Updated March 2022
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Buying guide for Best Royal Canin dog food

Like humans, dogs are unique creatures with their own interests, needs, and experiences. For this reason, each dog has their own nutritional requirements. Royal Canin, maker of a variety of dog foods and established in 1968, operates on this philosophy.

Before many of its competitors, Royal Canin was focusing on the specific nutritional needs of dogs based on their age and size. Royal Canin has worked with veterinarians to establish a long list of formulas aimed at tempering a variety of canine ailments, from gastrointestinal issues to skin and coat problems. While Royal Canin products tend to be more expensive than other options, buyers can rest assured that the focus of each recipe is improving the lives of dogs.
With tailored nutrition like this, it helps to have some guidance while shopping. That’s why we created this buying guide: to help you find the best Royal Canin dog food for your canine buddy. Read on for more information about your options and the benefits of a Royal Canin dog food diet.

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Royal Canin has rigid standards for ingredients used in their recipes, including the ability to trace and identify all meat sources.

Key considerations

Size and age options

Unlike some competitors, Royal Canin doesn’t offer specific lines of food. Instead, they offer various recipes for dogs focused on characteristics such as breed, age, size, and health needs. The same recipe may appear in more than one of the following categories, depending on its specificity. Note that some of these options cater to specific ailments, like joint issues or digestive care.

Size: The size of your dog dictates its nutritional need. Royal Canin offers size-specific recipes for small dogs (under 23 pounds), medium dogs (23 to 55 pounds), and large dogs (over 55 pounds). The recipes are further filtered by age and other sensitivities. They are available in both dry and wet options.

Seniors: Royal Canin creates food formulas for aging and senior dogs. The transitions of aging take place at different times for different breeds. Royal Canin’s recipes are filtered by a combination of size and age range. Wet and dry foods are available.

Puppies: Just like dogs of advanced age, newborns and puppies have special nutritional needs. These may be filtered by their potential size in the future. Wet and dry options are available. 

Veterinary Diet

Royal Canin works in conjunction with veterinarians to create formulas and recipes that can help dogs overcome a number of illnesses and ailments. The following are options that target specific problems but can only be purchased by veterinarian authorization. You will need to present a prescription at the time of purchase, online or in person, for Royal Canin Veterinary Diet products.

Sensitivities: Royal Canin offers formulas that help dogs with allergies or sensitivities, whether they stem from internal or external causes. The recipes may be useful for dogs that itch, scratch, sneeze, or scoot with frequency.

Urinary health: These formulas target dogs struggling with urinary problems. Dry and wet food options exist, as well as treats. 

Weight management: These recipes help dogs find their ideal weight while still getting the energy and nutrients they need.

Kidney health: Weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and excess thirst are signs of kidney problems. Royal Canin offers recipes to help.

Digestive health: Digestive issues may lead to accidents in the house and difficulty obtaining needed nutrients. Royal Canin features products to help dogs with sensitive stomachs overcome problems.

Diabetes: A diet high in protein and fiber may help dogs diagnosed with diabetes. Your vet may recommend options from Royal Canin.

Multiple sensitivities: Because some dogs suffer a combination of issues, Royal Canin has a select few formulas to specifically target multiple sensitivities that often occur together.

Treats: The only treats Royal Canin offers must be prescribed by a veterinarian. These treats tend to any of the above ailments and issues.


Because Royal Canin makes such specific formulas, you won’t have a lot of options when it comes to ingredients like other companies. The most common main ingredient in Royal Canin dog food is chicken. Notably, there are recipes that contain chicken by-products or grains, two items that some dog owners try to avoid. 

In most cases, you will find only one formula that caters directly to your dog’s age, size, lifestyle, and special needs. If you don’t feel comfortable with some of the ingredients, you may want to look at another brand.

Wet vs. dry food

One choice you’ll have when shopping for Royal Canin dog food is that between dry and wet food. Dry food stays fresh longer and improves oral hygiene, while wet food can keep dogs hydrated, is easier to eat, and boasts more enticing aromas. Both options have pros and cons. Royal Canin suggests considering a mix of both, but if you do, make sure not to overfeed your dog. 

Royal Canin provides a feeding guide for wet food, dry food, and mixed food. If your dog doesn't have any specific needs, the choice between wet, dry, or a combination may come down to personal preference. 

As a result of Royal Canin’s hyper-focused formulas, customers may not have an option when it comes to the size of the dry food bag. Based on what’s available, choose the size that best reflects your dog’s needs.



Pure breed specific foods

Royal Canin offers a lengthy list of formulas that cater to the unique needs and of some pure breed dogs. Food in this line considers jaw and teeth shape, eating style, and breed sensitivities and needs. For example, breeds who tend to scarf down their food quickly are forced to slow down due to the way the Royal Canin crafts the size and shape of the kibble. 

Some breed-specific recipes focus on that type of dog’s historical problems or concerns, such as the sensitive stomachs of Chihuahuas or the hip and joint concerns of German shepherds. Formulas for finicky breeds are made to be more palatable and enticing.

Some dog breeds specifically targeted by Royal Canin are German shepherds, Chihuahuas, Labradors, golden retrievers, Shih Tzus, pugs, poodles, and boxers. There are recipes targeting puppies and adults in both dry and wet food options.

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Your dog’s bowl should be at a proper height to avoid problems swallowing and breathing. Keep their dining area safe from disturbances so they don’t worry about threats to their food supply.


Dog bowl: AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Dog Food Bowl
Provide your dog with his or her own dog bowl for all their meals. This AmazonBasics option is inexpensive, easy to clean, and made to last a lifetime.

Dog food storage container: IRIS Airtight Food Storage and Scoop Combo
You’ll want to make sure your investment in Royal Canin dry food lasts. We recommend this sealed storage container by IRIS to keep the food safe and fresh.

Dog treats: Zuke’s Mini Naturals
As Royal Canin doesn’t offer over-the-counter dog treats, you may want to pick up some other options. We like these small but flavorful moist treats by Zuke’s.

Dog dental chews: Greenies Dental Dog Treats
Help your dog keep their mouth, gums, and breath the healthiest possible. These treats from Greenies are the most popular for dental hygiene, and dogs love them.

If you (or your dog) aren’t satisfied with your Royal Canin dry food purchase, the company offers a full refund, credit, or exchange for the remaining uneaten portion.


Royal Canin dog food prices

Royal Canin dog food is among the most expensive options available to dog owners. The food is specifically catered to the needs of dogs, from their chewing habits to allergies to systemic concerns. Because of the high quality, a bag of Royal Canin dog food should last longer than a competitor’s option of the same size.
Inexpensive: For around $20, you can find a small bag (under 10 pounds) of breed-specific or size-specific dry food.

Mid-range: Medium-size bags of dry food, usually 15 to 25 pounds, cost around $40. Packs of 12 cans of wet food cost around $30.

Expensive: Most large bags (roughly 30 pounds) and 24-packs of wet food run between $60 and $80.

In addition to food, Royal Canin offers a wealth of resources to help owners recognize and support ailments and illnesses dogs may encounter in life.



  • Wash the bowls. Feed your dog like you want to be fed: with clean dishes. Even though they may be licked thoroughly, bacteria can still form in unwashed bowls.
  • Transition slowly to Royal Canin. In order to avoid stomach upset, slowly add Royal Canin food to your dog’s old food. Incorporate 25% of Royal Canin every two to three days until the transition is complete.
  • Measure carefully. Especially when feeding smaller dogs, slight variations in meal size can lead to weight gain, and other issues. Make sure you are feeding a consistent, measured amount.
  • Know your breed. Understanding the specific history, needs, and nature of your dog’s breed will help them not only get the right food but also live their best, healthiest life.
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Even if you’re staying with the same recipe, Royal Canin recommends easing into a new bag of the same food for utmost gentleness, just as you would transition from a different company.


Q. How should I store Royal Canin dog food?

A. Dry food should be kept in the bag it comes in, which should, in turn, be placed in an airtight, sealed container. Kibble can stay fresh for about two months when stored properly, as it is naturally preserved. You want to keep it from oxidizing and away from light. As a result, it is not advised to freeze Royal Canin food.
Opened cans or pouches of wet food should be refrigerated, sealed, and used within one to two days.

Q. What the best place to start when choosing Royal Canin dog food?

A. Royal Canin creates dozens of recipes based on dog breed, age, and size. It also creates recipes that target specific ailments. If you have a purebred dog, we recommend checking to see if Royal Canin has a formula for them. If not, consider your dog’s age and size when choosing a recipe. If your dog has a specific issue such as skin concerns or a sensitive stomach, you’ll want to consult your veterinarian to see if a more advanced formula is required.

Q. How much food should I feed my dog?

A. Royal Canin provides exact daily feeding requirements on each bag or can of food it produces. These feeding requirements are based on age, size, and breed. Keep in mind that they list daily requirements, which should be divided into two or three feedings.


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