Cocker Spaniel adult in black and white eating out of a red bowl

Pet food ingredients explained

At Royal Canin, we choose our ingredients first and foremost according to their nutritional benefits. This approach also helps ensure we develop products suited to cats and dogs' needs and enables us to select ingredients with less of a footprint to minimize our impact on the environment. Find out more about our approach below.

How we choose pet food ingredients

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What is a nutrient profile?

Nutrient profiles are an analysis of the nutrients an ingredient or food product contains. At Royal Canin, we develop ideal profiles for each pet food diet based on the unique needs of cats and dogs. This means that when we create a new recipe, we can ensure that the precise formulas are adapted to support cats and dogs of specific ages, breeds, sizes, lifestyles, health conditions, and sensitivities.

Adult cat and dog eating from two bowls indoors
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Identifying nutrient profiles

Ideal nutrient profiles can be achieved in a variety of ways, combining any number of ingredients from many potential sources. For example, a plate of chicken and mashed potatoes has a very similar nutrient profile to rice, beans, and tofu, despite being completely different meals.

Jack Russell Terrier standing indoors eating from a silver food bowl
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Evaluate nutrient quality

By taking a nutrient-first approach, Royal Canin considers all ingredients, evaluating their nutrient quality and digestibility, how they are processed, and their safety for pets. In doing so, we ensure our formulation and sourcing teams select only the high-quality ingredients to fit our precise formulas and maximize the nutritional benefits for cats and dogs.

Kibble samples in a lab

Selecting nutrients sustainably

Lush and green rain forest

Sustainability partners

At Royal Canin, we have been working with the large majority of our suppliers for many years. We have grown together to achieve the level of quality we are proud of. When needed, we work as partners and investors with them to develop specific ingredients or standards, including developing farming practices that have a positive benefit on the ingredient's nutritional quality or safety, or on the environment.

We also work with a range of strategic partners, such as The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), to ensure we address the sustainability of ingredients and don't use materials coming from endangered species.

Green farm land

Alternative nutrient sources

Adopting a nutrient-first approach means we are able to produce the same nutrient profile in our products across the world, with a lower carbon footprint than using the same ingredient globally. Focusing on just the nutrients provided means we can replace, for example, certain marine-based ingredients with more sustainable sources, such as algae. This ingredient provides a similar nutrient profile to crustaceans but has a lower social and environmental impact.

Similarly, by using animal by-products, such as organ meat, ingredients of high nutritional value that are often outside the human food chain, we minimise waste. This approach also reduces strain on livestock production, an industry that is known to have an impact on the environment, and ensures we don't compete with the human food industry.

Understanding Royal Canin pet food ingredients

Royal Canin only accepts ingredients from validated suppliers who undergo regular, comprehensive audits. Find out more about the types of ingredients we use and the benefits they provide pets below.

Brown Labrador retriever adult and ginger cat sitting together indoors

Think nutrient-first

When considering your pet food choices, remember, ingredients are only as good as the nutrients they provide. What truly matters is that the right nutrients are provided in the right quantities to support your pet's health and lifestyle. By understanding nutrients and their benefits, you can make informed decisions about your pet's diet.