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Taste of the Wild vs. Royal Canin: Who Wins? [2023]

Written by: Ejay C.
| Published on September 18, 2023

In the crowded marketplace of dog food, two brands stand out for their distinct approaches to canine nutrition: Taste of the Wild and Royal Canin. This article delves into a detailed comparison between these two popular brands, evaluating them on key factors such as ingredients, ingredient quality, protein content, price and value, and recall history.

Taste of the Wild Vs. Royal Canin: An In-Depth Ingredient Comparison

Taste of the Wild Pros:

  1. High-Quality Proteins: Taste of the Wild features a variety of high-quality animal proteins like bison, salmon, and lamb as the first ingredients in most of their formulas. This ensures that dogs get sufficient amino acids for muscle development and overall well-being.
  2. Grain-Free: Many Taste of the Wild recipes are grain-free, using alternative carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas. This can be an excellent option for dogs with grain sensitivities.
  3. Natural Ingredients: The brand emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which add essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants to the mix.
  4. No Artificial Preservatives or Colors: They avoid artificial additives, instead using natural preservatives like rosemary extract and vitamin E.

Taste of the Wild Cons:

  1. Recent Recalls: Although generally considered high-quality, the brand has faced recalls due to issues like salmonella, which may concern some pet owners.
  2. Caloric Density: The high protein and fat content may not be suitable for sedentary or overweight dogs.
  3. Price: Generally more budget-friendly than Royal Canin, but the cost can still add up, especially for larger breeds.

Royal Canin Pros:

  1. Specialized Nutrition: Royal Canin offers specialized nutrition not just based on a dog’s age, size, or breed but also on specific health issues. This includes formulas designed for dogs with renal problems, joint issues, and more.
  2. Quality Control: Royal Canin has rigorous quality control measures and has had fewer recalls, making it a trustworthy brand for many pet owners.
  3. Scientifically Formulated: Each formula is developed by veterinarians and nutritionists to precisely meet the needs of specific types of dogs.
  4. Palatability: The brand often scores high in terms of taste, ensuring that even picky eaters are likely to enjoy their meals.

Royal Canin Cons:

  1. Use of Corn and By-Products: Royal Canin often uses grains like corn and wheat, which can be an issue for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. They also sometimes include meat by-products.
  2. Cost: Specialized formulas come with a higher price tag, which may not be sustainable for all pet owners.
  3. Complex Ingredient List: Because their formulas are highly specialized, they often include a long list of ingredients, including synthetic additives. While these are generally considered safe, some pet owners prefer a more natural approach to dog food.

Protein Sources

Taste of the Wild uses a variety of protein sources, often exotic meats like bison and venison, which are less likely to trigger food allergies. This is a significant advantage for dogs with food sensitivities but may be overkill for those without. Royal Canin generally uses more common protein sources like chicken and pork. However, they also offer hypoallergenic formulas with unique proteins like duck and venison.

Carbohydrate Sources

The carbs in Taste of the Wild are usually sourced from sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes, offering fiber and essential nutrients without grains. Royal Canin often uses corn and rice, which are generally considered good sources of energy but can be problematic for dogs with specific grain sensitivities.

Additives and Preservatives

Taste of the Wild opts for natural preservatives and avoids artificial colors and flavors. Royal Canin, on the other hand, sometimes uses synthetic vitamins and minerals to ensure nutritional adequacy but also avoids artificial colors.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Royal Canin

Royal Canin 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals


Recalls & Lawsuits: Taste of the Wild Vs.Royal Canin

Recall history and any legal issues surrounding a brand can be a key factor in making an informed decision about dog food. Let’s take a look at Taste of the Wild and Royal Canin in this regard.

Taste of the Wild Recalls & Lawsuits:

Taste of the Wild had a significant recall in 2012 due to salmonella contamination. The brand voluntarily recalled a batch of its dog food as a precautionary measure. While no significant health issues were reported as a direct consequence, the presence of salmonella raised concerns among pet owners and experts. After this event, Taste of the Wild took steps to enhance its quality control processes to prevent future issues.

Taste of the Wild Recalls & Lawsuits:

Taste of the Wild was embroiled in a class-action lawsuit in 2018, where the plaintiffs alleged that the company’s pet foods contained pesticides, heavy metals, and BPA. Although the case raised eyebrows, it should be noted that Taste of the Wild denied all allegations. The lawsuit ultimately settled out of court, with no admission of guilt from the company.

Royal Canin Recalls & Lawsuits:

Royal Canin has also faced recalls but less frequently than Taste of the Wild. Notably, in 2007, the brand recalled several of its products due to melamine contamination.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Royal Canin

Royal Canin 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals


Our Verdict –Taste of the Wild Vs. Royal Canin: Who Wins?

After assessing the factors of protein content, ingredient quality, and recall history, we lean towards Royal Canin. While Taste of the Wild offers high protein levels and grain-free options, Royal Canin excels in ingredient quality and has a solid history of fewer recalls. Royal Canin also offers specialized veterinary diets and customizes its food based on breeds, sizes, and life stages, which can be an essential factor for those looking for targeted nutrition. Taste of the Wild has had more recent recalls, which could be concerning to some pet owners. Therefore, for those prioritizing a long-standing reputation for safety and ingredient specificity, Royal Canin stands out.


Taste of the Wild vs. Royal Canin: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of pets are these foods intended for?

Taste of the Wild: This brand caters primarily to dogs and cats, focusing on mimicking the natural diet that these animals would have in the wild.

Royal Canin: Royal Canin offers a more expansive range, serving not just dogs and cats but also providing specialized diets for different breeds, sizes, and health conditions.2. What is the nutritional philosophy behind each brand?

Taste of the Wild: The brand focuses on providing grain-free recipes that contain high-quality meats, fruits, and vegetables, aiming to mimic the type of diet an animal would eat in the wild.

Royal Canin: This brand takes a science-based approach, formulating its diets to meet specific needs, such as age, breed, size, and various health conditions.3. Are the ingredients sourced locally?

Taste of the Wild: The brand aims to source its ingredients from reputable suppliers, although not all ingredients are locally sourced.

Royal Canin: The brand also sources high-quality ingredients but does not specifically focus on local sourcing.4. Do they offer grain-free options?

Taste of the Wild: Yes, this brand specializes in grain-free recipes.

Royal Canin: While some grain-free options are available, Royal Canin primarily includes grains as part of its balanced diet approach.5. Do they offer specialized diets for specific health conditions?

Taste of the Wild: While they do offer various recipes aimed at supporting overall health, they do not focus on specialized health-condition-specific diets.

Royal Canin: Yes, Royal Canin offers a wide range of specialized diets tailored for various health conditions like kidney issues, digestive problems, and more.6. What are the price points for these brands?

Taste of the Wild: Generally, this brand is moderately priced, offering a balance between cost and quality.

Royal Canin: This is generally considered a premium brand, and its specialized diets can be quite expensive.7. Is a veterinarian consultation required for either brand?

Taste of the Wild: No, a vet consultation is generally not required unless your pet has specific health concerns.

Royal Canin: For some specialized diets, a vet prescription may be needed.8. What types of protein sources are used?

Taste of the Wild: The brand primarily uses high-quality meat like buffalo, lamb, and salmon.

Royal Canin: Protein sources vary depending on the specific diet but can include chicken, fish, and lamb.9. Do these brands conduct animal testing?

Taste of the Wild: The brand does not provide specific information on animal testing.

Royal Canin: The company does engage in animal testing to ensure the nutritional effectiveness of its diets but adheres to ethical standards.10. Are these brands available internationally?

Taste of the Wild: The brand is primarily available in the United States but is also distributed in some international markets.

Royal Canin: This brand is globally available.11. Do they offer wet food options?

Taste of the Wild: Yes, they offer both dry and wet food options.

Royal Canin: Royal Canin also offers a range of wet foods alongside its dry food varieties.12. Are these brands AAFCO approved?

Taste of the Wild: Yes, their recipes meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO.

Royal Canin: Royal Canin also meets AAFCO guidelines, and their specialized diets often exceed standard requirements.13. How is the palatability of the food?

Taste of the Wild: Generally, pets find Taste of the Wild to be very palatable due to its high meat content.

Royal Canin: The brand formulates its diets to be highly palatable to encourage eating, especially for specialized diets.14. Do they offer kitten or puppy formulations?

Taste of the Wild: Yes, they offer specific formulations tailored to the needs of kittens and puppies.

Royal Canin: Royal Canin also offers specialized diets for kittens and puppies, even breaking them down by breed in some cases.15. What is the shelf-life of the products?

Taste of the Wild: Shelf life may vary, but dry food generally lasts up to a year if unopened.

Royal Canin: Royal Canin’s products also have a similar shelf-life, with some specialized diets having shorter expiration dates.

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Royal Canin

Royal Canin 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

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