Do I Need a Breed Specific Dog Food?

Whether your dog is purebred or a lovable mix, each dog is unique, showcasing different appearances and temperaments that can help you identify the ideal canine companion for you and your family. As every type of dog is different, it begs the question: should you feed your dog a breed specific dog food?

Does Each Breed Need a Specific Dog Food?

While each dog breed and breed mix may have differences, it’s not necessary to feed your favorite furry friend a food just based on her breed. For example, Dachshunds and Dogue de Bordeaux are certainly different types of dogs, but they and all other canine companions fall under the same species. The Canis familiaris family – also known as the domestic dog – have a basic desire and feel their best on a meat-based diet. This biological need means that it’s important to find a high-quality, meat-based dog food to satiate this desire for any breed.

Instead of identifying foods based on breed, it’s important to base your decisions on various traits. Since dog’s do have a range of nutritional needs, you’ll want to find the right formula for your best friend’s needs. To do that, you’ll need to evaluate a few factors aside from her breed.

How Do I Choose the Right Food for My Dog?

Breed should help determine the kibble that you choose, but shouldn’t be the only decision point when choosing food for your favorite furball. There are a few different factors that directly impact which type of dog food is right for your furry friend including:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Food sensitivities or other factors


Simply put, the size of your dog when full grown is a big deal when choosing dog food. Accordingly, dog food is typically separated into three different categories depending on the general size of your dog’s breed:

By sorting breeds into different sizes, you can better address their specific nutritional needs. There are some distinct differences in terms of energy requirements depending on your dog’s size. For example, smaller dogs typically have higher metabolisms than their larger breed counterparts. Meanwhile, larger breeds may require more substantial portions to support their sizable bodies. By following the feeding instructions on a size-specific formula, you can help ensure that your best friend gets the right amount of food she needs for her specific frame.


While the overall size of you breed is a key factor, so is your dog’s age. Puppies, adults, and seniors all have very different dietary needs. Puppies are actively developing and require frequent feedings of a high-quality puppy food packed with protein and nutritional support to help sustain healthy energy levels while they grow.

Over time, your puppy will transition into adulthood and will need a more appropriate adult dog food for her metabolism. The timing of this transition typically depends on the size of your dog and when they are fully grown.

  • Smaller breeds mature more quickly and can be switched between 9 months to 1 year
  • Medium breeds can be switched at around 1 year of age
  • Large and giant breeds can transition anywhere from 1 to 1½ years

By the time your best friend gets older, she’ll need a formula suited to help her age gracefully. Senior dogs still need the same high-quality protein to support muscle mass and key body functions, but they don’t need the same levels of fat as their younger selves. A good senior dog food will contain controlled levels of fat and protein and a blend of gentle fibers to help support a mature, active lifestyle and easy digestion for a seasoned canine. As with puppies, the beginning of senior status can depend on the size of your dog.

  • Large and giant breeds – Around age 5-6
  • Medium-size breeds – Around age 8-10
  • Small and toy breeds – Around age 10-12

Pickiness and other factors that impact mealtime

Size and age are key factors for proper dog food selection, but they’re not the only considerations. Some dogs display certain tendencies, preferences, or sensitivities that can impact your dog food search. For example, it’s not uncommon for breeds like Bichon Frises or Greyhounds to be more selective about their food. That level of fussiness can call for a more tempting formula like our Picky No More Dry Food with chicken liver.

In addition to pickiness, there are many other factors that can impact food selection. Certain factors may impact how your dog eats whereas others may offer support for some other key function. Either way, you may want to look for a special dog food formula or additive to address traits common for your dog’s breed or specific to your best friend.

Find the Perfect Dog Food for Your Best Friend

Your best friend deserves the best, but what’s best for her may depend on a few different factors. If you’re trying to identify a formula that’s specifically formulated to taste great and support your friend, use our Dog Food Product Finder to see which solution is best suited to help your best friend thrive.

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