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Instinct vs Royal Canin

Instinct vs. Royal Canin

In this comparison article for Instinct vs Royal Canin, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Instinct and Royal Canin, we'll use up-to-date nutritional and price information.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best pet food brand for your pet. Factors such as ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, product safety, brand history, and cost are among the most important factors to consider.

Throughout this Royal Canin vs Instinct comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Instinct Review Page or Royal Canin Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Royal Canin vs. Instinct

According to AAFCO, all pet food labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of nutrient content. The analysis must provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

All percentages used in this comparison are averages reported on a dry matter basis.

Instinct Dog Food vs. Royal Canin Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Instinct Royal Canin
Crude Protein 35.5% 28.0%
Crude Fat 20.3% 16.3%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 4.6%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Instinct Royal Canin
Crude Protein 45.0% 36.5%
Crude Fat 25.1% 20.0%
Crude Fiber 8.1% 11.9%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Dogs require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Twelve of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining ten are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these ten essential amino acids.

The table shows that Royal Canin provides far less protein than Instinct. The difference in protein content is roughly 7.45%. In addition, Instinct wet dog foods also provide more protein than Royal Canin wet foods.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Like protein, fats are an essential part of a dog's body. Fats are needed for the proper development and function of the canine body.

Our analysis shows that Instinct guarantees 4.08% more fat than Royal Canin dry dog food recipes. In addition, Instinct wet dog foods also provide more fat than Royal Canin wet foods.


As you can see, Instinct and Royal Canin guarantee a similar amount of crude fiber. For wet dog foods, Royal Canin typically provides a little more fiber (about 3.80% more).

Instinct Cat Food vs. Royal Canin Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Instinct Royal Canin
Crude Protein 44.4% 34.6%
Crude Fat 20.4% 16.0%
Crude Fiber 4.1% 6.7%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Instinct Royal Canin
Crude Protein 48.2% 51.0%
Crude Fat 24.4% 12.7%
Crude Fiber 8.8% 10.6%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Cats require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Eleven of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining eleven are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these eleven essential amino acids.

On average, Instinct dry cat food recipes contain 9.79% more protein than Royal Canin recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the protein content of Royal Canin and Instinct. For wet cat foods, Royal Canin typically provides a little more protein (about 2.82% more).


Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food

There are many ways in which dietary fat contributes to the overall health of our feline friends. Here is a short list of benefits provided by fats (not exhaustive):

  • Help transport nutrients across cell membranes
  • Fats produce metabolites, which help control inflammation
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Fats improve the taste/texture of food.

There is a relatively large difference between the fat content of Instinct and Royal Canin. On average, Royal Canin dry cat food recipes contain 4.43% less fat than Instinct recipes. In addition, Instinct wet cat foods also provide more fat than Royal Canin wet foods.


If you look at the average percentages of crude fiber, you'll notice that Royal Canin typically guarantees 2.69% more fiber. This is a fairly small difference between Royal Canin and Instinct, but still worth mentioning. For wet cat foods, Royal Canin and Instinct provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

Instinct Pet Food Ingredients vs. Royal Canin Pet Food Ingredients

Instinct and Royal Canin both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:

Pea Protein
Tomato Pomace
Dried Tomato Pomace

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Instinct.

Garlic
Canola Oil
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Royal Canin.

Corn
Wheat
Caramel
Corn Meal
Corn Flour
Corn Grits
Rice Hulls
Beef Plasma
Canola Meal
Pork Plasma
Brewers Rice
Wheat Gluten
Vegetable Oil
Propyl Gallate
Corn Gluten Meal
Pork By-Products
Brewers Rice Flour
Powdered Cellulose
Chicken By-Products
Venison By-Products
Duck By-Product Meal
Chicken By-Product Meal
Soybean Protein Isolate
Hydrolyzed Poultry By-Products Aggregate

We believe that certain pet food ingredients are linked to adverse health affects; these ingredients are classified as harmful.

Instinct and Royal Canin both use the following harmful ingredients in many of their products:

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Royal Canin.

Bha

Product Safety: Recall History of Instinct & Royal Canin?

Instinct has been recalled 2 times.

  • July 24, 2015: Salmonella
  • Feb. 15, 2013: Pieces of clear plastic in bag

Royal Canin has been recalled 3 times.

  • May 11, 2007: Melamine
  • April 19, 2007: Melamine
  • Feb. 2, 2006: excess level of vitamin D3

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Instinct Royal Canin
Per Pound $3.37 $3.62
Per Calorie $0.0018 $0.0021
Dry Cat Food Instinct Royal Canin
Per Pound $4.60 $4.86
Per Calorie $0.0024 $0.0029
Wet Dog Food Instinct Royal Canin
Per Pound $5.94 $6.50
Per Calorie $0.0110 $0.0157
Wet Cat Food Instinct Royal Canin
Per Pound $8.92 $7.15
Per Calorie $0.0181 $0.0202

The average cost-per-lb is heavily influenced by the varying amounts of moisture present in each brand's food products (wet vs. dry food, dry vs. freeze-dried food, etc). However, the average cost-per-kcal eliminates the influence of moisture. Therefore, the average cost-per-kcal is the better metric to consider.

If you'd like to calculate the average cost-per-day or cost-pet-year of feeding Instinct or Royal Canin, input your pet's weight into our cost analyzer widget.

Averages price data can identify whether or not there exists a significant price difference between two brands. However, the actual price that you'll pay for Instinct or Royal Canin will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Instinct and Royal Canin. In addition, we currently have some great coupons for our readers.


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Instinct Pet Foods

You can purchase Instinct pet foods from the following stores:


125 Recipes In-Stock Today

98 Recipes In-Stock Today

89 Recipes In-Stock Today

33 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Royal Canin Pet Foods

You can purchase Royal Canin pet food products from these retailers:


175 Recipes In-Stock Today

133 Recipes In-Stock Today

113 Recipes In-Stock Today

17 Recipes In-Stock

Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Instinct Royal Canin
Dry Dog Food 31 Recipes 85 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 19 Recipes 44 Recipes
Dog Treats
Dry Cat Food 16 Recipes 27 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 18 Recipes 23 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores