Advance Dog Food Review

Available fromPet Circle My Pet Warehouse

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?

Advance Dog Food Review

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.

Advance Dog Food Review

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

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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.

Advance Ingredients

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:

Crude Fibre?
Carbohydrates *Estimated 42.5%
* May be estimated. Read how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food.
6 Total Score
Big Brand Dog Food by Mars

  • Turkey meal as the "first ingredient"
  • Rice as a better grain than wheat/wheat by-products.
  • Lots of rice.
  • Ambiguous antioxidants.
  1. I feed advance puppy for medium breed and he seems to be doing well. He is also fed meat and chicken and a good quality dog roll. Is this a suitable diet or what dry dog food would you feed your dog or recommend.

  2. Advance is one of the highest quality premium pet foods easily available in Australia. We did a thorough nutritional analysis at Uni last year. It’s reasonably priced and available at city farmers, better pets and gardens and many vets. They do biscuits and wet food. We only gave our puppy the biscuits and she did very well on them.

    A random comment I came across lol, probably few years old but Advance always had the same formulas.

      • Just found another one saying I heard corn is bad long term, I’m thinking Royal Canin … that’s like a contradiction to what you just said because Royal for puppies has corn flour lol.

      • Nailed it! such a poor attempt at photoshop haha, if this was really done and not a joke then haha onto the person who dun it =P.

        Been a few days since I watched nailed it on Netflix been busy with far cry 5 lol, it also causes me motion sickness in the form of I feel like I just drank a whole cask of wine haha and I can’t walk straight, not the first far cry game for me the others didn’t cause this, no idea why it’s happening now.

        • ‘Nailed it’ on Netflix? Ok I’m aware of Far Cry but you’re so much more down and jiggy with these young people than me.

        • Heh it’s a fail show of people trying to recreate cakes and stuff like the pro’s and their versions of the cakes are utter failures. One of many.

        • Yikes. Failing is one thing but happily demonstrating failure is quite another *cough* Baxters *cough*

        • Would be better for their business if they admitted it, not that it matters for the majority of Baxter’s feeders as they don’t really seem to care, as long as their saving money that’s all that matters, but here’s a thought maybe you’d save money if you ommited that junk from your trolley lol, save your health while your at it! some people I swear.

          Or what my once brothers wife said, oh that’s good my mums been trying to kill the dog with food and treats for years… could you say savage? that whole family though, really really bad people.

  3. My beagle pup (in Aust) was weaned onto Advance (and raw food diet) then sent home on Supercoat. I was giving her one home made meal a day, but swapped that to a locally made grain free fresh loaf that I was recommended. She was being given various treats from puppy training too. She experienced some tummy problems and was placed on Royal Canin Gastro diet, which made her very skinny. I tried unsuccessfully, moving to Royal Canin medium puppy (despite what looked like early success). So had to go back on Gastro diet. I then tried the Advance plus puppy, which she tolerated and preferred to the Supercoat.

    I am keen to use a good brand as I can see the result, she looks healthy and has a sleek coat. I also use Ziwi Peak as a treat, which she LOVES. But is eye wateringly expensive as an exclusive diet. So… we’ve had a few issues and as a result, I am giving her an all kibble diet, to be on the safe side. I’m wondering if I should give her poached chicken for one meal, or??

    We had her desexed recently, as she goes to a dog park and the dogs pester the females even if they aren’t in heat. The vet suggested she could go on an adult diet. I find this suggestion odd, as she is still a growing puppy and surely requires the extra nutrients etc?

    I see a lot of dogs at the dog park with loose-ish stools and I know some of these are on ‘good’ foods, which maybe aren’t agreeing with them?

    • Hi Samantha, a puppy definitely shouldn’t be fed an adult formula as they don’t contain the minimum nutrition for the growth phase. Your vet should know better.

      You could always feed a decent kibble such as Canidae, Ivory Coat, Stay Loyal, MFM, and so forth along with ZiwiPeak. Any fresh foods such as chicken, egg, or any human grade meats, etc go a long way. Have a read of for some good tips!

      • we feed our puppy( he is turning 2 in july) Stay loyal he is in good condition but we have to be very careful not to feed too much as he is borderline over weight this food is probably the best dry food you can get,,, but you do need to watch the portion our doggie is a bichon so he is small fairly active,, if you have a very active big dog this would be the food to go for without a doubt,,, good value for the dollar as you feed much less its bought online and delivered to your door

      • Thanks. I’ve found this site very interesting. I got a tin of K9 as a treat, to try a bit with her kibble, which she loved. I’ll definitely look into the other ideas for food and see what deals I can get.

        I have also been getting the feeling she might be a bit sick of an all kibble diet too, she looks a bit ‘put upon’ chewing over a few minutes and sighing. She loves any fruit or veg that comes her way and even enjoys them frozen.

        Variety does sound nicer.

  4. Great site. Very informing. I note that Advance has replaced the ingredient “corn” on the bag i have and replaced with the word “maize”in the ingredient list instead: corn & maize are the same thing. I guess Advance chose to redesign the package wording rather than redesign the actual ingredients. Not good enough for a top tier priced product.

    • Seems they revel in their pricing and trying to fool people, a lot don’t know that maize is corn, so some will look at the list see maize and be like oh no corn cool.

      I went onto my pet warehouse but remembered that indeed their pricing was very high for what the product was, better off buying Blackhawk for like $95 at 20kg, only I’m not a fan of any other formula then the fish and potato, it’s their cleanest best looking one to be honest.

      Based on a website I was once on Royal Canin were very happy with their prices, stating that almost no one is as expensive as them and all I could do was laugh, their right but considering what their foods are made of, I’m sorry but that 6kg bag is not worth $122 nor will it ever be as corn, rice and wheat are not that expensive.

  5. Our vet recommended this for our Bull Arab-cross and gave us a sample of dry and wet food while attending puppy school classes. As he had never had it before, the change in food from supermarket to vet-recommended food was a noticeable one. At first, he threw up quite a bit but we reduced the amount of food and he was fine from there on. He will eat anything just about and this brand did his health no harm.

  6. Our Staffy pup was on Advance puppy as recommended by the vet.
    She used to eat her poop so we changed to Stay Loyal and she has stopped eating her poop.

    maybe the second time round Advance had more nutrients lol

  7. Hi there,
    I love your website and have a growing interest in pet nutrition and find your website extremely helpful.
    I just wanted to ask, what would you advise I do to enhance my dogs food? Do you suggest adding raw meat such as BARFF to the kibble? Or maybe even some veggies?

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) May 23, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Isabel, I personally recommend feeding a varied diet. Some are against mixing kibble and raw, but I see little issue with it as there are merits with both. A good kibble can provide balanced nutrition inclusive of all necessary vitamins and minerals, whereas raw meats are a much superior source of nutrients. Many who feed raw exclusively often overlook a number of required nutrients. For example, feeding a dog exclusively on chicken frames won’t give them all the nutrition they need. There’s merit in feeding wholesome veggies as well, but a canine diet should be predominantly meat based.

  8. Hi, can you recommend a dog food brand that has a light or weight control option? I have been using Advance weight control but it doesn’t seem to be having any affect and reviews I’ve read aren’t very good. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) April 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Hi Katrina, I noticed you wrote a comment on the Ivory Coat review about their reduced fat food – that’s definitely a good option. Many manufacturers offer “weight control” foods by reducing animal fat content and meat content, which isn’t ideal. It’s usually fillers, such as cheap grain inclusions, that cause weight gain/bulk. A dog on a decent grain free food high in meat (and fat) will more likely retain a healthy weight.

      • Thanks! Yes I’m going to try Ivory Coat, their ‘normal’ range options look really good also once he’s lost a little weight!

  9. You write so honestly about this. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Not to mention that they use unsustainably sourced palm oil in their food which is killing the rain forest & all animals in it 🙁 My boy was on Advance as recommended by our previous vet (no wonder when their whole office was promoting Advance) he was fine with it for a few months but then started to have bad diarrhoea so I looked into the ingredients list more properly & wasn’t satisfied after reading reviews & comparing it to other products. That’s when I came across BlackHawk & that’s what we’ve been giving him ever since & he’s stomach is & stool seems perfect. We add veggies, sardines, coconut oil, turmeric on a daily basis & food scraps every now and then to his diet & his treats consist of fruits & veggies & he seems happy & healthy. Can’t wait for BlackHawk to start selling the grain free one in 20kg bags then we might swap to that as an even better option.

  11. I am trying to find a better dog food and came across Advance. Currently I am neither for or against the brand.
    In their FAQs there is the statement:
    “Corn and corn gluten are filler ingredients. They are low in quality.”

    Their response is:
    “When properly cooked, corn provides a highly digestible source of carbohydrate (starch), which is an important contributor to a foods energy content. In addition, the fibre present in corn contributes to gastro intestinal tract functions and health.
    Corn gluten meal is a concentrated source of protein and contains an amino acid profile complimenting meat proteins. Corn gluten meal is higher in digestibility than most meals.”

    What is your take on this?

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) November 4, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Hi Shannon,

      There are many reasons why corn is a bad ingredient. Digestibility is increased the more it’s ground, but in turn this increases the glycemic index. It’s linked to allergies, joint swelling, and bloat, and has a low biological value. Undetected contaminants with corn (such as mites) can cause allergies even if the corn itself doesn’t.

      Corn gluten meal is shown to promote corn allergies when fed over a long period of time. It’s a cheap ingredient.

  12. Ok read the reviews of the dry food we give our dog and also some of the more expensive ones ,seem to be tarred with same brush as far as ingredients are concerned . So my question is what should I be looking for in a dog food and any recommendations on which brand .

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