Royal Canin Mini Adult (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Royal Canin Mini (Dry)

Royal Canin Mini Adult Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Royal Canin Mini Adult product line includes 5 dry dog foods.

Although each formulation appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we found no AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the Royal Canin website.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Royal Canin Mini Adult (10 months to 8 years)
  • Royal Canin Mini Special (10 months to 8 years)
  • Royal Canin Mini Indoor Adult (10 months to 8 years)
  • Royal Canin Mini Beauty Care 26 (11 months to 8 years)
  • Royal Canin Mini Spayed/Neutered (10 months to 8 years)

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

Royal Canin Mini Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brewers rice, brown rice, corn, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, wheat gluten, dried beet pulp, vegetable oil, brewers dried yeast, fish oil, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, dl-methionine, choline chloride, l-lysine, magnesium oxide, 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), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], taurine, trace minerals (zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), l-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis25%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%16%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%33%43%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 43%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient includes 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.

By the way, contrary to popular belief, brewers rice has nothing to do with the process of brewing beer.

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 item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain 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 lists corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in many 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.

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 wheat gluten. Another plant based protein booster.

The eighth ingredient is 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 item 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 affect the overall rating of this product.

With five notable exceptions

First, we find brewers dried yeast. Brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

What’s more, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

Next, we note the inclusion of fish oil which 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.

Thirdly, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

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

And lastly, this food also 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 Mini Adult Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Mini Adult looks 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% 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 corn gluten meal and wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Royal Canin Mini Adult Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or chicken meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.


A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from 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

01/18/2010 Original review
08/21/2010 Review updated
04/19/2012 Review updated
10/20/2013 Review merged

10/20/2013 Last Update

  • David Tudor

    I just (very) recently left RC to move to another State, Ohio. I was what they call a “nutritional advisor”. My 12 years as a Human nutrition and medical experience meant nothing to my job relating to Dogs and Cats. I realize my background was beneficial yet highly useless when relating to an omnivore (dog) and carnivore (cat) diets of animals.

    I am amazed daily by the ignorance of Humans who believe their pet must be exactly like them: “I’m a vegetarian, so my dog must be vegan.” I don’t LIKE corn, so my dog is allergic to corn.”

    Seriously, I know for a FACT that the breed specific RC diets are studied, tested and researched for over two years with 100% success before release. If they fail by 1-2% after the study, they start over. PERIOD.

    The more generalized Size and group specific diets are equally scrutinized.

    I am proud to tell you that my Maltese had her 1 1/2 year check up. He told me: “in 23 years, I have never seen a more perfect specimen of a Maltese. This is Best of Show Material. Perfect Heart, bones, eyes, coat…

    My goodness what are you feeding her?”

    I told him she has only had Royal Canin, and no table food.

    “That must be it,” he said.

    I corrected, “Actually, she has never had tap water, only filtered; NOT distilled. Plus daily exercise and grooming with lots of love.”

    So, in my humble opinion, MY DOG does great on the food. She eats the Mini Adult, (With the Pappillion on the bag) and loves it. As a realist, I know that dogs are all different and have different needs. The breed specific is great for most of its specified breed, but nothing is perfect for the 90 million different dogs. I am sad to read the “internet bullies” comments, but hope you get some insight from someone on the inside.

    It works for me, and I know many people who swear by it. I also know some who don’t know what they are talking about who are put in positions to criticize without merit. Just my opinion.

  • butchroy

    Can you make your own food or can you get raw? That would be the best thing you could do, this site has a raw feeding recipe area in the forums, go to that, also, others will chime in here to help you. I would go raw since you seem to live where it is hard to get good quality food, making it yourself with the needed supplements will insure you don’t have too question the pet food ingredients! So sorry to hear you lost your precious companion.

  • tonia

    I can’t answer your question just wanted to say sorry for your loss. You have found a site with many knowledgeable people sorry I’m not one of them

  • Johan

    I came across this blog post after a real shock to our family. Brida, our Jack Russell passed away after a urinary infection which spread throughout his body. Ive been doing a little research into Royal Canin after getting our food delivered from the Pet Heaven in South Africa –

    We noticed that they have had numerous issues with recalls and a couple of others have mentioned similar issues when it comes to feeding their Jack Russell’s on Royal Canin. Surely something more should be done about this? Are there not any researchers looking into the makeup of these products?

  • Jamie as Guest

    and you still bred these dogs before you came to conclusion it was the food? Have you considered genetics to be a factor at all?

  • Dogsr4me

    you posted a very similar story under SportMix dog food thread.

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  • Teresa Stahl

    I want to let everyone know that I fed Royal Canin Mini Adult (was small breed adult) 4 years ago.  I raise Chihuahuas.  During this period I had 4 deliveries resulting in 4 c-sections. The vets said it was because I was giving a Pet Tabs supplement with calcium.  I stopped giving those.  In the last 8 months I have again fed Royal Canin mini adult.  I have had 2 deliveries resulting in c-sections and a girl that I will be taking in this morning.  the last girl, bloodwork was done the following day after the section as she got eclampsia.  She had 1 live puppy.  After me giving her calcium supplements her bloodwork showed low end of normal range.  This is not all.  I have had ears that don’t want to stand up, and some don’t ever on this food.  4 years ago my Champion male had to have kidney stones removed.  Which left him having to be ai’d.  Now after 8 months of being back on this food…he has died from having kidney stones again!  He went 4 years on regular dog foods and hydrangea tincture with no episode of stones!  Beware of this food!

  • hounddogmom12


    It’s not hard to pick a better brand! Just check out the 4 and 5 star foods on this site, pick one that appeals to you, and try it out to see if your dog likes it. There are lots of foods to choose from that are higher quality than Royal Canin and some are even cheaper! Also, read the comments on the various 4 and 5 star foods and you can see results people that have actually used the food have had. 🙂

  • Erika

    Twentyfoursevenmom – you were probably feeding your Mi-Ki Royal Canin Special #30 for fussy appetites and sensitive stomachs.  I feed my for little ones this formula too.  It’s now just called Royal Canin Mini Special.  They lowered the protein and fat slightly in the new formulation but mine still love it the same and have not had any issues.  I think Royal Canin is an excellent brand and I feed it to my dogs and cats too.

  • Twentyfoursevenmom

    Royal Canin changed its formulas, apparently, as I can no longer find what I’ve fed my Mi-Ki for 3 years- the small breed ‘picky eater’, I think was #32, but didn’t keep the bag as I should have.
    Now, some of the breed specific foods are gone too. I had no clue which one to select that was as similar as possible to the prior formula name. Too bad they didn’t make a chart to indicate which of the ‘new’ foods to choose.
    I’d select a ‘better’ brand, if I knew how…
    The breeder used Royal Canin, so I just went with it. Looks like a lot of great suggestions here. Thanks, everyone…

  • Paulmacs4005

    have you seen the latest RC gimmick?  Now they have created an extra small kibble for dogs under 8 lbs.  In the immortal words of P.T. Barnum, “There is a sucker born every minute”

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  • george

    I used to feed this to my Jack Russel when I didn’t have time to cook home stuff for him. he ate it but never relly looked forward to it like home cooking. Now he cant wait for Stellas. yippyyy. Thanks to this website & its maker : )

  • Kelly B

    I have a 4 yr old papillon and she has been on Canin since she was a pup (pup variety and now the adult mini). She has always done just great, she free feeds, no allergies or diarrhea, and she goes regularly. She is the perfect 7 lbs and coat looks great. She loves that its little and wont eat anything bigger.

  • Louise


    I have two small chihuahuas who also like Royal Canin Mini Adult. Wanted to try something better for them and happened upon Dogswell Nutrisca recently. They LOVE both the flavors (chicken and lamb). No stomach issues, diarrhea. It is grain free and is also a small size kibble.
    Good luck with your new puppy!

  • sandy

    Hi MJ,

    I just have pugs. They currently eat Natures Variety Prairie Salmon and Instinct Duck & Turkey and some Wysong Epigen mixed in and raw 2-3 times a week. All 3 are very small kibbles. They have also eaten Core Ocean and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon and Merrick (but I stopped using Merrick since they don’t have their gravy coating anymore.) The Natures Variety has a freeze dried raw coating. Some of my foster pugs are eating Natures Select Hi-Protein. It is a very small kibble as well. We have variety at my house and they are doing well. No GI issues.

  • Hi MJ… The foods you mention here both make good candidates. Unfortunately, I cannot provide customized reviews and product recommendations for each reader. For more information, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • MJ

    My 10 month old chug (Chihuahua/Pug Mix) is currently on Royal Canin Mini Puppy 33 and is doing great! I’m looking to transition him to an adult food and was looking at Royal Canin Mini Adult 27 when I came across this site. After reading up on 3, 4 and 5 star foods I’m wondering what to do. Suggestions? I’ve looked at Blue Buffalo, Orijen, Evo…etc etc. What would you suggest??

  • Hi L Wolfson… Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any replacement for this dog food. The whole idea of a “dental” recipe may be more of a marketing gimmick than a unique dog food. In any case, I wouldn’t be afraid to try other products (especially similar Royal Canin varieites). However, your senior pet’s digestive system is probably quite used to this food. So, be sure not to first run out of the old product so you’re not forced to abruptly “cold start” the new food. If possible, you’ll want to transition from the old to the new very gradually over a 7-10 day period. Hope this helps.

  • L Wolfson

    My 13yr old papillon is on Royal Canine dental vet prescribed
    dog food, but for some reason it can’t be had any longer…
    anything comparable? Am nervous to try other foods

  • sara

    Hello I have been in our pet shop today for checking their ingredients in Royal Canin Mini and it is diffrent too. Their ingredients have Pottasium sorbate, Probyl Gallate and Butilated hydroxyanisole BHA. As you wrote Royal Canin change their recipes but why we can still buy this food with this chemicals in it? Unfortunature this is true and I used to believe how Royal Canin is good!!!!!
    I love to ask you what do you think about dry food Artimes Maximal dog I can not find that in your list. I think it is the best what I can get in Australia. Thanks a lot again Sara