Advance Sensitive Skin Dog Food Review

WebsiteAdvance Sensitive Skin
Country of originAustralia
Available fromPet Circle,  

This formula is targeted at dogs with allergies. There’s nothing overly scientific about formulas like this, it just means they don’t have the allergenic crap most cheap dog foods have (like wheat). It also opts for a novel protein rather than chicken or beef which dogs can develop reactions to.

Advance Sensitive Skin is the replacement for Dermocare, the food responsible for making over 100 dogs sick with the incurable condition Megaesophagus. Many of those dogs were sadly put down by their heartbroken owners. At the time of this review, Mars Petcare who manufacture Advance, Royal Canin, and Optimum (the budget version of Advance), still claim they do not know what caused the condition. If that’s the case, they can’t provide assurances their new range is any safer.

Putting the above aside, let’s take a look at this product solely from an ingredients and analysis perspective…

It’s nice to see the first ingredient being Salmon Meal, one of the most expensive meat ingredient inclusions in a pet food. It’s rich in protein and salmon oils, so great for well-being, skin, coat, and joint health. It may be the first ingredient, but is it the main ingredient? No, probably not. The second two ingredients are both rice (a combination of [white] rice and rice flour, split into two ingredients to make it appear less significant).

Advance Sensitive Skin Dog Food Review

Following the rice we find Maize Gluten (aka Corn) and Sorghum. If we consider these top 5 ingredients as a whole, it’s likely they’re all in similar proportions. That would make Salmon Meal approximately 1 part of 5, with 4 parts of 5 being grain ingredients. The grains will amount to most of the estimated 45% carbohydrates as well as a fair proportion of the 25% protein (with ingredients such as maize gluten being high in protein). The proteins in meat are more bio-available to a dog than those from plants and cereals, but that said there are many commercial dog foods with far less meat than this.

Advance Sensitive Skin Dog Food Review

The rest of the ingredients are relatively simple and somewhat obscure. Vitamins and minerals aren’t listed individually, just as “vitamins” and “minerals”. If they were quality inclusions, such as chelated minerals, they would be listed with greater transparency on the label. They ambiguously list “antioxidants” which suggests the use of artificial antioxidants rather than natural. Given the issues in the past with the likes of ethoxyquin, consumers should really be offered transparency with ingredients such as this. Some artificial antioxidants are known to be marginally toxic, which if consumed occasionally won’t cause any harm, but if consumed every single day can cause a cumulative build-up of toxins which can lead to health issues. Cumulative exposure is a significant cause of illness in our pets as we believe we should feed them the same product day in day out – we shouldn’t.

The original Dermocare was predominantly corn and rice, so it’s nice to see an improvement with this new range. Larger manufacturers also benefit from more stringent factory hygiene practices.

Guaranteed Analysis

[gauge title=”Protein” width=”210px” label=”%” value=”25″ min=”0″ max=”100″ color=”#F3832D”][gauge title=”Fat” width=”210px” label=”%” value=”15.5″ min=”0″ max=”100″ color=”#F3832D”][gauge title=”Est. Carbs” width=”210px” label=”%” value=”44.5″ min=”0″ max=”100″ color=”#F3832D”]


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

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6 Total Score

  • Salmon as the first ingredient (note first ingredient, not main ingredient)
  • 4 of the 5 top ingredients are grain
  • Ambiguous (so likely cheap/chemical) ingredients such as "antioxidants". Vitamins and minerals aren't specified.


David D'Angelo

David D'Angelo has worked as a scientist since graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 2000. In addition, David holds a CPD accredited Diploma in Pet Nutrition as well as being CPD accredited VSA (Veterinary Support Assistant). However, his experience and involvement in the pet food industry for 15+ years has given true insight into pet food, formulations, science, research, and pet food marketing. Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Pinterest

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