Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food Reviewed: Pros, Cons, Recalls

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Updated: October 7, 2022

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Royal Canin Urinary SO dog food is specifically designed to support dogs with urinary health problems. It is typically prescribed to dogs after they experience recurrent UTIs or similar issues.

However, this food is notoriously very expensive and has an unusual ingredient list. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to wonder if this is really the best option for your dog.

Let’s take a deep look at this food so that you can make an informed decision.

Summary

As the name suggests, Royal Canin Urinary SO dog food is specifically designed to support your adult dog’s urinary tract and bladder. It promotes an unfavorable environment for struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. Plus, it also helps dilute any excessive minerals by increasing the amount of urine your dog produces. This feature prevents stones and crystals.

It is also formulated to lower the ion concentration in urine. While research is still being done, this may also help prevent stone formation.

With reduced levels of magnesium, this formula may even help dissolve current struvite stones.

Of course, because this formula is very focused on supporting your dog’s urinary health, it is best for canines that have recurrent problems.

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Urinary SO Dry Dog Food
  • Specially formulated for urinary health
  • Prevents stone formation
  • Requires veterinary authorization
  • Brewers' rice is the first ingredient
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food Benefits and Features

  • Exclusively for dogs with urinary health concerns
  • May dissolve current struvite stones
  • Prevents stone formation
  • Requires veterinary authorization

Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • RSS methodology prevents stone formation
  • May dissolve current struvite stones
  • Lowers risk of future bladder and urinary problems

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Fairly low levels of protein
  • Very low levels of meat

Where is Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food Made?

Royal Canin owns various product facilities worldwide. However, none of them are in the United States. There are several in South America and Africa, though. It does not appear that they operate in China.

Despite being made overseas, Royal Canin does own many of its production facilities. Therefore, they are in control of everything that happens in their product’s production. They do not have to rely on a third-party manufacturer (which is often when recalls happen).

Therefore, while this food is not American-made, it is likely much safer than other brands.

Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food Ingredients

The ingredient list on this dog food is a bit strange. Firstly, it includes brewers’ rice as the first ingredient. While this may sound strange, brewers’ rice is actually very good for dogs. It is nutrient-rich and includes many of the vitamins dogs need to thrive.

It is often used in other formulas to increase the nutritional richness of their dog food. This ingredient just usually isn’t added as the first ingredient.

However, the next ingredient is corn, which is not the best option. While corn is processed so that dogs can easily absorb it, it still isn’t as absorbable as whole meat. Corn may contain various amino acids that dogs need, but they aren’t as readily useable as muscle meat.

This formula does contain meat as chicken by-product meal. However, this is the fourth ingredient, and it isn’t even whole meat. By-products are everything that is leftover after the chicken is processed for people.

Sometimes this includes nutritious items, like organ meats and cartilage. It can also include fillers like feathers. You just don’t know which of the two you’re getting!

Because this is health-focused dog food, the ingredient list is going to be a bit different anyway. However, there are lots of SO dog foods on the market that have better ingredient lists than this one.

What Types of Dog is Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food Best Suited For?

Because it is designed specifically for urinary health, this food is best for dogs that have serious urinary problems. Usually, this includes regular stones, which can be affected by diet.

This food does require veterinary authorization to purchase. In other words, your dog needs a prescription. Therefore, your dog truly has to have serious problems. Your vet needs to believe that a urinary health food would do them good.

Therefore, this food is only for dogs with serious urinary health problems.

Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food Recalls

Royal Canin has been recalled a few times. However, considering the amount of dog food it produces, this isn’t surprising. Mistakes are bound to happen eventually, and they do not occur with more regularity than normal with this brand.

The biggest recall was the May 2007 melamine recall, which affect Royal Canin and many other brands. This recall was caused by a supplier who put melamine in some of the ingredients they supplied to many dog food manufacturers. It was not just Royal Canin that was affected.

Furthermore, this particular food was not affected by this large recall.

In 2006, several varieties of canned dog food were recalled because of excessive amounts of vitamin D3. The canned version of Royal Canin Urinary SO dog food was recalled as well.

According to the company, a vitamin premix from a supplier was to blame. Luckily, while a few dogs and cats got sick, none of them died or were permanently affected.

Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food: Where to Buy

While you do need a veterinary prescription to purchase this food, you can pick it up from many online sources:

Our Top Pick
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Urinary SO Dry Dog Food
  • Specially formulated for urinary health
  • Prevents stone formation
  • Requires veterinary authorization
  • Brewers' rice is the first ingredient
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food Specs

Price

This food is extremely expensive. Even though this is a veterinary food and a premium brand, it is easily one of the most expensive foods on the market. In the past, this company has even been sued because their veterinary formulas are so expensive.

However, they do put a lot of research into their veterinary foods. For the most part, this research drives up the cost.

Ingredients

As we previously stated, the ingredients in this product are a bit strange. It includes a lot of rice and corn, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. However, it is veterinary dog food. Therefore, the ingredients need to be a bit different than normal for it to do its job.

You should speak with your vet about whether the ingredients are suitable for your canine or not.

Macronutrients

This food has average amounts of fat and below-average amounts of protein. For the most part, it does not include much meat. This low meat content is why it has less protein than other options on the market.

Of course, that also means that this food includes a lot of carbohydrates.

Safety

While this brand has experienced some recalls, it has doesn’t experience more than we’d expect. They do circulate a lot of pet food. The fact that they haven’t had more recalls is not surprising.

Therefore, we generally consider them to be quite safe.

Royal Canin Urinary SO Dog Food vs. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U Dog Food is designed to help dogs maintain a healthy weight and take care of their urinary tract system. Therefore, it is a solid option for dogs that are overweight and need some urinary support.

It is completely grain-free and includes quite a bit of meat. Generally, this is considered a step above the Roya Canin food. Plus, it is also much cheaper. It does include controlled mineral levels, helping prevent stone formation.

Bottom Line

Royal Canin Urinary SO dog food is a veterinary formula that is designed to support your dog’s urinary health. It does a very good job at this, which is one reason it is so popular.

However, it is also terribly expensive – far more expensive than practically anything else on the market. The ingredient list is not fabulous, either.

You should carefully talk with your vet about whether or not this food is best for your dog or not. You will need a veterinary prescription to obtain it.

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