Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small product line includes the 4 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 Size Health Nutrition X-Small Adult recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 50%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis22%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%18%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis21%37%42%
Protein = 21% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 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.

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 sixth ingredient is wheat gluten, another plant-based protein booster.

Although wheat gluten contains 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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 3 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.

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 X-Small
Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Dog Food looks like an average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 24%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

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 67%.

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 a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

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 main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Royal Canin Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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

05/19/2020 Last Update