based-nutrition

    They actually take their studies and trials very seriously and their facilities can be toured. I have worked with vets that have toured the facility in France and they said it was outstanding. The animals used in their food trials are set up in a “home” like environment, lots of socialization and vet care. When they are done with their trials they are adopted out.

    The people who create the food are experts in the field–vets, scientists, nutritionists. What other dog food can you say that about?

  • LabsRawesome

    I know that’s right!!!!!

  • theBCnut

    Well, since no complete food is 98% digestable, I do already know the outcome, so does everybody else here.

  • Peppy’s Mom

    “But I already know the outcome”. That’s what started it, but no attitude here :)

  • theBCnut

    I brought them on myself by informing you that no dog food is 98% digestable. Oh my!! That surely deserved your attitude. What else did I say, until you started with your attitude?
    And you’re the one that said posting pictures would be gross. We’re all dog lovers here and when you own dogs, nothing is off limits, and poop is a fact of life. When you are discussing what to feed dogs, even more so. BTW, you posted that comment right after someone else posted pictures on another thread about what they found in their dog’s poop. We discuss that sort of thing here. We take our dogs’ health and nutrition very seriously.
    If you’re claiming to be a vet tech, or even only a vet asst, your not the only one, and if you do floats, directs, and send fecal matter off to the lab all day, every day, then you should be able to treat discussions of that nature as common place.

  • Peppy’s Mom

    Actually I “play” with poop on a daily bases checking for parasites and bacteria. Not to mention the blood and vomit too. So no, I’m not going to do that on my time off. I didn’t mean to offend you with the “snide” comments either. You brought them on yourself. Maybe I do need to let the door hit me on my way out now lol. People take things way to seriously. Have a nice life.

  • theBCnut

    You know what just struck me? With all that “experience,” why is she so squeamish about poop and why does she act like there is something wrong with me not being afraid of a little poop?

  • theBCnut

    You’ve insulted the intelligence of everyone on here and that’s not to mention your little snide comments.

    “Well you have fun playing with poop.”

    “Oh never mind, you already know it all.”

    “That’s nice that you know it all too.”

    I simply tried to point out that there is NO dog food that is 98% digestable. You’re the one that started getting nasty.
    Like Cyndi said, don’t forget to upvote your own post, then don’t let the door hit you in the butt.

    ETA: Nevermind, I see you already have.

  • Jennifer Kubler

    Very well said!

  • Jennifer Kubler

    Couldn’t agree more!

  • Cyndi

    Don’t forget to upvote your own comment like you do for all your other ones…

  • Jennifer Kubler

    Absolutely there is always more to learn about everything. I never said I was done. I was just putting my opinion about this food along with some facts about it as well. That’s what this forum is for. No food is perfect. Every animal has different nutrional needs based on age and lifestyle. I don’t need to insult anyone’s intelligence just to feel better about myself. It’s very evident here that’s what you enjoy and must have nothing better to do. I’m done wasting my time here.

  • Cyndi

    Very well said! Happy Independence Day “Party Animal”! 😉

  • theBCnut

    You and I both know that truly intelligent people always know there is always more to learn. If you think you have arrived, then you never understood the destination in the first place.

  • Cyndi

    I beg to differ. If you think RC is a good food, then I don’t believe you are qualified. I’d listen to BCnut about nutrition before I’d listen to someone who thinks rice and corn is a good meal for a dog. & I never claimed to “know it all”. You have a nice day too!

  • Jennifer Kubler

    Yes I only take the best 😉

  • Jennifer Kubler

    That’s nice that you know it all too. I have studied animal health and nutrition for years. I am very qualified to know what I’m talking about. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • Cyndi

    I guarantee she knows alot more than you!