Why Is Royal Canin So Expensive? (Top 9 Reasons in 2023)

In the pet food sector, Royal Canin is a well-known and well-respected brand that provides a variety of specialized nutrition for dogs and cats. Many pet owners are perplexed as to why Royal Canin products frequently cost more than comparable pet food brands. 

Due to its emphasis on specialized nutrition for particular dog breeds, sizes, and health concerns, Royal Canin is expensive. A greater production cost is a result of the usage of premium ingredients, stringent quality control, intensive research, and development.

In this article, we’ll examine the elements that go into Royal Canin’s premium pricing and explain why it’s regarded as a more expensive choice.

9 Key Factors That Makes royal canin So Expensive

Royal Canin is a well-known brand in the pet food industry, often associated with high-quality, nutritionally balanced pet food.

Here are key factors contributing to the higher cost of Royal Canin products:

#1- Quality Ingredients

To begin with, Royal Canin is well-known for its commitment to using high-quality ingredients in their pet food. 

These ingredients are carefully selected to provide essential nutrients that promote the overall health of pets. 

Unlike cheaper alternatives, these natural ingredients tend to be more expensive due to their superior quality and nutritional value. 

This is the initial step in understanding Royal Canin’s cost structure.

#2- Specialized Diets

Following that, Royal Canin’s wide range of specialized diets contributes significantly to the higher price point. 

These diets are specifically formulated for different breeds, sizes, life stages, and certain health conditions. 

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, each product is designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of each pet. 

The process of creating these tailored diets requires extensive nutritional research, testing, and special ingredients, all of which add to the overall cost.

#3- Research and Development

Additionally, Royal Canin’s emphasis on scientific research and development is a critical factor in their pricing. 

The brand heavily invests in understanding the specific nutritional needs and eating habits of different pets. 

They work on ensuring their food is not just safe, but beneficial for pets’ health. 

Although R&D is a costly process, it ensures that Royal Canin stays at the forefront of pet nutrition, which ultimately reflects in the pricing of their products.

#4- Veterinary Endorsement

The brand’s strong ties with the veterinary community also play a significant role in their pricing strategy. 

Many of Royal Canin’s products are recommended by vets and are sold through vet clinics. 

These vet-endorsed products require an even higher standard of quality and effectiveness, justifying the higher price associated with them.

#5- Production Standards

Transitioning from formulation to production, Royal Canin maintains strict quality control and manufacturing standards. 

This emphasis on quality and consistency in production requires additional resources, thorough processes, and checks, which naturally increases the production cost, subsequently affecting the final product’s price.

#6- Nutritional Value

On the consumer end, Royal Canin’s products are designed to offer a comprehensive, balanced diet for pets. 

This means that pet owners often don’t need to buy additional supplements, creating a more economical and convenient feeding solution in the long run. 

This high nutritional value further justifies the brand’s pricing strategy.

#7- Brand Reputation

Furthermore, Royal Canin’s brand reputation plays a role in their pricing. 

With a strong history and a reputation for producing premium pet food products, Royal Canin is a brand that pet owners trust. 

Consumers are generally willing to pay a premium for products from brands they trust, and Royal Canin is no exception.

#8- Digestibility

Interestingly, another aspect that contributes to Royal Canin’s pricing is the high digestibility of its products. 

Ensuring high digestibility means that pets can easily absorb and utilize the nutrients in the food, leading to less waste and more efficient feeding. 

Achieving this requires high-quality ingredients and meticulous formulation, which, as we’ve seen, increases costs.

#9- Sustainability Practices

Lastly, but significantly, Royal Canin’s commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing practices adds to their pricing. 

Ensuring ethically-sourced ingredients and implementing sustainable manufacturing practices often cost more than conventional methods, but they’re crucial for the long-term well-being of the environment and the communities involved in production.

Is Buying Expensive Royal Canin Worth It?

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that every pet is unique with individual dietary needs.

Therefore, the “worth” of any pet food can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of the pet and owner.

With that said, let’s examine the aspects that make Royal Canin a potential investment for pet owners.

Quality of Ingredients

Royal Canin prides itself on the use of high-quality ingredients in their products. 

These ingredients are carefully selected based on their nutritional profile and how they contribute to a well-balanced diet for pets. 

This commitment to quality goes beyond just listing fancy ingredients on the label. Instead, the focus is on how each ingredient works in synergy with the others to provide the best nutrition for pets. 

If you believe in providing the best quality food for your pet, the higher price point of Royal Canin might be justified.

Specialized Nutrition

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to choose Royal Canin is their wide range of specialized diets. 

These formulas cater to specific breeds, sizes, life stages, and even certain health conditions. 

This tailored approach ensures that your pet gets the exact nutrients it needs based on its unique requirements. 

Developing these diets requires substantial scientific research and expertise, which undoubtedly adds to the cost. 

However, if you have a pet with particular dietary needs, the benefit provided by these specialized diets could outweigh the additional expense.

Veterinary Endorsement

Another significant factor to consider is that many Royal Canin products are not only vet-approved but also vet-recommended. 

Veterinarians have a deep understanding of animal health, so their endorsement carries a lot of weight. 

This endorsement is not free, though. 

It requires Royal Canin to maintain high standards of quality and prove the effectiveness of their products, both of which can add to the cost. 

So, if your vet recommends Royal Canin, especially for managing a specific health issue, it’s often a wise decision to follow their advice.

Brand Reputation

With a history dating back to 1968, Royal Canin has established a strong reputation for itself in the pet food industry. 

Over these years, they have consistently proven their commitment to pet nutrition, earning the trust of pet owners worldwide. 

Trust is a crucial factor when it comes to choosing pet food because it gives you the peace of mind that you’re making a good choice for your pet. 

If brand reputation and reliability are important to you, then this aspect might make Royal Canin worth the extra cost.

Long-Term Health Benefits

Lastly, it’s essential to consider the potential long-term benefits of feeding your pet a high-quality diet like Royal Canin. 

Pets, just like humans, are greatly influenced by their diet. 

A diet full of the right nutrients can support their immune system, promote healthy growth, maintain an ideal weight, and contribute to a shiny coat and healthy skin. 

More importantly, a good diet can potentially prevent a range of health issues, saving you from costly vet bills in the future. 

From this perspective, the initial investment in high-quality pet food could indeed be worth it.

Despite these advantages, remember that Royal Canin might not be the best choice for every pet or pet owner. Financial considerations, pet preferences, and individual health circumstances can greatly influence the “worth” of this brand for you. It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before making significant changes to your pet’s diet, especially if your pet has any existing health conditions.

Top 3 Brands Produces Expensive Dog Food

While Royal Canin is certainly considered a premium brand, there are other brands on the market that offer high-end pet food products often at an even higher price point. 

These brands typically focus on providing highly specialized diets or incorporate exceptionally premium ingredients. Here are three such brands:


Orijen offers biologically appropriate diets for dogs and cats, designed to mirror the quantity, freshness, and variety of meats that their evolutionary ancestors would have eaten. 

Their pet foods are rich in meat and protein and incorporate fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

Orijen is generally more expensive than Royal Canin, reflecting its high ingredient quality and unique dietary philosophy.

Ziwi Peak

Based in New Zealand, Ziwi Peak produces air-dried and wet pet foods that are rich in high-quality, locally sourced meats and fish. 

They don’t use rendered meats or cheap fillers. 

Instead, they offer nutrient-dense recipes that mimic the natural, whole-prey diets of dogs and cats. 

Their commitment to quality and natural dietary philosophy often makes Ziwi Peak more expensive than other pet food brands.

The Honest Kitchen

This brand is unique in that it offers human-grade pet food. 

The Honest Kitchen uses only non-GMO, sustainably sourced ingredients and their food is made in a human food facility to the highest standards. 

The cost of adhering to such high standards for ingredient sourcing and production is reflected in the price, making The Honest Kitchen a premium (and often more expensive) pet food brand.

Top 3 Budget Friendly Alternative For royal canin

Choosing a budget-friendly alternative to Royal Canin depends on maintaining a balance between cost and quality.

While it’s possible to find cheaper brands, it’s essential to ensure they still provide good nutritional value for your pets.

Here are three budget-friendly alternatives to Royal Canin that are praised for their quality:


Starting off with Nutro, a brand recognized for its commitment to creating wholesome pet food, Nutro is indeed a viable alternative to Royal Canin. 

This company offers a wide range of pet food products that cater to the needs of different breeds, sizes, and life stages, much like Royal Canin. 

What sets Nutro apart is its steadfast commitment to using non-GMO, real, and recognizable ingredients. 

Moreover, Nutro’s products are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. 

Therefore, you can rest assured that while you are cutting down costs, you are not compromising the quality of your pet’s diet. 

Nutro offers both grain-inclusive and grain-free options, providing a good range of choices to suit your pet’s dietary needs.

Blue Buffalo

Moving on, Blue Buffalo is another brand that stands out in terms of offering quality pet food at a more affordable price. 

Blue Buffalo prides itself on using natural ingredients and providing a variety of formulations to cater to the diverse needs of pets.

An innovative feature of Blue Buffalo’s products is its ‘LifeSource Bits’ – these are small kibbles mixed into the food that contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

These elements have been selected by veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, fulfill life stage requirements, and maintain a healthy oxidative balance. 

With these added benefits, Blue Buffalo proves to be a worthy alternative that doesn’t skimp on the nutritional needs of your pet.

Natural Balance

Lastly, we have Natural Balance, another quality pet food manufacturer offering products at a lower price point than Royal Canin.

Natural Balance provides an impressive range of products, including grain-free and limited ingredient diets. 

These formulations are particularly beneficial for pets with food sensitivities or specific dietary requirements. 

Natural Balance has a rigorous testing protocol to ensure every batch of food meets its high standards, a testament to its commitment to providing safe and quality food for your pet.


Can I mix Royal Canin with other pet food brands to reduce costs?

It’s generally recommended to avoid mixing different pet food brands unless advised by a veterinarian. Mixing brands can disrupt the balance of nutrients and affect your pet’s digestion. It’s best to consult with a professional to ensure your pet’s nutritional needs are met without compromising their health.

Does Royal Canin offer any discounts or loyalty programs to reduce costs?

Royal Canin occasionally offers discounts and loyalty programs through authorized retailers. It’s worth checking with local pet specialty stores or visiting their official website to explore any ongoing promotions or rewards programs.

Can I purchase Royal Canin in bulk to save money?

Buying Royal Canin in bulk may help save money in the long run, as larger quantities often come at a discounted price. However, it’s important to ensure proper storage conditions to maintain the freshness and quality of the pet food.

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