Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food Review: Pros, Cons, Recalls

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Published: April 11, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

There are quite a few diseases out there that are specifically linked to diet. When your dog is diagnosed with one of these, changing their diet is vital to ensure that they remain happy and healthy. Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food is one of these veterinary foods.

This diet is specifically designed to help support dogs with liver problems. It does not contain much copper, which is required for most dogs with liver problems. It is also made to be more energy-dense, so your dog doesn’t have to eat as much.

For our complete and honest review, keep reading below.

Summary

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food is extremely palatable and digestible dog food. Many dogs with liver problems have poor appetites, and this formula is specifically designed to tempt them to eat.

Furthermore, this food is full of supportive minerals and vitamins that can support your dog’s liver function. It also doesn’t include any copper, which can easily overwhelm the liver and decrease function.

It also includes a blend of antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress. This high-energy formula is also more digestible than others, so there is less leftover for your canine’s liver to struggle with. You won’t have to give as much food per meal, either.

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hepatic Dry Dog Food
  • Very palatable and digestible
  • Added minerals and vitamins
  • Increased energy density
  • Contain nutrients that support liver function
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food Benefits and Features

  • Low copper
  • Blend of antioxidants
  • Increased energy density
  • Digestible, vegetable proteins

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Antioxidants added to support the immune system
  • Palatable
  • High energy density
  • Nutrients to support liver function

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only for dogs with liver problems

Where is Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food Made?

It is hard to figure out where a specific Royal Canin recipe is made. The company owns facilities around the world. However, it does not specify what recipes are made in what facilities.

There are a few facilities in the United States. However, most of their facilities are in China. Therefore, the odds of this formula being made in China are quite high.

However, because it is made in a Royal Canin facility, it is made using standards set by the company. They have direct say over how their foods are made – unlike many companies that utilize third-party manufacturers.

With that said, we don’t know what standards this company sets.

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food Ingredients

Because this food is made as a veterinary formula, the ingredients are a bit different. Dogs with liver problems require specific nutrition that other dogs don’t. Therefore, this food’s ingredient list is a bit different.

The first ingredient is brewers rice, which is extremely nutritious. It is often used as a nutritional supplement in other dog foods. However, it is included in high amounts in this food because it is so energy-dense.

The rest of this food is mostly corn and brown rice. These ingredients are extremely low in natural copper, which is exactly why it is utilized in this formula.

There is zero meat in this formula. The only animal product is chicken fat, which does not include any protein. Soy protein isolate is used instead to up the protein content in this food.

The rest of the food is mostly added vitamins and minerals, which are required to support your dog’s complete health.

Which Types of Dog is Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food Best Suited For?

As you might imagine, this food is only suitable for dogs with liver problems. It is not made to support the health needs of your average dog. However, if your dog has liver problems, this is probably one of the few dog foods that you can actually feed them.

You should speak with your vet to find out if your canine is suited to this medication. It can cause damage to dogs when used incorrectly. Therefore, you should not try to feed your dog with food otherwise.

For this reason, you often need to get a prescription.

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food Recalls

This company has a surprisingly small number of recalls. Once, the company was sued by pet owners that claimed too-high levels of vitamin D in Royal Canin food made their dog seriously ill. In the end, the lawsuit was thrown out because they could not directly tie the food to the deaths and sicknesses.

However, the company later recalled some of their foods because of too-high levels of vitamin D. It was evidentially an error on the part of their vitamin mix distributer. They no longer use that distributer.

There have been a lot of other controversies as well, even if it doesn’t have to do with their food. For instance, they were once caught sponsoring a competition for bull baiting. However, the company further said that they didn’t know about the event, so it may be that a lone representative sponsored it without their knowledge.

Either way, this company is not without its surprises.

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food: Where to Buy

This food is available at some retailers, such as:

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Hepatic Dry Dog Food
  • Very palatable and digestible
  • Added minerals and vitamins
  • Increased energy density
  • Contain nutrients that support liver function
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food Specs

Macronutrients

Because this food is designed for dogs with specific health problems, the macronutrient content looks a bit different. For instance, the protein and fat content are both somewhat low at 14%.

Most dog foods with meat as the first ingredient have protein closer to 30%, so this is quite low. However, this low protein may help support liver function.

Ingredients

The ingredients in this dog food are a bit unusual, as we have previously stated. However, these ingredients are necessary to prevent further deterioration of liver problems.

For instance, these ingredients are chosen to keep levels of copper as low as possible, which further helps prevent liver function decline.

Safety

Because this food has not had many recalls over the years, we can assume that it is quite safe. While there have been some recalls, this can be expected with a dog food brand of this size.

In fact, we’re surprised that there aren’t, even more, recalls, given that this brand produces so much dog food.

Price

Compared to other recipes, this food is extremely expensive. However, if your dog is sick, you might not have many other choices.

Luckily, because this food is denser than other options, you don’t have to feed your canine quite as much. In the end, this does save you a bit of money.

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food vs. Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Dog Food

There are very few diets that are comparable to Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food. However, Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Dog Food is one of the few other options you have to choose from.

It is slightly less expensive than the Royal Canin recipe, though you’re likely only going to save a few dollars.

The ingredient list is very similar, beginning with Brewer’s Rice just like the Royal Canin diet. However, Hill’s Diet actually includes whole chicken and egg products. Therefore, the ingredients are a bit better.

For this reason, it is also higher protein at 19.5%. Plus, this protein will be more digestible, as well.

Bottom Line

Royal Canin Hepatic Dog Food is specifically designed for dogs with liver problems. Therefore, it can go a long way to improving your dog’s liver function. However, it should only be used for dogs with serious problems.

This diet is extremely expensive and has some unusual ingredients, but this is largely because it is specifically designed for liver disease.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.