Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Dog Food product line includes the 8 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Royal Canin Small Adult [M]
- Royal Canin Small Puppy [G]
- Royal Canin Small Starter (4.5 stars) [G]
- Royal Canin Small Adult 8+ [M]
- Royal Canin Small Indoor Puppy [G]
- Royal Canin Small Aging 12+ (3.5 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin Small Indoor Adult (2.5 stars) [M]
- Royal Canin Small Indoor Senior (3 stars) [M]
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Corn, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, brown rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, wheat gluten, fish oil, vegetable oil, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, l-lysine, choline chloride, dl-methionine, monocalcium phosphate, vitamins [dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), niacin supplement, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], magnesium oxide, l-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||16%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||33%||43%|
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 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 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 next 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 fifth item is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn 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 sixth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 ninth ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
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 Royal Canin product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, 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.
In addition, we find fish oil in this recipe. 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.
And lastly, this food includes 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 Size Health Nutrition
Small Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
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 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.
Which means this Royal Canin product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn and wheat glutens, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Royal Canin Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Royal Canin. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
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
06/13/2020 Last Update