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Royal Canin Professional Energy 4800 Dog Food gets the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Royal Canin Professional Energy 4800 product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Royal Canin Professional Energy 4800
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, corn, brewers rice, wheat gluten, natural flavors, dried beet pulp, fish oil, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, coprah oil, psyllium seed husk, rice hulls, potassium chloride, fructooligosaccharides, salt, hydrolyzed yeast, taurine, choline chloride, dl-methionine, monosodium phosphate, glucosamine hydrochloride, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), l-lysine, 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), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate), l-carnitine, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||31%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||55%||20%|
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 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 (conventional meat).
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 second 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 third item 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 fourth item 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.
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.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in some 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.
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 seventh 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.
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.
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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
Next, we note the inclusion of psyllium seed. Psyllium is mainly used as a dietary fiber to absorb excess water into the intestine and help stimulate normal bowel elimination.
And lastly, this food does contain 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 Professional Energy 4800
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Professional Energy appears 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 93%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.
However, with 55% of the total calories in this food coming from fat as compared to just 24% from protein, this product may not be appropriate for every dog.
Also, it appears this product has been renamed from Royal Canin Cynotechnique Energy 4800.
Royal Canin Professional Energy 4800 is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Those desiring a lower fat content for their pet’s diet may wish to look elsewhere for a another product.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
06/28/2015 Last Update