Breed Diets: Are They Worth The Hype?

This article is written by our in-house veterinarian, Dr Kimberley Chainey

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 dogs 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. Tell me more about the new Advance Breed Groups

4. 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 DoggoLingo you'll agree that no two floofs or long bois are the same. From experience we know they differ considerably in terms of their unique personalities (although we think they're all heckin' 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.

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.

Similarly, Eukanuba have developed diets for the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd.

Now, recognising the breed groups that are a staple of Aussies households, Advance have launched three new breed groups to support their individual health needs - Terriers, Retrievers and Shepherds.



What are the advantages of feeding a breed diet?


  • The diets focus on the breed's individual health and conformation requirements. For example, the kibble size and shape of the Royal Canin French Bulldog diet is uniquely suited to the jaw shape, allowing this breed to easily pick up the kibble and chew. The Eukanuba Labrador Retriever diet contains added L-carnitine, an amino acid that helps to burn fat while maintaining lean muscle mass.

  • Breed diets are formulated by premium manufacturers with extensive research and quality control processes in place.

  • Despite being marketed for a particular breed or breed group, breed diets can be safely fed to other breeds. It's important to evaluate the individual benefits offered by each breed diet.

What are the drawbacks of feeding a breed diet?


  • More expensive

  • 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. The Advance Breed Groups In Detail





Advance Terriers Toy And Small Breed Ocean Fish:

Ingredients: Salmon Meal, Rice, Rice Flour, Maize Gluten, Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Tuna Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Minerals, Inulin, Vitamins, Methionine, Histidine, Antioxidants, Niacin ,Yucca Extract.

Protein: 25%

Protein source: Salmon meal, Tuna meal

Fat: 15%

Suitable for: Adult toy and small breed dogs, particularly those prone to skin sensitivity.

What we like:

  • Currently the only Australian-made diet on the market for Terriers such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Prone to skin issues, Staffies may benefit from a fish-based diet as a novel protein source rich in omega fatty acids.

  • The inclusion of salmon and tuna 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.

  • High quality ingredients to tempt finicky eaters.

  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Advance Retrievers Large Breed Chicken And Salmon:

Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Rice Flour, Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Salmon Meal, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Sunflower Oil, Dried Beet Pulp, Turkey Meal, Salt, Minerals, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Inulin, Vitamins, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Methionine, Antioxidants.

Protein: 24%

Protein source: Chicken meal, Salmon meal, Tuna meal

Fat: 15%

Suitable for: Adult large and giant breed dogs.

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.

  • No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Advance Adult Shepherds Large Breed Turkey:

Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Rice, Rice Flour, Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Sunflower Oil, Dried Beet Pulp, Salt, Minerals, Inulin, Vitamins, Methionine, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Antioxidants.

Protein: 24%

Protein source: Turkey meal

Fat: 17%

Suitable for: Adult large and giant breed dogs.

What we like:

  • The inclusion of turkey as an alternative protein source, making it an option for dogs with underlying digestive and skin sensitivities.

  • 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.

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 Terriers Toy And Small Breed

Terrier breeds e.g. Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Australian Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Fox Terrier All adult small and toy breeds Salmon Meal, Tuna Meal Rice, Rice Flour, Maize Gluten, Sorghum Australian made
No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
Inclusion of salmon and tuna as an alternative protein sources
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a skin vitamin cocktail, ideal for dogs prone to sensitive skin

Advance Retrievers Large+ Breed

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
Adapted calorie content to promote a healthy weight, without compromising on vitamin and mineral intake

Advance Shepherds Large+ Breed

Shepherd breeds e.g. German shepherds, Australian shepherds, Border collies 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
Stabilised Green Lipped Mussel Powder, a natural ingredient clinically proven to help manage joint health

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, Maize Gluten 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 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, Maize Gluten 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

Royal Canin Maltese

Maltese Terriers All adult small breeds Dehydrated Poultry Protein, Hydrolysed Animal Protein Maize, Rice, Maize Flour Inclusion of calcium chelation agents to reduce dental tartar and promote oral health
Formulated in appetizing flavours and texture to appeal to finicky eaters

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
Adapted calorie content and amino acids to promote a healthy weight

Eukanuba Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers All adult large and giant breeds Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Fish Meal Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum Inclusion of L-carnitine, an amino acid that burns fat and promotes lean muscle mass
Natural Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support joint health

Advance Shepherds Large+ Breed

German Shepherds All adult large and giant breeds Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Fish Meal Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum Increased levels of prebiotics to support healthy digestion
Inclusion of L-carnitine, an amino acid that burns fat and promotes lean muscle mass
Natural Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support joint health