A good diet is vital for a healthy dog. Dogs and dog owners alike know that. What is truly amazing is just how much of an effect the right dog food can have. A properly formulated food can help anything from gastric problems to allergies and even ear infections. Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food is one of those foods that can have a dramatic effect on a dog’s overall health.
What is Hydrolyzed Protein Food?
Protein is an important part of any dog’s diet. A dog’s body takes the proteins from food and breaks them down into amino acids. These amino acids are then combined to create new proteins used to stay healthy. Over the counter, regular dog foods consist of proteins (made of large blocks of amino acids) that most dogs have no problem breaking down into useful, smaller amino acids. But not all dogs can efficiently break down these proteins, which leads to adverse reactions like food allergies. Hydrolyzed protein uses a process called hydrolysis that uses water to break the larger blocks of amino acids down into smaller ones. This process tricks the dog’s body into not recognizing these amino acids as they were, making them easier to digest and less likely to cause a reaction.
Hydrolyzed food is not just for allergies. Because it is easier to digest than regular dog food, it can also help with gastric issues, bowel disease, bladder stones, and even ear infections.
While hydrolyzed dog food can reduce the chance of an allergic reaction, there is no formula that is a sure-fire way to completely rid a dog of allergies, which is why Hydrolyzed food usually requires a veterinary prescription. Only under the recommendation of a vet should a dog be given Hydrolyzed food.
Most Hydrolyzed dog food uses a heavy soy base as soy is a protein source that many dogs have not been exposed to and are therefore less likely to be sanitized to it.
What is in Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Dog Food
The first thing anyone looking for new dog food researches is the ingredients, so before we go any further, let’s take a quick look at the main ingredients.
- The first ingredient listed is Brewers Rice. Brewers Rice is small fragments of a grain of rice that separated from larger kernels. Brewers rice is considered a filler as the small rice fragments provide considerably less nutrition than a whole kernel of corn. The benefit of this being one of the main ingredients would be that the smaller fragments of rice are easier for a dog to digest.
- The second listed ingredient is hydrolyzed soybean protein, which makes this food stand out from the typical off-the-shelf dog food. This ingredient gives the food its name and provides the most benefit to dogs suffering from food allergies. The hydrolyzed soybean is easier for a dog’s body to absorb than soybean protein in its original larger form.
- Chicken fat is the third ingredient on the list. It is used because it is an excellent source of Omega-6 fatty acids.
- The fourth ingredient on this list is natural flavor and does nothing more than provide a pleasant taste.
- Ingredient number five is one that doesn’t come without controversy. Dried Plain Beet Pulp is a by-product of extracting sugar from sugar beets. Proponents of dried plain beet pulp believe it is an excellent source of fiber and helps promote good intestinal health and regulate blood sugar levels. On the other side of this, however, opponents claim that it is nothing more than an inexpensive filler and has no nutritional value.
While other ingredients make up Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Dog food, these are the five main ingredients that buyers should be aware of.
Thoughts on Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Dog Food
Food allergies are one of the most commonly reported allergies in dogs. Royal Canin has been producing food for dogs with specific needs for over five decades and a leader in innovation, making them among the top producers of specialized, vet-specific foods. Royal Canin produces delicious and nutritious dog food that provides optimal vitamins, amino acids, and omega fatty acids that provide proper nutrition for dogs of any age. This food does a great job of maintaining dogs energy levels and good health while avoiding subjecting the dog to the meat products that often cause food sensitivities or allergies. Available in a few varieties, there is sure to be a hydrolyzed food to suit any dog’s needs.
The Pros and Cons
- Great nutritional value
- Helps dogs that have digestive issues or allergies that are protein-related
- Available in multiple formulas to suit any dog’s needs
- Comes in both wet and dry form
- Has added vitamins and minerals that are usually found in the meat of dog food
- Can help with anything from digestion issues, to bowel problems, skin irritations, and even ear infections
- Is expensive when compared to other similar brands
- Some ingredients are considered controversial
- Vet prescription is required
Let’s Takes a Closer Look at The Cons
So far, I’ve done what I can to cover the benefits of Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Dog Food, but nothing is perfect, nor should we expect it to be. While there are plenty of reasons why this dog food may suit your needs perfectly, there are also reasons why it may not be right for you, and however minor they may seem, it’s important to address them so you can be sure to make an informed decision.
- It’s a higher price
Royal Canin is not the only company that produces hydrolyzed dog food. Many major dog food manufacturers have their version. Royal Canin is the most expensive one and may not be best suited for those on a budget. Speak to a vet about the benefits vs. cost of this and other specialized dog food to get a good idea whether or not Royal Canin is right for you.
- Prescription is Required
Since this is a highly specialized food, you cannot just buy it off the shelf. Instead, it requires a veterinary prescription, which means that you will need a consultation from a vet to get it.
- It Contains Controversial Ingredients
Two ingredients in Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Dog Food are controversial. The first one is the main ingredient, Brewers Rice. While many agree that Brewers Rice does provide sufficient nutrition, the controversy lies in whether it provides enough. Opponents will argue that because Brewers Rice is only a small portion of an otherwise large kernel, it does not provide the nutrients that a whole grain of rice would.
The second, and possibly more controversial than the first, is dried plain beet pulp. While some would argue that Dried Plain Beet Pulp provides the fiber needed to maintain good intestinal health and helps maintain proper blood sugar levels, others would say that it is nothing more than an inexpensive filler. These controversial ingredients could be concerning for some, which is why it is always a good idea to ask a vet’s opinion.
I am a dog who has been lucky enough not to have to deal with many of the health issues that others might have. Even though I may not need specialized dog food, at least not at this stage in my life, it is good to know that it is available for my canine friends that do. It is also good to know that it is available if, down the road, I may need it. Royal Canin is an innovator when it comes to specialized dog foods, and it amazes me what the proper diet can do to help dogs with specific ailments.