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Royal Canin Mini Puppy Food Review

Royal Canin Mini Puppy food Review

A three-month old Poovanese Puppy named Albus  (Poodle and Havanese)A three-month old Poovanese Puppy named Albus (Poodle and Havanese)

We have a three month old "Poovanese", writes Sylvia. He was started on the Royal Canin Mini Puppy brand. I didn't see it on your list and I would like to ask what grade you would give this brand. I really want to give him the best we can afford.

What is the best line of food in your opinion? There are SO many to choose from.

Our puppy's name is Albus, as in Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter books (my daughter is a BIG Potter fan!).

He's three months old this week.  

~Sylvia from Ontario, Canada

We always enjoy hearing from our readers and love to review foods you feed your puppy or adult dog.  Here is what I learned from doing a review of Royal Canin Mini Puppy Brand.

Information Obtained from the Royal Canin Website

Ingredients in Royal Canin Mini Puppy Food

Chicken meal, brewers rice, chicken fat, corn, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, dried beet pulp, natural flavors, sodium silico aluminate, vegetable oil, fish oil, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, potassium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, L-lysine, hydrolyzed yeast, sodium tripolyphosphate, choline chloride, DL-methionine, taurine, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), L-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid.

AAFCO Statement

100% Complete and Balanced Nutrition

MINI PUPPY Size Health Nutrition™ is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth.

Calorie Content

This diet contains 3912 kilocalories of metabolizable energy (ME) per kilogram or 373 kilocalories ME per cup on an as fed basis (calculated).

1 cup = 8 fluid ounces = 90 grams.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein (% min.)    29.5
Crude Fat (% min.)    18.5
Crude Fiber (% max.)    3.6
Moisture (% max.)    10.0
Lutein (mg/kg min.)    5.0
Vitamin E (IU/kg min.)    500.0
Vitamin C (mg/kg min.)    200.0
Taurine (% min.)    0.18

Nutritional Statement from Royal Canin

Canine Health Nutrition Mini Puppy 33 Formula for small breed dogs from 2 to 10 months of age provides complete and balanced nutrition for growth and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO (American Association of Fed Control Officials) feeding trails.

Recommended for puppies 2 to 10 months of age

Royal Canin Mini Puppy Dog Food Review

Using Sara Irick…formula, we start with 100% and then...

  • Subtract 5 points because corn is included twice in the first 5 ingredients
  • Subtract 3 points because chicken meal is the only meat protein source listed in the first 5 ingredients
  • Subtract 3 points because it contains corn separately in a non-specified form
  • Subtract 2 points because it contains chicken fat as the third ingredient.  Fish oil is listed as number 11 which means the amount of fish oil is much less.
  • Subtract 2 points because it includes two types of corn in the first 5 ingredients
  • Subtract 2 points because it contains wheat
  • Subtract 1 because salt is one of the ingredients
  • Added 5 points because it is recommended by breeders and some vets

Final score based on Sarah Erick’s scale: 

87 which would give it a B

This food rating system may not tell the entire story.

Royal Canin Mini Puppy Food PROS

  • On the plus side, it  does contain antioxidants lutein,  vitamins E and C, and taurine which assists the immune system.  A puppy’s immature immune system can be vulnerable to many forms of bacteria, virus, and other germs.  
  • It also contains  fructooligosaccharide, a prebiotic which helps support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. This is very important for establishing a good flora content in the intestinal tract.  
  • Royal Canin Mini Puppy Food also includes a variety of essential vitamins added separately which is necessary for the health of the puppy.  Many high quality dog foods include actual food ingredients that have these vitamin is provided naturally.  
  • The primary meat protein source is Chicken meal.  When a meat is included in its meal form, it contains more protein/less moisture, ounce for ounce.  This means that chicken meal has more protein per ounce than the fresh chicken you or I may eat.

Royal Canin Mini Puppy Food CONS

  • This diet contains a variety of fillers including brewers rice, two sources of corn, wheat gluten and beet pulp all of which are less expensive choices usually added to low cost dog foods.  While adding bulk and calories, there is little else of added value.
  • Brewers rice, the second ingredient, is the fragments left over after milling whole rice. It adds calories but has little nutritional value to dogs.
  •  Gluten is added in the form of corn gluten and wheat gluten (ingredients number five and six). It is the residue left over when the corn or wheat has had the starch removed from them.  Gluten are considered a grain based protein, but do not provide all the essential amino acids needed by dogs.  
  • The seventh ingredient is beet pulp, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
  • Each of these grains adds some protein which helps increase the total amount of protein up to their reported value of 29.5%

Royal Canin Mini Puppy:  Recommended by Breeders & Vets

Why is this diet recommended by Breeders and Vets?

This company has a long history of promoting to dog breeders and vets.  The company provides free samples for breeders to give to new puppy buyers and offers discounts to breeders who use their extensive line of products. 

(Their product line includes foods that are breed-specific, foods for nursing moms, starter foods for puppies who are being weaned, and a variety of other diet formulas to meet the needs of different ages, different sized dogs, and dogs with different health issues)

The company also produces special formulas for ill dogs and markets to veterinarians who may need to recommend a therapeutic diet for a patient.  

Royal Canin is also active with the American Kennel Club and contributes to AKC publications.  

Royal Canin Mini Puppy Food:  Recommended by Puppy Owners

Why is this food so highly rated on sites such as Amazon?

In my opinion, it is all about taste.  Puppy owners, especially small dog owners, are very nervous about the small amount of food their dog consumes.  When we offer our tiny breed puppies a 1/8 to ¼ cup serving, it just “feels” like we are starving them.  When they don’t eat, we get nervous.

Chicken fat is the third ingredient meaning that it is available in high proportion to other ingredients.  Chicken fat is something most dogs readily eat.

The eighth component is “natural flavors.”  There is no way of knowing what natural flavors they add but I would suspect they very canine friendly.  There is sufficient evidence just looking at the ingredients to determine that this is a highly palatable food.

 (I cannot personally attest to this!)

The food also has enough filler to satisfy hungry puppies meaning that your puppy will not go looking for food elsewhere. 

The other part of this extra fiber concerns the the texture of their bowel movements.  Fee free to skip this part…

What goes in, naturally must come out.  Puppies that eat food that is high in fiber are likely to produce firm stools.  This added benefit is also promoted by the company.

The company claims that

“Small dogs are sensitive to digestive issues. MINI Puppy helps support improved digestive health through prebiotics and an optimal fiber balance to help promote a healthy beneficial gut microflora population. Low Indigestible Proteins (LIPs) also help contribute to an optimal stool quality.”

The Bottom Line?  This is a somewhat above average dog food that can benefit puppies. 

If your puppy is eating the food well, growing and gaining weight, producing well-formed stools and seems happy, then stick with the food. 

When puppies reach maturity, then it is time to switch to an adult food.  At that point, you will want to re-evaluate your options and choose accordingly. 

Average cost per pound ranges from 2.37 and up online not including shipping. 

Costs can vary depending on your location when purchasing the food over the counter.

Buy This Food From Amazon


The analysis of this and other dog food review pages represent the opinions of the author.  We must rely on the information obtained by the dog food manufacture on their website if we are unable to obtain the actual product.

We try to provide accurate information but we cannot guarantee completeness or accuracy or up-to-date nature.  We update regularly but not on a daily basis. 

We offer the information in good faith as a way to provide information to the reader.  It is up to each reader to decide if the food is right for their dog.  We do not endorse or suggest any brand as being right for all dogs.

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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