Royal Canin Australia Puppy & Dog Dogs Size-Based Nutrition


Size-Based Nutrition

Size-Based Nutrition

From a 1kg Chihuahua to a 100kg Mastiff, different-sized dogs have very different nutritional needs. That’s why we tailor-make our diets specifically to the requirements of each dog's size, characteristics, lifestyle and breed. Here’s a breakdown of the unique variances among size – and why the right diet is so important.

Small Dogs



Small or 'mini' dogs weigh between 1 to 10 kg at adult weight.  They were originally used as hunting dogs but are now very popular as indoor pets. In fact in Australia, almost half of all dog-owning households have a small dog. Their small size makes them appear fragile but they’re generally very tough and have a long life expectancy of 14 to 16 years.

Most people don't realise it but small dogs actually have a much higher energy requirement than larger dogs. Small dogs tend to be prone to dental problems, can be known to be fussy eaters and have sensitive digestive systems resulting in soft or smelly faeces. Small dogs generally spend most of their time indoors in urban environments. This means their coat can be exposed to air pollution and some small dog breeds, including Cavalier King Charles, Dachshund and Miniature Schnauzers, are prone to excess weight gain and even obesity.

Look for a diet that ensures optimum weight, satisfies fussy appetites, promotes healthy, shiny coats and reduces dental tartar.

Learn more about which MINI diet might be right for your small dog. 

Medium Dogs


Medium dogs weigh between 11-25kg, are energetic and have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

Medium-sized dogs have adapted to a wide variety of lifestyles, from working farm dogs to household pets. They need quite a bit of regular exercise and a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight. Several common factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary habits, neutering or the genetic predisposition of some medium-sized dogs can cause weight gain. Medium sized dogs' immune system and natural defences need particular attention at every lifestage.

Look for a diet that promotes optimum weight, stregthens their immune system and promotes a healthy skin and coat.

Learn more about which MEDIUM diet might be right for your medium dog.

Large Dogs



Large or 'maxi' dogs weigh between 26 - 40 kg and were originally bred as working dogs. They typically make great working dogs and have excellent endurance - like being emergency rescue dogs. Their life expectancy ranges from 9 to 12 years.

They are prone to have a sensitive digestive system because their digestive tract is proportionally much smaller than small dogs. Food also stays in their digestive tract longer causing it to ferment, which can result in soft, large and smelly faeces if the right diet isn't fed. Large dogs are also known to suffer from joint problems (because they are quite active and weigh more) and cardiac sensitivity (especially hyperactive dogs).

Large dogs have a longer growth period from puppy to adult, becoming adult dogs at 15 months - almost five months longer than the growth period for small dogs. 

Look for a diet that is specifically formulated to be easily digested, promotes a healthy heart, maintains strong joints as well as a healthy skin and coat from an early age.

Learn more about which MAXI diet might be right for your large dog. 

Giant Dogs


Giant dogs weigh more than 45 kg. They were bred to work in cold climates and are commonly used today as rescue dogs as well as being great pets.

It takes 18 to 24 months for giant breed puppies to reach adulthood. During the first eight months, the growth rate of a giant puppy is very rapid - they will reach 50% of their adult weight in just five months.  Because their life expectancy is 7 to 9 years, signs of ageing can also be seen very early on.

A giant dogs’ colon is an incredible 40 times larger than a Miniature Poodle's. This means food stays in their digestive tract longer causing it to ferment which can result in soft, smelly faeces if the right diet isn't fed. Giant dogs also have lower digestive capacity and need a diet with a high energy content to minimise volume. An intense, long growth phase, high body weight and active lifestyle also puts enormous stress on giant dogs’ joints. 

Look for a diet that has been especially formulated for giant dog breeds - from puppy to adulthood and maturity. The diet should be highly digestible, maintain healthy joints, promote a healthy heart and reduce the risk of eating food too quickly.

Learn more about which GIANT diet might be right for your giant dog. 

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