Royal Canin Lifestyle Health Nutrition Urban Life (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Royal Canin Lifestyle Health Nutrition Urban Life Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Royal Canin Urban Life product line includes 5 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 Urban Life Large Dog Adult [M]
  • Royal Canin Urban Life Large Dog Puppy [G]
  • Royal Canin Urban Life Small Dog Puppy [G]
  • Royal Canin Urban Life Small Dog Senior [M]
  • Royal Canin Urban Life Small Dog Adult (2 stars) [M]

Royal Canin Urban Life Large Dog Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Urban Life Large Dog Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Corn, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, pea fiber, wheat gluten, fish oil, vegetable oil, grain distillers dried yeast, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, salt, dried fish protein digest, monocalcium phosphate, hydrolyzed yeast, choline chloride, taurine, 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, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals [zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta l.), glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%13%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%29%48%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 48%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 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 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 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 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.

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 eighth ingredient is 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.

The ninth 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.

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, we find 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 note the use of grain distillers dried yeast, also known as GDDY.

GDDY is an ingredient obtained from the fermentation of cereal grains separated from distilling mash as a by-product of the ethanol (biofuel) industry.

This low-quality item is typically found in cattle feeds and is only rarely used to make pet food.

Although it contains over 40% protein, GDDY would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

What’s more, 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 meat content of this dog food.

In addition, fish digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings. Animal digests are usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry dog food to improve its taste.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

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 Urban Life Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Urban Life 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 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

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

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, wheat gluten and grain distillers dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Urban Life 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 2.5 stars.

Not 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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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

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Notes and Updates

01/11/2018 Last Update