Royal Canin vs Sundays for Dogs: Which Is Better?

Picking the right food can be a challenge. If you’re wondering whether Royal Canin or Sundays for Dogs is the healthiest choice for your pup, read on!

Searching for the best dog food isn’t easy, especially with all the options out there. Like any dog lover, you’re looking for something that’s delicious enough to keep your dog happy, without compromising on their nutritional needs along the way.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to find out which dog food will keep your furry friend’s tail wagging for many years to come. 

By checking the ingredients, the manufacturing process, and a couple other key details, you can make an informed decision and choose a meal your dog will love (and one that will meet pet nutrition needs). That applies whether you have a small breed, a large breed, an adult dog, senior dog, or your pet’s life stage falls somewhere in-between!

We’re going to look at Royal Canin and Sundays for Dogs, two popular dog food brands. While they have a few similarities, there are some huge differences in everything from their ingredients list to their manufacturing process.

Keep reading to see how they stack up, and decide for yourself which one is the right choice for your dog.

What is in the Best Dog Food?

Not every dog food is created equal, but sometimes it can be hard to tell them apart.. If you’re feeling a bit lost, here are a few ways you can separate the good from the bad. We’ll be using these standards to figure out which foods are best for your dog, and which ones you should steer clear of.

Approved by AAFCO

You might be familiar with the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates human food as well as dog food. They have a baseline standard which guarantees your dog food only contains the ingredients listed on the package, without any unexpected surprises or unhealthy additives hiding in the kibble.

However, the FDA is only making sure every dog food company follows certain food-handling regulations. If you want to know more about your dog food’s quality, you should check if they’re following the AAFCO nutritional guidelines.

AAFCO, or the Association of American Feed Control Officials, is a volunteer-based organization which regulates dog food and other animal feed. Some dog foods don’t meet the AAFCO standards for complete health nutrition.

Fortunately, Royal Canin and Sundays for Dogs both follow AAFCO guidelines. This means their food is guaranteed to have everything a dog needs to eat on a daily basis. This is a great sign, but it’s not the whole picture. To get a better idea of each food’s quality, you should always check the ingredients.

Human-Grade Ingredients

One of the best signs of high-quality dog food is the ingredients list. The best ingredients for any pup are all-natural whole foods, including fruits, veggies, and whole grains. 

Since dogs are carnivores, the first ingredient should always be some type of meat (unless they’re on a special diet). If you’re looking for the healthiest food around, make sure your pup is getting human-grade meat, such as beef or chicken. Human-grade means the ingredients are good enough for humans to eat.

Feed-grade ingredients, on the other hand, should be avoided. These include any type of meat meal, which are made from the parts of the animal that can’t be eaten by humans. They’re less healthy for your pup, and might be contaminated by animal hair, claws, hooves, or other inedible by-products.

Going With the Grain

The recent trend of grain-free diets might have you wondering whether grain is healthy for your pooch.

The short answer is yes, the right grains are very good for your pup! The right grains can provide nutrients and health benefits to any dog food, and there’s no scientific reason to choose grain-free dog food unless your vet recommends it due to specific health needs.

Currently, the FDA is researching a link between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy. It’s a dangerous form of heart failure that certain dog breeds are predisposed to. While the study is still ongoing, we recommend picking a dog food which contain grains like quinoa, rather than potentially dangerous grain substitutes like chickpeas.

How Healthy Is Royal Canin?

Royal Canin is a massive dog and cat food brand first established in 1968. There is Royal Canin Cat or Royal Canin Dog. They make a variety of different foods for different dog breeds, and they also have weight control recipes and the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet to meet special needs. Let’s see if Royal Canin Dog Food recipes in general are right for your pup.

Feed-Grade Ingredients

Royal Canin uses feed-grade ingredients in all of their recipes. If you glance through the ingredients list, you’ll find meat meals and other animal by-products, which aren’t the best options for your pup. Animal meal and by-products may also contain processed materials like horns, hooves, and blood.

We recommend avoiding feed-grade dog foods, and sticking to ingredients you’d be willing to eat yourself (aka human-grade). They’re generally tastier and all-around better for your dog.

Hot-Extruded Kibble

Royal Canin’s kibble is hot-extruded. This manufacturing method involves pushing raw ingredients through a dye, molding and shaping the kibble. After that, it’s blasted with extreme heat and pressure to cook it quickly.

Heat extrusion is one of the least effective ways to make dog food, since the extrusion process can destroy up to 40% of the kibble’s vitamins and minerals. However, it’s one of the most common ways to mass-produce dog food, since it’s faster and cheaper than other methods.

Synthetic Ingredients

Royal Canin food uses only a few natural, whole ingredients, like brown rice and chicken fat. However, their food also relies heavily on synthetic ingredients. Depending on the recipe, Royal Canin’s food contains more than 30 synthetic ingredients. 

Your dog’s health and digestion are both supported by natural, complete diets without additives.

There are some other concerning ingredients, like “natural flavors.” While “natural” might sound look a good thing when it comes to pet health, there’s no way to tell what sources have been used for their flavoring. It’s unclear where the flavor came from, or how it is made.

Occasional Anti-Nutrients

Anti-nutrients are a type of food that includes peas, lentils, and soybeans. These foods can make it difficult to digest and process food efficiently, since they interfere with nutrient absorption.

While some Royal Canin recipes are anti-nutrient-free, others do heavily use anti-nutrient ingredients like soybean oil, tapioca, and dried potatoes. These should all be avoided, so your dog can make the most of their meals.

Along with grain-free diets, anti-nutrients are potentially dangerous due to their correlation with dilated cardiomyopathy, a type of heart failure which can be extremely harmful or fatal to your pup.

Owned by Mars, Incorporated

Royal Canin is owned by Mars, Inc. This manufacturer is one of the largest companies in the United States, and dog food is just one of their many products.

While the Royal Canin brand was founded by a single veterinarian, it now belongs to a huge corporation. In order to sell their food and make a profit, they have to balance healthy choices with cost-saving measures.

The Royal Canin Verdict

Royal Canin is an established dog food brand which offers specially crafted diets for different dogs, including digestive care, no matter what the breed size. Bulldog or labrador retriever, they could have a breed health nutrition option that fits.

To recap, their recipes are feed-grade, using ingredients considered unfit for human consumption with the addition of synthetic ingredients. During the manufacturing process, they use heat extrusion to mass-produce their kibble, which wastes a significant percentage of the nutrients in the food.

Several of their recipes have anti-nutrients, which can decrease the nutritional value of the meal. The use of anti-nutrients has been linked to the possible development of DCM.

Royal Canin has been operating for decades, and offers a huge amount of variety with their recipes and options. However, consider their feed-grade status and their frequent use of synthetic additives, to better determine if this is the right brand for you.

How Healthy Is Sundays for Dogs?

Sundays for Dogs delivers human-grade dog food straight to your door. We have two recipes to craft our air-dried food, which are shelf-stable and ready to serve as soon as they arrive. Let’s look at some of the details in Sundays food.

Air-Dried for Your Dog’s Health

While heat extrusion is the most common way to make kibble, we prefer a more natural method. At Sundays, we gently air-dry all of our dog food. This takes a little longer, but it preserves the natural vitamins and minerals, putting our clean ingredients to good use. 

The final result is a shelf-stable dog food with plenty of nutrients for your pup. They’ll certainly enjoy chowing down on a full bowl of Sundays and getting all the benefits of our whole-food recipe.

100% Human-Grade Food

That’s right, Sundays uses 100% human-grade ingredients. Everything in your dog’s food can be found right at your local grocery store. This means your pup is getting high-quality meat, fruits, and veggies, without any unwanted animal by-products. 

By avoiding feed-grade food, Sundays treats your pup like a member of the family. We only use ingredients that we’d be happy to eat ourselves. 

Natural Ingredients

Sundays uses only all-natural ingredients. There’s no unnecessary processing or additives to be found on our ingredients list. Instead, we get your pup all the nutrients they need with whole, high-nutrient foods like USDA beef, carrots, pumpkins, and ginger.

There are quite a few benefits to sticking with whole ingredients. Along with preserving the health of your pooch, we’re crafting a delicious recipe that dogs love. When compared to the best-selling premium food on the market, dogs in a blind trial chose to eat Sundays every single time.

No Anti-Nutrients

Due to the concerning links between anti-nutrients and DCM, the Sundays recipes contain no anti-nutrients. You won’t find legumes, gluten, potatoes, or any other cheap starches in our food.

We avoid fillers and stick to the basics: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for dogs. You can be sure your pup is getting everything they need from a bowl of Sundays.

Family-Owned Business

Unlike Royal Canin, Sundays is a family-owned business founded by an engineer and a veterinarian. We have a personal stake in making the best dog food on the market, and we’ll never compromise your dog’s health for our bottom line.

The Sundays Verdict

At Sundays, we use all-natural ingredients designed to offer your dog a total nutritional package. Our dry, shelf-stable food has all the convenience of kibble, but uses the best ingredients that kibble alternatives can’t compete with.

We’re a small business with one goal: making high-quality, healthy dog food that our dogs deserve, all in one convenient box.

So, Which Dog Food Is Better?

After looking at Royal Canin and Sundays for Dogs, we’ve narrowed down a few key differences between the two brands. When it comes to quality ingredients, all-natural whole foods, and the use of anti-nutrients, there are some pretty significant divides.

Choosing the right dog food isn’t easy, but we hope this article has given you all the information you need to provide your pup with a tasty, healthy diet!


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