Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition product line includes 9 canned dog foods.

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

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Royal Canin Boxer Adult [M]
  • Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult [M]
  • Royal Canin Poodle Adult (4 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult [M]
  • Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult [M]
  • Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult [M]
  • Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult (4 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin Dachshund Adult (4 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult (3 stars) [M]

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 35% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 32%

Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, pork by-products, chicken, chicken by-products, pork liver, corn flour, powdered cellulose, vegetable oil, fish oil, carrageenan, natural flavors, carob bean gum, potassium phosphate, taurine, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement], guar gum, l-carnitine, calcium carbonate, citric acid, choline chloride, sodium carbonate, magnesium oxide, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 12.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis7%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis35%25%32%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%47%25%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 47% | Carbs = 25%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient lists pork by-products, slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of a slaughtered pig after all the prime cuts have been removed.

Although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider pork by-products a less costly, lower quality ingredient.

The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fourth ingredient includes chicken by-products, or slaughterhouse waste. This is 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 (real meat).

Although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The sixth ingredient is corn flour, a finely ground meal made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain 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.

The eighth ingredient is 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.

The ninth ingredient is fish oil. 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.

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 two notable exceptions

First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

And lastly, with the exception of zinc, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition looks like an average wet 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 35%, a fat level of 25% and estimated carbohydrates of about 32%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 37% for the overall product line.

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

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Royal Canin Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. 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.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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.

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Notes and Updates

10/04/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials