Royal Canin Mini Weight Care (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Royal Canin Mini (Dry)

Royal Canin Mini Weight Care receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

According to the manufacturer, Royal Canin Mini Weight Care is designed “for small breed dogs (between 9 and 22 lb) from 10 months to 8 years old with tendency to gain weight”.

Although this 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.

Royal Canin Mini Weight Care (Dry)

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 10% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, corn gluten meal, corn, pearl barley, wheat, brown rice, powdered cellulose, natural flavors, wheat gluten, chicken fat, rice hulls, dried beet pulp, brewers dried yeast, fish oil, vegetable oil, potassium chloride, psyllium seed husk, calcium carbonate, l-lysine, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, magnesium oxide, taurine, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2- polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], l-carnitine, trace minerals (zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), green tea extract, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%10%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%23%48%

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 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 third 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 fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

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

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is 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.

After natural flavor, we find wheat gluten, another plant-based protein booster.

The ninth 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.

Next we find rice hulls, an inexpensive by-product of the rice milling process. Rice hulls are used here to add dietary fiber to the recipe, which dilutes the total number of calories per serving.

This principle is known as “lowering caloric density”. Aside from this benefit, rice hulls can be considered a nutritionally empty component.

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, brewers dried yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient 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 insists 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, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

Next, 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.

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 Weight Care Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Mini Weight 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 32%.

Above-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.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Mini Weight Care 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.

Recommended.

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

01/19/2010 Original review
08/21/2010 Review updated
04/18/2012 Review updated
10/20/2013 Review merged
10/20/2013 Last Update

  • GiGi Marino

    I have the pickiest dog in the world. There are days when he eats nothing. Drinks a lot but water, his nose goes up a mile. He has had 11 teeth pulled from gum disease, he is 7yrs old.he is a Coton de Tulare I dont know what kind of canned food is best. Maybe I should just buy them all and try one at a time. He is eating Royal Canin now when he eats. Loves the Shelton treats made in USA I might try making a stew and then run it thru the grinder. ANy thoughts.

  • BryanV21

    First of all, looking at the ingredients I wouldn’t feel good about feeding this to my dog. Corn gluten meal, corn, wheat, cellulose, wheat gluten… not good. When it comes to picky dogs I usually turn to Fromm, as dogs will rarely turn their nose up at it, as it contains cheese. It’s also a good food, that comes in many different varieties, including grain-free. 

    Oh, and Fromm’s offers free samples, which are probably ideal in this situation.

    As for not changing foods I don’t agree with that either. No single meat has everything a dog needs for a well balanced diet. Chicken lacks some things, lamb lacks other things, duck lacks some more things, etc. By rotating through different varieties, and possibly brands, you get a “best of both worlds” scenario.

    I know it can be a bit of a pain to do all the work, but you have to ask yourself… isn’t it necessary for our dogs?

  • sharron

    Hi

    I have a yorkie/chihuahua X and after nearly 2 yrs of buying just about every dog food brand made, she finally will eat all the time, Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult (she’s 3 1/2 yrs).

    Is this dog food really bad. The vet told me not to change the food as this might cause her to go back to being VERY PICKY.

    Thanks
    sharron 

  • sandy

    Nancy,

    Natures Variety Instinct, Amicus are very small kibbles. My friend’s yorkie can eat Taste of the Wild kibble. It’s a small flat disk shaped. Blue Buffalo Wilderness now has a small breed kibble as well.

  • sandy

    Nancy,

    My overweight and obese dogs all lose weight on regular food. I feed them grain free/high protein, and control their portions and exercise when possible. My dogs get 2/3 to 1 cup a day. I’ve used Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Wellness Core, Taste of the Wild and some others on the 5 star list and Natures Select Grain Free on the 4-star list. I don’t ever, ever feed “diet” or “lite”. That just means less meat and more filler for you money and more undigestible matter for your dog.

  • Nancy McCabe

    I have two yorkies, 3 years old, both overweight. They’ve been on Royal Canin….Yorkshire for three years. Recently my vet put them on ‘lite’ food. After reading this web, I’m now wondering what food you would recommend for my two.? Can you help?