Ol’Roy Dog Food Review

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The brand’s strongest point is its affordability — Ol’Roy is popular and known as low-budget dog food.

The reviews are mixed — some dog owners praise it, while others consider it low-quality.

One thing is certain. Lots of recalls in the past and low-quality ingredients should make you reconsider it.

Ol’ Roy Company

Walmart launched the Ol’ Roy dog food brand in 1983. Still, Walmart is not the actual manufacturer — Doane Pet Food used to produce it on their behalf.

Mars Inc. acquired Doane Pet Food in 2007 and continued producing the Ol’ Roy for Walmart.

Mars Inc. is one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the USA. Their pet food division produces a number of other well-known dog food brands, like Pedigree, Royal Canin, and Cesar.

Mars’ pet food manufacturing facility is located in Brentwood, Tennessee. 

Though Mars manufactures Ol’ Roy dog food, the label doesn’t say “made in the USA.” There is a chance the dog food is produced elsewhere since Mars has facilities worldwide.

Ol’ Roy Dog Food Range Review

Ol’ Roy offers several different dog food options: Complete Nutrition, Puppy Dog Food, and High-Protein Food. The range consists of dry dog food, wet dog food, and dog treats. 


Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food

Ol' Roy Complete Nutrition Dry Food

Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition is meant for adult dogs and all breeds. It’s meant to provide all the relevant nutrients for a happy, healthy dog. Besides protein and animal fat, the food is also rich in vitamins and minerals.

Walmart currently offers Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition in two flavors:

Walmart offers different sizes as well. Roasted Chicken & Rice comes in 4 lbs, 15 lbs, 46 lbs and 50 lbs bags. T-Bone & Bacon is available in 15 lbs, 46 lbs and 50 lbsversions.

The first five ingredients in Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition are ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), and corn gluten meal.

Overall, these are not good sources of animal proteins — we’d like to see high-quality meat as the first ingredient.

Soybean and corn gluten can raise the overall protein content a little bit. In rare cases, they might be the only choice. But in general, they are not easily absorbed by dogs.

As such, they don’t have the same nutritional value as animal proteins. Not only that — they are not suitable for dogs with gluten and soy sensitivities. If your dog has these allergies, it’s best to avoid this Ol’ Roy dog food option.

Meat meal is a suitable, although inferior, source of protein. The problem is that in these cases, we don’t know which animal the meat is coming from.

It’s hard to determine nutritional value and dangers if we don’t know the exact source of meat. The same goes for fat in these products. The fat is also preserved with BHA, which is carcinogenic.

It’s unclear why the T-Bone and Steak Flavor Recipe is more expensive than Chicken & Rice. It contains a “natural T-bone steak flavor” (not an actual T-bone). Dried bacon fat is further down the ingredients list. It doesn’t seem to merit a $3 difference for a 15-lb bag.

To their credit, these dry foods do contain added vitamins and minerals. There are zinc oxide, copper sulfate, niacin, vitamins A, D3, and B12. They also include the menadione form of vitamin K, which is considered carcinogenic. 

But, the vitamins and minerals come only after various artificial colors. The recipes include Red 40, Yellow 5, and Blue 2, which can cause severe allergies and health problems in some dogs.

Chicken & Rice’s selling point is “no artificial flavors.” Although technically accurate, this seems a little ungenuine because there are so many artificial colors.

Is Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition really a complete solution? Technically, yes. Proteins come from ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, and chicken by-product meal.

There are animal fat and added vitamins. Yet, these ingredients are not easy to digest, and other ingredients can be a complete problem.


Ol’ Roy High Protein Dry Dog Food

Ol' Roy High Protein Beef & Lamb

Currently, Walmart offers High Protein Dry Dog Food Beef & Lamb Flavor. This food is intended for highly active and working dogs.

The first ingredient is beef and bone meal, which is better than typical ground whole grain corn. Still, corn is the second ingredient. In high protein dog foods, the first couple of ingredients are ideally lean, high-quality meats and animal protein sources. 

High-protein dog food should also include a good source of fat. Fat is important because of high energy requirements.

This food does have fat, but only as the sixth ingredient. It is unclear which animal is the source of fat. Without this information, it is extremely hard to talk of nutritional value.

The food also has lamb meal as the tenth ingredient. With beef and bone meal and corn gluten, these make up for 27% Crude Protein. This amount is nominally alright for high-protein foods.

Here’s the problem: corn gluten raises protein content, but it is not as digestible as animal protein.

Furthermore, the 27% Crude Protein is on the border between normal and high protein intake. We would like to see higher protein content and a lamb meal higher on the ingredients list.

The food does have added vitamins and minerals. Like in other Ol’ Roy dog food, the minerals are not chelated, which is an issue. Dogs can’t fully absorb them in this form. 

This food also contains menadione, a toxic form of vitamin K.

It doesn’t have artificial colors, though, which is excellent. As for flavors, the ingredients do mention “natural flavor,” which seems a little bit generic.

High protein options from Ol’ Roy are a little better option than other Ol’ Roy dog foods. The type of meat is clearly stated, but not the source of animal fat and the amount of salt.

The biggest concern is that this food is meant for working dogs. The amount of actual animal protein just might be insufficient for their needs.


Ol’ Roy Puppy Complete Chicken & Oatmeal Flavor

Ol' Roy Puppy Complete Chicken

This puppy recipe is intended for the growth and development of puppies. Walmart claims it is similar to mother’s milk and contains DHA for the brain development of puppies. It also has 27% Crude Protein and 12% fat.

The DHA part is probably true. This recipe contains fish oil and flaxseed, which should provide the puppies with adequate fatty acids. The recipe also contains many added minerals and vitamins. There is no artificial form of vitamin K, which is great.

But, the first ingredient is ground whole grain corn. This ingredient doesn’t seem adequate for puppies and their high protein needs. Corn is a filler and not easily digestible even by adult dogs.

Primary protein sources include meat and bone meal, soybean meal, and poultry by-product meal. Meat and bone meals are regarded as acceptable sources of protein.

It would be better if the first ingredient was high-quality meat. Additionally, soy may raise the total protein content, but it is not easily digestible by dogs. 

Undisclosed animal fat is another problem because we can’t tell nutritional value. This fat is preserved with BHA and BHT, which are known carcinogens.

Besides soy, the Ol’ Roy dog food for puppies also contains corn gluten meal and artificial colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2).

These can easily irritate a young dog’s stomach and lead to food sensitivities. The food does not have artificial flavors, though.


Ol’ Roy Soft & Moist Beef & Cheese Flavor Dog Food

Ol' Roy Soft & Moist Dog Food

The Soft & Moist option is interesting because it is primarily meant for dogs with teeth problems.

It’s a cross between dry and wet food, so it’s naturally easier for dogs to chew on.

Walmart offers several options:

The reviewers mention that these foods are not messy, so they are ideal for traveling.

These foods contain 18% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, and 3% Crude Fiber. The protein could be higher since this amount is the bare minimum that the AAFCO prescribes for dog nutrition.

The first six ingredients in the Beef & Cheese option are a beef by-product, high fructose corn syrup, soy flour, soy grits, water, and wheat flour. Cheese powder is 15th on the list.

So, the main protein source is the beef by-product. By-products are acceptable sources, but lean meats are always better. Furthermore, the soy in the recipe may be adding to the protein count, although it is not the best source.

We also don’t like the high fructose corn syrup so high up on the list because it is basically concentrated sugar. Too much sugar in a dog diet leads to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and contributes to pancreatitis.

There are also many preservatives and artificial colors in the recipe, like calcium propionate, ethoxyquin, Red 40, and Yellow 5. These can irritate dogs’ stomachs and cause allergic reactions. The formula also uses menadione, a carcinogenic form of vitamin K.

Still, this Ol’ Roy dog food seems promising for dogs with dental problems. We hope that Walmart will reconsider some of its ingredients and adapt them.


Ol’ Roy Wet Dog Food Varieties

Ol'Roy Wet Dog Food

Ol’ Roy dog food also comes in wet varieties. There are several flavors to choose from:

  • Beef
  • Filet mignon
  • Grilled chicken
  • Chicken and beef
  • Chicken and rice
  • Lamb and rice
  • T-bone

These flavors come in various forms: gravy, tender morsels, meaty loaf, or savory cuts. There are also several combos for an even more discounted price.

The Crude Protein in this Ol’ Roy dog food ranges from 8-9%, Crude Fat is 3-4%, while Crude Fiber is 1-1.5%. At first glance, this isn’t bad.

The first five ingredients are typically some combination of the following: 

  • Water for processing
  • Chicken
  • Meat by-products
  • Wheat flour
  • Animal liver

We like that we see chicken among the first ingredients. Chicken is considered a high-quality source of protein.

Wheat flour can be problematic for dogs with gluten sensitivity. The by-products and animal liver are unspecified. We don’t know which animal it is, so we can’t talk about their nutritional value.

We don’t like the usage of guar gum and artificial colors in these products. Both of these are potentially harmful to dogs and can cause allergic reactions.

Two flavors also contain carrageenan: chicken and beef, and filet mignon (in meaty loaf option, but not in cuts in gravy). Carrageenan is a thickener and a known carcinogenic. It can cause inflammation, lesions, and cancer in dogs. It’s also high up on the list.

It’s unclear why filet mignon in meaty loaf contains carrageenan, but the one in cuts in gravy doesn’t.

This could be due to carrageenan’s thickening properties and for the sake of consistency. Either way, if you are buying the filet mignon flavor, make sure to check the ingredients.

Some good vitamins and minerals are added to the wet food, which is excellent.

It’s worrying that some flavors (gravy T-bone flavor, savory cuts with beef) contain both onion and garlic powder. Both can be highly toxic and lethal to dogs, even in small quantities.

Make sure to check the ingredients of any Ol’ Roy dog food and talk to the vet before feeding it to your dog.


Ingredient Quality in Ol’ Roy Dog Food

Affordability usually comes at a price. Depending on the type of Ol’ Roy dog food, ingredients range from high-quality to generic ones. There are even a few questionable and potentially dangerous choices, like onion and garlic.

Let’s break it down for both dry and wet dog food.

For Ol’ Roy dry dog food, the usual ingredients are corn, meat and bone meal, meat by-products, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, BHA preservative, citric acid, artificial colors, and fortified vitamins and minerals.

Ol’ Roy wet dog food has ingredients like water, chicken, meat by-products, wheat flour, beef, corn starch, liver, chicken meal, BHA/BHT preservatives, artificial coloring, fortified vitamins, and minerals. 

Both dry and wet dog food from Ol’Roy often has an undisclosed amount of salt.

There are several ingredients you should look out for.

Budget-friendly dog foods often use corn as the first ingredient. Corn is often used as filler in low-budget dog foods. It does provide some energy, but there are better grains to be used.

Furthermore, the first ingredient in a high-quality food should be whole meat, which is a good protein source.

Water is also often used in wet foods as the first ingredient. It is standard practice, although chicken broth is preferred instead.

Meat and bone meal and by-products aren’t bad ingredients. They are a solid source of protein. However, many products in Ol’ Roy dog food range have undisclosed meat and meat by-products.

This means that we can’t know for sure which meat they come from. There is no way to evaluate the quality or potential side effects.

For example, poultry allergies are not uncommon in dogs — and if this meat is poultry, it would cause allergic reactions. The ingredients list should state the exact meat used.

Ol’Roy’s wet food is somewhat better in this regard than the dry food. Some of the wet dog food products state that chicken was used, which is good. Chicken is considered a high-quality source of protein. However, even the wet food usually has unspecified meat by-products.

Soybean meal is also a common ingredient in dry dog food, and it’s not the healthiest option. Vegetable proteins may boost the overall protein content. But, they don’t have the same nutritional value as animal protein. Vegetable protein is also less bioavailable to dogs.

Both dry and wet dog food also contain animal fat — of undisclosed origin. This is bad because we can’t tell what kind of animal the fat comes from. To make matters worse, this fat is preserved with BHA in both cases. BHA is a known carcinogenic.

Artificial colors are present in various forms across the range. Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, and Blue 2 can cause severe allergic reactions in dogs. The caramel color in some of the Ol’ Roy dog food is known to cause cancer in lab animals.

The foods also contain added vitamins and minerals. The main issue is that the minerals are not chelated, so dogs might not absorb them. Some of these foods have menadione, a form of vitamin K. This form causes liver toxicity, allergies, and breakdown of red blood cells.

There are other problematic ingredients. Some of the wet foods contain onion and garlic powders as a flavoring. AKC and ASPCA state that both garlic and onions are highly toxic to dogs in the amount of 7-15 g per pound of body weight.

Still, AKC does mention potential health benefits if they are in trace amounts — garlic and onion can act as flea and tick repellent.

They are also sometimes used as a flavoring in dog treats. The amount in Ol’ Roy dog food is probably controlled, but it would be best to talk to the vet before feeding it to your dog.

Prices of Ol’ Roy Dog Food

One of the strongest points of Ol’ Roy dog food is affordability. Rightfully so — here are the typical prices:

  • A 50-pound bag of Ol’Roy dry dog food costs about $20
  • 12 cans cost $7, which is around $0.58 per 13.2 oz can

This puts Ol’ Roy dog food among the most budget-friendly options.

Ol’ Roy Dog Food Reviews

The online reviews for Ol’ Roy dog food are very mixed.

Some customers say that they love the affordability. The bag can last them a month, depending on the size. Also, dog owners claim that their pets’ coat is shinier and healthier because of the food.

There are many complaints about the Ol’ Roy dog food packaging. Bigger portions seem to come in either plastic bags or regular boxes, which are low-quality.

Some people also complain that they received a torn bag that was taped. Also, several customers mention that the food gets moldy.

Some people combine Ol’ Roy dog food with more premium formulas to better balance prices and quality. This is a good idea if you control your budget but want your furry friend to get high-quality food too.

Ol’ Roy Dog Food Recalls

Ol’ Roy dog food has been in the US market for almost 40 years. Throughout that time, there have been several recalls.

In 1998, Ol’ Roy dog food was recalled because of the elevated aflatoxin levels. Aflatoxin can be quite dangerous to dogs and often fatal.

In 2007, Ol’ Roy and some of the largest pet food manufacturers recalled hundreds of their products because of the melamine that was killing cats and dogs (FDA). That same year, Ol’ Roy dog food was recalled because of salmonella contamination (FIC).

In 2008, there was another salmonella contamination and recall (FIC).

In 2018, Ol’ Roy Strips Bacon and some other products were recalled because of the possible low levels of pentobarbital (FDA). Pentobarbital is used for euthanasia of the cattle, and it had found its way into the dog food of several largest pet food manufacturers.

Alternatives

There are several alternatives to Ol’Roy dry food and canned food that we really like.


Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Chicken Rice All Life Stages

Diamond Natural Chicken & Rice is somewhat more expensive than an Ol’Roy 50-lbs bag. The ingredients are much better.

The first five ingredients in Diamond Natural are chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, and white rice. The Crude Protein content is 26%, and Crude Fat is 16%.

Additionally, this recipe contains probiotics, antioxidants, and minerals. It doesn’t have artificial colors or flavors. 

We especially like the fruits and vegetables in this recipe and the use of fish oil. These natural ingredients guarantee great nutrition for your dog.


True Acre Foods Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetable Dry Dog Food

True Acre Foods Grain Free Chicken Vegetable

True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetables is grain-free, which we love.

A 40-lbs bag is somewhat more expensive than the Ol’ Roy dog food. The first five ingredients are chicken, canola meal, peas, poultry by-product meal, and pea starch.

We are not big fans of canola meal, but this recipe does feature chicken as the first ingredient. Chicken is considered a high-quality protein for dogs.

The Crude Protein content in True Acre’s recipe is 24%. The protein your dog will be getting is much more wholesome and better than from Ol’Roy.

We love that this dog food is grain-free and contains no artificial colors or flavors. Additionally, there is no menadione in the list of vitamins.


American Journey Stews Poultry & Beef Variety Pack Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

American Journey Stews Poultry & Beef Variety Pack Grain Free

American Journey Stews Poultry & Beef canned food has some excellent protein sources.

The first five ingredients in American Journey are chicken, chicken broth, beef broth, chicken liver, and dried egg products. These make a high-quality protein source — and the broth is a much better option than water.

In terms of other ingredients, there are no artificial flavors and colors. Also, the recipe does not use menadione or harmful carrageenan.

We are not big fans of the guar gum in this recipe, as it can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.


Is Ol’ Roy Good for Dogs? Our Verdict

Ol’ Roy dog food is among the most affordable options in the market. You can also order it online, which is incredibly convenient for 46- and 50-lbs bags.

The affordability does come at a price, and this concerns the ingredients. The most common first ingredient is corn filler.

Corn isn’t a good source of protein and has almost no nutritional value. There are plenty of meat and bone meals, and undisclosed animal fat sources. There are also plenty of artificial colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives. These can cause strong allergic reactions in dogs.

But, the biggest concern is the use of menadione and carrageenan, which are harmful to dogs. Adding to that, some recipes use onion and garlic powder for flavoring. We consider this unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Both garlic and onion are extremely toxic to dogs.

If you’re considering Ol’ Roy dog food as a budget-friendly option, check the ingredients. Avoid the options with carrageenan, onion, and garlic powder. 

On the other hand, some alternatives are somewhat more expensive but much healthier and safer for your dog.

Check out True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetables and Diamond Natural Chicken & Rice for dry dog food options. You can also view American Journey Stews Poultry & Beef wet dog food.

FAQ

Is Ol’ Roy made by Purina?

No, Ol’ Roy is not made by Purina. Ol’ Roy dog food was produced by Doane Pet Food until 2007. In 2007, Mars Inc. pet food division acquired Doane Pet Food.

How expensive are Ol’ Roy products? 

Ol’ Roy pet food is low-budget dog food. As such, this pet food is quite inexpensive and very budget-friendly. At the moment, a 50-lbs bag of Ol’ Roy dry food is around $20, whereas 12 cans of wet food can be bought for $7.

What is wrong with supermarket dog food?

Supermarkets usually offer low-budget dog food. Such pet food usually contains lots of fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Furthermore, supermarket pet food often has inferior sources of protein. Not all of it is low-budget dog food, though. Some supermarkets offer solid premium pet food as well.

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AUTHOR
As a dog breeder's daughter, I've always been surrounded by many dogs of many breeds. I've made it my job to learn about our furry best friends and share my findings with other conscious dog owners. My Bichon is called Piper by the way :)

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