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  1. Nance

    Thanks again for keeping us up to date. I just ordered your book “Dinner Pawsible” and know this is going to be a better option for my fur kids. I do have one with allergies so will see how that goes – he is a bit of a challenge.

    1. Allison

      My lab had severe allergies for years! We now feed a grain & carb free raw homemade diet. I also add a probiotic supplement to help her develop the good bacteria to get rid of the yeast associated with her allergies. She is doing amazing 🙂 Good luck!

  2. Barb

    I attended a Royal Canin seminar about a year ago. We were expecting a litter and their mother/ puppy campaign was impressive. When we were getting near the phasre to transition to their products, I called the “got all your answers” rep. I was inquiring of the bioavailability ratio of their protein. After numerous back and forth contacts to find a person that understood what I was asking for and was told, they would call back with the numbers…I never heard from them again.

    1. John

      Call the number on the website or the back of a food bag and ask for Technical Services support. They will be glad to help

  3. Sue A Stanton

    Susan, I read your report on Royal Canine and decided to write them. If more and more wrote them, hopefully it might make a difference. Here is what I said…..
    Replacing chicken meal with chicken by-product meal.
    Chicken/Poultry Meal Chicken/Poultry By- Product Meal
    Does not include chicken intestines Can include and/or chicken intestines and/or chicken chicken feces.

    AAFCO definition Chicken/Poultry Meal
    “Poultry Meal is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.”

    AAFCO definition Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meal
    “Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”

    SHAME ON YOU! SHAME OB YOU! Consumers are not as stupid as you would wish them to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is your supposed new better recipe?

    1. Akash Patil

      Can u explain me ? I’m so much confused what to feed or what to not ? Now I’m feeding FIDELE dog food .. Want to buy Royal canin .. So should I buy RC or not ?
      I want best of best dog food for my 50 days old GSD puppy
      Mail ID –
      Thank u 🙂

      1. Ann

        The shortest answer is the “best” thing to feed your sweet German Shepard Puppy is whole human grade food, period! What you eat yourself is fit for your dog (as long as it isn’t fast food, toxic, junky, greasy, spicey, salty snack type food).

        But if you’re not willing to cook for your dog, research RAW. I have a very young and very, very old dog both doing great on raw! If you dont like the idea of raw, then minimally cook (as in keeping it very rare) basic stew meat (beef), add a fiber (like steamed sweet potato). Or, if you want to feed a commercial kibble, look for a small, locally managed and processed label. Some Canadian brands seem okay. Baked kibble is better than extruded. I’ve heard that Lotus is doing baked. Also choose a single protein, whole food, simple ingredient food (that is USDA inspected and approved). Right now I’m having good luck with limited, single ingredient Merrick as a backup kibble, but my dogs are restricted against too much fat, chicken and fish, so I am very, very limited in my choices.

        The real trick will be rotating your menu and not relying too heavily on any one manufacturer or system. You want to keep your puppy’s diegestive processes at full throttle and RAW will do a lot in that regard. Fresh food, not contaminated by any commerical processing is the real secret. Stay away from Chinese sourced ingredients and additives. Your dog’s food doesn’t need any artificial coloring or flavoring. No corn or grain subject to mycotoxins. Just because it’s a big name doesn’t mean they’re doing things right. That’s just a lot of hype and advertising.

        Check out Susan’s 2015 The List and the Petsumer Report for preferred manufacturers who’ve returned their Pledge and have agreed to declare all their sourcing and understand the pluses and the minuses of each brand! Sometimes it’s a matter of compromising and choosing the least of all evils.

        Stay away from Royal Canin and any Mars or Purina or Diamond co-packer products.

        1. Akash

          Thanks …. What about farmina N & D grain free ultra super premium food ??

      2. Ann

        Regarding farmina N & D grain free ultra super premium food. Speaking only as a regular consumer (just like yourself) and not an expert, this is a backup kibble I’d feed my dogs. If it is everything the website says it is. The only thing they haven’t done is return the Pledge to veryify their sourcing and origin. A lot of companies have not done this either. I’m glad your question encouraged me to research this product, thank you!

        1. Akash

          Yes … One of my friend suggest me farmina N & D grain free brand. So should I buy this ??
          Here in my place pet shop owner only suggest Royal canin & pedigree .. N I don’t trust this brand .. & other good brand is not available in pet store . I have to order online only .
          Thank for your suggestion sir 🙂

      3. vivek

        Just feed your dog / pup raw food. Your pet is designed to be in the wild and eating raw food. You will have a much healthier pup and dog with a shiny coat of hair. Beef is banned in some parts of india now. You can give it buffalo beef, raw chicken, raw mutton, raw fish, raw pork, get stomach tripe (stomach lining of goats/sheep, buffalo) its good fir it. The process of chewing raw food helps clean the teeth and your dog will have shinier, whiter teeth. and healthy disposition, be more calmer, no doggy smell. Brush the dogs coat every other day and give it a wash once every fortnight and you dog will be super.

  4. Marsha

    Sure glad I never used Royal Canin. And now I know I never will. Thank you for the up date and clarifying it.

    1. Prathik

      Love to try raw but is it safe in India? Vet says too much worm infection risk in India. Pls advise thanks

      1. Nitya Rao

        Hey Pratik! My vet says the same and they’re right, actually. I am a medico myself and I can tell you the biggest problem we Indians face in feeding our pooches is the availability of options.
        I feed my lab pedigree once a day for his vitamin needs, give him 2 cups of curd for probiotics and to cool his system from the heat in our country and I freeze store chicken with broth, boiled with a pinch of salt and turmeric, a head of garlic and deboned with rice or Dakota once a day. Make sure to include chicken fat, cheaply available here and some kind of omega fatty acids supplement ( I use Venky’s).
        RC is also known to pump their food with steroids so I’d literally steer clear of it.

  5. darlene fox

    so they are trying to cover their butts for going down a notch in quality. I don’t suppose this down grade will reflect positively when it comes to charging the customer. if nothing else, they will probably increase the price with their downgrade.

  6. Margo Mann

    What I would like to know is: Why do they put soy and corn in a food meant for an obligate carnivore? Soy is controversial for humans, much less carnivores. Get that crap out of cat food and I might possibly think about buying Royan Canin, canned. certainly not dry, though.

    1. frank

      dogs are not obligate carnivores. An obligate carnivore is an animal that cannot obtain all of its essential amino acids without digesting a meat source. For example cats cannot synthesize the amino acide taurine, so they must obtain it through eating meat, taurine by the way is found in highest concentration in heart muscle(found in chicken by-product meal). Dogs however can synthesize all amino acides they need from the essiatial amino acides: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine, and histidine. These are the basic building block amino acids from which all protein in built. An amino acid is the same weather it comes from meat, cereal(grain) or plant. What matters most of a protein source is the digestibility, the biochemistry going on in your pet doest care what the protein source is only what amino acids it gets.

      1. John

        agree, thank you Frank. Margo – regarding corn and soy based products, what are the controversies? They are two of the most important ingredients available. Admittedly, not every pet does well with every ingredient. No Royal Canin products contain soymeal or ground soybean. They contain protein derivatives. Secondly, there are at least 5 formulas (Hypoallergenic Veterinary line) that are free of any corn or soy. They do also contain ‘vegetable oil’, which is soybean oil (similar as your common salad/cooking oil). There is no protein in soy oil / vegetable oil, absence of protein reduces the risk of allergies.

      2. Interested Pet Owner

        Hmmm,interesting theory. However something about it doesn’t just add up. If completely true then why bother to include a primary meat source at all? Wouldn’t the exclusion of it increase profitability? My guess is that the meat is included for the palatability (taste and preference) factor. Would a pet be very satisfied eating pure “amino acids”? The problem with assuming that cereal (grain) would make a comparable amino acid resource, is that grains are both heavily GMO’d (most especially corn!) and are subject to mold and toxins (they don’t keep well under certain conditions) and can become contaminated. Too many pets (though not all) develop problems by eating grains, partly due to innate allergies/sensitivies (and probably genetic predispositions) and also because of how grains are chemically treated in agriculture. Which is an important reason why they shouldn’t be assumed as “ideally” comparable.
        You seem to be knowlegable about RC products so maybe you can explain why and how breed specific formulas differ? For example between a Schnauzer’s and a Poodle’s requirements, formula-wise? I already understand the difference in requirements between bone sizes, age and activity levels. Just not between the “breed” differences of dogs that are the same weight, size, age and activity level.
        Also in response to the lower posting, here is a sample of the ingredients from a formula listed on RC’s website. By the way, it wasn’t easy to find “ingredients” the way the RC website is designed. Being that there’s an awful lot of fancy conversation taking place instead…oh well.
        Chicken meal, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, brown rice, barley, oat groats, natural chicken flavor, soy protein isolate, powdered cellulose, dried beet pulp, fish oil, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate, vegetable oil, DL-methionine, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, taurine, salt, vitamins … and so it continues.
        I’d be a little concerned about corn gluten meal as the No. 2 ingredient, since it “can” trigger allergic reactions with extended exposure. What kind of “vegetable oil” is used, and if known, then why not just identify it? Soy protein isolate? Also controversial. The problem being is that dogs have a more intense “routine” exposure to recurring individual ingredients, than do humans with a broader and more varied “daily” diet.

        1. John

          Corn gluten meal – most dogs and cats are not sensitive to this.
          Vegetable oil is soybean oil. This is the same type of oil sold at your grocery store for baking or cooking.
          Soy protein isolate – this same isolate that RC includes, also is used in human health food (protein bars and veggie burgers). Most animals are not allergic to soybean or its derivatives.

          1. Susan Thixton Author

            John – let’s get some facts straight…
            Corn gluten meal – sourced from genetically modified corn. GM corn has been linked to cancer and tumors in recent research.
            Vegetable oil/Soybean oil – no, it probably is not the same type of oil sold at any grocery store. The FDA provides pet food with loopholes to avoid federal food safety laws (that would require it to be the same as sold in the grocery). Unless the pet food manufacturer publicly states they are using human grade ingredients (such as with The Pledge) – the pet food consumer has no assurance the quality is even close to human grade. Go to the FDA website, search ‘Compliance Policies’. Scroll down to Veterinary Compliance Policies and begin reading. You’ll be shocked.
            Plus – more than 80% of soybeans in the US are GM.
            And Soy Protein Isolate – would be sourced from GM soy and again there is no guarantee it is the same quality as in human foods.

          2. John

            GMO – this is more about politics and international trade barriers than food safety. Do you have peer-reviewed academic research to support the claim of GM corn as carcinogenic?
            I personally have insider information specific to RC: I cannot speak for other pet food manufacturers, but RC uses human grade manufacturers of soy protein isolate and vegetable (soy) oil. Also, their corn gluten meal specification is the most strict of any on the market.

          3. Susan Thixton Author

            There is a multitude of peer-reviewed academic research linking GM corn with tumors in animals. A multitude.
            If you have insider information to Royal Canin – then perhaps you can encourage Royal Canin to provide pet food consumers with their Pledge to Quality and Origin. Here is the link showing all the other companies that decided full transparency is what pet food consumers deserve.
            We’ll wait to see if Royal Canin will provide theirs.

          4. John

            If you are aware of the studies, please send me copies of the University peer-reviewed academic research on testing the hypothesis of carginogens in GMOs. I agree with you, that people deserve to know. Blogs, opinion webpages, and articles that don’t reference at least 15-20 peer-reviewed journal articles.
            By the way, Royal Canin is using non-GMO grain already – Royal Canin has 2 factories in France, 1 in the U.K., 1 in Poland, 1 in Russia. All of these countries have non-GMO regulations in place for grains. So Royal Canin is quite familiar with non-GMO requirements and adheres to them where there are country laws in place.
            Again, non-GMO vs. GMO is a non-tariff international trade barrier that protects countries agricultural systems in place. This is known mechanism, but I have yet to read a single university peer-reviewed journal article in my life that indicates GMO’s are carcinogenic. If the peer-reviewed research does get published – and we live in a free country. It will get published – not even the large seed corporations can stop peer-reviewed research from occuring. Again, the research must be peer-reviewed by experts (PhD and/or DVM after their name) in the industry. Without these titles, it’s difficult to build credibility. In my opinion, this is why Royal Canin, as debated as some of their ingredients may be, builds credibility. They have several hundred DVM’s or PhDs working for the business worldwide. This builds credibility because they are professionals committed to discovering the truth and are required by the business and by their DVM board certifications to ‘do no harm’ to animals.

          5. Susan Thixton Author

            15 to 20? I don’t have this kind of time to track down all these papers for you. If you want to find them – there are available. Very recently published papers that made major headlines too. If you support GM ingredients, that’s fine. But please respect the fact that others do not.

            This website is not hear to bash any pet food company. It is here to protect pet food consumers. And again, should Royal Canin wish to provide full transparency to pet food consumers, I would be very happy to publish their Pledge. I asked all of Mars Petcare pet food lines to provide their pledge months ago (along with all the others) – and we have not received it. It is easy for a company to say they are transparent and say they use human grade – it is quite another for a company President to sign their name to such a statement. I’ll wait for Royal Canin’s pledge.

        2. Amanda

          Each breed differs in the typical health issues that will arise in them. For instance German shepherds have a high rate of skin sensitivities, Papillons have a higher rate of subluxing patelas (hence need more glucosamine to help the joints) Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a higher rate of eye issues. Its another way of hitting targeted health issues that are more prevalent in certain breeds.

  7. Bett Weston

    I have fed Royal Canin in the past, but would never do so again. I avoid foods with “by-products” in the ingredient list. It’s harder and harder to find commercial canned and dry foods that can be trusted long-term. Many years ago I raised my own chickens and meat animals for slaugher and our pets were fed mostly home-cooked meals. Right now I have a lot of rescued cats and no kitchen — impossible to keep up with fixing raw meals for them, and some don’t like raw meat which I get at our local farmer’s market. I also avoid foods with fish in the ingredients, as does a good friend of mine; another really hard-to-avoid product in commercial foods! Our cats do not do well on fish-food. I haven’t seen any fishing cats, so don’t consider it “natural” for them. They’d prefer mousies or bunnies.

    1. John

      I fully respect your passion for your animals, but by-products need to be considered in the context of 1) food safety risk, 2) nutritional objectives of the formula and 3) sustainability of the food chain, not on cultural perception for human consumption.

      1. KAH

        Since a response to one of your comments was the most recent that happened to drop into my box, I took the time to read your postings. As an insider for RC you are responding to some of the skepticism of pet owners regarding commercial PF. The problem with commercial PF is that while in theory it’s just another type of animal (or livestock) “feed”, on which our entire agri-business depends in order to feed the lifestock food chain, it provides it’s mega conglomorate manufacturers with a HUGE profit margin! I think you would not be able to deny this fact. Pet owners would be DELIGHTED if an appropriate portion of these proceeds were reinvested into the value of the food — not just “sustaining” a pet life — but providing optimal and ever improving nutrition. AND they would be more confident in what these PF companies are doing if they were honestly and ethically transparent, even educational in their approach to the marketplace. Unfortunately too many companies have failed in quality control and safety issues, and too many pet owners have suffered economically and emotionally when pets get sick from PF. These companies rely on a lack of specific or rather, exclusive proof (although testing IS becomming more main stream) in order to defend their products and deny customer claims, rather than partnering with pet owners to improve the whole process, from the point of ingredient inclusion (including choice and origin) to production (methodology) to warehousing (safety) and sale (effective recall alert system). It should be a team effort, or at least one where the main stakeholder (the pet owner) is invited and welcomed to be involved, or at the very least, to be well informed and educated.
        Can you answer why this does not happen?

  8. Brent W

    Not surprised the second I saw ‘Mars.’ Not sure how long Mars has owned Royal but the same will happen with P&G and Natura (Innova) as it did with Iams years ago. All used to be top notch foods when they were independant of corporate giants constantly looking to cut costs. I’ll betcha the price won’t go down for Royal even though they are admittedly using cheaper ingredients. Thanks for staying on top of this stuff. It’s sickening how they try to fool people. AND human food giant manufacturers are no better, but this not the forum for that.

    1. rob

      exactly! here a link for john who was asking earlier about GMO’s and carcinogenics evidence made by persons with PHDs

  9. Woofielover

    We saw this coming at the last bag change a couple years ago. The RC rep swore that it was not a recipe/ingredients change, that the employees had asked that same question at a corporate meeting and I believe her only because when the new “bags” came out I called her and asked her to come in with her ingredients lists. She turned white when I sat her down in front of the new bags and began comparing the ingredients on the bags to what she had in her corporate lists. Her exact words – ” oh my god, they lied to us”. We started the process of letting customers know we were removing the line from our shelves. The hardest part isn’t switching the animals, it’s switching the humans over! We watched more changes (subtle but obvious if you were looking for them) occur and have been extremely happy with our decision to remove them – even more so after this. Parting words from a RC employee – “you’ll never get people to switch”. We got all but 3 out of hundreds and yes, we tracked it. No one has been disappointed with switching.

    1. Sasha

      Woofielover, you are awesome! I wish all the PF stores took care of their customers like you do!

    2. John

      The switch has more to do with 1) AAFCO compliance 2) honest labeling. Think about it logically, and the companies that haven’t already switched, will soon.

      What is the food safety risk of edible / human inedible animal byproducts vs. choice human grade cuts?

      I personally am less concerned with what part of the chicken did the byproduct come from and more concerned with what is a company doing to manage overall quality, food safety, and nutritional suitability. I am confident that Royal Canin is managing overall quality as well as any company, if not better than your alternatives, on the market.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        John – I have attended AAFCO meetings for the last several years. This ingredient switch has absolutely nothing to do with compliance. For one – AAFCO is not a regulatory body – they develop model regulations that are then accepted as law in the US. As well, honest labeling is not applicable here either – by-products – per AAFCO Official definition does not provide the consumer with any honest information.

      2. Carolina

        I have a question for you MR.
        Do you work at Royal Canine or are being payed by them?
        I don’t understand why you have such an urge to defend them. And certainly, I don’t understand YOUR NEED to make people believe what you are trying to justify.

        Does this forum affect your pocket income?

  10. Mary Anne Latham Kennard

    I’m so glad my baby refused to eat this stuff years ago!
    This is how I can tell if the food is good, if the food smells “clean”. What I mean is that some dog foods smell awful, like poop or whatever, I.e. Iams. Dog food that smells like food or nothing at all, I consider good food. Although in the future I plan to make my own as it is becoming more apparent that a good quality food is getting harder to find.

  11. Ellie

    When I was in the early phase of my look into pet foods I look at the Royal Canin ingredient list. They seem to also think that grain should be a major part of a pet’s diet.
    It really ticks me off to see how they pretend to be making breed specific diets. People think that since the bags of food have their breed of dog’s name and picture on the bag it must be good stuff.
    It seems Royal Canin is trying to “educate” their consumers about he health benefits of by products.
    When my dog food company puts beef or chicken hearts into the food they list it as a beef or chicken heart. So why can’t Royal Canin do the same if that is what they mean by a “by product?”

  12. Alan Williams

    What is it that all of you think cats naturally eat in the wild? White meat chicken breast??!! They eat the entire animal, intestines, brains, bones, “feces” and all. What you think sounds appetizing or non-“yucky” has nothing to do with how your cat eats, or even how they should eat. The reason they eat the entire animal is that the brains vs the muscle meat vs the internal organs all provide different nutrients that the cat needs. If they didn’t, then the cat wouldn’t eat it. I just find it fascinating that so many “enlightened” people are taking such an emotional stand against their cats eating things that are part of their natural diet. If you really want to understand your cat and what he needs, stop thinking about it as a small human. It’s not. The fact that you would jump to the conclusion that Royal Canin (which I don’t feed, by the way, so I’m not defending them to defend my own purchase behavior) is no longer a quality food because they include by-products just means that you’re relying more on internet hype than actual nutritional science.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      There is a huge difference between wild prey – which a cat would eat in the wild – than factory farm poultry by-product meal. Just a couple of differences: By-product meal does not include meat – prey would. By-product meal would include drug laden internal organs – prey would not.

      Your comparison of wild prey to commercial by-product meal is not a true comparison.

    2. Ellie

      You might want to enlighten yourself about what the definition of “by product” is as per the pet food companies as well as how and where these by products are obtained.
      I have no problem with my pet eating certain organ meats or even ground bone but my pet is not wild and does not have to eat and will not be fed feces and other non nutritional parts of the body in order to fatten the pocketbooks of the pet food industry.
      I will buy only from companies to list EXACTLY what is in the food and that do not use the huge stamp of “by products” as an explanation of what my pet is eating.
      I have feral cats that I help take care of. They must be very discriminating cats since they always leave the intestines and stomach of their victims on my backyard feeding station. Guess they don’t know they are supposed to enjoy eating feces.

    3. Pacific Sun

      Only theoretically speaking, and not practically of course, vitamins and minerals serve the same nutritional purpose for animals as they do for humans, except in differing ratios. Therefore all consumable foods are therefore a source. When buying chicken or beef for your family, do you expect that the “muck” (called ground meat) sitting in the supermarket and particularly one that doesn’t have a butcher servicing the counter, should be or would be more “wholesome” if the product was full of every consumable part of the animal? And that it is certainly “okay” because the product just happens to be all ground up?? I know this sounds stupid. But people would blanche at the thought of all parts of an animal scraped together, including from off the processing floor (accidently mixed in with gawd knows what), then dumped into the grinding/processing vat! Somehow we think that our pets deserve no more, no higher grade quality, no other assurances, JUST because we see them eating a live prey diet, which can often be visually more gross than anyone could imagine. The difference of course, is that kind of a diet happens to be relatively fresh and unaltered and therefore has complete vitamin/mineral bioavailability and no contamination. It isn’t a mass of once living protein “muck”, mixed up, cooked, chemically adjusted or altered, extruded, dried into pieces, flavored, colored, scented, and then lying in wait (for weeks or months?) until consumed. Pet owners therefore, hope for at least the start of the best quality product possible, meaning one that is as straight-forward as possible. And yes, it just seems more palatible to think that actual chicken MEAT or beef MEAT makes up the major portion of the product, rather than every and all miscellaneous (though) consumable parts. Assuming of course that a chicken breast or a steak is more wholesome than a dried up chicken beak and the cartilege coming off of a cattle ankle. But please do correct my rational if wrong.

    4. Allison

      To even compare Royal Canin to a raw prey diet is absurd. They are the complete opposite. The quality of meat is not the only issue with this brand. It is absolutely 100% not a quality food, it never has been, and the quality is just getting worse. It’s pretty much like feeding your pet a bunch of dried up pieces of chemicals vs. real food. My dogs eat raw and they not only look better than any kibble fed dog but they are healthier too. Wish more people would realize this. Took me a while to myself…but now I could never go back to feeding any kibble.

    5. Nancy

      My indoor outdoor cats used to hunt. They didn’t eat the whole mouse or squirrel or whatever. They left the entrails on the porch for me.

      1. ellie

        So do mine. Always. These self proclaimed “experts” on what animals naturally eat have not got a clue.

  13. Casey Gillespie

    This is unacceptable! I have a French Bulldog, who has been placed on the Rx Royal Canin Urinary UC “Low Purine” because he has a rare condition of bladder stones. After forking out over $1500, losing the chance to breed him so we could have one of his puppies, and having him almost die, we now have to spend $62 a month on a bag of dog food, from a company that will be using Chicken by-product meal? His food may not contain chicken meal, but this concerns me for all the other owners out there who try to give their animals the best food. Shame on them!

  14. Dr. Laurie Coger

    Was having the “talk” today with a client about what they are paying for when they buy something with a by product meal in it. They had a problem with the price of the feeding plan I suggested. Yet they will pay about $1.63 a pound for Royal Canin Maxi Health German Shepherd 24 contain chicken sh*t? (Petco online price) I buy human quality chicken, beef, sometimes turkey, and fresh organ meats for less than that. No sh*t 😉

  15. Peter

    Reformulating recepies is becoming more common, as profit metrics for these corporate agribusinesses come under increasing pressure. This is why many of us have pets that suddenly aren’t eating what they have been enjoying for a long time. So called premium brands are making these changes, and blurring the distinction between their products and ordinary, grocery store foods. In the end, Mars is switching to cheaper ingredients. They are following industry “least cost mix” protocols. Management can attempt to spin that decision, but informed consumers would not be convinced.

    In fact, Mars Inc. holds a patent (US 7,575,771 B2) for a procedure to process offal (dictionary definition: garbage/refuse/rubbish) into pet food.

  16. Heidi

    Almost all the premium brands are changing their formulas because they have discovered that they can add legumes to the food to boost the protein content and skimp on the real meat. Big challenge to find any food without chickpeas, lentils, peas or beans. They still charge the premium prices though, for foods that are sometimes half peas. Anytime a conglomerate buys a pet food company it is never good news, and almost always assures the loss of quality that people once counted on. Exchanging by products for real meat is gobsmackingly stupid, consumers are far more educated now about byproducts, the food will merely become a ‘dumping ground’ for all their other waste. More economical that way…..

  17. Sandy

    About 5 months ago I was given a sample of a new canned cat food by Royal Canin. Just for interest sake I brought it home, called the 3 cats to the kitchen, cracked it open and let them have a whiff. 3 cats raced out of the room and would have nothing to do with it. It was gross and I threw it out.
    There are many stores in Canada who have stopped selling Royal Canin even Pet Planet who owns many stores in Canada and the US.
    Others have it on the shelves but will tell you Not to buy it!!
    They are not fooling everyone!! Thanks Susan for all your hard work!!

  18. Laurie Matson

    I wish these Companies would offer a top notch Pet Food that is Top Quality, has no Salmonella or E Coli, is filled with top quality meat and is a healthful complete diet. They can charge whatever they feel they have to and I know there are plenty of people who will pay whatever it costs!! All we ask for is a great food and charge whatever it costs!! Why do they have to constantly be trying to cheat the customer? We want a great dry and canned food product, are willing to pay the price, and just want the manufacturer to not have constant recalls, to make a healthful and safe food that a toddler could safely get into. and charge what they need to!!! Why can’t they make money the right way rather than always trying to decieve and cheat us? I just don’t understand these companies!! Give us what we really want for our pets and they could make a lot of money!!!

  19. Carol Leblanc

    I hope your not changing the Vet products as in the urinary SO! 4 of my cats eat that I cannot have your change make them sick! If they get sick then I will be in big trouble I have been considering changing them to a grain free diet. But scared to make them very sick if it does not work then end up with huge Vet bills! But if you change the food and make them sick with your change then I will be upset I do not need this. Carol Leblanc

  20. billydjann

    I am so glad I do not buy dog food.
    I take pleasure in making it myself and seeing the results. I have lost to many pets due to commercial dog food. Never again will I buy a bag of anything from a store.

  21. Shelley

    Hi everyone! This article really concerns me because I have an English Springer Spaniel that cannot eat meat only can digest poultry because he gets beeding explosive diarreah. He has had to have IV fluids in the past because of losing so much blood. No commercial diets either. His morning meal is half a can of a veterinary diet made by Royal Canin (Hypoallergenic select protein Adult PD. His evening meal is homemade by me. Are the veterinary foods by Royal Canin going to be affected also? I need to know because ANY change in this boys diet will make him have a flare up. Thank you Susan for all of your hard work and important information that you share with us pet parents!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I’d suggest having your vets office (or who you purchase the Royal Canin Rx food from) to make a phone call to RC and asking about ingredients in the prescription foods.

      1. Carol Leblanc

        Thanks Shelly I will do that when I get home. Carol

      2. Shelley

        Yes I will do that. Thanks!

  22. pasturella

    I tried to use Royal Canin kitten food for my new kitt- she ate it for a while- this stuff is as much garbage as the cheapest product in the lowest-end food mart.

  23. Andrea

    I was feeding my cats Royal Canin Urinary formula- vet prescribed, for male cat struvite crystal management. After a few months, I noted two of my cats had severe diarrhea and one was vomiting as well. I did some research on Royal Canin online and read many reports that even deaths were involved- the same symptoms- the severe diarrhea and vomiting. I immediately stopped feeding my cats any more commercial food and have been making my own cat food here at home. One is still having diarrhea, but has put on weight and is much better and the other one, his stool is going back to normal. I also read where Royal Canin is putting shredded tires into their dry pet food.

    1. CJ

      Shredded tires? I would really like to know where you get this information? Do you have the proof? That is a pretty bold comment to make if you do not have anything to back it up with.

      1. Interested Pet Owner

        I thought this was a fascinating comment which made me curious enough to find the original source. Say what you will about “Consumer Affairs” how could all of the experiences be made up? Somebody would have to be pretty bored to write endlessly from so many different angles. However the comment was certainly very enlightening.
        ——————– by: Erich of San Francisco, CA on Oct. 26, 2012
        Satisfaction Rating1/5
        I fed my dog with RC for the past years. My dog died of Hemangiosarcoma two weeks ago, which I understand has risen dramatically in this country. Various sources such as Wikipedia and many of the veterinarians I spoke with have little doubt that the sharp rise of this particular cancer has its roots mainly in the food and treats we feed our dogs. I understand from breeders in Europe that for example, RC in France uses dog carcasses (with the unabsorbed toxins) and finely shredded car tires in their dry dog food as fillers. These giant corporations are acting out of greed with no sense of ethics and moral obligation towards their consumers and their pets. They advertise that their dog food products are “wholesome and nutritious” – which is clearly stretching the truth and here is why:

        So far there have been 34 dog and cat food recalls and safety alerts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012, 20 pet food recalls in 2011 and 24 pet food recalls in 2010 – not to mention the additional recalls by the US Animal Health Foundation and several veterinarians. The reason for these recalls are bacteria, salmonella, poisons such as thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), vinyl chloride and arsenic – which are blamed on the spread of Hemangiosarcoma. These poisons are mainly manufactured in China and have been used in the US production of cat and dog food, which lead to recalls, safety alerts and the death of animals.

        There have been several toxic poison dog treat warnings recently for example involving “Waggin Train,” which is manufactured by Nestle Purina in China. These treats for dogs have led to kidney failure on hundreds of animals. Several news agencies reported that the FDA has issued three separate warnings on September 1st 2012. Does this require any further comment? As for my beloved departed friend, I personally have no doubt in my mind that he was the victim of a greedy industry which puts money ahead of health. My next dog will not be fed any of their toxic garbage. I will rather prepare the meals and treats myself and will let the CEOs of these giant corporations eat their own poisoned foods.”

        1. CJ

          why do I get erased as a comment when Im only asking where her references come from for the shredded tires and dog carcasses???

          1. Susan Thixton Author

            Arguments in comments don’t help anything or anyone. I am trying to end the arguments.

          2. CJ

            Im not arguing with her comment, Im simply asking her to confirm her factual findings that shredded tires and dog carcasses were used in the food? That is a pretty big assumption. No one should post comments that are not backed up by facts.

  24. Karen

    Royal Canin has never been a diet to consider, even before this. The ingredient list is a joke. They lost all credibiblty with this retailer when they came out with the breed specific diet nonsense. Read the labels folks! it tells the whole story!

    1. CJ

      What ingredients would you like to see in your food?Im just curious?

  25. Karen

    My first question regarding the posting of this article is, Are you at all aware of each individual pet food manufacturers policies, procedures or protocol regarding their process of food manufacturing? Have you ever toured any the these facilities to actually see how they conduct their business? Have you ever actually spoken to someone regarding each and everyone of your issues with them? Where are you getting your research from? Why do you post scare tactics, then charge these people money for your information? Althought I certainly understand your approach, you need to post actually findings from the science journals and so forth to make this believable. Anyone can start a web site and post inaccurate information about certain products but everyone needs to do their own research. Such as… These are unbias opinions, not one persons unfortunate journey resulting in dozens of infactual statements.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I am aware of the regulations that govern each individual pet food manufacturer – in fact I go to the regulatory meetings advocating for consumers. And yes, I’ve spoken with many of the manufacturers (plant managers, customers service, and plant employees). If you would read much on this website, you’ll see that all sources are documented and many are linked to research. And Karen – is a website by Royal Canin, is a trade organization for the pet food industry (the name of the website!). Neither of these websites are even close to unbias for the consumer. But I guess it ‘unbias’ depends on what side of the fence you stand on – consumer or industry. This website is for consumers.

    2. Pacific Sun

      Karen, you must be new to this site. And that’s fine, because it certainly is all about a “learning curve”. So many consumers/pet owners start out the process with utter disbelief! Because it really is so unbeliveable. But above and beyond the lack of transparency of these companies, have been the repeated requests by the author, Susan, to enter into dialogue with them. Whenever the questions start getting tough, or when the FDA Compliance Policies are at issue, and the probing goes any deeper, then all communication stops. Susan has been invited, then disinvited, then reinvited to the regulatory agency industry semi-public meetings, only to be publically and totally ignored (insulted). She is never allowed to speak officially, much less to ask questions that so many consumers are interested in, hearing the answers, at least in a public setting and just for the record. Nearly 86 companies have been invited over a year ago to submit their Pledge to Quality stating origin of ingredients and other best practices. Not only did all but 13 ignore the request, virtually none of the companies could even see fit to explain why they wouldn’t want to advertise their quality assurances and best ingredients. In every instance, the pet food consumer has been treated as though they are incapable of understanding industry business practices, by failing to create any channels of education and enlightenment. I think many consumers would JUMP at the chance to visit and tour these facilities, and receive an honest, well documented and scientifically supported presentation as to the nature of the pet food business. They would love to know what goes into brand formulation and nutritional theory. Unfortunately the consumers have been completely ignored and treated with complete disrespect, although it is the consumer’s dollar which has brought humongous profit to the billion dollar trade. And finally, when pets suffer the ill consequences of pet food, whether by inattention and a failure in quality control (accidental) – or by intentional misconduct and substandard operating practices – whenever these cases arise and consumers align in droves with similar symptoms and outcomes, even backed by their own Vet’s diagnoses, well … consumers are again ignored and the blame is placed on the owner’s mistake or an accident or the pet itself. It is difficult to think of any other industry and corporate level business of this magnitude that is allowed to treat it’s own customers with such wanton ill regard and insult! And yet the corporate ownership of these companies respresents such a huge and powerful lobby, that they are beyond even being investigated by independent monitors. It has been imposssible to even mount a documentary series looking into the business. And why would all these questions even exist, if there wasn’t indeed something to hide. It’s just ridiculous to treat people and pets in such a way that all too often brings heartbreak and economic hardship upon innocent parties. Kare, please keep reading this website (I point you in particular to reports on Beneful and extremely well know brand names). There is no ulterior motive at hand. The author receives no salary, and whatever donations are made, simply go to the maintenance of the website and bring in no other profit. In fact this is the most unbiased, unafiliated, educational pet food learning seminar that you will ever come across. Unfortunately it does take a huge amount of time and patience to absorb. Good luck on your journey. However, it’s your pet certainly that deserves the time and effort you put forth.

  26. christian

    I am a vet working exclusively with dogs, cats & rabbits. Whilst I agree the pet food manufacturers need monitoring, I feel that it is only fair to point out that the majority of problems I see with dogs, cats & rabbits that are related to their diets are caused by the owners, not by some ‘harmful pet food’.
    i.e starvation, obesity, too many snacks, an excess of meat protein at the expense of foods containing other nutrients, a lack of fibre for dogs & rabbits etc.
    Lets put this into perspective. I’ve been a vet for 20 years, and although it doesn’t suit the aims of this website, pet owners are guilty of far more damage to their pet’s health than the food manufacturers.

    As for chicken faeces, yes its not nice, but as already stated, dogs & cats do eat intestines in the wild (often the first thing to be eaten after a kill), and not just the cleaned intestines, but all the contents of the intestines, including faeces. The rendering process kills potentially harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, which has to be a good thing.

    Of course no one can justify adding formica to pet foods but there are plenty of good foods out there. Royal Canin do produce some very good foods, especially the prescription diets for medical problems. If they weren’t making pet foods, along with companies such as Hills, many dogs & cats would have been euthanased because of problems such as bladder stones which can be treated or managed with their diets. Prescription diets for kidney disease have been shown to be the single most important factor in prolonging life of dogs & cats with kidney disease.

    1. Pacific Sun

      The majority of problems you see regarding dogs and cats (rabbits aren’t relevant here) is due to the owner’s lack of education. What this website does, and it seems to be getting slammed quite a bit for it lately, for some reason, is to EDUCATE readers. That’s it. This education seems to be making a lot of folks really nervous lately.
      People seem to take away the idea that there is a vendetta going against certain brands of pet food. In some cases certain brands (formulas) of dog food ARE indeed harmful (Beneful speaks for itself) but the essence of this site is about FULL disclosure, WHICH the pet food companies just seem to have a problem with. I point you to PFCs taking full advantage of the FDA’s Compliance Policies. Now why in the world do they need to do that? It’s like, “don’t worry, just trust us. We don’t need to go into any details, like ingredient origin and how we do things. Just buy the food, feed it to your pet, and don’t ask us questions. Oh, and if your pet does happen to get sick, be sure and go to that Vet, because it couldn’t possibly be from the dog food. Even if the pet was perfectly okay before you started feeding the food, and then got sick once the new (questionable) diet was introduced.”
      Well those kinds of owners do make up a large percentage of your clientel. And no one is suggesting that any Vet wishes for business, but the fact of the matter is, that’s what you’re in business to do anyway. Isn’t it all about correcting problems? And doing so THROUGH prescription diets? When often times (not always, but often enough) what the owner requires is the right education up front … correct?
      Now unfortunately Vets themselves don’t always get enough nutritional studies in college, correct? Wouldn’t it be even more useful if they did?? Sooo, the next best thing is to control what the owner is feeding the pet through designated diets, rather than trying to start new puppy owners off on the right foot. Now it’s never been said that “pet food” won’t sustain a pet for it’s average expected life span. The problem is what happens during those aging years? Some pets are fortunate, others not so much. And wouldn’t it be interesting to understand more about cats and their renal failures as they age? Is it due to dry diets, or due to unnecessary carbohydrates, or what is going on? Where are the scientific studies?
      THAT’S where the need for education comes in, not during the end stages, but for the life of the pet to ensure maximum health prevention. Same for dogs. I would wager that the minority of your client base (except, perhaps, maybe) coming in for “routine” treatment (?), is made up of owners feeding whole foods and raw, correct? This is a very unpopular subject with Vets. And we’ve been down that discussion long and hard during the history of this forum. But I think the main point here is that while Royal Canine is providing it’s share of the prescription food market, it’s a shame that there is even a need for it in the first place. Yes, owners make mistakes and pets are imperfect. But the ONLY thing this website does is to help empower owners to make the most appropriate choices for their pets. It shouldn’t have to be about finding a specific food to “prolong” the life of dogs and cats with kidney disease. Unless that’s already due to a genetic predisposition, then kidney disease shouldn’t be something that dogs and cats end up with, right??

      1. Woofielover

        Well said, Pacific Sun! More than 70% of an animal’s immune system is located in their GI tract so if the gut isn’t healthy the animal isn’t healthy. We have NEVER understood why nutrition is so sparingly addressed in the majority of veterinary colleges. The only obvious conclusions can be that of feeding the “business” of veterinary medicine and the dirty little secret of what veterinary nutritional diets are made up of. If they truly addressed nutrition – true nutrition – most vet students would understand that the options currently recommended by the vet school sponsors are no options at all.

        1. John

          Yes, so once you find a DVM that understands nutrition, stick with him or her.

      2. John

        I understand your spirit, and I respect our comments, Pacific Sun, but when my dogs get older, if they get diabetes, kidney stones, gastrointestinal issues, I want to keep them alive longer and enjoy my time with them. It’s not popular to talk about the philosophy of making money off of treating illness, but nor is pharmaceutical capitalism a popular subject with some crowds. Should drug company’s make money off my mom for helping to cure her cancer. No, but I am sure glad that she’s still alive and she is in remission.

    2. ellie

      I wonder if you think that our pets surviving on synthetic vitamins is a “healthy” diet? The kibble sold as food to our pets has undergone extensive heat processes in order to kill any organic parts of the food during processing. You can’t have a year long shelf life if there is any real nutrition left in that slop that they put together for our pets. So since all the nutritional parts of the “food” have been destroyed in the “cooking” process we need all those synthetic vitamins processed in China that are tacked on the end of the ingredient list now don’t we?
      Would you feed yourself and your family breakfast cereal as a steady diet? Real nutrition replaced by ingredients that have all their natural nutrition processed away and synthetic vitamins replacing the natural nutrition our bodies were made to process?
      Yes, there are many uninformed pet owners that feed their dogs pet food and table scraps and anything the dog might desire. That is harmful to any pet. Here you will find mostly informed pet owners who may choose to feed their beloved pets a diet that is more natural to the dogs digestive abilities. Kibble is not anything close to nature. No one, not human or animal, should be fed a processed diet that replaces true nutrition with synthetic vitamins.

  27. Pam E

    they might as well close their doors. people are reading labels more and more now days. by products- ugh

  28. Interested Pet Owner

    Fortunately we’re all on the same page here regarding the discussion of nutrition and the greatest opportunity for maintaining good health throughout the life of a pet. Did you know that one study showed that 50% of dogs who were studied died of cancer? Another study showed that the expected lifetime of many pets has been assumed to be much shorter than genetics indicate? Of course it is well known that there are three factors considering the ongoing survival of our pets. The environment (including safety), genetics and nutrition. Genetics can be encouraged by breeding only the best stock (that’s a whole different discussion). The environment can be mitigated by (at least) “trying” to avoid known carcinogenes, such as exposure to household/yard chemicals, excessive vacinations, etc. The third opportunity over which we have the most control is nutrition. That’s why there is such a fierce discussion about avoiding additional chemicals, addititives, synthetics, colorings, flavorings, and other fundamentally compromised protein sources. It is not helpful to be using on a daily, recurring basis, compounds that have been treated and exposed to other chemical corrections/adjustments. Unfortunately that’s just the nature of most commercial dog food, unless greater effort is taken to produce the purest the highest quality possible. Excessive heating and treating is not optimal Will aging dogs end up with diseases and need to be treated? And are we indeed grateful there are so many remedies and researchers to help extend life? We are. But when that situation is seen only as inevitable, and it is sometimes hastened by ignorance or denial during the interim, then we’re not providing the best alternatives for our pet.

  29. Sarah


    I came upon this post because I was looking to see if Royal Canin had recently changed their ingredients.

    I have three cats and for the last three months or more, two of them have been scratching and grooming to the point of hair loss. We checked for fleas, ticks, mites, etc. We changed the laundry detergent, their beds, their bowls, everything we could think of, but we are now fairly convinced it is their food because it is only affecting the two who are on the same dry food. Our third cat is on a prescription diet.

    The two having this problem were on Royal Canin Siamese. The crazy thing is they have been eating this food for years with no problems.

    I do not know enough on the topic to have an opinion on by-products, and I do not know if this change is the cause for my cats recent food allergy. I just wanted to throw this out there in case anyone else was experiencing the same thing.


    1. JC

      RC Siamese food has not changed the ingredients. I fed this food to my Siamese cat for years with no issues. He passed away from old age at the age of 16 with no known health issues whatsoever. I was thinking about getting another one and I checked the ingredients list. No changes from before. I trust the food, have seen the results and will continue to feed the food.

    2. KAH

      Until the average consumer has access to testing suspect pet food, I don’t believe that 100% guarantees exist either way. Even if only 2 pets out of 100 end up with a problem, who thinks their own pets are worth the risk? Sooo, better to err on the side of caution, true? There are over 2500 possible brand/formulas out there from which to sort through, and choose. To that end, you might want to Google Royal Canin Pet Food complaints” or try the following link: In all fairness, some people believe CA is biased to pressure manufacturers into paying a fee to address damaging comments. Perhaps if they didn’t, then it would be an utter “free for all” of slamming product over product. Regardless — the PFI and our society would have to be sadly, pretty sick, to employ people just to make up these horrendous stories to turn people against the competition. RC has chosen not to participate on the CA site. Either because they don’t believe in it’s veracity either. Or because they don’t want to engage in negative publicity. You have to wonder though, wouldn’t a company be interested in the effect of their food on a wide variety of pets? Some readers here have said they’ve complained to RC and haven’t received any response. The biggest negative (I believe) is the failure of this company to return the Pledge to Quality and Origin. It’s my opinion that exactly because these companies don’t have full control over their suppliers, or perhaps have to shift quickly among those with available product, that they don’t take the risk of guaranteeing their absolute quality and purity. Find a PF, a little less high profile, and quite a few can be researched on the PetSumer Report. Better yet, supplement with whole food if possible. There are many wonderful Readers here who can help with cat food suggestions. I have 2 dogs (3yrs & 14yrs) who have maintained weight, have the best stools (excellent digestion), and an endless supply of energy, the result of feeding whole food when possible. Yet go back to sloppy stools and endless water consumption when feeding kibble.

  30. OneOfManyAgainstAntiAnimalists.

    Theres’s another ingredient missing from all dry food (obviously) which is very important and might mean urinary crystal/stone reduction of suffering and fatalities for pets. It’s made of 2 atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen and is very important, so cheap, but so overlooked by the average consumer.
    One I saw the royal canin dry cat food s/o label for struvite crystals I just sighed at all of the junk that no one wants. Is it a pure co-incidence that some(most/all?) contain utter crap?

    Who the hell would feed anything pure dry food?

    Try eating 1.5kg of 0-5% moisture food a day with half a litre of water for a few months. Have fun.

    1. KAH

      It could be possible that English is not your native language and the translation isn’t working properly. So I don’t know what the helium you’re talking about. Can you identify what this element of 2 atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen is, and if it’s not being named here in your posting, then how in the world could a consumer LOOK for it!? It seems RC created a formula to reduce the formation of Struvite Crystals in cats (perhaps?) but that food was so loaded with undesirable ingredients that it didn’t make any sense? I THINK what you’re trying to say is that for cats especially an all dry diet is not best for their kidney and urinary functioning, because not all cats (probably) drink enough water, correct? No one would argue that the equivalent of a pet food diet as human food would be detrimental to our health. In fact the proponents of THIS site believe in fresh food supplementation for pets at the very minimum. When feeding whole food (a home made diet) my dogs drink about 1/2 as much water as when eating only “dry” kibble. Well that makes sense. I think there is value in your comments. I just wish they were easier to understand. Thanks.

      1. Jane

        H2O = Water 🙂 I think the poster assumed that most consumers would know that

  31. OneOfManyAgainstAntiAnimalists.

    I’m glad you understood the water molecule. I was being ironic, if that’s the word, about the composition of dry food, which has so many “carefully picked” ingredients, but not the water that is necessary.

    Yes, dried food entirely, seems like a person who doesn’t really care choice for their pet, and the lucky ones are probably females, that have shorter, wider urethras and therefore can take larger crystals/stones and pass them, whereas the male cats are going to struggle due to the narrowing point of the urethra.

    Obviously, if some cats take more water, then they will be better off than ones that don’t.
    I just can’t understand the logic behind dry food “diets” that seem to turn biological necessities on their head, in the name of, sigh…money.

  32. Peter

    I wonder if AAFCO would recognize “the Yuck Factor” as an “official” ingredient? After all, many if not most pet foods, including the so-called “premium” brands, include it in their formulations.

  33. Merrilee

    Back in the 70s I fed my cats 9 Lives and Friskies. After having my wonderful felines for 9 years I had to find homes for them so I only know about my main man Fritz who my girlfriend took. He was healthy except for some teeth problems until he died at age 17. I have been feeding my felines, after getting educated, much better food for the past 9 years or so. After thinking back about the Friskies days I shutter to think how I was feeding them fast food. I couldn’t survive on fast food yet that’s what I was feeding them. But, like I said, Fritz lived to be a wonderful 17. I have been feeding my brood Wellness wet food and California Natural (I think that’s the name). I want to do the best for them but I don’t know if they would eat homemade food as they like it sometimes and sometimes not (chicken). I have to feed one of my boys the R/C urinary SO. So all of them will eat this because I think they could all benefit. But when I read the label and got onto this site now I don’t know what to do. If they don’t eat R/C the others out there aren’t any better for a medical problem so what do I do. I will search for recipes and give that a try.

    I have to say that my vet who I really like, is not into nutrition. A while back he said to feed them anything they would eat, meaning cheap food, etc. I think not.

  34. Kelley

    The history of “pet food” is fascinating.

    1. Kelley

      (Sorry, I hit the “submit” button too soon and this is a continuation). For all the scientific advances that supposedly have been made in the last decades, how sad it is that generic PF hasn’t seemed to benefit. We had a dog in the ’60’s with a chonic digestive condition and yet there was no such thing as a name brand prescription diet. Thinking back, he couldn’t eat any fat including canned PF (probably suffered from pancreatitis). Table treats made him instantly sick. The remedy was limited. While he was younger we fed him boiled baby lambs tongues in a celery broth poured over “Friskies Kibbles Five Flavors.” They were the cookies all crumbled up. THAT was called “Kibble”!! There wasn’t much choice back then and only a few, including manufacturer of Friskies (and the original Purina Checkerboard Square company) pretty much dominated the small animal feed markets. Our neighbor couldn’t stand the idea of “pet food” for her lovely miniature poodle, and so cooked a chicken breast (over rice) every single night of that dog’s life! As our dog aged he could only eat cottage cheese, rice, and a little bit of boiled protein. And still most neighborhood dogs lived to very old ages (ours was 17, the neighbor’s was 15, etc.) and few (seemed to) suffer from long drawn out cancer complications. They just passed away. In this day in age, the difference affecting pets’ health HAS to be about from where these ingredients are sourced, the excessive use of chemical corrections, and the defects in fundamental protein sources. My current dog, at a very, very young age suffered from chronic Struvite Crystals and a long term pesky urinary infection. He was treated for MONTHS on and off. Then I stopped feeding him a very expensive (proprietary brand) of “fermented” chicken based (and very rich) PF, switched him to a substandard commercial PF fish formula, and he never had another problem in that area. Fortunately I’ve been learning ever since, that there is never any single solution. But rotation and knowledge of ingredient origin and processing is imperative. I am so grateful for the Pledge to Quality and Origin and The List, which I think has helped owners make more confident choices. Thank you for all the hard work involved!!!

  35. Mimi

    It is nice to find a site that supports consumer advocacy in pet food. I have a 16 year old cat who started eating Royal Canin Urinary S/O when I had another cat on it for medical reasons. I am actually not a big fan, but he is 16, and he loves it, so he gets it (along with his grain-free, responsibly sourced wet food from Weruva.) He loved the S/O so much that he would steal great mouthfuls of it out of the container whenever we poured a new bag in. I noticed a slight color change in the kibble in the last bag and a strong reluctance in him to eat it. I thought it was a fluke and returned it to my vet for another bag. Same thing. Part of me is glad because now I can eliminate this from his diet, but another part of me is furious. He walks around begging for food now, and nothing I have tried will satisfy him. His canned food intake has doubled (no complaint there) but he really wants his kibble. I guess he just doesn’t want it filled with chicken feces…

  36. Victoria

    I have just spent the better part of 3 hours researching dry dog foods as my two large breed dogs are on Royal Canin, they have both been reluctant to eat and only do so when really hungry….the one is always sick after eating. I am trying to find a good quality dry kibble and I am having no luck. The ingredients list are scary. I am just sharing what I have come across, this article and video is very disturbing….

    Just an FYI

  37. Gary Alan

    That is an eye opener there! I always known how dangerous and toxic commercialized dog foods are and you gave very hard evidence of it. I hope people who really love their dogs should stop giving them commercialized dog food because they are slowly killing their closest buddy in life. Dogs are very loyal and gentle and it would be very sad to see them harmed by our own hands. Home made dog food is good for them because we can avoid those harmful elements. We can even make their food appropriate for them by observing what their body needs. We can also vary the recipe so that our dogs will always look forward to their food.

  38. Kathleen Bartos

    Who the heck is Susan? And what are her credentials to make her a nutrition expert?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Kathleen – if you click on ‘About TruthaboutPetfood’ you’ll find who the heck Susan is. And I’ve never claimed to be a “nutrition expert” so I’m not sure why you pose such a question. But I do know regulations – both state and federal, ingredient definitions, manufacturing processes. I hold advisory position to two AAFCO committees and have established pet food consumers a voice with FDA.

  39. theresa holton

    My cat is on the royal canin so. Don’t like the ingrediants in it.seems I am spending alot of money on garbage. I want to find something that does the same with better ingredients.

  40. Sharon Daniell

    My IBD Chihuahua has been on RC PV (Potato/Venison) prescription diet since December. First of all, I was relieved that it didn’t contain any corn, as is common in a lot of prescript. foods.
    He has been doing very well on it, seems to enjoy it. HOWEVER, this week, I have opened two separate cans from my last shipment and have found pieces of hard white plastic in the food.
    I called RC today and got a very nice girl named Kate who said this was the first she had heard about this and could I please send the pieces to them so they can actually “feel” them. I don’t know why, but I am a little leery that they can’t take my description and a photo (against a penny for size ratio). I feel like they are trying to take my “evidence.” I am sure once it leaves my possession, it will never been seen by anyone again.
    I asked her if they were going to put a recall on this lot and she said no. She said there were no other complaints. I told her that I would have appreciated knowing this if someone else found shards of hard plastic in their food that comes from their “state of the art” production plant.
    I kindly asked her to send me some replacement food as I have nothing I can give him because of his IBD. She told me she couldn’t do that.
    I then questioned her about the ingredient “venison by-products” and what the definition of it was. She told me that it was the clean parts of the deer i.e. heart, liver, lungs, intestines (!)….but not hooves or hair. hmmmmmm. ok. Then she assured me that the meat used in this food is the best quality available……
    I told her that unless they are using HUMAN GRADE meat in their recipes it is not the best quality available and their can does not make that claim.
    The more I asked the more defensive she became and I did not leave the conversation feeling as though Royal Canin could get a crap about my problem with their defective food.
    Just wanted to share my experience and relieve some of my frustration. In any event, I do not recommend this food to anyone and I have no idea what I am going to feed my little boy when the HUMAN GRADE potato and venison in my refrigerator runs out. Thank goodness I have a hunter in the family!

  41. sheba

    hi all
    l have a seven month old gsd german shepherd
    been told that royal canin is racing fuel
    that may cause behavior problems
    to much energy
    has anyone experience this to much excitement promlem

    1. sharron

      haven’t noticed any change in my dog in regards to being overly active from eating RC

  42. sharron

    i’ve been feeding RC off and on for the past 4 yrs – have tried many high end foods like orijen, acana, natural balance, fromm, earthborn holistic, nature’s variety (both raw and dry), dehydrated, straight can, can mixed with dry. she wouldn’t have anything to do with any of them. i always end up going back to RC, and, she’s doing well on it. owner of a yorkie/chihuahua X.

    1. Reader

      I’m around a lot of folks who raise miniature (the middle size) poodles (fussiest eaters on the planet because they know their owners will just keep changing the buffet endlessly … LOL). But what we really found out is that the size and the shape of the kibble itself has a lot to do with preference. Especially with puppies and youngsters. My own two will eat dirt off the floor however I do home made and raw and… anyway because they deserve it. But I’ve watched the “catered critters” throw the food out of their bowl, and then eat it kibble by kibble and chew each and every one. On the whole they like the little’er kibble and RC may have something to do with that. But Fromms also makes a very small kibble. With Fromms try the Beef Frittata (which most all love) even when they won’t eat any of the other Fomms recipes.

      Please stay away from RC if you can and chicken is getting waaay over produced. Duck, Turkey and Pheasant are better alternatives now adays. Your pup is little, and it would also be very easy to cook home made. It’s not an exact science and for a little one shouldn’t be any trouble at all. Just minimally bake some beef, add canned salmon, pumpkin, steamed veggies, hard boiled eggs, sardines, cooked oatmeal or oat bran, greek yogurt, a banana …. these are just examples to rotate. No exact measuring required … (smile)!

      1. sharron

        hi and thanks for your reply – i have tried home made, twice, the first time i made beef, rice and veggies, she threw it up about an hour later. the 2nd time i used chicken breast, rice and veggies, about 3 hrs later i had her at the vet due to an allergic reaction, assumed it was the chicken. have tried her on the beef fromm, she wouldn’t touch it. might give it another go at it. i don’t want a food that is high in fat like 20% and loaded with calories.

        1. Scally

          Sharron, it’s your decision what you think is best for you cat. if RC has been working and you have a happy, healthy cat, then I wouldn’t try to mix it up! But if it’s not doing the trick, then it’s time to find something else. (Don’t go crazy tho and take your cat off SO just so it can eat grain free like the lady commented earlier – hello, bladder stones!) I have fed my 5 pets (dogs and cats) prescription RC their entire lives since with me and they are doing wonderfully. My sister has fed her dog Iams for her entire life and she is doing wonderfully. My friend has fed her 3 pets raw for their entire lives and they are doing wonderfully. I have no preference for RC or any other brand or style of feeding. I just think you have to do what’s best for YOUR animals and you’re the only one who knows what that is! There’s not always a right or wrong answer. Except for Old Roy. Please don’t feed Old Roy. 🙂 I try my hardest not to be guilty of anthropomorphism too often, because it’s not in the best interest of my pets. I take what I read here with a grain of salt because I think a lot of people here have a hard time separating the feeding of their pets with the way they would like to eat. JMO

          1. Reader

            Your response is certainly meant to be in kindly support of Sharon’s predicament, which is entirely acknowledged and appreciated here! (Smile). By the same token other Readers, especially new ones, are always dropping into this forum, often by searching on key words that bring up these long running discussions. For that reason my goal is to balance the input.

            Feeding a pet has nothing to do with anthropomorphism. But feeding a companion animal differently than livestock IS the point. PF is based upon the formula of “livestock feed” which has been designed to sustain an animal for the duration of it’s lifespan. Unfortunately livestock does not have a particularly long lifespan due to its intended purposing. There are exceptions to every rule, which you cite. Sure I have relatives too that have not led a healthy lifestyle by today’s standards, yet their genetic code allowed them 80+ years of living. Were they ailment free, well not exactly. Were they breathing, yes. Is smoking and greasy, fried food the way to go … probably not.

            The goal of this website is education. When we know better, we try to do better. If there are choices between a questionable product (certainly the ones with a poor track record, or questionable processing methods) or the 14 or so that have been vetted through TAPF’s screening process (aka The List and the Pledge), using every advantage to our animals’ healthy favor, helps. One thing that’s frequently missing from our discussions is rotation feeding. Look for the best quality PF, but rotate the brands and formulas. At least there will be a wider variety of nutrients simply from the variation in many different kinds of recipes. Augment that diet with whole foods, with a little home cooking and alternate with some raw organ meats. People thrive on a diet of variety and so do animals! Who in the wild foraged for themselves on availability. It’s how they were designed to eat (except, perhaps, for grazing stock). But we don’t own cows and sheep. What we’re trying to simulate here is the natural instinct of dogs and cats.

            Your pet’s response to food is the best indicator of suitability to a degree (it shouldn’t be throwing up constantly or have runny stools), but it’s not an excuse to give up entirely. Because transitioning also takes time. Like people, many pets are allergic (or actually they’re “intolerant” to certain food types) and so you work around that “classification” of food. Unfortunately what happens to pets over time, from eating a singularly repetitious diet of overly processed stuff, is the loss of natural enzymes and the ability to process “variety.” Their organs (stomach, intestines, etc.) get stressed and the result is irritation and upset. It’s a temporary reaction. Because that animal’s insides need to be “healed” and “repaired” while going forward. Extra steps can be taken to augment the system through supplements, enzymes and soothing foods.

            My point in responding is (first) to say that no single brand of commercial food can be trusted, and less so, considering the degree of of a manufacturer’s lack of transparency! RC Prescription (for example) may be able to minimize the symptoms of a pet in distress (as would using a boiled meat and bland binder do so as well) or it may even provide a degree of temporary relief, but the product itself is not “curing” a chronic condition, which must be addressed fundamentally. And (secondly) if your response calls out “Ol’Roy” (certainly a classic example of questionable ingredients!) then there’s a long list that goes along with that one … not forgetting Beneful …. or the many others that have been debated through this site! As it would leave the Reader being responded to, with entirely the wrong impression.

    2. Reader

      My older poodle (15 yrs) can’t eat any fat, and he is absolutely allergic to chicken too. So I stay away from all fowl, and any chicken related additives that are in most kibble (very hard to find). So the kibble (if he gets any has to be a lower protein / fat percentage) like the Fromms Beef (and I am finishing up Mulligan’s Stew Fish recipe which I adored). I also pour a little hot water over the kibble for a few minutes before serving.

      For home made, never use hamburger (you can’t get enough fat off of it). But I minimally bake stew meat (actually meat trims from Costco and some of which are steak quality!) because it’s already very low in fat. Baking it makes it even leaner, then I drain off ALL the water/juice/fat. I put all of this into the food processor including a can of drained salmon, a little canned pumpkin, a bit of banana, hard boiled egg white, couple table spoons of FAGE’s non-fat, plain Greek Yogurt (or no fat & no carageenan cottage cheese). A little bit of (optional) cooked veggies (for interest) like peas & carrots, or Lima beans. And (for even better stools) a little “binder” like cooked oatmeal, or Red Mill’s Oat bran, or Tapioca, or Quinoa. Keep in mind that one thing that can make a dog vomit is eating too fast (use a slow feeder bowl), or getting too big a portion at one meal (feed twice a day) or if the food isn’t chopped up enough (or puree’d). After a $1300 Pancreatic episode, believe me, I am ever vigilant about what my 15 year old eats now! And these are hard won experiences. Oh and by the way, he can eat raw beef nuggets too. Good luck with your sweet girl!

  43. Shannon Roddy

    Just got a new order of RC PR wet food for our cat. The color and texture is totally different from what we have been feeding him for the past few months. it was light colored and smooth now its dark and has a lot of texture.

    Anyone else feeding their cats the wet RC PV notice a dramatic change in the color and texture? I’m concerned it might be a bad batch. He didn’t have any bad reactions to it but I’m holding off on giving him anymore of the new stuff since we just moved him off RC Urinary SO several months ago when he started having digestive issues and weight loss. I called Chewy to ask if they had any info on a recall or complaints and they had nothing. Will be calling RC tomorrow.

    1. Emily

      I noticed this in the two cases I’ve gotten in the last 2 months. The color is a lot darker and the texture is more chunky instead of smooth. I just picked up a new case yesterday and this case is how it was before, light and smooth. TI’ve been trying to find information on it but it’s been unsuccessful. Please let me know if you find anything out!

  44. Suhita Mitra

    rc, or for that matter any other pet food company would not have made the big bucks if the owners close to prepare pet meals by themselves. I you see how much packaged kibble the average family buys for their pet dog? It would be nice to see if they were also buying similar packaged kibble for themselves (of shelf life of 2 years or more)..and have it on a daily basis. If you love your pet, go that little extra mile..for your own satisfaction. If do have hundreds and hundreds of fancy pet food brands to suit your moods, income, lifestyles, etc..keep trying them out for as long as your animal lives..

    1. Akash

      Mam … I think u don’t got my reply so sending u again … Can u suggest me best puppy food for my GSD ? He is 2 n half month old now … I’m thinking to buy Farmina grain free product … Is it good for him ?
      Whoever is reading my comment please reply me on this email Id –
      Thank you !!

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        Hi Akash –
        No one can recommend the best food specific to your dog. What can be suggested is a pet food that is made with human grade (human edible) ingredients. Any food you are interested in for your puppy, call or email the manufacturer and ask if all ingredients are human edible. That will be a good start for you to find a food to trust.

        1. Akash

          Thanks .. But no one is guiding here properly .. Every pet store suggesting pedigree or RC only … Doctor also .. That’s why I’m asking here

  45. Dana Bunlert

    Dogs and cats aren’t human beings, and they can’t eat the same food as we can eat. There is wisdom words: we are what we eat (so they are what they eat), it needed to understand that our digested systems work differently. Hundreds of human edible ingredients can kill dogs and cats. If the company do research (as Royal Canin, Hills and few more companies do) and didn’t hide real ingredients, it means you can trust to these companies. Take any Canadian brands, you can’t find any ingredient to make a kibble form there. Why? Because there is no strict law which oblige to report all ingredients from a to z they put to the food. So, the holistic food appear like that and honestly, chicken by product meal is not that bad in this case… Dogs and cats, as they are carnivorous, prefer to eat smelly food, we try to teach them to eat only fresh coz we can’t think same way as they do.
    Of course, all dogs, cats (same as humans) have their own needs, allergy reactions to some ingredients, etc.
    The best food for our four-legged friend is that which make them healthy and happy.
    I have 17 dogs (Chihuahua, French Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds) and 3 cats, all of them eat Royal Canin, all of us completely satisfied.

    1. Ellie

      You have stated exactly what many Americans feel about pet food, however, any nutritionist will tell you that the human body cannot properly digest or assimilate nutrition from processed foods. The same is true for any mammal. When the low grade waste products used to produce kibble and other forms of pet feed reach their destination they go through a high heat process at least 3 times. If there was any nutrition in the ingredients before this process there is very little nutrition afterward. Heat kills nutrients. They have to do this high heat process in order to kill harmful organisms in the rotting bodies and vegetation. They also need the high heat process in order to produce a “feed” that can stay on a store or storage shelf for at least a year.
      After the processing of the ingredients synthetic vitamins (processed in China) are added in order to bring the feed up to the minimum standard. This is done to many human foods as well. Our White flower is so processed that there is no nutrition left in it. That is why you always see the list of synthetic vitamins on the ingredient lists that, however does not replace all the nutrients or the needed fiber.
      The human body as well as the bodies of our pets digest foods and assimilate from fresh foods, closest to nature. Processed foods are full of fillers preservatives, other chemicals, and highly processed low quality ingredients that the body cannot assimilate nutrition from. It slows down digestion and most of pet food is passed as waste. Our pets are now suffering from the same diet based diseases that humans do. Tooth decay, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease are just a few of the human diseases that vets are now seeing in dogs and cats. These diseases are never found in nature where animals have access to the foods their bodies are supposed to assimilate nutrition from. Yes, some pets live long lives but usually their later years are spent with arthritis, obesity, diabetes, blindness, bad teeth, and other debilitating and painful diseases. Many die in their prime from other faster growing diseases like heart disease and cancer.
      No one cooked for dogs and cats for thousands of years. Before WWII most dogs received raw food scraps or leftovers from the family meal, which was a much healthier type of meal than most people today eat – IF they were fortunate enough to have an owner. It was only after WWII that the idea of processed food for pets became popular. The pet food industry in the US is now a multibillion dollar industry. They are considered self regulating and are not required to list all ingredients that they have put in the feed. The FDA refuses to enforce even the few regulations that have been given.
      I would suggest that you read the articles on this website and not just blindly trust in industries that are run by people who only care about the bottom line and keeping stockholders happy. The FDA is not watching or enforcing all of the human food industry much less the livestock feed and pet feed industries. Americans need to realize that they are pretty much on their own as far as getting the true facts about what large corporations are producing for them
      The owner of this site has spent years going to the pet food industry’s meetings as well as to FDA meetings with the pet food industry. She knows what is going in many of the foods and some of those items are not safe for the local landfill much less as food for anyone! Educate yourself and don’t let any industry sell you low quality junk for their own profit. Don’t think someone in the government or some huge multinational corporation is watching out for you, your family, or your pets because they are not. People like Susan are doing research for you that you are not going to find in any mainstream media. Media corporations are more concerned about those huge corporations that might pull their advertising or start a lawsuit. It is a sad fact of life that big money and big government controlls our lives today…..IF we let them.

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