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The benefits of breed-specific dog food

The benefits of breed-specific dog food

Do you have a precious purebred? If so, then you might be interested in feeding your dog a diet made specifically for their breed. That’s right – breed-specific dog food is formulated match your breed’s unique needs!


Here’s a look at some of the key benefits of breed-specific dog food and the reasons why we recommend these tailored diets for pedigree pooches.

From the teeny Chihuahua, to the loyal Labrador, every breed is loved for their special qualities and traits. Taking these differences into careful consideration, breed-specific diets feature unique nutrients, kibble, and texture that are designed with your purebred dog’s nutritional needs in mind. If you want to provide your pedigree dog with optimal nutrition, select a breed-specific dog food, such as Royal Canin, that caters to their specific dietary needs.

Benefits of breed-specific dog food

Breed-specific diets are carefully crafted with the breed’s biology in mind to provide them with the right nutrition they need to thrive. Formulated with a balanced range of natural antioxidants, vitamins, fibre, prebiotics and minerals, breed-specific diets are designed to support each breed’s unique characteristics including:

  1. Face and jaw: The jaw type, and even biting patterns can affect how a breed picks up kibble. Breed-specific diets feature exclusively adapted kibble shape and size to meet each breed’s unique needs.
  2. Skin type: The skin's most important function is to serve as a barrier of protection but not all breeds have the same skin type. From sensitive or water-resistant, to wrinkled and folded (traps heat and moisture), specific nutrients are included in breed-specific diets to help support each breed’s unique skin health needs.
  3. Distinctive coat: From the colour and texture to undercoats, each purebred dog has a unique coat with unique needs which are catered for with breed-specific diets. 

Unique formulas tailored for different breeds

Let’s look at some examples of how purebred dogs can benefit from tailored nutrition:

Large breeds:

  • Rottweiler: Being a large, heavy breed, Rottweilers are prone to bone and joint issues. For this reason, breed-specific diets for Rottweilers are enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine to support healthy bones and joints, whilst helping maintain their ideal weight.
  • German Shepherd: To support the German Shepherd’s notoriously sensitive stomachs, breed-specific German Shepherd diets contain highly digestible proteins and specific fibres to aid their digestion.
  • Golden Retriever: The dense water-resistant undercoat of the Golden Retriever stores heat and retains humidity making them prone to skin problems. That’s why breed-specific Golden Retriever food is enriched with omega 3 fatty acids EPA&DHA and omega 6 fatty acids in borage oil to help support the skin’s barrier role and coat vitality. Additionally, since Golden Retrievers are prone to cardiac sensitivity, it contains specific nutrients such as taurine and EPA&DHA to help support working heart cells and promote life-long heart health.

Medium breeds:

  • West Highland White Terrier: Compared to other dog breeds, the West Highland White Terrier has a rough coat and delicate skin. For this reason, West Highland Terrier diets contain specific amino acids for hair growth as well as fatty acids from borage oil and flax seeds for skin health. To cater to their fussy appetites, this diet is also designed to appeal to picky eaters with a combination of exceptional aromas.
  • Cocker Spaniel: Since Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as highly active hunting dogs and have now become a popular family pet, their more sedentary lifestyle can lead to excess weight gain. With this lifestyle change in mind, breed-specific diets for Cocker Spaniels are specifically formulated to help these dogs maintain a healthy weight.

Small breeds:

  • Dachshund: Dachshunds’ little legs have to be strong and always on the go. To help promote healthy bones and joints, chondroitin and glucosamine are key ingredients in breed-specific Dachshund food. An adapted content of calcium and phosphorus helps support the Dachshund’s short limbs and vertebrae that are subject to severe mechanical stresses.
  • Maltese: Maltese dogs require substantial grooming to maintain their silky coat and prevent matting. This breed is also genetically predisposed to skin allergies caused by environmental allergens such as pollen. Borage oil and biotin in Maltese breed-specific diets help reveal and maintain the coat’s softness and sheen, and Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) helps to reduce skin inflammation.

Kibble shape

Many dog breeds have uniquely shaped jaws and behaviours that create challenges to how they eat. Taking these differences into careful consideration, the kibble size, shape and texture of breed-specific diets are designed to suit each breed’s jaw structure, strength and biting patterns. The right type of kibble encourages chewing and also offers dental benefits.

Examples of tailor-made kibble:

  • Small toy breeds like chihuahuas require small sized kibble for their small delicate jaw and mouth, making it easier for them to pick up the kibble and chew.
  • Labrador Retrievers tend to eat quickly without chewing their food. Doughnut-shaped kibble is designed to help to slow the rate of ingestion and encourages them to chew their kibble before swallowing.
  • English Bulldogs have a very short, broad muzzle that turns upward and thick, deep "chops" that completely overhang the lower jaw. The wave-shaped kibble design in this formula makes it easy for Bulldogs to pick up each kibble and encourages them to chew their food properly.

Mixed Feeding

Breed-specific foods often come in wet and dry formulations. Since mixed feeding provides multiple health benefits, feeding your dog a combination of both wet and dry food will help them get the most out of mealtimes. To learn more, visit our article ‘What to feed your dog - wet or dry food?


From the small, flat-faced Pug to the obesity-prone Labrador Retriever, breed-specific diets are tailor-made to address the unique needs of purebred dogs. If you have any questions or want help finding the right food for your canine friend, pop into your local Animates store to chat with our friendly team of pet experts.

Please note, some pets will have special dietary requirements and feeding them a breed-specific diet may not suit them. If you think your dog may require more specialised nutrition for their healthcare needs, book an appointment at your local Animates Vetcare clinic.


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