Review of Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small product line includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Royal Canin X-Small Adult||3||M|
|Royal Canin X-Small Puppy||4||G|
|Royal Canin X-Small Aging 12+||3||M|
|Royal Canin X-Small Adult 8+||2.5||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Brewers rice, corn, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, natural flavors, dried chicory root, vegetable oil, fish oil, psyllium seed husk, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, salt, l-tyrosine, l-lysine, calcium carbonate, dl-methionine, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, l-arginine, 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, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), niacin supplement, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], magnesium oxide, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], l-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||18%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||21%||37%||42%|
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 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 third 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 fourth 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.
The next ingredient 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 wheat gluten, another plant-based protein booster.
After the natural flavor, we find chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
The next 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 affect the overall rating of this Royal Canin product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
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 sodium selenite in this product. Sodium selenite is a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 68%.
Which means this Royal Canin product line contains…
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn and wheat glutens, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.
However, with 37% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 21% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for pets on a low-fat diet.
Our Rating of Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dog Food
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Royal Canin Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Royal Canin.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Royal Canin Brand Reviews
The following Royal Canin dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Royal Canin Adult Breed Health Nutrition Dog Food Review (Wet)
- Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Puppy Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Dog Food Review (Wet)
- Royal Canin Lifestyle Health Nutrition Urban Life Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Giant Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Large Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Gastrointestinal Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Selected Protein Dog Food Review (Dry)
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Important FDA Alert
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11/17/2021 Last Update