Royal Canin Medium (Dry)


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Royal Canin Medium Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Royal Canin Medium Dog Food product line includes six 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.

  • Royal Canin Medium Puppy [G]
  • Royal Canin Medium Adult 10+ [M]
  • Royal Canin Medium Weight Care [M]
  • Royal Canin Medium Adult (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin Medium Adult 7+ (2.5 stars) [M]
  • Royal Canin Medium Sensitive Digestion [M]

Royal Canin Medium Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Medium Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, wheat, corn gluten meal, oat groats, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, fish oil, calcium carbonate, grain distillers dried yeast, vegetable oil, potassium chloride, monocalcium phosphate, salt, hydrolyzed yeast, l-lysine, choline chloride, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate), rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
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 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 wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

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 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 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.

After the natural flavor, 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 four notable exceptions

First, grain distillers dried yeast is a by-product resulting from the fermentation of grains separated from distilling mash as a by-product of the production of ethanol (biofuel).

Even though it contains over 40% 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 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 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 Medium Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Medium 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.

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 27% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

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 corn gluten meal and grain distillers dried yeast in this recipe and the wheat gluten contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Medium 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 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
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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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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

Notes and Updates

09/11/2016 Last Update

  • Molly & Spencer’s Mom

    Thank you! Not sure if we could do it again lol!

  • Molly & Spencer’s Mom

    Thank you Marie! Spencer is a pointer mix.

  • Molly & Spencer’s Mom

    Thank you Bobby Dog!

  • Bobby dog

    Love the name and happy for your family!! 😉

  • Pitlove
  • InkedMarie

    Congrats! What kind of puppy is Spencer? Our “puppy”, O’Malley, is 15 mos now.

  • Crazy4cats

    Awww! I’m so happy for you and Molly. I don’t think I could do the puppy thing again. They are definitely a handful, but so dang cute! Congratulations on your new addition.

  • Molly & Spencer’s Mom

    Hi C4c Yes we did! Spencer is 6months old. We have had him for about two months. We forgot what it was like to have a puppy lol! He’s quite the handful but we love him so much. Molly likes her new little brother too.

  • Crazy4cats

    Did you get a new pup?

  • Shawna

    Hi aimee,

    “As Vit K2 is synthesized from menadione do you support supplying this parent compound in the diets of dogs?”

    Menadione synthesizes to menaquinone-4 (K2-4) however the literature suggesting K2 is beneficial for heart and to get calcium to bone/teeth and out of tissue is menaquinone-7 and menaquinone-8.

    “Osteoporosis and vessel calcification, problems being linked to Vit K2 deficiency, are not problems encountered in dogs to any degree.”

    I agree with you there, the reason I didn’t mention those specific benefits, however K2 has been suggested to affect tissues other than arteries – such as the kidneys.

    I also agree that bacteria produce K2 however I am not aware of which specifically create K2-7 and K2-8 and which prebiotics are required. From what I’ve read natto, some cheese, fermented cabbage etc are sources. I would presume, but certainly don’t know for sure, that tripe and foods not readily consumed, possibly buried leg bones/meat, might be a natural source. The meat of ungulates consuming grass is a natural source as well, probably the predominant source in the canine’s ancestors.

    Yes, I do agree that there would be differences on an individual basis. Apparently aging increases the need as an example.

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,

    In regards to this statement, “There is no requirement for vitamin K2 in the AAFCO guidelines.” it seems that you are denigrating the AAFCO for not having a Vit K2 requirement.

    Considering that Vit K2 is synthesized at the tissue level and by intestinal flora don’t you agree that there are likely species differences and even individual differences in regard to a dietary need?

    Osteoporosis and vessel calcification, problems being linked to Vit K2 deficiency, are not problems encountered in dogs to any degree. Don’t you agree that a dog’s self synthesis of this vitamin may meet their K2 needs?

    Do you have any data that supports your belief that dogs need a dietary source of Vit K2?

    As Vit K2 is synthesized from menadione do you support supplying this parent compound in the diets of dogs? NRC recommends the parent compound menadione be supplied in the diet.

  • Shawna

    We definitely differ in this respect. Hubby eats his meats darn near raw however I do like mine medium well. We eat fruit and some veggies raw and we steam veggies that we opt to cook. This is very different than extrusion.

    Yes, there are some people that eat a predominantly processed diet – I wonder how their health is? If McDonald’s made a fortified, complete and balanced happy meal I wonder if nutritionist would get on board with it?

  • Shawna

    Nutrient deficiencies can take time to manifest, certainly longer than six months. That’s one of the critiques against home prepared diets – and I agree.

    I really have no problem with The Honest Kitchen foods but I rehydrate them MUCH longer than what is recommended on the box. I don’t see bits of carrot etc. However I do see a difference in volume of stool on different diets. The volume of stool definitely is greater on THK than their normal raw foods. This can be seen from kibble brand to kibble brand too. Just because you can’t see chunks of carrot in a processed food doesn’t mean it was better digested than another.

    I gave an example of how calcium does not make it to where it needs to be efficiently without vitamin K2 DESPITE being digested. Maybe you missed that. The digested calcium can then end up where it shouldn’t be such as in the arteries.

    Science has demonstrated that it is the tocotrienols (not sure which) that are the most beneficial of the E family for cancer prevention. Again, that’s not going to show up on a six month feeding trial. Likely won’t/can’t be factored on a lifetime trial either.

  • casey

    Lol ya ok. I’ve heard the same song and dance a thousand times in all my years working in the animal industry, researched it, and found it to be a bogus argument. Every heard of corporate greed and dishonest marketing practices? No I guess not. You know people used to think cigarettes were healthy because of marketing and doing business with the medical industry. Doctors used to tell people cigs weren’t bad for their health because of a broad and deep marketing scheme. Never heard this before? Someone needs to learn how the world works. Give it about another decade and these arguments will look just as ridiculous.

  • Molly & Spencer’s Mom

    What do they use to evaluate the food?

  • Pitlove

    I find it interesting that people continue to make this claim about pet food being “highly processed” when it is cooked at the same temperatures we cook our own food at. It simply comes out in a small pellet form.

  • Pitlove

    Depends. Some companies like Purina and Mars have conducted life long feeding studies, but if I’m not mistaken AAFCO is 6 months? Plenty of time to determine if the dogs body is utilizing a food well.

    Yes, Id say that means the dogs body has metabolized the nutrient. I think the proof is in foods like THK who’s formulations are notorious for coming out the same way they went in. Not to mention companies run blood work frequently on animals during these feeding trials.

  • Pitlove

    I’m sorry you feel you can not continue the conversation when presented with information that challenges your beliefs. Take care!

  • casey

    Or bought out. One of the two. Statistics speak for themselves. There’s nothing further to discuss. Good day

  • Shawna

    A food can have all the nutrients within the ranges set by the NRC or AAFCO but still not act synergistically. Vitamin K2 has recently come to light as being necessary to transport calcium to where it needs to be. There is no requirement for vitamin K2 in the AAFCO guidelines. The four tocotrienol vitamin Es are just as important as the four tocopherols but only the tocopherols (and maybe not all of them) are added back in after the cooking process.

    If your human nutritionist with an advanced degree insisted that you should eat nothing but a balanced and fortified processed diet would you not question that recommendation at all? I’m not discussing kibble versus raw here but why a nutritionist, for human or pet, would consider a food as highly processed as kibble to be adequate for any living being. If that is their idea about proper nutrition than I’ll personally not hold a great deal of value in their education. That’s just me, but I don’t think I’m alone in that thought.

  • Shawna

    How long are those feeding trials usually done? If a food is digested does that then mean that the body actually uses the digested nutrient?

  • Pitlove

    Vaguely, but thank you for clarifying.

    Edit: I agree that a lab analysis of the food tells you nothing but that it is complete and balanced. Hence why nutritionists recommend companies that do AAFCO feeding trials and record digestability data.

  • Shawna

    Uhm, I think I stated that very thing. An ingredient list won’t tell you if the apples in the list were rotting or it the potato being used was turning green etc.

    Likewise a nutrient analysis won’t tell you how synergistic the nutrients within really are. How readily the body will use those nutrients individually etc.

    Edit to include – an ingredient list is a starting place though. Would I use a food solely based on the ingredient list though… I wouldn’t.

  • Pitlove

    So you are unable to explain how one would go about answering my questions with only an ingredient list like so many people claim you can?

  • Shawna

    I feed by-products to my dogs every day as a part of their entire diet. I have no issue with by-products in general.

    The quality of any manufactured food, be it kibble or raw, can’t be assessed by the ingredient list alone. Likewise a food can’t be adequately evaluated on the sum of it’s nutrients.

    Of course quality control is absolutely important but what one considers “quality” may be very different from what another deems as quality. It’s all subjective.

  • Pitlove

    Perhaps then you can explain how the quality of the food can be determined by a list of ingredients.

    How does the ingredient deck convey the quality of the raw material used (e.g beef, chicken, corn), the quality control methods in place, how the food was processed, where the raw materials come from, how they were stored, etc?

    I think more is assumed about a pet food based on the individuals emotional feeling toward the companies and the way the ingredients read. By-products seem unappealing to many people, however your dog does not have any emotion towards them. Your dogs digestive system does not have any emotion towards them either. It will simply digest and metabolize the by-product, so long as the by-product is useable by the body.

  • Shawna

    Those that do have been trained in nutritionism not nutrition.

  • Pitlove

    I’m not refering to a general practioner veterinarian btw. I’m refering to people who hold Ph.D’s and board certifications in nutrition. I’d say they are educated.

  • casey

    Hahahahaha really? Good to know. Even more reason not to trust their input on food. Thanx for letting me know

  • Pitlove

    Hi casey-

    Something else you may find interesting is that veterinary nutritionists (specialists in the field of nutrition) do not use an ingredient list to evaluate the quality of a pet food.

  • Amateria

    It’s very hard to change baked in opinions trust me, I was and am very much the same.

  • casey

    Its fascinating to me how a detailed analysis of this food is right here plain to see and people still think this is “the best” dog food. Amazing

  • Oliver Clark

    Yer i have to agree that it is a good brand! I’ve found it pretty cheap at

  • Lanie Malvit

    finally some people who actually have a sense of what high quality dog food is!

  • Jean-Claude

    Neither have I. I consider Royal Canin one of the best dog brands ever.

  • guest

    bye felica

  • Pitlove

    Hi- What are some of your other options?

  • Panduranga Kudige Shenoy

    Given the limited brand available in India … I think RC is a good option.


    All the facts you should need are the actual list of ingredients which are crap. If you can read, you have your facts.

  • Gneva Natupast

    I’ve had no problems with this brand, with which I’ve been feeding my dear furry children for years.

  • Jody W

    Wish I had listened to her sooner! Have had to take her to the vet today and it’s Sunday so couldn’t see her vet that prescribed it. She is thankfully not dehydrated and her stools are apparently not to be worried about (became small and very dark) as there is not diarrhea. She ate some chicken/rice last night and seemed so happy (I am assuming the bile was a reaction to empty stomach, common in small dogs) had her appetite back and wanted to gobble so I just gave her a couple of small amounts with 2hr interval. She had a good sleep but threw up again this morning, some food and then an orange bile. This alarmed me (the presence of what looked like tiny blood spots) so we found a vet open.
    She is currently resting after an injection to stop vomiting and some tablets for tonight. Apparently the blood is from the acid tearing at the oesophagus . he suspected that she may have some sort of a sensitive stomach and they want to do all sorts of expensive tests. I said she had been happy and healthy until diet change. As this vet also prescribes RC Dental to dogs he was sure it had to be an ongoing thing.
    So I suggested that as she is 8 years old I just keep her away from dry food rather than prod and poke to just find out what we already know, she doesn’t tolerate it!
    I will be following up with my vet on Tuesday and giving them back their RC!.
    So, any good remedy for her teeth?

  • sue66b

    Grass induces vomiting sometimes, my boy was eating grass then vomites up yellow acid.. Well he use to…now fingers X since he’s off the Royal Canin HP he’s not having his yellow acid no more….there must be something in the kibble or the fat was too high at 19% fat in the R/C HP..

  • sue66b

    Hi Jody, go back to the Kangaroo based meals if she does good on them, You say she vomiting bile, you sure its not acid, My boy sometimes vomits acid of a morning, I give him 1/3 of a Zantac, its for stomach acid, also he needs to be on a low fat diet.. fat can cause acid, When a dog doesnt want to eat something they’re telling us, Mum this makes me feel ill or they’re fussy but I’d say that the fat% is higher then her last kibble have a look or there might be something in this kibble giving her acid, Wellness has some real good kibbles that are Soy free.. Im using the Wellness Simple limited ingredients, less is best sometimes,

  • Dori

    Preventative for dental would be raw meaty bones without fat or marrow in them. If they have marrow in them try to scoop as much of it out as you can. Also brush her teeth. There really is no food that would be better for her teeth than bones and brushing. Don’t use weight bearing bones as they may be too hard and chip or crack a tooth. Rib bones are good. Raw, no cooked bones.

  • Dori

    Dogs do communicate with us we just have to watch and listen to them. Good for you for paying attention to what she was trying to tell you and giving her better food that won’t make her sick.

  • Jody W

    *anything in the garden to induce vommiting

  • Jody Warhurst

    And yes Dori she’s looking at me like I’m some kind of idiot for not listening to her from the get go! Never again! She once just stopped eating a product that she had been eating for ages (chicken and rice formula all natural no preservatives) and would only eat the roo version, found out from the supplier that they had started using ‘hen’ whatever that means, but he said dogs can smell the difference and shes one smart little Jack and I should listen to her!
    Shame on me!

  • Jody Warhurst

    I instinctively thought this but the vet reassured me it was OK as long as I introduced it slowly, which imo has made it worse as even though she refused it by doing it gradually she did start to eat the crap and now we are ill!
    She does well on a kangaroo based meal that doesn’t have preservatives or soy. Chicken and rice products are ok but anything with wheat/pasta mix I have noticed over the years seems to trigger itchiness. Makes her sound like a wee sook but shes actually tough as nails just must be sensitive to crap!

  • Jody Warhurst

    She has been on a kangaroo meat based diet for last 2 years solid after realising most other foods accessible to me were full of gluten and or preservatives which definitely give her skin allergies. She is 8 and has had minor dental issues and last check up the vet checked her teeth and suggested RC dental as a preventative. I was hesitant and told the vet of my concerns due to past experience with Science diet and vomiting. Was assured RC was all good but to change her slowly and just keep her on it for 1 month (due to her rapid weight gain in the past when given dry food)
    Should have listened to my instinct and hers! She sniffed it and looked at me like I’m an idiot at first and now plain refuses it after becoming ill.
    Feel so bad for actually praising her when she did eat it! I have taken food away and will not be giving it to her again after having a good look at the ingredients and seeing it DOES have soy and other things that concern me. I assume soy as I had another dog years ago that reacted to Hills SD so when she also did as a pup I put 1&1 together and stopped using it. But yes it could be a number of the ingredients!
    I have blocked her from getting to the grasses outside when I realised it wasn’t just a random vomit as I am aware she will eat anything when she starts to vomit, which causes a loop effect as her stomach becomes very sensitive, and she is drinking water.
    Should I put her slowly back onto her roo or add rice?

  • Dori

    It could be anything in that food. To put it quite bluntly, that food is crap. Pure garbage. Could be the soy, could be a combination of bad ingredients in this food. Please put your dog on either a 4 or 5 star grain free reviewed food. Even a three star food. Look for one without soy if you feel she’s got issues with soy. As Bob K. asked, why is she on the RC at all and why the dental. There is no food on the market that is going to clean your dogs teeth if that is what you’re looking for. What was she eating before? Poor thing, she probably does think you are the one making her sick.

  • Bob K

    Why was your dog placed on RC dental? What was she eating before? Did you transition her to the new food? Yellow bile is very concerning. Is she getting into things outside – Grass, water, herbicides, pesticides, etc……. are you sure?

  • theBCnut

    Some dogs do this because their stomach is emptying too fast, some because they can’t handle all the carbs. Try something with a higher protein and see if that helps.

  • Jody Warhurst

    My Jack Russell X has just been put onto RC dental. She dislikes it but eats it if shes hungry. But she is now getting sick, vomiting yellow bile every other day.
    I also had this problem with science diet and another dog years ago.
    Could it be the soy?
    She’s only been on RC just over a week but I can’t stand the looks she’s giving me! Like I’m poisoning her! Going to get her back on the roo asap!

  • Jody Warhurst

    My dog hates it and is now throwing up yellow bile when she does eat it! Vet put her on it but I am going to shops to get her roo back for her!

  • Shinji’s Soul Reaver

    “negative facts” Yeah you are a real brainiac. Let’s ignore this respected website and listen to a backyard breeder who contributes to the dog overpopulation problem and feeds crap.

  • guest

    Nothing wrong with this food whatsoever! I have a Yorkie and an Imperial Shih-tzu who have been on RC since they were puppies. Healthy, happy, shiny coats, never been sick! I also am a Breeder and my litter as well as mom was on the RC Birth Programme and thrived on it! Seriously some people need to back up their negative facts here!

  • Shawna

    I have a dog that was born with kidney disease and I can tell you that the diets backed by “research” such as Science Diet are completely inappropriate for her. In fact, vets are prescribing kidney diets long before they are necessary and this can cause more harm than good. NEW research has demonstrated this over and over again but Science Diet and the likes want to continue basing their diets on the old research —– the research that was done on rats not dogs. It’s quite sad really!!!!!

    Here’s some data on it by one such researcher and vet Dr. Kenneth Bovee. Bolded emphasis mine

    “Evidence that high protein diets enhance
    renal function in normal dogs has led to confusion among veterinarians who have been told for decades that low protein diets may be beneficial for kidney function…..

    Why Have We Chosen to Keep the Reduced Protein Myth?

    The myth has been maintained even in the past decade despite negative scientific evidence because the dogma has persisted about its value for the past 40 years. If we as professionals are uncertain about the facts concerning a controversy, we are likely to put ourselves in someone else’s hands who appears to have authority. Power to command this authority is in the hands of commercial advertisements that promote these special products with misleading messages. Marketing is aggressively aimed at veterinarians and owners alike. There is a profit motive for veterinarians to sell these diets….

    In conclusion, the continued existence of this false myth about dietary protein is an uncomfortable reminder of the lack of sophistication, lack of critical thought, and reliance on oversimplified and attractive dogma that persists in our profession. This is only one example of many false myths,
    misinformation, and partial truths that are repeated from decade to decade.”

  • theBCnut

    Meghan, the people on this site are not “gung-ho” about feeding dogs “veggies and potatos,” We are all about feeding dogs meat. You favor foods that have a whole lot of science behind them so they can figure out how to use cheap, poor ingredients and turn them into something that dogs can live on. We favor feeding dogs what they were meant to eat in the first place, meat. Carbs are a necessary evil for a binder in kibble. Dogs don’t need them. They are much more efficient at converting fat into usable energy than people are and the were made to do just that. Dogs get all the amino acids they need from meat and in balanced ratios too. Yes, science has helped to make better processed food, but scientists have found that you absorb nutrients better when they are in a natural form rather than processed or synthetic. Dogs don’t get much of anything at all from plants that aren’t processed, since they have very little ability to deal with cell walls at all. So how does it make sense to feed even more of something they weren’t designed to eat?

    And why are you posting under 2 different identities?

  • Guest

    A lot of low quality food is high in sodium…making your pet drink more…hence pee more. I agreed with your choice of food! It is upsetting when people give it a bad rep. But on this site I think vet prescribed food is the minority, everyone is so gung-ho about the “holistic” lifestyle they haven’t stopped to think “is this what my pet really needs? veggies and potatoes?” Food based on science and clinical studies is far better than just looks if you ask me 😉

  • shayvoe

    I am very aware of the how to determine the quality of dog food by the label. I have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and do not feed the breed specific, but the kibble for small dogs. I started them on this food because most of the English owners of the breed, where the breed originated, use this food, and it was recommended to me by an English breeder, and many of the show breeders use it as well. I have tried Wellness, and many of the other higher rated brands. Cost was not an issue, because RC is as expensive as the other top rated brands. My dogs never did well on those foods….they had diarrhea with most of them….they seemed to be too rich for them. I always went back to RC. If a dog is healthy, has a good coat, loves the food, why change? I think it is outrageous to call a food dangerous, because it is not considered a top brand. A dangerous food is one that has melamine, or salmonella.

  • VideoboyMatt

    What many people don’t know is that there are many brands of dog food who cost the same and are quite a bit better. The first ingredient should be an identifiable meat..such as Chicken, Duck, Salmon, etc. A good dog food should not have corn as it is hard for them to digest. People who buy into the “breed” specific crap are victims of a marketing ploy. One breed does not have different dietary needs than another. While Royal Canine isn’t the worlds worst Walmart Brand stuff, or Kibbles and Bits, it is by no means near the best dog foods.

  • BajaDogs LaPaz

    I’ve been giving RC puppy then Dachshund formula to my 2 dachshunds since they were 8 weeks old. my 14.5 year old long haired dachsie is gorgeous and still bounces around like a puppy. my 11 year old short haired is just as energetic and healthy, just not a bouncy type dog. I would recommend RC to anyone.

  • Nancy Ferrero

    All I know about this brand is that my diabetic yellow lab would eat Anything. Always hungry never satisfied, Loved all food until we were prescribed this brand by our vet for his diabetes and he HATED it. He Gagged every time he ate. I regret that I listened to my vet and did not get a second opinion. The lastyear of his life he ate this horrible tasting dog food.

  • Sara

    I had my dog on this food for a year and noticed her stool was solid for the first bit, then turned into diarrhea in the last bit. I changed her diet to homemade food and her stool is nice and solid now. The vet said the diarrhea was due to parasites, but now that is fixed just by changing diet I am happy that I saved the money i would have paid for unnecessary drug.

  • InkedMarie

    Kay, does your last name begin with a G & have “by” at the end? If yes, we’re on the same list. I don’t post much but I’m Marie with Boone

  • Kay

    I changed my Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (PBGV) over to this food several months ago because he was having accidents overnight on his previous food. I have been very satisfied with this food for him and he no longer has any problems overnight. I am sorry to read your review as now I feel guilty about feeding him this food, but it has worked wonders for him. I will keep him on it. It is expensive and it’s upsetting to read that it appears to be inadequate.

  • shayvoe

    Dangerous?! I have a 7 year old and a 10 year old who have been on this food since puppies. They are healthy, have beautiful coats, potty once a day with perfectly formed stool, never have stomach upsets, and are a perfect weight for their breed. What is dangerous is to call a dog food dangerous with no facts to back it up.

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  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s due for updating next month. With over 3000 different dog foods to look at Dr. Mike cannot be on top of every little change the moment it happens. But he does appreciate when people notice a change, posting about it to let him know. If it’s a big change, he will move up the planned date for updating that formula, otherwise expect to see an update around 9/12/13.

  • Goo

    This review is weong. RC reformulated to chicken by-product meal in lieu of chicken meal months ago. If you are going to it information out there for people please make sure it is actually accurate and you are staying up on the changes.

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  • dwreck2you

    full of fillers and gmo cornmeal –stay away from this dangerous overly priced food for your pets

  • Bart Noll

    something must have changed. My yorkie has been on royal canin for 9 yrs and just in the past few months has starting itching badly.

  • Pattyvaughn

    How long has she been eating the same food? I have a dog that used to do that all the time, until I read up on rotating diet and decided that it made sense. Now, he can’t wait for me to put his food down, and he eats whatever I give him every time.

  • Hi my 9 year old rotty is refusing to eat her RC. Going 24, 36 & longer without any food. Just sniffs and walks away. I get desperate and cook rice or pasta which she happily eats. Has the RC formula changed? Is she trying to tell me there is something wrong with it?

  • Meganhunt

    Really $16 is nothing compared to a high quality food

  • JellyCat

     I would definitely stop feeding this food after such findings. However, I would not blame the food instantaneously. I would switch her on similar food like Natural Balance Venison&Potato and repeat her blood work in a couple of weeks.

  • JellyCat

     Your vet probably also sells it in his office.

  • JellyCat

    Of course they do have plenty of nutritionists and researchers. They must ensure the best results with least spending on ingredients.
    Judging by a quality of ingredients that they use in their formulas, they are shamelessly ripping you off, because this food is not cheap.

  • Nchang84

    I think when there is any questions about the pet food that you are feeding your dog, better to contact the company directly, I know RC has a team of vets and nutritionist that can respond to some of your concerns.

  • CarolAnn14

    Since they eliminated the Beauty Care 26 my black and white Paps are going gray and no other product comes close to the 26. They are losing weight and scratching. @$16 a bag it’s hard to keep changing to find something that works

  • Pavle Barta

    I tested lots of super premium dog foods. In the end, we were back to Royal Canin. As I have show dogs, it is very important to me that they look healthy and strong. Their hair looked best when I fed them RC. I tried better rated dry foods but the results were unsatisfying. I have wire hair fox terriers. So, it does not mean that RC will suit best all dogs, but it has proved to be the best for my dogs. One more thing – since I live in Europe, the ingredients differ a little bit comparing to RC Medium Adult you can buy here. 

  • Ooops!  It also say’s “soil oil” instead of “soya oil”.

  • Shawna

    Hey Dr. Mike ~~

    I just noticed your comments on “yeast extract” and glutamic adic/MSG…  THANK YOU 🙂

  • Kelly

    AG, I had exactly the same problem with my sheltie while she was on royal canin (she was on the satiety support vet formula). I switched to a 5 star food (brothers complete), and I need to brush her teeth and then see what happens.

  • AG

    i have an 8 month old yorkie and have been feeding her royal canin for the past 6 months. i had to take her to the vet to get her teeth cleaned (they were completely brown…). 5 days later, her teeth have brown spots again… do you know of any similar problems? i’m starting to believe it’s the food… thanks, A 

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    this has recently changed the packaging and ingredients this is new one that has 21 instead of 18 days in the top right corner of the pack.

  • the packaging has recently been changed on this and I have heard the ingredients have been adjusted too The old RC sensible medium had 18 days in the top front right hand corner the new one has 21

  • John
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  • Jdslowline

    Did the quality of royal canin dog food change in the last 6 months. We have been feeding our 6 year old Lab the royal canin lab food and in the last 6 months she is starving all the time. Her activity is the same and nothing has changed. Wondering if the quality is no good since it is owned by the same company that owns old Roy?

  • madhu

    good review but in India customers thinks it is a excellent food.
    based on the actual condition of dog.what ever article says is right.

  • aimee


    Sounds like a good plan for the Ca.
    I agree the spelling isn’t as common but I like it! 

  • Cassandra Chambers

    Oh, and I forgot to mention my daughter’s name is Aimee as well…it’s not a common way to spell it. Love it!

  • Cassandra Chambers

    No, I haven’t called the company yet, but intend to do that.  No, the CA was high normal, and is not being treated for it presently. She will have another blood test next month.  Thanks for the info about Vit D. And you may be right – it may just be a batch that has much “potatoage.” Thanks for your interest.

  • aimee

    Hi Cassandra092315,

    My own dog is also on RC Potato and Venison for GI problems and also doing very well. I use both the canned and dry and haven’t noted any changes in the food. As far as I know the potato level wasn’t increased in the food so maybe some processing fault led to the larger pieces.

    The Ca level in concerning. How high was it and was it repeatable?  Too high of a Vit D level from food or other sources is one cause of high Ca.

    Have you called the company to report your findings?? 

  • Cassandra092315

    My 12 year old Chih-Tzu was having extreme gastro-intestinal problems and was prescribed the Royal Canin Adult Hypoallergenic selected protein canned and dry food – Venison & Potato.  Her problems stopped only after a few days on this diet. It was great.  Now this last batch I ordered from the Vet has a lot more and larger potato bits than before.  I measured one today – it was 1″x1/2″.  I know the economy is suffering and sometimes forces companies to cut corners.  But this is my dog’s health.  Her blood work 2 weeks ago came back indicating that she is getting too much calcium.  We don’t know where it’s originating – it could be something else entirely, but it might be the added potato – potatoes are rich in calcium. Not only does this affect the health of my dog, but considerably affects the integrity of the product and Royal Canin in general. I find myself picking potatos out of the canned food.  There’s little I can do about the dry except cut down on the amount I’m feeding.  Has anyone else noticed this?

  • Ginger’s mom

    PF my puppy a boxer was sent home with the medium puppy…she has done great on this food…..i am pleased…so far…she is now 10 months…so don’t go by everything you read…give it a try if you don’t like it then switch…..i am looking to put her on adult food at this point..but the medium puppy was fine…

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  • schmeeds

    Any word on the rc urinary so?  Couldn’t find it on the site.  I have one of my babies on the hills c/d, and would love to switch to a higher rated urinary food.

  • courtney

    my vetenarian actually recommended this brand for my dogs allergies to food.

  • sandy


    Avoid corn, wheat, glutens (wheat, oatmeal, barley, rye) altogether. And if possible avoid rice. They are not completely digestible nor are they species appropriate and at a microscopic level they can harm intestinal villi leading to malabsorption of proper nutrients. Look for someting grain free and above average in protein. Alot of foods have probiotics. You just have to read the ingredient list. If possible incorporate a complete and balanced raw diet as well. You can also purchase probiotics and enzymes to add to the food to help with your dog’s overall health, especially if feeding kibble. Kibble is an unnatural, dead food lacking in living enzymes. Watch the video “Best and Worst Foods for your Pet” to start with.

    Good luck.

  • Hi PF… Although corn and wheat aren’t exactly my favorite dog food ingredients, they can frequently be blamed for more than most other items. Unfortunately, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, it would bne misleading for me to provide specific health advice for your puppies. Please be sure to check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • PF

    My 3 month old Lab-collie mix puppy used to poop 5-6 times a day , had hot spots and developed some skin rash, threw up etc. He was on Kirkland’s puppy food. The vet has put him on royal canin prescription diet for 2 – 3 days and asked us to switch to Royal Canin puppy (medium) It says on the front – prebiotics, digestive heath etc. The ingredients label says chickenmeal, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, CORN, wheat gluten, DRIED beet puplp and so on … Wouldn’t CORN affect my puppies already sensitive stomach ?

    What’s your review on this ?


  • Robert

    I think Royal Canin’s prescription approach to dog food is a scam! It seems to be another way for a vet to obtain another source of revenue as do physicians. After using the venison and potato formula for well over a year ($64/17 lb bag), our dog’s skin allergy never cleared up. We switched to Blue Buffalo on the recommendation of our dog groomer and within 2 weeks his skin improved 100%. Potatoes and venison are two of most inexpensive food sources around, but with this stuff you have to pay a premium…

  • Stacey

    I think the royal canin bulldog formula might be wrong. I was told never give my bulldog anything with soy in it. Yet in the royal canin bulldog formula ity states soy. Whenever you read anything regarding bulldogs it clearly states no soy. So was just wondering about that is all.

  • Jonathan

    Oh my, good info Jenny. That would definitely make RC a no-go in Europe. This is why, not just reading the reviews, but learning how to read the label is so important.

  • In sweden, the RC kibbles are preserved by Propylgallate & BHA… Probably in a big part of Europe aswell then, since the swedist bags are made in different countries in Europe… Good to know for european RC-feeders..

  • Bob K

    Aaron – RC is s decent food that is WAY overpriced. You can get many other 4 star and 5 star foods for less money that provide better nutrition for your dog. That means a better food for your dog and more money in your pocket, a win for both you and your dog.

  • Aaron

    A good overall look at this specific diet. RC foods as you said have many blends to cover the many nutritional needs of Dogs and Cats. Each one will have a different ingredient ratio according to the desired blend. I say to all that read, know your ingredients. Dont believe the hype on whats good and bad.

  • Jonathan

    Derek, on what basis do you criticize Dr Sagman’s work? I think his “positive” assessment on this food is more than fair, particularly in light of the fact that it is one of the more expensive foods, per pound, despite containing junky, cheap ingredients like corn gluten and wheat gluten meal. In what way does this food deserve to be more recommended? It’s really a completely average dog food. average meat. average fat. average carbs. A few above average ingredients, a few below average ingredients. If you need a more specific reason why this food only receives 3-stars, look at it side-by-side with Blue Buffalo Wilderness (a 5-star food) Wellness Supermix5 (a 4-star food) and then you may get a better idea of what makes a dog food exceptional.

  • Hi Derek… Sorry you feel my “conclusions seem off”. However, your criticism seems a bit vague, don’t you think? It would certainly have been more helpful to know exactly what scientific criteria you’re using to justify such a statement. In any case, it just goes to show you… anyone can criticize anything they want on the Internet.

  • derek

    Mike, although i respect your opinions, most of your conclusions seem off. not just on this royal canin diet but other foods as well. It just goes to show you that anyone can publish anything on the internet.

  • Hi Cindy… Funny you should ask. We’ve just started reviewing the Royal Canin Veterinary Diets in the past few days. We’re not planning to cover all of them at this time but we are hoping to tackle the the L.I.D. foods (as a group) some time this coming week. So, check be sure to check back then. By the way, once you read the review you should be able to call the better of the two (Royal Cain versus Natural Balance) yourself. Hope this helps.

  • Cindy

    My dog has been put on Royal Canin Limited Ingredient Diet – venison or duck and potato. Do you have any information on this diet? Natural Balance makes the same thing and wondered which would be better.

  • Hi Janet… I’m not aware of a dog food called Royal Canin Sensible Choice. I looked all over the RC website and can’t find any reference to it. If you do find this food on the web, please send me a link. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Janet

    I love your website and all of this great information so Thanks a bunch!! Also I have 24 rescued dogs and am searching for a quality dog food that I can afford for this many. Could you review Royal Canine Sensible Choice dog food? THANKS!!

  • Hi Michelle… OK, no problem. I’ve added Royal Canin LF-20 to my To Do list. But unfortunately it could be a good while until I get to that product. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Michelle Miller

    Any chance of reviewing Royan Canin LF 20? I want to compare to Kirkland Signature Adult Weight Control Low Fat formula. Tnx. M.