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Royal Canin Dog Food Review

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: June 5, 2024

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Review of Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult Dog Food

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Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult product line includes the 30 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

29.6%

Protein

11.6%

Fat

50.8%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken by-product meal, brown rice, oat groats, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, natural flavors, chicken fat, pork meal, dried plain beet pulp, powdered cellulose, wheat gluten, fish oil, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, psyllium seed husk, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, taurine, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], menadione sodium bisulfite complex, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate], glucosamine hydrochloride, choline chloride, GLA safflower oil, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), l-carnitine, green tea extract, monocalcium phosphate, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 10%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 28% 11% NA
Dry Matter Basis 30% 12% 51%
Calorie Weighted Basis 27% 26% 47%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 choice cuts have been removed.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

The second 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 third ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.

The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably 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 fifth ingredient lists 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.

After the natural flavors, we find chicken fat. This item 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 eighth ingredient is pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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.

The next 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.

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 Royal Canin product.

With 6 notable exceptions

First, this food includes wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although wheat gluten contains 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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.

In addition, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Next, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

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

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in its nutrient profiles, we question the use of this item in any canine recipe.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult dog food looks like a below-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 12% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-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 Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Royal Canin through July 2024.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult Dog Food

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

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Recommended with Reservations

Who Owns Royal Canin?

The company was founded in 1968 by French veterinarian, Dr. Jean Cathary. After a long period of sustained growth in Europe, the company was purchased by American conglomerate, Mars, Inc., in 2001.

The pet foods are manufactured in multiple factory locations throughout the world, including Ontario, Canada and North Sioux City, South Dakota.

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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