Royal Canin Giant (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Royal Canin Giant Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Royal Canin Giant product line includes four dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and one for adult maintenance.

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

  • Royal Canin Giant Adult
  • Royal Canin Giant Junior
  • Royal Canin Giant Puppy
  • Royal Canin Giant Starter (3.5 stars)

Royal Canin Giant Junior was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Giant Junior

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 32% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 44%

Ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried beet pulp, sodium silico aluminate, fish oil, potassium phosphate, vegetable oil, grain distillers dried yeast, calcium carbonate, salt, psyllium seed husk, fructooligosaccharides, l-lysine, potassium chloride, hydrolyzed yeast, choline chloride, taurine, dl-methionine, glucosamine hydrochloride, l-carnitine, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate), marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis29%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis32%16%44%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%33%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 item lists 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 third item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

The next two ingredients are wheat gluten and corn gluten meal. 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 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.

After the natural 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 three notable exceptions

First, vegetable oil is 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 Giant Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Giant Dog Food looks like a below average dry product.

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 32%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

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

Above-average protein. Above-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 and corn gluten meals, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Giant is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken by-product or chicken meals as its main sources 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.

Special Alert

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

A Final Word

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

10/22/2010 Original review
08/23/2010 Review updated
03/12/2012 Review updated
09/20/2013 Review updated
09/20/2013 Last Update

  • theBCnut

    I posted a reply directly to her too.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Patty, yes, it can get confusing. That’s why I try to write the whole name of the product out, for other readers, so everyone is on the same page. When I decided to try GF 4health cat, I checked and it is made by Ainsworth. I don’t use the grain inclusive one that’s made by Diamond. I wish the whole 4health line was made by Ainsworth. It would be a lot less confusing for everyone. I hope Cayce sees our posts, and she doesn’t throw her food out. :)

  • theBCnut

    OT, but I can’t seem to post to the Victor thread were the convo is at, also OT. The grain free 4Health cat food is definitely made at Ainsworth at this time, I just lost tract of which one they were talking about because they started referring to it as just 4Health in several posts. My brain is somewhat like spaghetti, I guess.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes they are. I’ve looked at the different formulas/breeds and they are all the same ingredients. Royal Canin is all just marketing. You’re dog may do fantastic on it, but it’s still just marketing, to make people think their getting something special for their particular breed.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, I have vacuum eating lab mixes!

  • David Tudor

    ha ha ha that’s funny. I really get that.
    My meaning of the kibble size and shape actually has scientific basis in that some shapes are easier to pick up with a bracheasyphilic jaw structure or little teeth or even the labrador who tends to vacuum feed. It’s a real issue for some dogs and cats. Just my humble opinion, and a little science.

  • Crazy4cats

    I don’t think the kibble hits my dogs’ mouth long enough for them to notice a size or shape!

  • David Tudor

    Yes, I was there from 2012 till 2013, March

  • David Tudor

    I apologize. It will not happen again. I do appreciate the forum and comments.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Feel free to post your experiences and opinions on this website.

    However, posting the same comment four times is considered “spam” by the Disqus spam filters.

    So, please limit each of your comments to one single occurrence. Thanks.

  • Betsy Greer

    So, you were employed by Royal Canin as recently as October of 2013?

  • David Tudor

    Just a quick note, the ingredient lists may look similar but they are not, I assure you. As well, Kibble shape and size make a difference with different dogs mouths. While it may have a lot to do with marketing, I am very comfortable in stating that RC truly puts the pets first. I have many stories and different perspectives to offer, but will refrain.
    Royal Canin has served me and all of my friends very well, if and when money becomes an issue, I may look elsewhere. But since my dog is only 7 pounds, it isn’t likely. She doesn’t eat much.
    Just remember, not everything on the internet is truth. Bon Jour.

  • LabsRawesome

    It’s great that it works for your dog. But it is all a marketing ploy. People like to feel special. Don’t believe me? Compare the ingredient list on lets say Dachshund with the ingredient list for Boxer. Or any of the ingredient lists, they are all the same!! They may have a slight variation of order of ingredients, but are all basically the same exact food. With very low grade ingredients. You could do much better than Royal Canin, and probably even pay less $.

  • David Tudor

    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.

    The more generalized Size and group specific diets are equally scrutinized.

    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. She eats the Mini Adult, (With the Pappillion on the bag) and loves it. 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.

  • Courtenay

    I was recommended your site by our the chat assistant on http://www.petheaven.co.za and I must say its really really impressive.

    The review of the above food really makes one feel they know exactly what they’re getting for their dog. Our great dane has been eating Royal Canin for a long time, this product especially so it makes sense for him to continue on it, even though it didn’t get the best reviews. Hoping that http://www.petheaven.co.za will get to stock some of the more well reviewed dog foods on your site…

    Thanks again for an informative site. Definitely will recommend to others

    Courtenay

  • sara

    Hi I try to call tham on that number, but it is not working from here. I am living in australia QLD in Cairns.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Sara… Are you outside of the United States? If so, you should be aware that manufacturers frequently use different ingredients for many of their products. My best recommendation… check with Royal Canin. Send them an email or give them a call.

  • sara

    Thanks a lot it helps. I ordered Royal Canin one month ago from internet and I just now check date and there is best before 18.11.2010 it means they are selling older version of that dry food, it is same think with mini Royal Canin. Sara

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Sara… I contacted Royal Canin and (also re-checked the company’s website). I’ve confirmed our published data is correct and up-to-date. If you see those preservatives listed on your package, it’s possible you’re using an older (out-of-date) version of the product. By the way, feeding expired products can be hazardous to your pets. So, be sure to verify the dates on the packages.

    Royal Canin has upgraded and improved many of their recipes. If you have any concerns, I’d suggest you contact the company on their customer service phone number at (800) 592-6687.

    Hope this helps.

  • sara

    Hello again, I just check ingredients on same dry food Royal Canin Giant and I have written there Propyl Gallate, Butilated hydroxyanisole (BHA), but I can not see them here in your ingredients. Same for Mini Royal Canin for Jack Russel? Thanks Sara