Royal Canin Vs. Nutro: Which Dog Food Is Better for Your Canine?

When it comes to choosing the best dog food for your furry friend, Royal Canin and Nutro are two of the most popular brands on the market. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your pup?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Royal Canin and Nutro dog food to help you decide which brand is better for your dog.

We’ll look at the key factors pet parents consider when shopping for dog food including ingredients, nutritional value, taste, and cost.

A Brief Comparison Table Of Royal Canin And Nutro Dog Foods:

FeaturesRoyal CaninNutro
FormulasBreed, age & size specificSome breed specific, more variety
IngredientsChicken/fish meals, corn, wheat, soyWhole meats, whole grains, legumes
By-products usedYesNo
Artificial preservativesYesNo
Variety of recipesModerateHigh
Superfoods addedSomeMany
Price per 30 lb bag$65-$100$50-$70
Quality controlRigorousGood
Vet recommendedHighlyModerately
DigestibilityDigestible carbsProbiotics may improve
Best for:Breed-tailored nutritionDogs with sensitivities

Royal Canin Dog Food

Royal Canin is a premium brand of dog and cat food owned by Mars, Incorporated. It was founded in 1968 in France by a veterinarian who wanted to develop a science-based pet food.

Royal Canin has over 400 formulas designed for dogs and cats of all breeds, sizes, ages and health conditions. Their tagline “tailored nutrition” refers to their approach of making breed and age-specific formulas.

Key features of Royal Canin dog food:

Royal Canin
  • Formulas for puppy, adult and senior dogs
  • Breed-specific recipes
  • Prescription diets for dogs with health conditions
  • Kibble in various shapes and sizes for different dog breeds
  • Real meat or fish as first ingredient in most recipes
  • Added vitamins, minerals and amino acids
  • Higher protein and fat content for active dogs
  • Medium glycemic carbohydrates like brown rice
  • Use of prebiotic fibers for better digestion

Some of the most popular Royal Canin dog food recipes include the Pug formula, Labrador Retriever formula, German Shepherd formula, Boxer formula and Dachshund formula.

Overall, Royal Canin aims to provide optimal nutrition for dogs based on their specific needs. Their kibble shapes and textures are designed to entice fussy eaters.

The recipes are backed by research but the inclusion of by-products has been controversial.

Nutro Dog Food

Nutro is a natural pet food company founded in 1926 in California. Their dog foods are free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.

Nutro dog food comes in four main product lines:

  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials – Nutro’s original recipes made with non-GMO ingredients, essential vitamins and minerals. Their top recipes include the Adult Large Breed Chicken & Rice Formula, Adult Small Bites Lamb & Rice Formula and Puppy Farm Raised Chicken, Lentils & Sweet Potato Formula.
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diets – Limited ingredient formulas ideal for dogs with food sensitivities. Their Venison & Sweet Potato and Lamb & Lentils recipes are very popular.
  • Nutro Ultra – Nutro’s premium line. Superfoods like coconut, chia, kale, blueberries and salmon oil are added to the recipes.
  • Nutro Wild Frontier – Grain free recipes inspired by dogs’ ancestral wolf-like diets. Features high protein kibble with freeze dried raw pieces.

Key features of Nutro dog food:

  • Natural recipes with recognizable ingredients
  • Non-GMO fruits and vegetables
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • Fish oil for skin and coat health
  • Probiotics for digestive and immune health
  • Variety of grain inclusive and grain free recipes
  • Less controversial ingredients than Royal Canin

The tasty recipes like Farm Raised Chicken, Lentils & Sweet Potato are a hit with most dogs. While Nutro doesn’t customize recipes by breed, they offer more variety for dogs with food sensitivities.

Royal Canin And Nutro Dog Foods: In-Depth Comparison

Nutritional Comparison

When comparing the nutritional merits of Royal Canin Vs.. Nutro, there are some key differences.

Royal Canin dog foods usually have higher protein and fat levels while Nutro dog foods have lower calories in general. Both brands meet AAFCO nutritional standards though.

Royal Canin also utilizes more by-products, artificial preservatives and carbs than Nutro. Nutro has more recognizable whole food ingredients like chicken, lamb, brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes.

As for supplements, both Royal Canin and Nutro add chelated vitamins, probiotics and omega fatty acids. Nutro has more natural antioxidants from ingredients like blueberries and spinach.

So if you want a dog food loaded with beneficial superfoods, Nutro would be the better choice. For concentrated protein and breed-tailored nutrition, Royal Canin has the advantage.

Also Read: Comparison Between TLC Dog Food And Royal Canin.

Ingredient Quality

The quality and type of ingredients used in dog food has a significant impact on your pup’s health. This is another area where Nutro and Royal Canin differ.

Royal Canin includes chicken or fish meals, brewers rice, wheat gluten and corn as primary ingredients. They use by-products to boost protein levels. Many pet owners dislike by-products and view them as low quality scraps.

Nutro recipes rely on whole proteins like chicken, lamb and salmon. Their carb sources are recognizable foods like brown rice, barley and oatmeal. They add superfoods like coconut, kale, blueberries and chia seeds.

So Nutro uses more natural, high quality ingredients while Royal Canin uses more processed ingredients and by-products. This gives Nutro an edge in terms of ingredient quality and safety.

Watch the video to learn more!

Palatability & Digestibility

Choosing a dog food your pup will happily eat and properly digest is crucial. How do Royal Canin and Nutro compare when it comes to taste and digestibility?

Royal Canin puts a lot of resources into making breed-specific kibble that entices fussy eaters. The shape, texture and size of their kibble is tailored to a dog’s mouth and preferences.

Nutro also highlights taste and digestion but relies more on irresistible protein sources. Their kibble has meaty chunks and toppers for flavor. Both brands use digestible grain-free carbs.

Most dogs seem to love the taste of both Royal Canin and Nutro foods. Nutro may have an advantage for digestibility thanks to probiotics, fiber and natural ingredients. But both brands have decent digestibility and options for sensitive stomachs.

Cost Comparison

The cost of dog food matters to pet parents watching their wallets. Royal Canin is positioned as a premium brand so it comes with a higher price tag. Nutro recipes are more affordable while still being high in quality.

Some average costs for a 30 lb bag of top recipes:

  • Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food: $92
  • Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food: $65
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Chicken & Rice: $58
  • Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Venison & Sweet Potato: $68

Nutro dog food averages $10-$20 less per 30 lb bag than comparable Royal Canin recipes. Over the course of a year, choosing Nutro could save you a nice chunk of change.

Of course, ingredient quality is more important than price alone. But if you’re looking for an affordable premium dog food, Nutro is the better value.

Read More: Comparison Between 1800PetMeds And Chewy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do so many vets recommend Royal Canin?

Royal Canin is one of the most veterinarian recommended brands. There are a few reasons vets often suggest Royal Canin dog food:

Science-based approach – Royal Canin formulates diets based on scientific research into dogs’ nutritional needs. This appeals to veterinarians.
Breed-specific diets – Royal Canin has over 30 formulas tailored to specific dog breeds. Vets like being able to prescribe breed-appropriate recipes.
Prescription diets – Royal Canin has an entire line of therapeutic diets to help dogs with kidney disease, skin allergies, urinary conditions and other issues. Vets can prescribe these easily.
Palatability – Picky dogs seem to love Royal Canin’s carefully designed kibble. Vets don’t have to worry about dogs rejecting the food.
Quality Control – Royal Canin adheres to stringent quality control and food safety standards. This gives vets confidence in recommending the brand.

So in short, vets recommend Royal Canin for the specialized diet formulas and research-backed approach. However, some vets may still prefer other brands.

Is Royal Canin better than other brands?

When compared to mass market brands, Royal Canin is generally better quality. But it’s not necessarily better than all premium or specialty brands.

Some pros of Royal Canin:

Rigorous nutrient testing and quality control
Customized recipes for breed, age and health needs
Vet recommended especially for therapeutic diets
Palatable kibble even for picky eaters

Some cons of Royal Canin:

Use of by-products and artificial preservatives
Lower quality grain ingredients like corn, wheat and soy
Less variety than some brands
More expensive than competitors

Royal Canin isn’t the best for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. Some competing brands like Nutro have higher quality natural ingredients. But Royal Canin still makes excellent breed-specific and prescription formulas.

Overall, while Royal Canin is a very good brand, it’s hard to claim it’s the absolute best dog food on the market. But it’s certainly superior to many big name mass-market pet food brands.

Is Royal Canin the best brand?

Royal Canin is arguably one of the top dog food brands, but there are also other excellent premium pet food companies.
Some factors to consider:

Reasons why Royal Canin may be considered the best:

Extensive nutritional research and testing
Strict quality control and food safety standards
Wide range of breed and age specific formulas
Many veterinarian recommended therapeutic diets
Palatable kibble even for very picky dogs

Reasons why other brands may also be considered best:

Some competing brands use higher quality ingredients
Other brands are more transparent about manufacturing
Certain brands have greater selection of grain-free and limited ingredient recipes
Other veterinarians may recommend different premium brands
Some brands cost less but offer similar quality and nutrition

While Royal Canin is undoubtedly one of the top brands, it’s likely a matter of personal preference between other reputable premium pet food companies like Nutro, Blue Buffalo, Wellness, etc. Each has minor pros and cons that appeal to different pet owners.

Is Royal Canin best food for dogs?

For some dogs, Royal Canin may be the best food brand, especially if:

Your dog needs a prescription or therapeutic diet that Royal Canin offers
Your dog is a picky eater and loves Royal Canin’s palatable kibble
Your dog does well on Royal Canin’s breed-specific recipes
Your veterinarian specifically recommends feeding Royal Canin

However, Royal Canin may not be the best option for every dog. Dogs with food sensitivities may do better on a limited ingredient diet from another brand. Owners concerned about grain-heavy recipes may prefer a different premium brand.

When deciding what’s best for your individual dog, consider:
Your dog’s breed, age, activity level
Any health conditions or allergies
Your dog’s taste preferences
Your budget
Veterinarian recommendations

While Royal Canin makes excellent dog foods, don’t count out other reputable brands that may be the right fit for your pup. Look at your dog’s unique needs to determine the best food.

Read More: Comparison Between Gunner Kennels And Impact Crates

The Verdict: Which Brand Is Better For Your Dog?

Now for the big question – is Royal Canin or Nutro better for your dog? Here are some quick points to help you decide:

Pick Royal Canin if you want:

  • Breed-specific formulas
  • Veterinary recommended recipes
  • High protein/fat for active dogs
  • Digestible carbs like rice
  • Unique kibble shapes your dog loves

Pick Nutro if you want:

  • Only recognizable whole food ingredients
  • Superfoods like coconut oil, kale, etc
  • Affordable price for premium quality
  • Variety of proteins and grain-free recipes
  • Probiotics and fiber for digestion

Both Royal Canin and Nutro make quality dog foods that meet AAFCO standards. Nutro has the advantage when it comes to natural ingredients. Royal Canin is a leader in breed-specific and therapeutic diets.

We suggest looking at your dog’s age, breed, size, activity level and any health conditions when deciding. Try out sample sizes of both brands to see which one your dog likes best.

That will ultimately determine which food is right for your pup!

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