Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy Dog Food Review (Dry)

Royal Canin Puppy Dog Food Review

Rating:

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy product line includes the 16 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Use the links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer Puppy was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer Puppy

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, brown rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, wheat, corn, dried chicory root, natural flavors, fish oil, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, psyllium seed husk, l-lysine, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), 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], hydrolyzed yeast (source of betaglucans), dl-methionine, choline chloride, l-tyrosine, taurine, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, carotene, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.2%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%13%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%29%43%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 43%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 choice cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.

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

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

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

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

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

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 next ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although wheat gluten contains 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

The seventh ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat 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 wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The eighth ingredient is corn. Corn is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as wheat (previously discussed).

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 Royal Canin product.

With 5 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, 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.

We also find taurine in this food. Taurine is an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

And lastly, this food 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 Health Nutrition
Puppy Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy Dog Food looks like an average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Which means this Royal Canin product line contains…

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

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

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus receiving 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Royal Canin Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Royal Canin. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

06/15/2020 Last Update