The Royal Canin Dog Food product line earns The Advisor’s overall brand rating of 3 stars. The following sub-brands are reviewed on this website:
- Royal Canin Adult Breed Health Nutrition Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Adult Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Royal Canin Lifestyle Health Nutrition Urban Life Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Giant Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Large Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Gastrointestinal Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Selected Protein Dog Food Review (Dry)
About Royal Canin’s Main Sub-Brands
The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition features various protein sources. Each dog food is designed with a shape, size and texture that’s optimized for a specific breed.
Royal Canin’s Size Health Nutrition sub-brand includes 5 recipes… each optimized for a specific breed size. Giant breed, large breed, medium, small and extra-small.
The Royal Canin Veterinary product line includes dozens of specialized recipes designed to treat or prevent various health conditions. These dog foods are available from your vet but can also be ordered online at a significant saving.
Who Owns the Royal Canin Brand?
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.
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition
Adult Dog Food Review
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 27 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.
Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.
- Royal Canin Pug [M]
- Royal Canin Setter [M]
- Royal Canin Beagle [M]
- Royal Canin Bulldog [M]
- Royal Canin Maltese [M]
- Royal Canin Shih Tzu [M]
- Royal Canin Rottweiler [M]
- Royal Canin Chihuahua [M]
- Royal Canin Dachshund [M]
- Royal Canin Bichon Frise [M]
- Royal Canin Chihuahua 8+ [M]
- Royal Canin Dachshund 8+ [M]
- Royal Canin French Bulldog [M]
- Royal Canin Cocker Spaniel [M]
- Royal Canin Golden Retriever [M]
- Royal Canin Boxer (2.5 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin German Shepherd [M]
- Royal Canin Poodle (2.5 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin Labrador Retriever [M]
- Royal Canin Jack Russell Terrier [M]
- Royal Canin Dalmation (2 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin Great Dane (1 star) [M]
- Royal Canin Cavalier King Charles [M]
- Royal Canin Poodle 8+ (2.5 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier (2.5 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer (2.5 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier (2 stars) [M]
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult Cavalier King Charles was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Royal Canin Cavalier King Charles
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Brewers rice, wheat gluten, chicken by-product meal, corn, chicken fat, wheat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, fish oil, pea fiber, dried tomato pomace, vegetable oil, rice hulls, calcium carbonate, sodium silico aluminate, l-lysine, potassium chloride, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), 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], fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, dl-methionine, l-arginine, taurine, potassium citrate, hydrolyzed yeast, choline chloride, salt, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), l-tyrosine, trace minerals [zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], glucosamine hydrochloride, l-carnitine, magnesium oxide, green tea extract, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||13%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||29%||46%|
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 wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
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 third 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 choice cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.
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 fourth ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
After the natural flavors, we find 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 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 five 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 pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
In addition, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, this recipe includes 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 Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult dog food looks like a below-average dry 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.
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 61%.
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 in this recipe and the corn gluten and soy protein in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Adult is a 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.
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
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.
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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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
01/09/2019 Last Update