Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

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

The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition product line includes 17 dry 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 Pug [M]
  • Royal Canin Boxer [M]
  • Royal Canin Bulldog [M]
  • Royal Canin Shih Tzu [M]
  • Royal Canin Rottweiler [M]
  • Royal Canin Chihuahua [M]
  • Royal Canin Dachshund [M]
  • Royal Canin French Bulldog [M]
  • Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel [M]
  • Royal Canin Golden Retriever [M]
  • Royal Canin Beagle (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin Poodle (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin German Shepherd [M]
  • Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer [M]
  • Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin Labrador Retriever (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier (2 stars) [M]

Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer Adult Breed Health Nutrition was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 55%

Ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, brown rice, oat groats, wheat gluten, chicken fat, corn gluten meal, natural flavors, chicory, salt, fish oil, sodium silico aluminate, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, vegetable oil, psyllium seed husk, potassium citrate, dl-methionine, l-tyrosine, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, l-lysine, sodium tripolyphosphate, monocalcium phosphate, taurine, 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, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, magnesium oxide, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), glucosamine hydrochloride, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], tea, l-carnitine, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%11%55%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%25%51%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 51%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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.

The second ingredient 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 prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.

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

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

The third 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient is 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.

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.

The seventh 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.

After the natural flavors, we find chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

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 three notable exceptions

First, this food includes 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.

Next, we find fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.meat content of this dog food.

And lastly, this food 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 Breed Health
Nutrition Adult Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult looks like a below-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 26%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 55%.

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 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Near-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 wheat gluten and corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 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

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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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However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

06/18/2017 Last Update

  • Pitlove

    If you go on RC website and look at each shape of kibble you’ll see the differences. The Shih’tzu breed specific formula has a shape that helps them eat because of their brachycephalic face and underbite. The Labrador Retriever has a hole in the middle of the food to allow air passage since Labs are known to “scarf” their food down which presents a choking hazard, and the Chihuahua is teeny tiny kibble with high palatability since the breed is somewhat known for finicky eating etc etc.

    Dispite the fact that some rX diets say they will help with oral health, I believe dentals and teeth brushing are truly the only thing that can completely eliminate periodontal disease.

  • A Nonnie Mess

    Thanks Pit Love!!! Nice reply =)
    I can see some of the good in these but do dog breeds really have chewing styles?
    We know people with a retired Field dog that eats the Royal Canin for dental health, and I hate to say it but this dogs teeth are crap =/ I’m sure other matters have come into play so I can’t accuse the food, but it didn’t seem to do much sadly for this older dog =(

  • Pitlove

    Hi a nonnie mess-

    There are several ideas behind Royal Canin breed specific formulas. Each kibble has a specific shape to match the chewing habits of the breed it’s for generally. Also the formulation is going to very depending on which breed it’s for. The ones for the toy breeds likely will have higher protein and fat and be more nutrient dense with hypoglycemia in mind and for example the German Shepherd dog one is formulated for sensitive digestion. These are just a few examples.

    Overall even within a breed each individual dogs nutritional needs will vary, but I do think there is some merit to some of the breed specific formulas RC has created. I do not however think that it will be the right food for each dog just because it’s designed for their breed.

  • haleycookie

    Pretty sure anonnie was referring to the “breed specific” foods by brands like Royal Canin purina etc. not the grain free meat first fad and you’re right. People will pay just about anything for dog food. Low quality ingredient,price through the roof, breed specific foods are proof of that.

  • A Nonnie Mess

    I get the designer foods, but I don’t see what it has to do with meat content?

  • A Nonnie Mess

    My go to guess is genetics. Some breeds have really sensitive digestive systems and others don’t.

  • Toto Mango

    Of course. 🙂

  • Toto Mango

    Yep. Companies are making a killing since the “must start with meat” fenzy began. This is stage 2, designer food for designer dogs, etc. They know people will pay just about anything for dog food.

  • Toto Mango

    Agree completely….just seems really odd that y small dogs (different breeds) have so many problems with the high end stuff. And it seems really odd that you have to gently and slowly introduce a food that is supposed to be great for them. When’s the last time you had to slowly introduce a new food for your family? Odd! Never was a problem for my family’s parents who feed their dogs tablescaps