staffy sitting on beach smiling

Best Food for Staffies

LAST UPDATED November 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle's qualified veterinarian, Dr Gillian Hill, BVSc (Hons)

The Staffy's tough exterior often belies a goofy and fun-loving personality. With their big smiles and loyal natures, they are a favourite of dog-loving families. Unfortunately, Staffies are prone to certain conditions, particularly allergic skin disease and anxiety. Diet choice can make a significant impact on these conditions, and the most suitable foods for Staffies are usually those with a very high level of omega fatty acids to support a healthy skin barrier function. There are also certain foods formulated with calming ingredients to help anxious Staffies settle.

As Staffies are a medium breed, a premium diet formulated specifically for medium sized dogs, or 'all breed formula' is also a great option for Staffies lucky enough not to be affected by any particular issue. We have compiled a list of the best foods for Staffies to make your life easier, and keep your Staffy looking and feeling great!

Four factors to consider when choosing a food for your Staffy:
  1. Health conditions: Your treating veterinarian should be your first port of call when it comes to dietary advice if your staffy has any underlying diagnosed health conditions. In many cases, there may be prescription diets which are the best option to help manage your dog's condition. For health support, there are a range of non-prescription, therapeutic options to help prevent certain conditions, or support your staffy's specific needs.
  2. Complete and balanced: In choosing a food, the most important consideration after any health factors is that the diet is complete and balanced for your staffy's stage of life, and size. Ensuring that it meets AAFCO or FEDIAF pet food control guidelines is crucial to ensure that your dog receives all the nutrients they require in the correct ratios.
  3. Age: Dogs of different ages have very different nutritional requirements. Staffy puppies require energy-dense food which meets their intense growth rates, while senior dogs are often less active and have a slower metabolism which means that they require fewer calories and less fat, but an easily digestible diet, to help them maintain good body condition.
  4. Quality: The quality of the ingredients and the digestibility of the nutrients they provide should be a key factor in choosing a food. Premium foods are designed to be highly digestible (which means smaller, firmer stools) and do not change ingredients batch to batch like grocery type brands, which means less tummy upsets. They also tend to contain higher levels of added beneficial nutrients, such as omega fatty acids for joint and coat health, and some are backed by testing to ensure they deliver the results they promise. Learning how to read pet food labels and knowing the ingredients in your dog's food is a crucial part of knowing what is the best food for them.


  1. Best Overall: Advance Medium Breed Terrier
  2. Best for Sensitive Skin: Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach with Optirestore and Hills Science Diet Canine Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin
  3. Best for Anxiety: Royal Canin Relax Care
  4. Best Grain-Free Diet: Savourlife Grain Free Salmon Dog Food
  5. Best Natural Diet: Open Farm Catch of the Season WhiteFish Dry Dog Food
  6. Best for Staffy Puppies: Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food

How We Review Our Products

Our Pet Circle Vet Squad comprises 30 vets with over 120 years of collective, independent veterinary expertise. Our Vet team use their health and husbandry knowledge, along with their own personal and clinical experiences to evaluate each product and provide detailed, informative reviews, free of any commercial bias. We then collate this information into our 'best of' recommendations.

Product Reviews

Best Overall: Advance Medium Breed Terrier Dry Food


  • Formulated specifically for medium breed terriers, with nutrients to support skin and coat health, joint health and a balanced gut microbiome.
  • Made in Australia
  • Contains no wheat, whole corn, soy or beef
  • Available in 2 size packs - 2.5kg and 13kg
  • Ziplock bag closure for easy storage
  • Contains specific ingredients for joint support


  • Poultry-based food, so will not be suitable for dogs with sensitivities to poultry proteins or fats
  • Suitable for all medium terriers, not specifically Staffies.

Made locally in the Central Tablelands of NSW, this is a highly digestible, breed-type specific diet which is backed by science and formulated to manage issues often seen in medium terriers.

The Advance for Medium Terriers contains freeze-dried green lipped mussel powder (a natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin and omega 3 fatty acids) to support joint health, and enhanced levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as well as pantothenic acid and niacin to maintain a healthy skin barrier. It also contains inulin (a source of dietary fibre and prebiotic) to help promote the growth of good bacteria for improved digestion and stool quality.

Being Australian made, you can rest assured that you're supporting the local industry with the food you feed your dog. Advance packs the quality of the big name brands and often at a reduced price.

What our customers say: "Great food, dogs love it and it has definitely helped our Staffy who has reoccurring skin issues. Bought it for a good price on sale."

What our vets say: "I like to recommend Advance Medium Terriers Dry Dog Food for staffies because it contains beneficial nutrients for a healthy skin barrier, which is important as staffies can have a tendency for allergic skin disease. It also contains prebiotic fibres to promote healthy bacteria in the gut for better digestive health for those sensitive tummies that staffies can get. Advance Medium Terriers Dry Dog Food is made in Australia from top quality ingredients and is a complete and balanced diet for staffies." - Dr. Jenny

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Best for Sensitive Skin: Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach with Optirestore


  • Formulated to support dogs with both skin and digestive sensitivities (both common conditions in Staffies!
  • Uses alternate protein sources - salmon and tuna - to reduce the risk of adverse food reaction
  • Contains no wheat, corn, soy, chicken or beef
  • High levels of omega fatty acids to support skin barrier function
  • Slightly cheaper than other premium brands
  • Made in Australia


  • Not specific to any particular breeds or breed sizes, nutritionally balanced for all breeds and sizes
  • Available only in 12kg bags

I love being able to recommend a food that is specifically formulated for skin and digestive issues that doesn't rely on the commonly used protein sources like poultry and beef. Diets, like the Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach, that contain marine protein sources can be very beneficial because fish is a novel protein, which means that it rarely presents as a causal allergen in food sensitive dogs, and is often a great choice for dogs with an unknown sensitivity. Fish, especially salmon, also contains beneficial omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are proven to be highly beneficial for strengthening the skin barrier.

The Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach contains no wheat, corn, soy, chicken or beef, it includes natural fibres (beet pulp and chicory) for digestive support as well as natural antioxidants to help support the immune system.

As it is not specifically formulated for medium to large breeds, it does not contain any specific joint support ingredients, which Staffies may benefit from, particularly as they age. It is also only available in 12kg bags.

What our customers say: "Highly recommend this product, wouldn't use anything else now and no more expensive vet visits. After using other products with no success.. Pro Plan Adult has completely settled my dogs upset stomach with now solid poos and no more hot spots on his skin."

What our vets say: "For Staffies and other breeds prone to skin problems, Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach is a great option. This diet has been specifically designed for skin health as well as digestive function, it may also help reduce the risks of an adverse food reaction as it uses an alternative protein source - fish; and has eliminated soy, corn and wheat." - Dr. Michelle

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Hills Science Diet Canine Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin


  • Contains very high quality, highly digestible ingredients
  • Contains high levels of vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to nourish the skin and coat
  • Contains beet pulp to help support digestion
  • Backed by science


  • Contains chicken, so not suitable for Staffies with sensitivities to poultry proteins
  • Not made in Australia
  • Not specifically formulated for Staffies

Formulated with very high quality, highly digestible protein and a fibre blend to support sensitive digestive tracts, this all-breed formula also contains high levels of vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids to support the skin barrier function and reduce the symptoms associated with allergic skin disease. Hills invests heavily into research, to ensure that every ingredient is chosen for a reason, and the end product performs as it claims. Although this food is not specifically formulated for Staffies, it is ideal for medium breed dogs (there are different products for small and large breeds).

I feed my dog the Hills Science Diet Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach. She has always had skin sensitivities to environmental allergens, and is prone to diarrhoea with any changes or additions to her diet. The Hills food, being a consistent recipe with digestive and skin support, is ideal for her, and it keeps her comfortable and her human family happy too!

What our customers say:
"This food has been great, our dogs haven't had any skin issues since we started using this food a few years ago."
"Love this product my staffy can't be without it."
"The dog likes the product, and his fur has stopped falling out, which is excellent."

What our vets say: "Skin is unfortunately often a problem area for Staffies. This sensitive skin diet from Hill's is formulated with beneficial omega fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants to support healthy skin and coat, and is highly digestible and gentle enough for sensitive tummies. It's a fantastic choice I would recommend for Staffies, Staffy crosses or related breeds." Dr. Tony

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Best for Anxiety: Royal Canin Relax Care


  • Premium diet specifically formulated to help reduce stress and anxiety in medium breed dogs
  • Complete and balanced
  • Available also in a Relax Care Wet food variety
  • Available in 3kg and 10kg bags


  • Not made in Australia
  • May not be sufficient to reduce severe anxiety, and may need to be used in combination with other products and behavioural management techniques
  • Poultry based diet that may not be suitable for food allergies or intolerances

Due to their intensely social and active nature, Staffies can develop some anxiety-related behavioural problems such as separation anxiety, destructive chewing, digging and escaping if they are left to become bored or lonely. Staffies prone to anxiety may benefit from the Royal Canin Relax Care diet. This diet is complete and balanced, and formulated using fish hydrolysate, which is a natural supplement known to reduce stress in dogs. The Royal Canin Relax Care has been shown to help over 44% of dogs behave normally despite a changing environment when fed over 6 weeks. The Royal Canin Relax Care Medium is ideal for dogs between 11-25kg such as Staffies.

Anxiety in dogs can be a stressful and difficult condition to manage. Anxiety can have a number of underlying causes, and for best results, it is important to try and address the triggers of these behaviours and re shape your dog's behaviour towards them where possible. It's also important to consult with your vet to ensure that there are no medical reasons behind the anxiety, and an accredited dog trainer who practises positive-reinforcement techniques can be a great support to help you on the right track with training.

In addition to diet and training, anti-anxiety aids such as calming pheromones, anxiety vests and supplements are useful tools to have. See all our stress and anxiety products here.

What our customers say: "Definitely recommend. Both of my dogs (Amstaff + Jack russell terrier cross) have anxious temperaments and are fussy with their food, especially dry food. I decided to give Relax Care a go and noticed a good difference as the weeks went by. Our terrier who is usually a complete mess during thunderstorms had less of a severe reaction, our amstaff who has social anxieties with other dogs has improved significantly. Along with some training for both. I'd definitely recommend, plus Royal Canin is meant to be one of the best pet food brands on the market, according to our vet."

What our vets say: "Staffies are unfortunately over-represented when it comes to suffering anxiety. This diet is a perfect choice to assist your pooch in feeling more calm. It contains fish hydrolysate, a natural supplement derived from fish protein which has demonstrated proven results for managing stress in dogs." - Dr. Josepha

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Best Grain-Free Food: SavourLife Grain Free Salmon


  • Single protein, natural diet
  • Uses Australian Salmon, high in omega fatty acids which help support the skin barrier function and may reduce skin and digestive sensitivities
  • Made in Australia
  • 50% of the profits are donated by Savourlife to help support shelter and rescue dogs
  • Available in 2.5kg and 10kg bags
  • Grain-free


  • Utilises tapioca as a carbohydrate source, which is considered to be a starch of low nutritional value
  • Though salmon is the main protein source, the food does contain poultry oil (derived from poultry fat), so may not be suitable for dogs with allergies or intolerances to poultry
  • Contains added salt

Savourlife makes range of grained and grain-free diets utilising high quality natural ingredients. They also donate 50% of their profits to help support volunteer-run dog rescue groups around Australia.

The Savourlife Grain-Free Salmon recipe is ideal for Staffies with sensitive skin, as it contains both Australian Salmon as well as additional fish oil to give high levels of omega fatty acids to help support the skin barrier function. It also contains glucosamine for joint health.

Though allergies and intolerances to grains are rare, by being grain-free this food removes grains from the equation as well. However, it does utilise tapioca as a carbohydrate source, which is considered low nutritional value (as it essentially just starch).

What our customers say: "Good quality ingredients, Aussie made, supportig rescues, and my 9 yr old Labrador loves it. She used to have smelly ears and some occasional skin issues on her tummy area, and a lady I work with suggested trying a good quality salmon based dry food as its known for helping with skin allergies - and it worked. Tried both Canidae and Saviourlife, my dog loved both but decided to go with Saviourlife as its Aussie made and good value for money in my opinion."

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Best Natural Food: Open Farm Whitefish Catch of the Season Grain Free


  • Very high quality natural diet
  • Sustainably caught fish for protein source, which is high in omega fatty acids
  • Complete transparency and traceability
  • Premium nutrition for all breeds from puppies to adult
  • Recyclable packaging with Terracycle
  • Novel protein option


  • Priced on the higher end
  • Made overseas in Canada and USA

Every Open Farm product is proudly produced with a focus on transparent sourcing and traceability, humane production animal welfare standards, ethically sourced ingredients, and sustainable fishing practices in line with Ocean Wise Standards. For an environmentally friendly, grain-free food, you can't go past this one.

Using fish as the protein source, the Open Farm Catch of the Season White Fish food can be used as an alternative to prescription food allergy diets, as fish is often a novel protein for dogs. Novel proteins are those that your dog has never been exposed to before. Feeding novel protein diets can help to reduce the risk of food-related reactions. Along with this, fish is high in omega fatty acids which are hugely beneficial to the skin barrier function, and overall immune system health, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs.

Open Farm sources wild fish sustainably, adhering to Ocean Wise standards which helps to preserve natural ecosystems and prevent overfishing. All ingredients in Open Farm products can be traced back to the source.

What our customers say: "We have been struggling to find a suitable diet for our American staff that suffers with food allergies. It can be tricky to find a dry food that has no hidden nasties, so Open Farm is a breath of fresh air! Their ingredient list is so easy to review, and we can rest easy knowing the ingredients are transparent and consciously sourced. It was also great to have different protein choices and Grain free options for our pets sensitivities. I also loved the size of the biscuits. I was surprised to see a smaller biscuit size compared to the usual, larger sized ones for big dogs, however our staff really loved it! Also I just love that this is RSPCA approved and ethically made, just an added tick for an avid animal lover and environmentalist like myself. Amazing stuff, highly recommend!"

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Best for Staffy Puppies: Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food


  • Super premium food designed specifically for medium breed puppies like Staffies up until 12 months of age
  • Rich in antioxidants and prebiotics for a healthy immune system and digestion
  • Backed by Royal Canin's extensive testing program to ensure the food meets quality standards and delivers the results it promises
  • Available in 4kg and 15kg bags
  • Available in the corresponding medium puppy pouches


  • Not made in Australia
  • One of the more expensive puppy diets
  • Not specifically formulated for Staffy puppies

The Royal Canin Medium Puppy is formulated to meet the unique nutritional requirements of medium breeds like Staffies and is suitable for extended feeding throughout their growth period. It also allows for easy transition on to the corresponding medium breed adult food. The kibble has a unique shape to suit medium breed puppies and is a trusted product by many reputable breeders and vets alike.

What our customers say: "Was previously feeding another puppy since we took our pup home at 2 months of age as that was what he was fed by the breeder. Always noticed frequent and foul smelling farts. After changing to Royal Canin, he's always demolished all 3 feeds in record time (1-2mins) and constantly looking at me for extra servings! :) He absolutely loves it from day 1. It's been a week now. From the first day onwards, I've also noticed significant change in his farts. Now less frequent and mildly noticeable as it is not smelly anymore. His poops have also been slightly smaller and much firmer. We both love this kibble! Highly recommend."

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What to look for in a Staffy Food

When looking for a diet for your Staffy, you want to make sure you are meeting their nutritional requirements and energy needs while also providing prevention from their common health problems.

High quality protein source

With their active natures and stocky, well-muscled bodies, Staffies require high-quality, highly digestible nutrients to suit their needs. Premium diets use protein that is easily digested and assimilated into the body, meaning the maximum amount of protein is absorbed and transported to where it's needed as fast as possible.

Ingredients For Common Health Conditions

Staffies have some specific needs and are prone to a number of health conditions, as such, the ideal diet should reflect this and include ingredients to prevent these health problems. Some examples are:

Allergic Skin Disease

Allergic skin disease such as atopic dermatitis and contact allergies do seem to be more common in staffies. Atopic dermatitis is a generalised allergy caused by items in the environment such as pollen, dust mites or grasses. It usually results in itching, hairloss and red, inflamed skin. Often affected dogs may lick their paws excessively and have recurrent ear infections.

Diets containing added omega fatty acids, and/or those containing fish can be very beneficial for Staffies with allergic skin disease, as omega's are highly beneficial for strengthening the skin barrier. Also, fish is a novel protein, which means that it rarely presents as a causal allergen in food sensitive dogs, and is often a great choice for dogs with an unknown sensitivity.

Sensitive Digestion

Some Staffies can be prone to sensitive tummies, so look for foods which have digestive support included, such as extra fibre (pumpkin, beet pulp, psyllium husk, elm bark, etc), probiotics, pre-biotics, and inulin.

How Much Do Staffies Need To Eat?

It is recommended to feed adult Staffies twice daily. The actual amount of food required depends on your dog's specific size, and the type of food you are feeding. The feeding guidelines on the food packaging provide a great place to start, and our Vet Squad are available 7 days a week if you have any questions about your Staffy's needs.

Further Reading

How To Spot A Good Pet Food

Australian-made Pet Products

What are the Best Pet Treats?

How Much Should You Feed Your Pet?