Royal Canin Tour
A Pet Owner’s View
Pet owners are a breed all their own.
There’s not much we won’t do for our pets when it comes to keeping them happy and healthy. We do this in return for all the love and companionship they give us.
We exercise them by walking, running, or playing ball with them to keep them physically fit and to keep their brains active.
We take them to the Vet for regular check-ups to assure they stay physically healthy.
We feed them what we believe is best for them, their breed, and a food that addresses any particular health issues.
As a pet owner of both dog and cats and a previous owner of horses, what I feed has changed throughout the years. I attribute this to what’s available on the market at the time, what are the health conditions of the animal I’m dealing with and the age of the animal. It was never decided by brand, but by what works for them to maintain their health, or improve it because of an issue they may be dealing with.
The food I have chosen for my pets has not always worked or agreed with them, there have been some trial and errors.
The world of “Pet Food Products” can be confusing to say the least!
We are bombarded with commercials telling us why we should use one brand over another, basically, playing on the heartstrings of every pet owner.
We have the grocery store brands, holistic, raw, grain free, wet/dry, low fat, low protein, hypoallergenic, weight loss formula, the list is never ending. How can you possible decide what is right for your pet?
I have a Pug. This is the first “small breed” dog I have owned. Pugs come with their own set of issues where food is concerned, for one thing they can never (according to them) eat enough! They are a squishy faced breed and therefore they pick up their food differently than your average “long snouted” dog. They are also prone to allergies/itching.
When my Pug came home from the breeder she was on a diet of Royal Canin. She did well on this brand so there didn’t seem to be a need to change, that was until she had been spayed. The weight came on fast and furious, she was never full, always begging to be fed, it was like she couldn’t get enough. I was at my wits end. During a visit with her Vet it was suggested to continue with Royal Canin but switch her to Satiety Support.
The switch was what both of us needed! Finally, the incessant begging for food decreased and the excess weight came off. We were both fortunate that we found a product that worked on the first try and we didn’t have to continuing an ongoing search.
I like to believe I am careful and try to be as well informed as I can be when it comes to the food I am giving my pets, but I never real knew “how the food gets to the dog/cat dish” other than going to the pet-store or Vet’s office to pick it up.
Royal Canin Canada recently invited me to come and tour both the Distribution and Production facilities, the first time they have invited a Blogger to view behind the scenes.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect or what I thought I was going to see. I envisioned a large factory like setting – an assembly line of sorts, one that rolls the dry food off a line and into a bag. How wrong I was!
First and foremost what stands out are the people that work here. The atmosphere was one of passion, dedication, knowledge, an all out belief in the product they help produce. I find this amazing in todays economy and environment, why, because to go into a workplace setting and actually find people there that are happy and appear to be enjoying their job is, in my opinion – rare!
What I liked was that no question was off limits, no question went unanswered.
The amount of science, research and reasoning of what goes into each product , even the shape of each product took me by surprise. Really, who would of thought the shape of a piece of kibble would make a difference to a cat or dog? I viewed a Lab eating a dish of dry food, any Lab owner knows what this looks like – gulp – its gone! Then I viewed a Lab eating dry food specifically shaped for them. The difference was amazing, the Lab ate incredibly slower, enough that it actually chewed its food.
The tour of the production line was an eye opener, and no, it was not the “assembly line” I envisioned.
Instead what you find is efficiency, cleanliness, constant checking of each product that is being produced at the time to ensure it meets strict guidelines.
All products that come to the plant are put through rigorous testing. Whether it takes a few hours or a day, no product is permitted to enter the plant until it has passed. Ingredients are tagged and labeled allowing them to track ingredients to a specific bag of food and a sample of the raw material is tagged and stored on site for any future reference.
Next I toured the labratory, and as our tour guide said “CSI has nothing on us”!
I would like to tell you I could properly explain my tour of the Royal Canin laboratory but to be honest I can’t. It’s not because it wasn’t explained well or questions weren’t answered, but this level of science was well over my head! At the time it made sense and I could follow along but for me to even try to explain the science behind the food would be impossible.
What I can tell you is I did not expect to see such a laboratory dedicated to pet food. Now as I think about it, we as pet owners should expect this level of science to go into our pets food and nutrition.
We as pet owners, expect, want, and should demand the best quality, high standards, science, continuous research and ingredients for our pets food.
After my experience and what I viewed at Royal Canin Canada, I believe that if each pet food company conducts themselves in the same manner, by doing continuous research to improve the product, demanding only the best ingredients from their suppliers, having a staff that is passionate, knowledgable and believes in their own product, a company that is approachable, willing to work with the pet owner so they know the choice they make is the right one for their pet, then it’s just one step closer to making our decision easier as to what’s best for our pet.