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Royal Canin Puppy Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Royal Canin Puppy Dog Food Review

Our Final Verdict

We give Royal Canin Puppy dog food a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Royal Canin dog food is well known for its numerous formulas and recipes that are designed to specifically target your dog’s needs. Somewhat less well-known is there puppy formulas that also offer various recipes to help your pup grow strong.

In the article below, we will share all the important details about this brand and their fur baby line. Everything from manufacturing, sourcing, recalls, ingredients and move will be revealed including the few downsides that may contribute to your overall decision. Keep reading below to find out whether this is the right puppy chow for you and your pet.


At a Glance: The Best Royal Canin Puppy Dog Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Royal Canin Small Puppy Royal Canin Small Puppy
  • Proven kibble technology
  • Highly digestible proteins
  • For puppies up to 10 months
  • Second place
    Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy
  • Exclusive complex of antioxidants
  • Maintains a balanced intestinal flora
  • For puppies from 8 weeks to 10 months
  • Third place
    Canine Puppy Loaf in Sauce Canine Puppy Loaf in Sauce
  • Highly digestible proteins
  • Supports developing immune system
  • For growing puppies up to 10 months old
  • Royal Canin Medium Puppy Royal Canin Medium Puppy
  • With an antioxidant complex
  • For puppies up to 12 months
  • Supports healthy skeletal development
  • Royal Canin Large Puppy Royal Canin Large Puppy
  • For puppies up to 15 months
  • Promotes good stool quality
  • Supports healthy bones
  • Royal Canin Puppy Dog Food Reviewed

    The Royal Canin Puppy formulas come in many different varieties depending on your pet’s needs and overall age. The company, which originated in France, has been providing the best care possible for new canines for more than 50 years.

    Each recipe is developed to help your pet grow, gain muscle, flexibility, and speed, plus enhance their brain, bone, and eye strength among many other things. First, though, we want to go over the manufacturing and sourcing techniques to give you a better understanding of how the brand formulates their meals.

    Who Makes Royal Canin Puppy and Where Is It Produced?

    Royal Canin is owned by the Mars PetCare company that also owns many well-known brands including Pedigree and Sheba. In the beginning, however, the brand was owned by a veterinarian named Jean Cathary. In 1968, Cathary developed the brand to provide dogs and cats with a diet that was based on science.

    The company now has headquarters worldwide and broke into the US pet market in 1985. They have manufacturing sites in Missouri and have been known to source their items from local farms in that state, as well as, South Dakota. That being said, the Royal Canin gathers its ingredients worldwide, and there is no indication that all of the formula’s items come from the States.

    Which Types of Dogs is Royal Canin Puppy Best Suited For?

    Being a puppy formula, this line of meals is designed for young dogs between the ages of a few weeks to one year old. That being said, there is also a mother and pup recipe that is used to help wean puppies from their mother’s milk.

    Besides that specific meal, Royal Canin divides their pet food into two groupings. Depending on their needs, you have their Retail line and their Veterinary Diet cuisine. We will start by taking a look at the Vet Diet Line first.

    Veterinary Diet Puppy Food


    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin has developed a line of products that are meant to be prescribed by a veterinarian. You will need a prescription to purchase these meals, although they are available at the site such as Chewy.com. You can simply upload your script, and they will verify it and send you the food.

    Unfortunately, this food is very expensive. Not only that but many times the entire bag is not needed to control the issue your pet may be having. As this line typically has an active ingredient, it cannot be given to other pets and should be discontinued by your vet’s recommendations.

    You should also note that there is only one formula specifically designed for puppies. The Gastrointestinal Puppy recipe is meant for those young dogs with stomach issues or sensitivities. That being said, other meals were developed for small dogs, so in some cases, they may be appropriate for younger canines.

    Retail Line

    The other line of puppy food comes in the retail line. Here is where you will have more choices that are again broken down into smaller categories. Royal Canin has size-based food and breed-based food. Both of these options come in either wet or dry formulas and made to target your puppy’s overall health, plus their specific needs.

    Breed Line

    Royal Canin has over 20 different dog foods that are targeted at purebred dogs. With this range, you will find each breed has a puppy formula.

    Here is a quick outline of the breeds you can find:

    • Beagle
    • Dachshund Hound
    • Dalmatian
    • Shih Tzu
    • Poodle Rottweiler
    • Pug
    • French Bulldog
    • Chihuahua
    • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    • West Highland White terrier
    • Irish Setter
    • Boxer
    • Labrador Retriever
    • Jack Russell terrier
    • German Shepherd
    • Golden Retriever
    • English Bulldog
    • Great Dane
    • Miniature Schnauzer
    • Maltese
    • Yorkshire Terrier
    • Bichon Frise

    One thing to note about this line is it is meant for pure-bred pups. The ingredients, nutrients, and overall formula are designed to promote the breed’s overall well-being including supporting their growing needs and predisposed health concerns.

    Size Line

    In the size line, the formulas are based not only on age but the different sizes, as well. For example, you can find puppy food in a giant puppy, medium, and small puppy meals. This is a better bet if you have a mixed-breed dog that still requires the correct nutrients and supplements to promote healthy growth within their age and size range.

    Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition X-Small Puppy Dry Dog Food

    It is also important to note that both the size-line and breed-line are more reasonably priced than the veterinary Diet series. You can find the puppy food in wet or dry formulas, plus they have a line of treats, as well, to help with training and positive reinforcement.

    Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    Though this brand offers a wide variety of choices for your young dog, some pets might do better with a different formula. For example, most diets in this range contain some sort of wheat or grain. Pups that have gluten allergies or grain sensitivities would be better off with something like Nature’s Recipe Grain-free Puppy Dry Dog Food.

    Another consideration is the fact that this brand does not have an all-natural ingredient list. If you prefer your pet to have only natural products in their meal, you may want to try something different. In this case, we recommend the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food.

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    Nutritional Value

    As we mentioned, this brand does not provide all-natural formulas and they do contain wheat and other ingredients that can affect the overall nutrition of the meal-though we will go more in-depth on the ingredients later.

    With that being said, it’s important to note that Royal Canin formulates their puppy food based on the AAFCO’s recommended nutritional guidelines. Below, we have outlined the average protein, fat, fiber, and calorie values for these brands puppy formulas. This will give you a basic understanding of what your pet will be receiving in the pup chow. Also, wet and dry food had similar values, so the average is based on both types.

    • Protein – 32%- Experts recommend that puppies get a least 27% protein from each meal to keep them energized.
    • Fat: 12% – Fat content tends to be higher for puppies than adult dogs, though you don’t want to overdo it as it can cause obesity. Your young dog should get between 10 and 25% depending on their breed, age, and size. In this case, the formula is a bit light on fat, but not unreasonable
    • Fiber: 3.4% – Unlike fat, the fiber level your puppy consumes is pretty on par with an adult dog. Each pet should get at least 1 to 10% to keep their stools firm and their digestive system working well.
    • Calories: 341/960kcal – the calorie intake depends on the size of your pet, but it generally falls within the mid 300 kcal per meal. As you can see, some Royal Canin’s formulas way overshoot this mark, and caution is advised.

    A Quick Look at Royal Canin Puppy Dog Food

    • Veterinary diet options
    • Breed and size options
    • Good nutritional value
    • Targets specific needs
    • Added vitamins and nutrients
    • Can be expensive
    • Questionable ingredients
    • Not all-natural

    Ingredients Analysis

    royal canin puppy mini calorie breakdown
    *Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

    As we have mentioned above, some ingredients within the formula are questionable. Before we touch base on those, however, we wanted to mention a few key factors. First, you may have noticed that this brand does not offer flavors. All of their formulas are made with either chicken or pork by-products and more often than not, the first ingredient is a grain.

    We also spoke about the fact that this is not an all-natural formula. This is mostly because their Vet Diet contains active ingredients. That being said, there are still some formula choices we wanted to discuss.

    • Chicken and Pork by Products: By-product meals can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you speak with. In general, it is all about quality. Feed-grade by-products are typically made with less-than-wholesome and healthy ingredients.
    • White Rice: This is the least nutritious form of grain, and it is usually added to bolster protein. A small amount is fine, but overkill can lead to an overweight pet.
    • Yeast: This is another ingredient that’s benefit varies depending on who you ask. Though it has its benefits, it can cause digestive issues. There is also a small chance of more serious side-effects.
    • Salt: An abundance of salt is not healthy, although you will be hard-pressed to find a dog food that does not contain any.
    • Carrageenan: This inexpensive filler helps that food seem more filling than it is. There are little benefits, plus your poet will have a hard time digesting it.
    • Corn Gluten Meal: Be wary of this product as it is used to boost protein levels, plus it has all the corn-concerns of its raw counterparts.
    • Vegetable Oil: This is another ingredient that can lead to obesity.
    • Fructooligosaccharides: Commonly referred to as FOS, this is a natural sweater prebiotic that is heard to process and causes digestive stress

    All of these ingredients have been found in the top half of the ingredients list and were worth mentioning. That being said, the formula also contains positive aspects such as omega, EPA, DHA, prebiotics, fish oil, vitamins, and other supplements, minerals, and nutrients.

    Recall History

    Royal Canin has had three recalls in recent years that have been listed under the FDA’s recall guidelines. In April and May of 2007, over twenty products were called back due to the ingredient Chinese Rice Protein Concentrate which may have had the Melamine toxin.

    In February 2006, several dogs and cat formulas were recalled due to high levels of Vitamin D3. In this recall, none of the formulas had to do with the puppy meals, but in the two 2007 issues, several formulas of puppy food were recalled.

    You also want to take into consideration the brand’s ownership when considering recalls. They can often have a hand in the manufacturing process, but not always. In this case, Royal Canin states on their website that their facilities are not third-party but in brand manufacturing plants. Regardless, Mars PetCare has had several recalls. The lastest being in 2018 with their Pedigree line.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Canin Puppy Dog Food Recipes

    1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy

    The Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier puppy food is a great dry option if your young dog belongs to this family. This food is designed to meet all of your pet’s dietary needs between the ages of 8 weeks and 10 months old.

    This formula will help with their coat and skin by using omegas and biotin. Not only that, but it promotes digestive help with good levels of prebiotics, and immune support with the added vitamins and minerals. What’s more, the kibble is the perfect size for your tiny tot.

    There are two drawbacks to consider these options, however. First, the formula contains ingredients such as by-product meals. Also, if your pooch has gluten sensitivities or wheat allergens, you should be aware that this is not a grain-free option. Otherwise, this is a good option for your furry friend.

    • Vitamins and minerals
    • Small kibble pieces
    • Helps with skin and coat
    • Specific for breed growth and health
    • Healthy prebiotics
    • Not grain-free
    • Contains by-product meals

    2. Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Loaf in Sauce

    Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Puppy Loaf in Sauce

    This Royal Canin dog food is available in a wet loaf in sauce meal that is the perfect size for growing puppies. It contains all the nutrients your pooch needs to grow big and strong. Including in the diet are vitamin C, E, and taurine to promote a healthy immune system. Ingredients such as beet pulp and fish oil will also keep their skin and coat moisturized, plus keep their digestive system working as it should.

    You should also note that this formula contains ingredients such as grains and by-product meals. On the other hand, this food is perfect for small breeds puppies who will grow to be in the 11-pound range. Finally, you should consider that this product is low in protein and has a 1007kcal calorie count.

    • Designed for small breed puppies
    • Helps the immune and digestive system
    • Promotes a healthy coat
    • Added vitamins and minerals
    • High Calories and low-protein
    • Contains by-product meals

    3. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food

    The Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry food is perfectly formulated for those pups who will grow to be between 55 and 80 pounds. It has all the necessary ingredients to support an energetic dog with good levels of protein, plus fiber, and fat content. Be advised though, much of the protein is from ingredients such as cornmeal versus lean proteins. Also, this meal is made with by-product meals.

    Beyond that, this dry food is the perfect size for your pup to chew. It contains antioxidants for their immune system, fiber and prebiotics for their digestive health, and blended minerals for their skin, coat, and fur. What’s more, this option is a tasty meal that dogs seem to enjoy.

    • Good flavor
    • Designed for medium size puppies
    • Antioxidants and protein
    • Fiber and prebiotics
    • Added vitamins and minerals
    • Protein does not come from lean meats
    • Contains by-products

    What Other Users Are Saying

    If you have a brand-new puppy, and this is your first time being a pet-parent, we know you only want the best for your pet. Trying to determine which formulas will be best can be hard. This is why many consumers rely on other opinions to guide them in the right direction.

    To help out with that, take a look at some of these Royal Canin Customer comments below.


    “Had been using a different brand recommended by the breeder but my puppy was having difficulty eating. The vet suggested Royal Canin, puppy loves it. Has all the ingredients I want and lacks the ones I do not want him to eat.”


    “Royal Canin got their formula right on this one. In the past, my pup has picked the other brand’s food out of her dish and set aside because she didn’t like the taste. On my quest to find a kibble we both approve of, Royal Canin took first place. The amount of oil makes the kibble appealing to her and makes her black coat shine. When the time comes, I hope she enjoys Royal Canin’s adult formula just as well.”

    If these are not enough, the best place to look is Amazon.com. Not only are these formulas (minus the Vet Diets) available on the site, but the reviews are always helpful in making the right choice. Check them out here for more info.

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    We hope you have enjoyed our review of the Royal Canin Puppy Food. Although it has its drawbacks, the overall scientific approach behind the formulas ensures that your pet will receive the targeted nutrition they need to live happy and healthy lives.

    If you would like more information on the brand as a whole, check out our article on Royal Canin. It will give you all the details on this company, so you can determine whether this is a dog food you should stick with in the future.

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