Breed Diets: Are They Worth The Hype?

LAST UPDATED 6 September 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Kimberley Chainey, and updated by Dr Brittany Ward BVSc

As a nation of dog owners, naturally we want to feed them the best diet possible within our budget. You're scrolling the pages of online pet stores or browsing the shelves at your local pet store, and suddenly you see a bag of food with your dog's face on it. You think, 'Gee, that's Mr Puddles on the bag, it must be good for Poodles!'

But how do you know? Is a breed diet really better than say another premium dog food? Or is it just pet food marketing to the extreme?

1. Preview Of The Breed Diets

2. What are Breed Diets?

3. What Breeds Have Diets?

4. Tell Me More About The Advance Breed Groups

5. What If My Pet Doesn't Have a Breed Diet?

Table: Let's see how they stack up!

1. Preview of the Breed Diets:

2. What are Breed Diets?



Our delightful doggo's come in a whole array of different shapes and sizes and, if you're familiar with Doggo Lingo, you'll agree that no two floofs are the same. From experience we know they differ considerably in terms of their unique personalities (although we think they're all good boys and girls!), exercise and grooming requirements as well as individual health concerns. While they all belong to the classification Canis familiaris lupus, you're probably not surprised to hear that the ideal diet for a 4 kilogram Toy Poodle is very different to that of an 80 kilogram Irish Wolfhound. Not only are their jaw structures and dentition very different, but they also have their own unique health predispositions. For instance, small breed dogs tend to suffer more from dental disease, bladder stones and finicky appetites while large breed dogs can develop osteoarthritis and joint issues much earlier on in life.

Similarly there can be considerable variation in the nutritional needs of our cats depending on their breed. Larger breeds like Maine Coon's can be more prone to joint problems, exotic breeds like the Siamese have their own unique health concerns and the Devon Rex has skin and coat care requirements that all vary from that of your domestic moggy. It's easy to see how diet variations are required to suit the unique needs of each breed.

If you do a quick search for breed diets you'll quickly find that Royal Canin were the first to pioneer the development of a diet for the Persian cat, and today have gone on to develop more than 20 breed formulas for a variety of breeds including Boxers, Bulldogs and the Ragdoll cat. We've also seen the development of breed diets for puppies such as Royal Canin Rottweiler Junior and French Bulldog Junior.

Now, recognising the breed groups that are a staple of Aussie households, Advance have launched a range of breed group diets to support their individual health needs such as - Small Terriers, Retrievers and Shepherds.

What Are The Advantages of Feeding a Breed Diet?

These diets focus on the breed's individual health and conformation requirements. The nutraceuticals added to these diets are chosen based on the intended breed's common ailments and they choose inclusions that have proven preventative effects backed with feeding trials, often in the target breed. For example, the Royal Canin French Bulldog diet uses a tailored combination of highly digestible ingredients, fibre blends and probiotics to aid with the reduction of stool odour and pungent flatulence the breed can be known for. The Advance Retriever's diet contains added L-carnitine, an amino acid that helps to burn fat while maintaining lean muscle mass, alongside an adapted calorie content to encourage weight management.

Breed diets are formulated by premium manufacturers with extensive research and quality control processes in place. This means they also use high quality ingredients and back their nutritional inclusions with evidence of their benefit and proven feeding trials.

Most of these diets have a unique kibble shape and texture designed to suit the unique jaw structure of their intended breed. This makes picking up the food and chewing it easier and can provide additional benefit for dental health.

Despite being marketed for a particular breed or breed group, breed diets can be safely fed to other breeds as they are all nutritionally complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards. It's important to evaluate the individual benefits offered by each breed diet for your individual dog.

What Are The Drawbacks of Feeding a Breed Diet?

Breed specific diets are often more expensive than all breed diets.

These are not therapeutic diets that are capable of treating health conditions like prescription diets. If your pet has a diagnosed health condition, be sure to follow your veterinarian's dietary recommendations.

Marketing of breed diets may lead you to believe that they are the "best and only" diet you should be feeding. In reality, there are other great options which may prove just as beneficial for your pet.



3. What Breeds Have Diets?

There are breed diets available for these cat breeds:

3. The Advance Breed Groups In Detail






Advance Terriers Toy And Small Breed Turkey:


Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Rice, Sorghum, Rice Flour, Maize Gluten, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Chicken Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Vitamins and Minerals, Salt, Fish Oil, Inulin, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Antioxidants, Amino Acid (incl. Methionine).
Protein: 25%
Protein source: Turkey meal
Fat: 15%
Suitable for: Adult toy and small breed dogs, particularly those prone to skin sensitivity.
What we like:
  • The inclusion of turkey as an alternative protein source.
  • Being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a skin vitamin cocktail, this diet is an excellent alternative for dogs prone to sensitive skin.
  • Unique kibble size and shape reduces tartar and plaque accumulation through mechanical abrasion.
  • Use of Sodium Tripolyphosphate to prevent tartar formation.
  • High quality ingredients to tempt finicky eaters.
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Advance Terriers Medium Breed Turkey:


Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Rice, Sorghum, Rice Flour, Maize Gluten, Chicken Fat, Chicken Meal, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Dried Beet Pulp, Vitamins and Minerals, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Fish Oil, Inulin, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Antioxidants, Amino Acids (incl. Methionine, Arginine and Taurine).
Protein: 25%
Protein source: Turkey meal
Fat: 15%
Suitable for: Medium breeds adults, especially those with sensitive skin or joint problems like terriers.
What we like:
  • Currently the only Australian-made diet on the market for Terriers such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
  • The inclusion of turkey as an alternative protein source, along with Zinc and linoleic acid for skin and coat health.
  • Unique kibble size and shape reduces tartar and plaque accumulation through mechanical abrasion.
  • Inclusion of Green Lipped Mussel for joint support.
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Advance Retrievers Chicken And Salmon:

Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Sorghum, Rice Flour, Chicken Fat, Salmon Meal, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Dried Beet Pulp, Sunflower Oil, Turkey Meal, Vitamins and Minerals, Salt, Inulin, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Antioxidants, Amino Acids (incl. Methionine), L-Carnitine.
Protein: 24%
Protein source: Chicken meal, Salmon meal
Fat: 13%
Suitable for: Adult large and giant breed dogs, particularly those prone to weight gain or joint problems.
What we like:
  • Contains stabilised Green Lipped Mussel Powder, a natural ingredient that has been clinically proven to help manage joint health.
  • Contains an adapted calorie content to promote a healthy weight, without compromising on vitamin and mineral intake.
  • Use of L-carnitine to aid in maintaining lean muscle mass.
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Advance Adult Shepherds Turkey:

Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Rice, Sorghum, Rice Flour, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Sunflower Oil, Dried Beet Pulp, Vitamins and Minerals, Salt, Inulin, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Antioxidants, Amino Acids (incl. Methionine), Colostrum.
Protein: 24%
Protein source: Turkey meal
Fat: 17%
Suitable for: Adult large and giant breed dogs, particularly those prone to sensitive digestion, sensitive skin and joint problems.
What we like:
  • The inclusion of turkey as an alternative protein source, making it an option for dogs with underlying digestive and skin sensitivities.
  • The inclusion of antioxidants and colostrum for immune support.
  • High quality ingredients and prebiotics for digestive health.
  • Contains stabilised Green Lipped Mussel Powder, a natural ingredient that has been clinically proven to help manage joint health
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Advance Adult Maltese Cross Turkey:

Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Rice, Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Rice Flour, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Fructo-oligosaccharides, Vitamins and Minerals, Salt, Fish Oil, Inulin, Amino Acid (incl. Methionine), Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Antioxidants, Plant Extract (Source of Catechins).
Protein: 25%
Protein source: Turkey meal
Fat: 17%
Suitable for: Adult small breeds, particularly those with a long coat and prone to dental disease.
What we like:
  • The inclusion of turkey as an alternative protein source, making it an option for dogs with underlying digestive and skin sensitivities.
  • Combined heart health nutrients to prevent heart disease prone in small breeds like Maltese crosses.
  • A unique kibble shape and size to mechanically clean teeth alongside sodium triopolyphosphate to bind calcium and prevent tartar formation.
  • Promotes a healthy skin and coat with omega fatty acids and skin barrier nutrients.
  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

See All Advance Diets

4. What If My Pet Doesn't Have a Breed Diet?

If you can't find a breed diet with your Whippet's face on the bag, don't despair! Many of the breed diets are also suitable to feed to other breed groups. As a general guide, stick with a breed diet that is similar in size to your dog and assess the individual benefits and nutrients provided by the diet. For example, the Advance Terriers Small and Toy Breed diet, while marketed specifically for Terriers, can be fed to any small or toy breed dog. See our comparison table below for more information.

Comparison Table

Product Name Marketed For Also Suitable For Protein Source(s) Carbohydrate Source(s) What We Like

Advance Adult Small Terriers Turkey

Small and Toy Breed Terrierse.g. Jack Russell Terrier, Fox Terrier, Miniature Schnauzers, etc. All adult small and toy breeds Turkey Meal Rice, Rice Flour - Australian made
- No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
- Sodium Tripolyphosphate for tartar prevention
- Inclusion of turkey as an alternative protein source
- Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a skin vitamin cocktail, ideal for dogs prone to sensitive skin

Royal Canin Maltese

Jack Russell Terriers All adult small and toy breeds Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Protein Rice, Maize, Wheat - Inclusion of calcium chelation agents to reduce dental tartar and promote oral health
- Adapted protein content for maintaining muscle mass and high activity levels
- Inclusion of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health

Advance Retrievers Chicken and Salmon

Retriever breeds e.g. Labrador retrievers, Golden Retrievers All adult large and giant breeds Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal Rice, Rice Flour, Sorghum - Australian made
- No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
- Contains stabilised Green Lipped Mussel Powder, a natural ingredient clinically proven to help manage joint health
- Cocktail of skin support ingredients to nourish skin and coat
- Adapted calorie content to promote a healthy weight, without compromising on vitamin and mineral intake

Royal Canin Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers All large breed and giant breeds Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Protein Maize, Rice, Wheat - Taurine and Omega fatty acids for heart health
- EPA, DHA and borage oil for healthy skin and coat
- Adapted calorie content to prevent weight gain
- Kibble shape that encourages chewing of the food

Royal Canin Adult Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers All adult large and giant breeds Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Protein Rice, Wheat, Maize - Adapted calorie content to prevent weight gain
- EPA, DHA and Borage oil for healthy skin and coat
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support joint health

Advance Adult Shepherds Turkey

Shepherd breeds e.g. German shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Swiss Shepherds All adult large and giant breeds Turkey Meal Rice, Rice Flour, Sorghum - Australian made
- No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
- Inclusion of turkey as an alternative protein source, making it an option for dogs with underlying digestive and skin sensitivities
- Colostrum and antioxidants for healthy digestion
- Stabilised Green Lipped Mussel Powder, a natural ingredient clinically proven to help manage joint health

Royal Canin Adult German Shepherd

German Shepherds All adult large and giant breeds Dehydrated poultry protein, hydrolysed animal proteins Rice, Maize Flour - Omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health
- Kibble shape to suit the breed's long, slender jaw
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support joint health

Royal Canin Boxer

Boxers All adult large breeds, particularly brachycephalic breeds e.g. Bull Mastiffs, Chow Chows Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Dehydrated Pork Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Proteins Rice, Maize - Unique kibble shape, size and texture to assist with prehension and picking up the kibble
- Nutrients to support heart function
- Adapted calorie content and amino acids to promote a healthy weight

Royal Canin Adult French Bulldog

French Bulldogs All small-medium breed dogs, particularly brachycephalic breeds e.g. French Bulldogs, Boston Terrier, Pug Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Dehydrated Pork Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Proteins Rice, Wheat - Unique kibble shape, size and texture for ease of picking up and to encourage chewing
- Blend of highly digestible ingredients, prebiotics and fibre to reduce flatulence and stool odour
- Adapted calorie content and L-carnitine to promote a healthy weight and lean muscle mass

Royal Canin Persian

Persian cats All adult cats, particularly long hair cats and those prone to hairball formation Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Protein Rice, Maize, Maize Flour - Enriched with omega fatty acids (3 & 6) to support a healthy coat
- Blend of fibres to minimise hairball formation
- Unique kibble size, shape and texture suited to the short jaw of the Persian cat

Royal Canin Adult Maine Coon

Maine Coon cats All adult medium and large breed cats e.g. Norwegian Forest Cat, Ragdoll, Medium long haired cats Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Protein Rice, Maize - Inclusion of joint support nutrients such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin
- Enriched with Taurine and omega-3 fatty acids to support heart health
- Unique kibble size, shape and texture to suit the jaw and chewing style of Maine Coon cats

Further Reading

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