Australian Shepherds are smart, energetic, and capable of herding both sheep and your kiddos if they really want to go outside! That kind of energy takes fuel, however, and you want to make su re that your Shepherd is getting the best. So what do these distant relatives of Shetland Sheepdogs and Collies require to perform at their best? In today’s article we will discuss the best food for an Australian Shepherd so that you can get some ideas for planning your best friend’s meals, but first, just a little about the breed!
A bit about ‘Aussie’ Shepherds
Standing in at 20 – 13 inches and weighing in the neighborhood of 50 pounds, the Australian Shepherd is a smart and an energetic dog with a hearty lifespan of approximately 12 – 15 years. Just how energetic are they? Well, Aussie Shepherds are a common staple in Rodeos, no less! The cowboy’s choice for herding, this dog is very clever and not a good choice for a potential owner sho has a less-than-active lifestyle. Due to their enthusiasm and sometimes-overwhelming energy you will want to be picky when it comes to what you feed them. This is a dog that can very much lean towards obesity if you overdo it on the treats but if you feed them right then your best friend will be a lean and mean rocket-dog!
Energetic dogs need high-octane food
There are a number of factors which go into selecting the right dog food for your Australian Shepherd. As an active dog, you want to make sure that they are getting enough fat, for instance, and lean proteins to keep those muscles tight. When selecting your dog’s food, it is best to think of the following factors:
- Does your dog have any allergies? – If your dog is exhibiting signs like red, sensitive skin or a thin coat then this could be signs that they are allergic to their food. Check with the Vet to resolve this quickly or you can try switching to different foods to see if this clears up the issue. Likely it is a matter of artificial additives so try tweaking the diet to include as few of these as possible for best results.
- What is your dog’s age? – Age is an important factor as well. For instance, puppies need 22% protein and extra calories in their diet whereas older dogs need around 18% protein and puppy-level calories should be avoided, lest your dog become overweight. Dogs that are past middle-age and getting into their golden years are where their diets become complex and the vet can steer you in the right direction when the time comes for this. In general, older dogs need more protein, fatty acids, and especially (like us, when we get older) higher fiber to keep ‘regular’ for their potty breaks.
- Dry food or canned? – Dry food lasts the longest and doesn’t lose it’s nutrients if your dog doesn’t eat all of it right away. Wet food, however, is tastier for your dog and hydrates them a little when they eat it as well. Most owners like to do a little mixing although you can also do the ‘hot water in the kibbles’ trick to get the best of both worlds, by serving kibble rendered soft, hydrating, and delicious.
- Is it high fat content? – Fat should make up about 8% of a puppy’s diet, whereas 5% is your target level for older dogs.
- Does the food use quality proteins? – Proteins from higher quality sources tend to be easier for your dog to digest, so go with those whenever you can.
- Is the food being digested well? – When you change your dogs food, pay attention to their droppings. A little change in the fecal matter for the first few days is normal but if it goes longer than this or your dog develops flatulence issues then you might need to switch to another food.
Our favorite formula for puppies: Blue Buffalo Natural Dry food for puppies
Blue Buffalo is a great, quality choice and their ingredients show it. Utilizing real chicken (not chicken by-products!) as well as garden veggies, fruit, and whole grains, this is a natural and healthy selection for
“A natural and healthy selection for your pup”
your pup. They also include their patented ‘Lifesource bits’, which add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as recommended by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians and as added nutrition for puppies, this food contains ARA and DHA fatty acids which are the same ones found in their mother’s milk. This is some top-shelf puppy food for your little Aussie Shepherd, so check it out sometime!
Our favorite formula for adult dogs: Eagle Pack Natural Dry dog food
For adults, we like this Eagle Pack Natural Dry dog food, as it contains no animal by-products, wheat, corn, or artificial colors that some dogs can be sensitive to. Fiebr sources include tomato, brown rice, and oatmeal, and their protein sources are high quality leading to easy digestion of this food. Antioxidants are included to help to bolster your dog’s immune system and flaxseed is blended into the formula to keep your dog’s skin strong and their coat thick and shiny. Measurements for feeding the proper amount are included on the bag so that you know how much your dog needs based on weight, all in all Eagle Pack is a great choice for ensuring proper nutrition for your adult dog. Take a peek and see for yourself, we think you and your dog will like it.
In today’s article we have discussed the dietary requirements of your Australian Shepherd and provided some recommendations for making sure that your dog is only eating the best. Nutrition is especially important for this breed, as they work hard and play hard, and ensuring that they eat well will help to ensure that you and your best friend spend many, many happy years together. We wish you and your furry best friend the best!