Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food Review: Pros, Cons, Recalls

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Published: April 3, 2022
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Small breed dogs have slightly different nutritional needs than larger dogs. On top of simply being unable to eat larger kibble, they also need more calories per pound of body weight.

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food is specifically designed for smaller breeds. It features a higher caloric content than most foods to support active dogs, as well as L-carnitine to promote fat metabolization.

The kibble design is quite small, making it practical for small breeds. Plus, it is designed to be as tasty as possible in order to tempt picky eaters.

For most information on this highly rated dog food, keep reading our review below.


Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food is this brand’s main formula for smaller breeds. It features a smaller kibble size, making it easier for smaller dogs to eat it. Plus, it also features plenty of fat for extra flavor, promoting picky eaters.

As the name suggests, it is only designed for adult dogs over ten months of age and up to 8 years of age (at which point they need to be put on senior dog food, usually).

To ensure that your dog gets enough calories, this small breed dog food is more calorically dense than other options. It also includes L-carnitine, which helps dogs metabolize fat and remain a healthy weight.

Plus, with added ingredients like fatty acids, this food contains everything your dog needs to stay healthy.

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food
  • Specifically designed for small breeds
  • More calories for active dogs
  • The kibble design is small
  • Added fatty acids
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food Benefits and Features

  • Enhanced taste
  • Added fatty acids for a healthy coat
  • Calorically-dense
  • Promote fat metabolization

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food: Pros & Cons


  • Supports a healthy coat with EPA and DHA
  • Meets the energy needs of small, active dogs
  • Small kibble size for easy eating
  • Enhanced taste to tempt picky eaters


  • Expensive
  • Some poor ingredients

Where is Royal Canin Small Dog Food Made?

Royal Canin makes most of their foods in facilities they own. However, these facilities are owned all over the world. They do have a few in the United States, though they have a dozen in China as well.

We do not know what foods they make where. They don’t list the specific foods that are made in each facility.

Statistically speaking, most of their foods are likely made in China, as that is where most of their facilities are located. Therefore, this dog food is likely made in China.

However, because it is made in a facility owned by Royal Canin, the facility has to uphold the standards it set. Of course, we don’t exactly know what standards they set. But, based on their very infrequent recalls, they are likely pretty good!

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food Ingredients

The first ingredient in this food is corn. While this may not sound like a quality ingredient, it is processed in a way that makes it easy for dogs to digest. Its high-calorie content and digestibility are likely why it is the first ingredient.

Chicken by-product meal is included as the main meat. By-products are anything that is left over after the bird is processed. Often, this can include things like organ meats and cartilage, which are actually quite nutritious.

Most of the other major ingredients in this dog food are grain. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially because most of them are whole. High-protein like corn gluten meal is also added.

Of course, this food may also contain a long list of added vitamins and minerals, ensuring that it provides complete nutrition.

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

If your dog is a small breed, you may be interested in this small breed dog food. We would not recommend it for any dog over 22 pounds unless you were specifically directed by your vet to give your dog a small breed food (which may be the case with certain dogs with dental problems).

Furthermore, this food is not designed for toy breeds. The kibble is a bit too large for dogs under 9 pounds.

This food features ingredients that are very easy to digest, which may be good for some canines. We imagine this recipe is a good option for dogs with digestive problems. It is also high in calories, which is great for dogs that are more active.

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food Recalls

Royal Canin has not had many recalls over the years, and this particular dog food has never been recalled. However, they have been involved in a few different controversies that are important to mention.

Firstly, this company ended up in the headlines after a few pet owners filed a lawsuit against them, claiming that their dogs had been killed by their food.

It was suspected that a link between the dogs’ sickness and excess vitamin D. However, the lawsuit was not able to show a link between the dogs’ deaths and the food, so it was thrown out.

However, the company did recall the affected products and released a statement acknowledging the excessive amounts of vitamin D in some foods. According to the company, this was caused by an error in the vitamin premix.

Royal Canin has also been involved in other controversies that aren’t necessarily directly linked to their foods. For instance, they landed on the news again when they became the sponsors of an illegal bear baiting operation in Ukraine.

However, the company said that they were unaware of their sponsorship. They did make stricter policy guidelines when it came to sponsorships after this even, and it is possible that it was just a regional representative that sponsored the event without their knowledge.

Afterward, the company talked with Four Paws about how they could potentially help ease the suffering of bears involved in bear-baiting.

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food: Where to Buy

You can purchase this formula from most retailers that carry Royal Canin, including:

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food
  • Specifically designed for small breeds
  • More calories for active dogs
  • The kibble design is small
  • Added fatty acids
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food Specs


This formula includes a moderate amount of fat and protein. While it is higher in carbohydrates most of these come from whole grains, which are a good source of nutrition.

Overall, this food is pretty average in terms of macronutrients, making it suitable for most dogs.


For the most part, this food focuses on providing for the high caloric need of most small dogs. It does this by including high-caloric ingredients like corn and whole grains.

It includes chicken as the main source of protein, which is a good option for most dogs.


This food is rarely recalled and seems rather safe. It is completely made at a Royal Canin facility, not by a third-party producer. Therefore, the company has a lot more control over how its food is made.

Furthermore, this particular formula has never been recalled. In the end, it seems rather unlikely that it will be recalled in the future, either.


Royal Canin is known as more expensive dog food. It is much more expensive than similar foods. However, many people consider the higher price to be worth it, especially considering the company’s safe reputation.

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food vs. Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro is far cheaper than Royal Canin. Plus, it has whole meat as the first ingredient. It has a similar protein content at 24%, though the fat content is just a bit higher. It does include some grains, but they are much lower than in the Royal Canin dog food.

Plus, this alternative food also includes things like flaxseed, which can help improve your dog’s overall health.

However, it may not be as digestible as the Royal Canin food. Plus, Nutro outsources the production of many of its foods, which Royal Canin does not.

Bottom Line

Royal Canin Small Adult Dog Food is a good choice for smaller dogs. It is designed specifically to support the health of smaller breeds. It even features a higher caloric density, which is often necessary for smaller dogs.

However, it is also quite expensive, so it may not fit the budgets of all pet owners.

About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

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