Advance Dog Food

The Advance Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | Double B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 3rd October 2023

Looking for the best dog food in Australia that doesn’t skimp on nutrition? Then check out our dog food reviews and make an educated decision.

To prepare for our Advance dog food review, we teamed up with a panel of independent experts comprising veterinarians and canine nutritionists. We established a criteria to examine 5 main features: taste, ingredients list, protein content, additives, variety and price. After months of research and dozens of varieties later, we compiled this guide that shares everything you need to know to decide whether or not you should try it out. Let's get to it!

  • Advance has a straightforward ingredient list and plenty of recipes to choose from
  • Most recipes don’t have any extras like fruit, veggies or superfoods.
  • Their small-breed and dental care recipes include Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP), an additive that according to the CDC could cause neurotoxicity in large quantities, although the FDA considers it safe.

Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food

Petzyo Dog Food

Our Number 1 Pick
Petzyo Dog Food

  • Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
  • Iron-rich & low fat proteins
  • Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Made in Australia

australian shepherd eating

Australia's Advance Dog Food Reviewed

Advance - Overall 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Rice, Rice Flour, Sorghum, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Sunflower Oil, Salt, Minerals, Inulin, Vitamins, Arginine, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Methionine, Antioxidants, Taurine.
  • Named Protein First: No (but turkey meal is OK).
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive.
  • Recipe Range: Turkey with Rice or Chicken with Rice or Lamb with Rice or Salmon with Rice.
  • Suitable For: Advance's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: Yes.


Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste 4/5

Most non-fussy dogs enjoy the taste of this brand. Owners, including several members of our independent research team, complain that the smell is a bit strong for their liking. In general, we don’t think this is a huge issue, given you should be storing dry dog food in an airtight storage container either way.

However, some of our researchers also reported that pups with extra-sensitive tummies suffered from diarrhoea when switching from other brands. To avoid this, we strongly recommend slowly introducing any new food to give your dog’s GI the best chance at making the switch.

Since this is otherwise a good option and most dogs enjoy the taste without showing a negative reaction, we recommend you try it.

Ingredients 3/5

Advance has short ingredient lists for most of their recipes, making it a great option for dogs with sensitivities. The shorter list makes it easier to know beforehand whether or not your pup will tolerate it or not.

However, this simplicity comes at a cost, since Advance doesn’t add many extra goodies that are nowadays common in other dog foods like berries, vegetables, or other exotic superfoods.

Studies even show that the antioxidants found in blueberries can result in significant improvements in cognitive function in aging dogs and help support joint and bone health for active dogs. – American Kennel Club [1]

The food has a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals, but since these aren’t listed on their own, they’re probably from an imported pre-mix. On the other hand, they don’t mention which antioxidants and preservatives are included in the food, so that probably hints at their artificial origins.

Keep in mind not all artificial preservatives are bad, but knowing exactly what goes into your dog’s food is essential to avoid dangerous extras like sulphites. [2]

Protein Content 4/5

In this regard, Advance is in good standing. Everyone in our independent expert panel loved how all their recipes go above and beyond the 18% minimum crude protein recommended by the AAFCO. In fact, most recipes, except the weight loss options, have between 22% and 32% of protein, depending on the formula. That means that your dog will have an adequate protein intake to handle their nutritional needs.

PRO TIP: The AAFCO recommends a minimum of 18% crude protein in your dog’s food.

Nevertheless, keep in mind Advance tends to use meal-type animal protein. So, instead of chicken, they add chicken meal, or lamb meal instead of lamb, etc. While this isn’t a huge deal, it’s important to ensure only human-grade protein meals are used. Whether or not they use human-grade ingredients isn’t specified, and because of it, our panel agreed to deduct 1 star.

In spite of it, it’s good to see they don’t inflate that protein percentage with vegetables, and the entirety of the protein comes from animal sources of different kinds.

Additives 2/5

In general, Advance’s formulas are very basic. While many dog food options nowadays include fruits, veggies and healthy extras, Advance is a simple protein and carb mix with added minerals and vitamins. Only a few recipes have extra ingredients like green lipped mussel or green tea, so you’ll have to read the ingredient list every time before purchasing.

On the other hand, some small-breed Advance recipes list Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP) as one of the last ingredients. According to our independent team of experts, STPP acts as both a preservative and an extra to keep your dog’s teeth tartar-free.

In dog food, Sodium Tripolyphosphate is also used to prevent periodontal disease because of its tensioactive properties. That means it acts like soap (in fact a common ingredient in commercial soaps) binding to the natural tartar in your dog’s teeth and limiting dental calculus.

While the American FDA considers STPP as safe in small quantities, the American National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (a CDC division) has warned against its possible neurotoxicity and consequences for sensitive tummies.

"According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), STPP is a suspected neurotoxin and can cause digestive distress in high enough quantities." – Consumer Freedom [3]

While in theory STPP is a good option to limit gingivitis and preserve your dog’s food, our experts recommend forgoing this additive and focusing on proper oral hygiene using a toothbrush.

Because of the lack of nutritional additives, and the presence of some questionable ones in certain recipes, our team is giving Advance 2 out of 5 in this category.

Variety 5/5

When it comes to variety, Advance has plenty of options to choose from. Their food is tailored to your dog’s life stage: puppy, adult and senior dogs, as well as breed-specific needs like Retrievers, Terriers etc and their adult size. On top of this, I also like how you have the option to choose special diets designed for dogs with dental issues, those that need a diet lower in calories or a specific extra hypoallergenic diet made for sensitive tummies.

Advance also offers a tasty wet food range. They offer affordable options that are great as a treat or occasional supplementation. Because of their wide variety, we’re giving the brand 5 out of 5 stars in this category.

Price 4/5

While this brand isn’t the cheapest available, our team think it’s a good deal considering the ingredient quality. Of course, part of the reason why it’s relatively budget-friendly is that is doesn’t have any extra ingredients like superfoods, fruits or veggies. Since you’ll probably be supplementing your pup’s diet with other fresh goodies and spending a bit more either way, we’re taking off 1 star.


Advance Puppy Food Review

Puppy toy Terrier eating food

This review wouldn’t be complete without having a look at Advance’s puppy dog food. In this case, the selection is more limited than in their adult and senior range. However, there are enough options to tailor the food to your pup’s needs.

Advance puppy dry dog food has options for all breeds, for small breeds and for large puppies. In all cases, the only protein flavour available is chicken, except for one all-breed’s wet food made with lamb. Many of our independent experts really appreciate the extra-small kibble, particularly in the small breed puppy kibble. Perfect when your little guy is teething!

PRO TIP: Advance offers puppy dry food with an extra small kibble so your pet has an easier time chewing

In spite of the limited protein options available, the composition remains fairly good and all puppy foods have chicken meal as the first ingredient, followed by rice and maize gluten (A.K.A corn gluten).

On top of those ingredients, their puppy food also includes colostrum. Colostrum is the earliest breast milk that comes from the mother and it’s packed with extra nutrients and probiotics to help protect the newborn. While this is probably cow’s colostrum and not dog’s, our research panel still consider it an interesting addition to their puppy recipes.

Advance Puppy Plus Review

Of course, it’s also important we do an Advance puppy plus review. While their dry kibble is simply called Advance puppy, the brand also has a 2-flavour wet food selection called Puppy Plus. This is great if you want to offer a wet treat to your pup, or if you're like me and have a fussy eater on your hands.

The ingredient list of the puppy plus wet food is nice enough: the two first ingredients are plain chicken and lamb, then you have rice. Plus, as it is canned food and meant to be eaten in a single serving, it has zero preservatives.

All in all, our independent experts note that Advance might not be the best option if you want to avoid corn in your puppy’s diet. It’s otherwise a clean list and a good option for your growing puppy. 


Do Not Buy If…

After going over every detail of our Advance pet food review, you might be wondering whether or not you should try it. Even if this brand is a good option for many dogs and their owners, our independent expert team notes you might want to look at other brands if you:

  • Want to buy from small and medium-sized businesses: The Advance brand is owned by the Mars corporation. This is the same company that runs other mainstream brands like Pedigree, Whiskas, Optimum and Royal Canin. These big brands tend to sacrifice food quality for marketing, but in our opinion, Advance is still one of the best options from the corporation. In spite of this, it might not be the dog food for you if you’d rather buy from and support smaller businesses.
  • Would rather give grain-free food to your dog: This brand doesn’t have any grain-free options and all their formulations have rice in various forms. Of course, even if grain is a rice it is one of the easiest ones to digest for dogs, especially compared to corn and corn by-products.
  • Want to avoid corn: although many of the recipes don’t have corn at all, some products have maize gluten, which is just corn gluten. You could simply read the ingredient list carefully before every purchase, or just skip the brand altogether just to be sure.

Is Advance Dog Food Good? Our Verdict

In general, it’s a good option for limited budgets. While it is manufactured by the same corporation in charge of Royal Canin and Optimum, it has a better ingredient list. However, they don’t offer grain-free options, which may be a deal-breaker for many owners.

While our research panel thinks Advance’s composition is fairly simple, go for it if you can’t afford more expensive ones. Nevertheless, if you can splurge on better brands, go ahead. Nowadays there are more options that also offer extra goodies, superfoods, fruit and veggies right in the kibble. If not, then supplement our dog’s diet on your own.

References
  1. "Can My Dog Eat These Human Superfoods?" June 4, 2021. American Kennel Club. Retrieved April 26, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-my-dog-eat-these-human-superfoods/
  2. "Are preservatives in pet food a concern?" January 21, 2022. RSPCA Knowledge Base. Retrieved April 26, 2023. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/are-preservatives-in-pet-food-products-a-concern/
  3. "Sodium Tripolyphosphate Ingredient Guide" Consumer Freedom. Retrieved April 26, 2023. https://wellness.consumerfreedom.com/ingredient/sodium-tripolyphosphate/

Eloisa Thomas


Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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