Veterinarian Jean Cathary founded Royal Canin in southern France in 1968.
Cathary’s goal was to produce pet food that would satisfy the needs of the pet rather than the desires of the pet owner by developing recipes that were grounded in science.
With decades of experience and innovation on the field of specialising pet foods, Royal Canin has expanded its operation to America where you will find its base of operations in St. Charles, Missouri and manufacturing plants in Missouri and South Dakota however the actual pet food sold in America is produced in the United States and Canada.
Royal Canin are committed to assuring the quality of the products they sell worldwide.
- Suppliers undergo a strict selection process and then the ingredients are tested when they arrive at the plants.
- Every plant performs quality checks to test for mycotoxins, melamine and salmonella.
- Every plant used for manufacturing is owned by Royal Canin and complies with international standards for quality management and food safety.
- All finished products are tested before they are shipped.
When it comes to nutrition in pet food Royal Canin are most concerned with body development, energy requirements, disease prevention and special care.
As for the kibble, Royal Canin have done their homework in terms of size, shape, texture and density. These are important considerations because dental health has informed Royal Canin.
Retrievers, for example, are known for eating food very quickly and without chewing. A donut-shaped kibble is designed to encourage chewing and works to slow down the speed of ingestion.
Royal Canin offer a range of pet foods for all dog life stages and breeds. Royal Canin MINI formula is a dry dog food for puppies and the main ingredients are:
Royal Canin claim that when grain is processed properly it can be a healthy part of a puppy’s diet however pet food critics may read that as an excuse for food manufacturers to use cheaper fillers, which is exactly what the MINI formula does.
Chicken meal is the primary meat protein source. While it is not the traditional chicken source due to the rendering process it does pack more protein and less moisture.
Sadly, the runner up ingredient is brewers rice which is also cheap filler and loses it potency for fibre due to the quality of the husks of the grain.
Chicken fat brings the natural fatty acids to the mix.
The Journal of Nutrition published an article in 1994 entitled ‘Stool Characteristics, Gastrointestinal Transit Time and Nutrient Digestibility in Dogs Fed Different Fiber Sources’.
… the results of this study suggest that finely ground cellulose, corn fiber or pectin can be used in commercial pet foods without adversely affecting nutrient digestibility or gastrointestinal function …
This study focused on short-term results and used food mixtures with multiple fibre sources. It can be argued that the lack of fibre diversity in Royal Canin MINI formula could be improved if higher quality grains or better alternatives are implemented.
Dried beet pulp is another by-product full of carbohydrates and fibre although there are disadvantages with using this cheap ingredient. Palatability, or taste, and the potential to upset doggy stomachs means that the Royal Canin recipe comprises filler and economical components that look healthy but are actual weak imitators of better options.
At the time of writing this review, there were 11 5-star and 3 4-start reviews on Amazon for this variant. On nutritional grounds it rates low, but what do other people think?
Of the few four- and five-star reviews online, Amazon users like Mombdh2 and HKFan are purchasing Royal Canin based on advice from breeders and vets however they do not explain why consumers should buy Royal Canin in the first place.