This Review Has Been Merged with
Royal Canin Mini (Dry)
Royal Canin Mini Aging Care receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Royal Canin Mini Aging Care product line includes two dry dog foods.
Although each formulation appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we found no AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the Royal Canin website.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Royal Canin Mini Aging 12+
- Royal Canin Mini Indoor Aging 12+
Royal Canin Mini Aging 12+ dry dog food was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Royal Canin Mini Aging Care
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Brown rice, corn, corn gluten meal, chicken meal, brewers rice, chicken fat, natural flavors, wheat gluten, wheat, dried beet pulp, fish oil, vegetable oil, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, taurine, salt, l-arginine, hydrolyzed yeast, l-lysine, 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, magnesium oxide, dl-methionine, l-tryptophan, trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), marigold extract (tagetes erecta l.), green tea extract, lycopene, l-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||13%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||29%||47%|
The first item in this food 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 second item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The third ingredient 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.
The fourth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The fifth 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.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, brewers rice has nothing to do with the process of brewing beer.
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 wheat gluten, another plant based protein booster.
The eighth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The ninth ingredient is 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 five 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 find 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.
Thirdly, 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.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
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 Mini Aging Care Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Mini Aging Care looks to be 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
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 moderate amount of meat.
Royal Canin Mini Aging Care dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
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
01/17/2010 Original review
08/20/2010 Review updated
04/18/2012 Review updated
10/20/2013 Review merged
10/20/2013 Last Update