Royal Canin Giant Adult dog food gets the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Royal Canin Giant product line includes 3 dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth (Puppy and Junior) and one for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Royal Canin Giant Puppy
- Royal Canin Giant Junior
- Royal Canin Giant Adult 28
Royal Canin Giant Adult 28
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, chicken fat, corn gluten meal, natural chicken flavor, oatmeal, dried beet pulp, dried brewers yeast, anchovy oil (source of DHA), calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, soya oil, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, dried egg powder, choline chloride, 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), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], glucosamine hydrochloride, taurine, trace minerals [zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], chondroitin sulfate, L-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||20%||41%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||40%||34%|
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 item 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 lists 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 item is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in many 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.
After the natural chicken flavor, we find oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.
The eighth ingredient lists 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.
The ninth ingredient is dried brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With four notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
Next, we find soil oil, red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.
However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3′s, it’s considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Thirdly, anchovy oil. Anchovy 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, anchovy oil should be considered a commendable addition.
And lastly, this food does contain 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 Adult Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Giant Adult appears to be only an average 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Above-average protein. 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, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing an above-average amount of meat.
Royal Canin Giant Adult is a plant-based dry dog food using an above-average amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Those looking for a not-so-giant large breed kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Royal Canin Maxi dog food.
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
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Notes and Updates
10/22/2010 Original review
08/23/2010 Review updated
03/12/2012 Review updated
03/12/2012 Last Update