When I got my Chihuahua puppy last October, I was lucky that it was from a litter my mum's dog had, so I knew that it had been fully weaned from milk onto food by the time we picked him up aged about 11 weeks old.
I know from my own experience that you can choose to keep your pet on the food it was weaned onto, or you can change it, but you do so at the risk of an upset tummy. Also, when you are changing a lot of things in the life of your pet, it is kindest to keep what you can familiar to them, so I bought the same food my mum had been feeding them. The reason she chose this brand is she bought her Chihuahuas from professional breeders, and these had both independently recommended this brand to her.
Royal Canin is a high end premium food to me. Animal nutrition is something that is very important. Buying cheaper food which is packed with fillers is not as good for your pet as it is not as nutricious and could end up leading to health complications when they are older, and could be seen even sooner by a lack of gloss to their eyes and coat. I am also more drawn to dry food for my pets, as wet food can accelerate tooth decay.
This food is aimed at smaller dog breeds who will have an adult weight of between 1 and 10Kg. Murphy has an adult weight of just 2 kilos, so this is perfect for him. It is enhanced with prebiotics and L.I.p. proteins to promote a healthy digestive system. I know these are important for building up the good bacteria in the intestines and preventing tummy upsets. Murphy has indeed been very healthy. He has been sick a few times if he has eaten something he shouldn't like pinching my cat's food, but he is usually in good digestive health with no diarohoea or sickness.
This is a high energy food, and helps promote rapid growth and tartar control (because it has added sodium polyphosphates). It is hard to prove this in such a young dog, but I do feel that he is in fine health, with lots of energy, and good dental health so far. I supplement this diet with dental chews, so I would not expect him to be showing any sign of dental decay at this young age as he is still only 9 months old.
The food is available in many size packages, from 800g to 8.5Kg, with a price ranging from just over £5 for the smallest bag, up to £41 for the 8.5 Kg sack.
I decided that I would buy an 8.5 kilogram sack from Amazon, as I knew we would use it all up, and this was the cheapest way of doing it. This made it less than £5 per kilo.
The sack is a waterproof material, heat sealed at the top and bottom of the sack. My only complaint is that when I came to open the sack, it was quite hard to do so. I had to cut a hole in the top of the bag, and I then had no way to reseal the bag. I got round this by folding it over and using a clothes peg. I was a bit worried that the air getting in might spoil the food before we used it, but it has been fine stored in my pantry.
It says on my bag there is enough food for 65 days, but I have found that one bag has lasted me about 8 months because my dog is so small. I feed him on demand, and leave food out most of the time for him, but the quantity a small dog eats is so little that the bag has lasted ages. So I think if you only have one dog then you will be better buying a smaller bag. My mum found one big bag this size lasted her just over a month when feeding her two adult dogs and the 4 pups.
There is a guide on the pack showing how much food to give compared to the size of your dog. I don't really use this guide and just let my dog eat what he wants as he doesn't have a weight problem. This amount is a couple of handfuls per day.
The food takes the form of dry kibbles. I find that they are really uniform in colour and texture. They are light brown in colour, triangular in shape, and about the size of 1/3rd of my thumb nail. They have a slightly meaty smell to them. This is not repulsive to me in any way like some wet foods can be. The kibbles can sometimes get a little dusty in the bag, but they hold their shape really well even if my pup sometimes drops them in the water bowl.
I make sure I always have a fresh supply of water down to accompany his dry food, as if he doesn't drink enough he can get a little constipated from a dry food diet. This rarely happens though.
I also find that when I am cleaning up after outside time, his mess is solid in shape and easy to clean up. His digestive system processes this food efficiently.
I am sure I could feed my dog more cheaply, but I find that for how much of this he eats, this is costing me about £6 a month to feed him this diet, which I think is very cheap.
I sometimes wonder if this food would get a bit boring for him, but he clears his bowl every day. The cat also pinches some every time he can. The fact he clears the bowl alongside his good health is good reason for me to feed him this premium puppy food, and I have already purchased some of the adult food for when this runs out. This is slightly less calorific for older dogs.
"Royal Canin Mini Junior dog food for puppies and young dogs of small breeds (1 - 10 kg) aged 2 - 10 months; for a strong immune system with maximum digestive security"