Is Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Dog Food Right for Your Pup?

What is Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Dog Food?

Royal Canin is a premium pet food brand that offers a line of veterinary diets to support dogs with specific health needs. Their hypoallergenic recipes are designed for dogs with food sensitivities and allergies.

The key feature of Royal Canin’s hypoallergenic formulas is the use of hydrolyzed proteins as the primary protein source. Hydrolysis breaks down proteins into smaller fragments, which makes them less likely to trigger an immune response in allergic dogs. Common proteins like chicken, beef, and soy are hydrolyzed into a hypoallergenic form.

Other main ingredients in Royal Canin hypoallergenic recipes include brewer’s rice, corn, beet pulp, and fish oil. These ingredients provide digestible carbs, fiber, omega fatty acids, and nutrients. The formulas are completely free of common allergens like dairy, egg, chicken, and beef. They contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

According to Royal Canin, the nutritional profile is precisely balanced to meet AAFCO standards for adult dog maintenance. The recipes provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs with food sensitivities.

Who is it for?

Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog food is designed for dogs with food allergies or food sensitivities. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the most common food allergens for dogs are proteins like beef, dairy, chicken, soy, eggs, and wheat gluten When a dog is allergic to a food, their immune system overreacts to a specific protein or ingredient. This causes an inflammatory response that leads to itchy skin, digestive issues, and other allergy symptoms.

royal canin hydrolyzed protein suits dogs with allergies.

Some signs of food allergies in dogs include: itching, frequent skin/ear infections, licking/chewing of paws, vomiting, and diarrhea (source: PetMD – By removing common allergens like beef, dairy, and wheat and using hydrolyzed proteins, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic aims to avoid triggering allergic reactions in sensitive dogs.

Key Features

Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein dog food is specifically formulated for dogs with food sensitivities and allergies. It has several key features that make it well-suited for dogs with these conditions:

First, it contains limited ingredients to reduce the risk of triggering allergic reactions or intolerances. The recipes typically contain one novel protein source, such as hydrolyzed soy, along with carbohydrates like brewer’s rice and corn. This simplicity helps reduce ingredient overlap with foods a dog has reacted to in the past.

Second, the protein source is hydrolyzed. This means it has been broken down into small peptides that are less likely to cause an immune reaction. Hydrolyzed soy protein is highly digestible and gentle on the digestive tract.

Finally, the food is nutritionally complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards for adult maintenance. Even with the restrictions needed for allergy management, Royal Canin adds vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and other nutrients vital for good health.

By limiting problematic ingredients, supplying a hypoallergenic protein source, and meeting all dietary needs, Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein food helps reduce adverse reactions while providing complete nutrition for adult dogs.


Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog food provides several benefits for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. One of the main benefits is that it helps manage food allergies and intolerances. The hydrolyzed proteins are broken down into such small pieces that they are less likely to trigger an immune system response in allergic dogs (1). This makes it easier for dogs with food allergies to digest the food and absorb nutrients without an adverse reaction.

helps manage allergic reactions to ingredients.

In addition to managing allergies, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic also supports skin and coat health. Food allergies in dogs often manifest as skin problems like itchy skin, hot spots, and excessive shedding. The hydrolyzed proteins and oils in the food help nourish the skin and coat from the inside out (1). Owners of dogs with allergies often see improvements in skin and coat condition after switching to this diet.

Lastly, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic provides balanced nutrition for dogs with food sensitivities. Despite the hydrolysis process, the food retains essential amino acids and nutrients dogs need. It contains optimal levels of protein, fat, carbs, vitamins and minerals. So even with the restrictions of a hypoallergenic diet, dogs can still get complete and balanced nutrition (2).

In summary, the key benefits of this diet are allergy management, skin/coat health, and balanced nutrition for sensitive dogs.


While hydrolyzed protein dog foods offer benefits for dogs with food sensitivities, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

Hydrolyzed protein dog foods tend to be more expensive than regular dog foods. The extensive processing required to break down the proteins into tiny particles comes at a cost. Expect to pay upwards of $90-100 for a 25 pound bag. For owners with multiple dogs or large breeds, this can add up quickly.

When transitioning your dog to a hydrolyzed protein food, be prepared for an adjustment period that can last 2-3 weeks. Gradually transition them by mixing small amounts of the new food in with their old food, slowly increasing the ratio over time. Monitor your dog for any digestive upset during this period.

For some specialized hydrolyzed protein formulas like Royal Canin’s Ultamino, a prescription from your veterinarian is required for purchase. This allows veterinarians to ensure the formula will appropriately address your dog’s specific food allergies or sensitivities.



Reviews from Pet Parents

Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog food receives overwhelmingly positive reviews from owners of dogs with food allergies and sensitivities. On Product Review, it earns a 4.3 out of 5 star rating based on over 200 reviews. Pet parents say it helps significantly reduce skin irritation, itching, digestive issues, and other allergy symptoms in their dogs. One reviewer said, “This is the only dry food my dog can eat without getting horribly itchy skin and upset digestion.”

most pet parents give very positive reviews.

On Amazon, 75% of reviewers give it a 5 star rating. They mention it being gentle on sensitive stomachs and helping dogs with severe food intolerances. Some vets even recommend it to clients struggling with allergy symptoms.

Overall, pet parents and veterinarians widely praise Royal Canin Hypoallergenic for its ability to alleviate allergy symptoms in dogs with sensitivities. It’s considered one of the best and most effective hypoallergenic dog foods on the market.


Here are some commonly asked questions about Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog food:

What ingredients are used?

Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog foods use hydrolyzed proteins as the main protein source. This process breaks down proteins into smaller parts that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs. Common protein sources include hydrolyzed soy, chicken, or fish.

Is Royal Canin Hypoallergenic good for food allergies?

Yes, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic formulas are designed for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. The hydrolyzed proteins and limited ingredients make it less likely to trigger an adverse reaction. However, some dogs may still react to certain ingredients. It’s best to consult your vet if you suspect a food allergy.

How do I transition to Royal Canin Hypoallergenic?

Gradually transition your dog to the new food over 5-7 days. Start by mixing a small amount (25%) of the Royal Canin with their current food. Slowly increase the ratio of new to old food until you reach 100% Royal Canin. This helps avoid digestive upset.

Is this food veterinary exclusive?

Some Royal Canin Hypoallergenic formulas are veterinary exclusive and can only be purchased with a prescription. However, Royal Canin also offers over-the-counter hypoallergenic recipes sold at major retailers.

What is the shelf life?

Unopened bags have a shelf life of 12 months. Once opened, store in an airtight container and use within 4 weeks. Check the sell-by or best-by date on the bag.


While Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein is a popular prescription hypoallergenic dog food, there are some alternatives pet parents may want to consider:

other hypoallergenic dog food alternatives exist.

Other prescription hypoallergenic dog foods include Hill’s Prescription Diet Hydrolyzed Protein and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Formula. These foods also go through an extensive hydrolyzation process to break down proteins into smaller peptides, minimizing allergenic potential.

For dogs that don’t need prescription foods, limited ingredient diets may be an option. Brands like Wellness Simple use a short list of main ingredients to reduce ingredients that could trigger allergies or sensitivities.

Home cooked elimination diets are another alternative, where pet parents cook for their dogs using novel or hydrolyzed proteins and carbohydrates. This requires working closely with a veterinarian to ensure proper nutrition.

Recipes and Feeding

Royal Canin provides feeding guidelines based on your dog’s size and weight. For example, a 4-7 lb puppy should be fed 1/2 to 1 cups per day, while an adult dog between 22-44 lbs requires 1 1/3 to 2 2/3 cups daily, divided into 2 meals. When transitioning to this hypoallergenic formula, Royal Canin recommends mixing increasing amounts of the new food with decreasing amounts of the previous food over 7 days [1].

For picky eaters, you can try adding warm water, low-sodium chicken broth, or pumpkin puree to enhance the flavor and aroma. Here’s a tasty pumpkin recipe to entice fussy dogs: Combine 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tbsp yogurt, and 1/4 cup Royal Canin Hypoallergenic kibble. Slowly heat in the microwave or warm on the stovetop until desired temperature. Let your dog’s nose guide them to the bowl! Always transition slowly and monitor for any signs of food allergy or intolerance.

The Bottom Line

Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog food is designed to minimize ingredients that commonly cause food allergies and sensitivities in dogs. The key benefits are that it contains a single protein source, has highly digestible proteins and carbohydrates, and is free from common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy.

The main drawbacks are the high price point and limited protein options. Since it only contains chicken or duck as the protein source, it may not be suitable for dogs with poultry allergies. The kibble formulation also contains brewers rice, which some pet owners prefer to avoid.

Overall, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dog food is a smart choice for dogs with suspected food allergies or sensitive stomachs. Pet parents who want to feed a novel protein diet with digestible carbohydrates and limited ingredients should consider this food. It provides complete and balanced nutrition free from common allergens. Just be prepared to pay a premium price.

For dogs that don’t have food allergies or sensitivities, there are more affordable hypoallergenic options available. But for dogs that need a strict elimination diet to address existing problems, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic delivers quality nutrition in an easy-to-digest recipe.

Scroll to Top