Advance Dog Food Review
Advance is a Mars Petcare brand, just like Optimum and Royal Canin. You can argue it’s the more premium version of Optimum, which I believe is made in the same factory. For our Advance dog food review we’ll focus on the Adult Turkey & Rice formula, but before that I’ll offer an interesting background of the brand:
The Advance brand was linked to the debilitating condition canine megaesophagus in 2018 which led to the death of a number of dogs, and despite huge funding and the help of Melbourne University U-Vet (who Mars sponsor) they were unable to ascertain the cause. Interestingly when a subsequent outbreak of megaesophagus occurred with VeganPet, manufacturer SNH Products were very quick to discover the cause as crop disease in corn from a supplier. It makes you wonder why Mars failed to find the cause after so much research, whether they told the truth, or whether they could’ve prevented further occurrences of the heartbreaking condition.
What the marketing says
The bag states “Expert Pet Nutrition” which happens to be a trade mark rather than a statement. They say it’s “Super Premium”, whereas the Australian Standards for Pet Food Labelling don’t have any guidelines on using a term such as this or what it guarantees, which is nothing.
They state there is “No added wheat, whole corn, soy & beef”, but they don’t say they’ve included tapioca and rice flour as main ingredients.
They say Advance dog food is fed and recommended by Guide Dogs. I assume they mean Guide Dogs Australia rather than guide dogs themselves learning to speak English and saying “Hey, we eat Advance and recommend it”. I assume the partnership involves Mars Petcare donating their product to Guide Dogs Australia in return for the endorsement. Perhaps Mars pay them money in a similar fashion to how these manufacturers sponsor Universities and veterinary science.
Did I mention Mars Petcare even have their own Mars Petcare University to train our vets? How can that not be a conflict of interest?
Anyway, onwards with our Advance dog food review. Let’s see what the labelling says…
What the labelling really says
Turkey is the first ingredient, but all this does is trick you into believing it’s significant. They’ve used the oldest labelling trick in the book with this one – ingredient splitting. You’ll notice the 2nd ingredient is rice, and the 4th ingredient is rice flour. Isn’t that the same thing?
Yup, they’ve split the rice into two to make it appear less significant. It’s possible there’s twice as much rice as turkey, and that’s dry weight before approximately 70% moisture is cooked from the turkey 😕
The 3rd ingredient, very likely in a relatively equal proportion, happens to be tapioca, so it’s starting to look like there really isn’t much meat in this product.
On a positive note rice is one of the better grains, which is great for manufacturers because it’s cheap.
The formula as a whole is basic. Many brands these days contain fruits and veggies, superfoods, or other health boosters. There’s none of those here.
Vitamins and minerals aren’t listed individually which suggests the use of a pre-mix (imported from overseas). Antioxidants aren’t disclosed as natural, so we can assume they’re chemical. These are key signs of cost cutting, extending the profit margin, and the reason companies like Mars are so successful.
The composition of 24% protein and 17% fat is okay, and there are many foods much worse than this. I estimate carbs at 42.5% which highlights the amount of rice/rice flour/sorghum to turkey.
I’ll leave it for you to decide. If you feed Advance dog food then let us know your experiences in the comments. We hope you’ve found our Advance dog food review useful!
Where to buy Advance dog food
Advance dog food review summary
Personally I think it’s a shame these corporate manufacturers are driven so heavily by profit margins. Given the power they have to control the pet food industry, drive “science” and veterinary studies, dog food nutrition would be much more advanced if they focused on the health of our dogs a little bit more. Sadly that’s the way of the world, and profit is king.
There are certainly far worse products out there, made by far less reputable manufacturers, so at the very least there should be some assurances with a Mars Petcare brand. The Advance Dermocare megaesophagus outbreak proved that wasn’t the case, and the fact the company couldn’t ascertain the cause is ominous.
Turkey Meal; Rice; Sorghum; Rice Flour; Chicken Fat; Chicken Meal; Dried Beet Pulp; Natural Flavour (Chicken); Vitamins and Minerals; Salt; Sunflower Oil; Inulin; Antioxidants; Amino Acids (incl. Methionine).
Advance Guaranteed Analysis
The guaranteed analysis of Advance dry dog food (as of January 2021) is as follows:
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 42.5%|
- Turkey meal as the "first ingredient"
- Rice as a better grain than wheat/wheat by-products.
- Lots of rice.
- Ambiguous antioxidants.