Medium Breed Dog Food Basics

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Medium Breed Dog Food Basics

Medium breed dogs are well-known for their vigor, agility and energy, and were traditionally used as working dogs in farms.

Medium breed food formulas help these dogs maintain a strong immune system throughout their life, and at the same time they provide the balanced energy the medium dog needs to maintain a healthy weight.

The medium breeds like Beagles, Spaniels, Poodles and some herding dogs (e.g. Border Collie), fall “in-between” the nutritional particularities of small and large breed dogs.

best dog food for medium dogs

Medium Breed Profile

Some of the more important characteristics of medium dogs are:

  • Weigh 10 – 25 kg (23 – 55 Lb)
  • Be energetic in nature
  • Highly developed physical abilities
  • Life expectancy of 10 to 12 years
  • Easily adaptation to a wide diversity of lifestyles (from working farm dogs to household pets)
  • The need to everyday exercise and eat a complete and balanced dog food to maintain a healthy weight


Many frequent factors can cause weight gain and obesity in medium breed dogs, such as:

  • Sedentary life
  • Poor diet
  • Sterilization
  • Genetic predisposition

Diet Formulation

Determination of health and nutritional requirements for medium breed dogs by nutritionists and veterinarians allow the development of diets that offer optimal nutrition for these breeds.

Certain of the needs of smaller breeds should be considered, as well as some of the needs of larger breeds.

Small and Toy and large breeds have precise nutritional and health requirements that are well known and documented.

For example, some of the nutrition-related diseases of large breeds, as the developmental bone problems, do occur sometimes in medium breeds.

What are the nutritional requirements of your medium breed dog?

My advice is if you are looking for a dog food suitable for your medium dog breed you should choose a food with the following characteristics:

  • Combination of nutrients that support digestive health (high quality ingredients)
  • Highly digestible proteins and fructooligosaccharides, mannanoligosaccharides that contribute to a balanced intestinal flora which also promote good stool quality
  • High energy content which meets the high energy requirements of medium breed puppies which have a short growth phase
  • Mineral balance (appropriate calcium/phosphorus ratio)
  • Elements that support immune system like an antioxidant complex and mannanoligosaccharides
Just like humans, as medium breed dogs age their nutritional needs change.

In my opinion, some significant attributes of dog food composition for different life stages in medium dogs are the follow:

Life stage Food attributes
Puppy (weaning to 12 months old)
  • Boost immune defenses
  • High energy
  • Nutrient balance for healthy development of bones, muscles and teeth
  • Digestive security promoting development of intestinal flora
Adult (1 year to 7 years old)
  • High digestibility
  • Tartar control
  • Moderate energy
  • Intestinal flora balance
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin helps to maintain healthy joints
Mature (> 7 years old)
  • Digestive security promoting development of intestinal flora
  • Tartar control
  • Omega 3 and Omega 6 promote healthy skin and coat
  • Joint Support maintains healthy muscles and bones to support an active life and facilitates joint mobility
  • Antioxidant complex

You can find reviews about the best dog foods appropriate for your medium dog breed in our Dog Food Selector.


About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

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Why was the Dog Food Selector created?

Each dog has unique needs... The approach "one food for all dogs" isn't the more suitable. Dogs have different sizes, different life stages, unique breed characteristics, health conditions and a few other factors... Choosing the right food for your dog may help him or her life a longer and healthier life! We exist to make that task easier for you.

How does the Dog Food Selector work?

It's quite simple... It's a 1-2 step process. You just have to fill in the form with your dog's characteristics, like gender, age, size, activity, health conditions and a few other important data and click "search". Then, you'll see a list of dog foods with the highest review score. If you wish you can see all the detailed review of each individual dog food.