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The Australian shepherd is one of the best working dog breeds on the planet, but as they are often tireless dogs, they are happiest when they have work to do and are physically active. Even with nothing to do, your Australian shepherd will always find something to do on its own, and if you own some sheep, he is always happy to herd them. If you only have kids in your environment, the Australian shepherd will try to herd them too!

Since Australian shepherds are active dogs from a young age, they have a hearty appetite, and should only feed on high-quality foods that are low in calories and rich in nutrients. If you own an Aussie shepherd puppy, it is only right to feed it with foods that not only satisfy its cravings, but also helps them remain healthy and active. Lucky for you, that is precisely why we are here! We will help you decipher which dry dog foods are best for your Australian shepherd puppies, and we hope they will grow up into the strong and healthy dogs you want them to be.

Herding up the best Food for Australian shepherds

Finding a reliable and quality dog food brand for your Australian shepherd is not a small feat. With the dog food market teeming with hordes of different dog food options, it can be a hassle to find the product that not only fits your budget, but also fits the nutritional needs of your pup. 

To guide you through the sea of available dog foods and find the right dry dog food for your Aussie puppy, we set out to prepare this dry dog food review and also answer some of the challenging questions often asked by owners of this active dog. Read on and inform yourself on the nutritional needs of your Aussie shepherd and find a delicious and healthy dog food today.

The Basics of Canine Nutrition

Individual dog breeds can have special dietary needs. This is also true for some individual dogs with health conditions or higher activity levels than other dogs in the same breed. However, canines generally have pretty much the same nutritional needs. That means that whether your dog is an Australian shepherd or a German shepherd or pretty much any other dog breed, it is essential that you buy the dog foods that contain some key nutrients.

What to Look for in Australian Shepherd food

Quality Proteins

While dogs are omnivores, they thrive on foods with quality meats first. It is therefore essential that your Aussie shepherd gets food with a quality meat as one of its major ingredients. Some of the best choices for quality meat are poultry, beef, various fish, and some pork. While a little pricier, whole meats are fantastic for your Australian shepherd. However, meat by-products as well as meat meals are perfectly fine for dogs with no underlying health condition. As long as you are buying your dry dog food from a reputable brand, you can be sure that your Aussie shepherd will be strong and healthy with quality protein content.

Healthy fats

Like in humans, fats and oils play a critical role in your Australian shepherd’s diet. Since canines cannot make these essential nutrients on their own, it is essential to feed them foods with essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. While chicken fat, pork fat and other animal fats are welcome ingredients in your dog’s diet, so are added oils. Fish oil is particularly rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and you want to focus on dog foods that include it in their ingredients list. Fish oil is especially good for Aussies with skin and coat problems. However, Canola oil and flaxseed oil are also great sources of oils for your Aussie shepherd.

Complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates in dogs, like in humans, are an essential part of a balanced canine diet. Fortunately, most vegetables and fruits as well as grains are rich in carbohydrates and provide essential vitamins and minerals to your furry friend. Not to mention, they are also rich in fiber, which is an element you should look to add to your Aussie’s diet, especially if she suffers from digestive problems. 

Most sites will discourage you from feeding your Aussie shepherd with grains. However, unless your veterinarian recommends against feeding them to your dog or your dog suffers from grain-sensitivity, you should not eliminate grains from their diet. Whole grains are rich in healthy nutrients and should be included in your dog’s diet, as well as any omnivore.

Understanding your Aussie’s Nutritional Needs

While Australian shepherds are more energetic than most dog breeds and have their own unique traits, tendencies and behaviors, they have nutritional needs that are quite similar to the general recommendations for most dog breeds. It is, therefore, only important to focus on quality proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. However, it is essential to note that Aussies are more prone to obesity than most dog breeds due to their high appetite. It is essential to keep them regularly occupied with activities or exercise (at least an hour per day) and feed them dog foods that are low in calories. Typically, an Aussie should eat around 30 calories per pound each day, depending on the dog’s age, activity levels, and health state.

The Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherds Puppies Reviews

Below are some of the best dry dog foods for your Australian shepherds.

Wellness Complete Health Puppy Recipe

Do you have an Aussie shepherd puppy and want the best nutrition for them? The Wellness Complete Health Puppy Recipe is the dog food for you. Featuring a formula rich in fresh and high-quality meat protein, this dry dog food recipe will help your pup develop strong muscles as well as a healthy immune system. This dog food contains deboned chicken, salmon, and whole grains as its primary ingredients. It is the best food you could offer your young Australian shepherd for a great start in life.

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie content: 3926 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/kg
  • Deboned Chicken and salmon formula
  • Includes probiotics and glucosamine
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • First three ingredients: Chicken, Salmon, and whole grains

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dog Food

Since Australian shepherds have great appetite, they can easily put on weight despite their active and energetic nature. This is why it is essential that Aussies are fed on dog foods that are aimed at supplying them with the high energy they spend as well as promoting healthy weight. The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight does this exceptionally well. Made from high quality protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies and supplements, this dog food formula is one the best out there for Aussies since it is easily digested, nutritious and is low in calories.

This formula’s first ingredient is deboned chicken, which is its primary protein source. It also contains whole grains such as brown rice and carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, spinach, and others. That means it is rich in vitamins, minerals as well as beneficial supplements such as L-Carnitine, which is great for burning fat in dogs efficiently. This dog food is free from artificial flavors & preservatives, wheat, soy and by-product meals. 

Key ingredients 

  • Minimum omega 3 fatty acids: 0.3%
  • Minimum omega 6 fatty acids: 2.25%
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
  • First three ingredients: Deboned chicken, Chicken meal, brown rice
  • Contains L-Carnitine, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin Sulfate

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Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness Pet Food is a well-known brand for their quality and healthy dog foods, and the Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food is no exception. With turkey and chicken as its main protein ingredients, it is a great source of meat protein for your Australian shepherd. This grain-free dry dog food is suited for youthful or adult dogs with sensitive digestive systems. That’s because it contains ingredients such as potatoes, peas, salmon oil, flaxseed, broccoli, spinach, blueberries, apples, kales and other ingredients rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. 

The product is also rich in supplements including probiotics, which are great for gentle digestion. Moreover, this dry dog food contains Chondroitin and Glucosamine, which are great for maintaining healthy joints. This dog food excludes all artificial flavors and preservatives as well as meat by-products.

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie Content: 3600 kcal/kg, 421kcal/cup
  • Minimum Omega 3 fatty acids: 0.50%
  • Minimum omega 6 fatty acids: 3.25%
  • Contains Glucosamine, Probiotics, and Chondroitin Sulfate
  • First three ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, and turkey meal
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Recipe

As its name suggests, the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Recipe is designed to make sure your puppy retains optimum health conditions from a tender age. This is a very tasty dog food for dogs that are picky eaters. Made with chicken and brown rice as its main ingredients, this formula is bound to offer the energetic Aussie shepherd puppies enough energy and muscle power to sustain their playful lifestyle. This protein packed dog food formula also boasts Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which is an exclusive blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants meant for boosting your pup’s immune system. This dog food also comes with a lamb and oatmeal formula option.

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie content: 3976 kcal/kg, 410 kcal/kg
  • Shredded Chicken and rice formula
  • Includes probiotics and glucosamine
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • First three ingredients: Chicken, brown rice, and poultry by-product meal

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FirstMate Select Nutra Pro Active Dog and Puppy Formula

With a limited ingredient list containing 87% protein from real fish, the Firstmate Select Nutra Pro Active Dog and Puppy Formula is designed to meet all the energy requirements of your active Aussie shepherd puppies as well as adult dogs. The formula is also packed with vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system of vulnerable growing puppies and keep their coats smooth and healthy.

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie content: 3990 kcal/kg, 412 kcal/kg
  • Shredded Chicken and rice formula
  • Includes probiotics and glucosamine
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • First three ingredients: Fish, grounded rice, and poultry by-product meal

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Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food

Is your Aussie a picky eater? You will also need to be picky with the foods you give to her. Focus on foods that are highly palatable, yet very healthy and nutritionally beneficial to your dog. Puppies are especially picky when it comes to dry dog food, and this is what the Purina Pro Plan Savor puppy dog food is aimed at resolving. It is not only delicious to your pup, but also nutritious and easy on her young digestive system.

Made with chicken as its primary ingredient, and fish meal, fish oil, and grains as other major ingredients, this dry dog food will ensure your Aussie pup has a healthy digestion process. With probiotics and other essential supplements, this dog food is what your growing Aussie pup needs. The quality meat protein in this dog food is great for muscle formation in your young shepherd and is also essential in keeping her skin and coat healthy. This food replaces veggies and fruits with delicious ingredients for super-picky pups that can only eat tasty foods. 

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie content: 3926 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/kg
  • Shredded Chicken and rice formula
  • Includes probiotics and glucosamine
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • First three ingredients: Chicken, fish meal, and whole grains

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Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Food

This adult dry dog food combines three sources of meat protein. It is the perfect dog food for your mature or developing Aussie shepherd. That’s because it is packed with proteins for muscle formation and strong bones. The formula has chicken, lamb and salmon as its primary ingredients. If your dog, like most Australian shepherds, is restless and energetic, this dry dog food will deliver the energy needed to power the furry fellow.

The Nutro Ultra Adult dry food is also supplemented with whole grains, veggies and fruits to make sure your shepherd gets enough vitamins, minerals and fiber for optimum health conditions and easy digestion.

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie content: 3926 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/kg
  • Shredded Chicken and rice formula
  • Includes probiotics and glucosamine
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • First three ingredients: Chicken, grounded rice, and poultry by-product meal

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Orijen Premium Quality Meat Dry Dog Food

Orijen is a popular brand for its quality ingredients in dog food. The firm only uses fresh, wholesome ingredients in their dog food formulas, and the Orijen Premium Quality Meat Dry Dog Food is no exception. Made from a host of biologically appropriate and nutrient-rich ingredients, this dog food is a great source of quality protein, vitamins, and essential minerals for your Australian shepherd.

This dog food is packed with wholesome foods including whole poultry, whole red and green lentils, various fish, whole peas and beans, butternut squash, pumpkins, spinach, kales, pears, apples, and many others. Since it is packed with natural vitamins and minerals, this dog food only contains one supplement: zinc. Moreover it is free from any artificial additives such as flavors, preservatives or food color.

Key ingredients

  • Calorie Content: 3940 kcal/kg, 449 kcal/kg
  • Minimum Omega 3: 0.8%
  • Minimum Omega 6: 3%
  • Includes glucosamine, probiotics, and chondroitin sulfate
  • First three Ingredients: deboned chicken, deboned turkey, atlantic flounder

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Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food for Australian Shepherds

Designed specifically for Australian shepherds, the Eagle Pack Power Adult Food for Australian Shepherds features an active dog formula that is easy on your dog’s digestive system and what’s more, it will not break the bank. This chicken and pork protein formula contains high fats and wholesome natural ingredients perfect for an active dog. In addition, it includes additives like glucosamine and probiotics for healthy joints and easy digestion. If your dog has digestive issues or a sensitive tummy, this is the dog food for her.

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie content: 4200 kcal/kg, 450 kcal/kg
  • Shredded Chicken and rice formula
  • Includes probiotics and glucosamine
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • First three ingredients: Chicken, pork

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Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food for Australian Shepherds

Sometimes canned food is the best for your dog; either on its own or mixed with dry dog food. Formulated for dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes, this dog food includes real chicken, chicken broth and chicken liver to offer an amazingly delicious source of quality meat proteins. The formula also includes brown rice and barley to supply your dog with sufficient energy for their energetic lifestyles. The Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food for Australian shepherds also offers other protein options, including chicken, lamb, and whitefish combo and a lamb and brown rice formula which are all also available as dry dog foods.

Key Ingredients

  • Calorie content: 4026 kcal/kg, 320 kcal/kg
  • Shredded Chicken and brown rice formula
  • Includes probiotics and glucosamine
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • First three ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver

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What you should avoid feeding your Australian Shepherd

Like most other dog breeds, you should avoid feeding your Aussie shepherd the following foods:

Chocolate: Since chocolate’s major ingredients include theobromine, which is known to cause heart problems and digestive complications in most dogs, you should never include it in your dog’s diet (particularly dark chocolate).

Garlic and Onions: Onions and garlic kill your dog’s red blood cells causing anemia. While a little bits of onions and garlic may not affect your Aussie, it is best to avoid it in their diet because they can cause food poisoning.

Xylitol: Xylitol is a popular food sweetener that is often found in candies, gums, baked goods, toothpaste, and gums. Xylitol can cause hypothermia (low blood sugar) in dogs and in some cases it can lead to liver failure.

Caffeine: Caffeinated teas, coffee and other beverages and dog foods with caffeine are very dangerous to your dog’s health, and they are therefore forbidden for dogs. Small volumes of caffeine can cause digestive problems, vomiting, and restlessness, while large amounts can lead to seizures, heightened heart rate and even death.

Alcohol: Just like in humans, alcohol can make your dog drunk. However, unlike in humans, dogs require an extremely low amount of alcohol to hurt their digestive and immune systems. Various alcohol drinks can cause vomiting, diarrhea, breathing issues, and even death. It is only advisable to enjoy your alcoholic drink without your furry friend having a taste.

Common Australian Shepherd Health Problems

The Australian Shepherd is generally a healthy and energetic dog breed. However, like most other dog breeds, Aussies are prone to certain health conditions. The following are the most common health conditions in Australian shepherds.

Hip dysplasia: An inheritable health condition that causes the femur to fit abnormally into the pelvic socket of a dog’s hip joint. Your veterinarian should recommend a regular hip evaluation.

Elbow dysplasia: Also an inherited health condition that causes different growth rates in a dog’s elbow bones. Regular elbow bone evaluation is recommended.

Multiple drug sensitivity (MDS): Australian shepherds are among the dog breeds that are affected by the MDS condition. The condition makes your dog sensitive to common veterinary drugs. Vets recommend regular testing for the condition.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A degenerative eye condition that leads to blindness due to loss of photoreceptors in the dog’s eyes. It is possible to treat the disease in its detectable years before the dog presents any symptoms of blindness, and hence regular ophthalmologist evaluations are recommended.

Obesity: Since Aussie shepherds are such energetic and active dogs, they often have hearty appetites. If your dog is not as physically active, make sure they do not eat too much r they might end up obese.

FAQ

How much should I feed my Australian shepherd?

A: An adult Aussie shepherd should consume about 30 calories per pound each day. However this is dependent on several factors including age, physical activity, and health state. Pregnant dogs and dogs under stress should eat more).

How often should I feed my Australian shepherd puppy?

A: If your Aussie is a very young puppy, it would be enough to feed them three or four times a day. As your puppy grows, it is advisable to feed them down to three times a day. Always feed the puppy at the same time every day.

How do I change my Aussie’s diet?

A: If you intend to change your Aussie’s diet, it is essential that you do it slowly and gradually. Never do it overnight! You can start by serving your dog the old recipe mixed with the new one and gradually increasing the amount of new food till it is more than the old food and she’s enjoying the dish just as much or more.

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