Royal Canin are one of the biggest pet food companies worldwide, appealing to the masses with a range of breed-specific and prescription foods. It’s very clever marketing, especially considering maize is the most significant ingredient in most of their foods. Dogs are essentially carnivorous animals, so a diet of maize instead of meat is never going to be optimum.
As a benchmark we’ll take a look at the Medium Adult formula…
With this formula it’s nice to see Dehydrated Poultry Protein as the first listed ingredient. Dogs depend on meat proteins to sustain health and wellbeing, and seeing a “dried” ingredient means it’s a denser source of protein with moisture pre-removed.
But wait, the next two ingredients are maize flour and maize. This is a marketing technique known as “splitting”, used to make meat look more significant than it is. The truth is the product is more maize than poultry, with maize being a less bioavailable form of protein than meat. The great thing about maize is it’s ridiculously cheap (read: good for Royal Canin’s profits).
Many dogs suffer allergies, such as itchy skin or irritable bowels. Sometimes these conditions develop over time, or some dogs are simply born with allergies. If this happens your vet will recommend a scientific (and expensive) formula such as Royal Canin Sensitivity Control which will clear up the allergies in a week or so and convince you to buy such a food for the lifespan of your dog. What they don’t tell you is Sensitivity Control is mostly tapioca, which isn’t the healthiest thing to continuously feed your dog.
Most food allergies are caused by wheat. Wheat isn’t a necessary or nutritious ingredient in a dogs diet, but in this formula we find it twice – wheat flour and wheat. If it’s not necessary or non-nutritious, then why is it included? Think about that… if your dog develops food allergies on this food leading to you getting “locked in” to one of their expensive presciption diets, then that’s a win for Royal Canin.
Compositionally the food is mediocre, with 25% protein and 14% fat. It has to be considered the protein is bulked up by maize as a cheaper substitute than meat. With all things considered it’s not the worst food, but it’s not the best either, especially considering the price you pay for such a product.
Dehydrated poultry protein, maize flour, maize, wheat flour, animal fats, dehydrated pork protein, wheat, hydrolysed animal proteins, beet pulp, fish oil, soya oil, yeasts, minerals, hydrolysed yeast (source of mannan-oligosaccharides). Crude ash: 5.9%. Crude fibre: 1.2%. Crude oil fats: 14%. Moisture: 0%. Protein: 25%.