13 Best Dog Foods for Australian Shepherds

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Affectionately called the ‘Aussie’, the Australian Shepherd is a working breed that stays the happiest when he is active and has a job to do.

These energized and highly active dogs require the best when it comes to nutrition. Consider nothing but the best quality food formulated for active breeds to keep them in the best health. Providing a complete and balanced diet that’s rich in protein and moderate in fat content is what will keep these dogs healthy, happy, and full of energy.

We have put down a list of the best dog foods for Aussies keeping their specific dietary requirements in mind. Check it out and choose the right formula for your dog.

The Best Dog Foods for Australian Shepherds

Top ProductsWhat We Like About This Food…
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food RecipeIncludes DHA and ARA, puppy-sized kibble for easy chewing, rich in essential fatty acids
2. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog FoodPea-free formula, rich in sunflower oil for Linoleic Acid, packed with antioxidants for a strong immune system
3. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodGrain and gluten-free, rich in protein content, includes a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables for antioxidants
4. Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog FoodGrain and gluten-free, includes L-Carnitine for maintaining lean muscle mass, guaranteed levels of antioxidants
5. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Real Duck and Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog FoodSuitable for sensitive digestion, Limited-Ingredient Diet, grain and gluten-free

How to — Change your pet’s food

How to — Change your pet’s food

Australian Shepherds Dog Food Reviews

1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Barley

Your little Australian Shepherd puppy requires the best blend of nutrition right from the start. You can trust Blue Buffalo for the health and well-being of your little pup. This high-quality food includes real meat, garden vegetables and fruits, and whole grains. On top of that, it also contains a precise blend of antioxidant-rich ingredients, which it calls the LifeSource Bits. The recipe is designed for puppies and features delicious flavors of chicken and brown rice. The complete and balanced diet includes all the nutrition that supports the growth and development of young Aussie pups.


2. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Whole Brown Rice, 4. Brewers Rice, 5. Lamb Meal

This recipe by Nutro Ultra includes a blend of holistic superfoods to give your dog the best nutrition he can thrive on. The ideal mix is based on premium lean proteins, a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, healthy oils to keep your Aussie’s fur and coat in great shape, and whole grains to sustain their overall energy levels. The diet is everything your dog needs to maintain a strong immune system, a sharp mind, and a healthy heart.


3. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Sweet Potatoes

This protein-rich recipe by the American journey is a full-nutrition diet solution for your Australian Shepherd to fuel their super-active daily adventures. With delicious flavors of sweet potato and salmon, the grain-free recipe gets even the pickiest eater wag her tail at mealtime. The formula is based on wholesome ingredients that give your puppy lasting energy. It is also rich in essential fatty acids to keep your Aussie’s thick fur and skin and peak condition. The diet is also suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs as it is free of corn, wheat, soy, and other artificial ingredients and fillers.  


4. Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Herring Meal, 2. Peas, 3. Canola Oil, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Salmon Meal

Provide your beloved Aussie with a delicious seafood meal that includes salmon meal, herring meal, and whitefish meal as primary ingredients. All these ingredients ensure rich protein levels that your Australian Shepherd requires to stay healthy and active. In addition to protein, the recipe also includes a mix of natural fibers from fresh fruits and vegetables including apples, peas, carrots, blueberries, cranberries, and spinach. These ingredients are also rich in antioxidants and support optimal health. This Coastal Catch formula is excellent for nutrient absorption and easy digestibility.


5. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Real Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck, 2. Duck Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Chicken Fat

I personally love this food option for its unique features. If you have a sensitive Australian Shepherd, this diet would work wonders. Packed in essential nutrients, the recipe includes only 8 real food ingredients. This limited-ingredient diet offers complete nutrition from grain-free ingredients that are carefully chosen to promote your dog’s health and energy levels. Excellent for sensitive digestion, the diet is free from soy, wheat, corn, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.  


6. VICTOR Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Blood Meal, 3. Whole Grain Millet, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Yeast Culture

This recipe by Victor is suitable for both puppy and adult dogs. Fill your pup’s bowl with happiness and premium nutrition with this flavorful diet made from delicious and nutrient-dense ingredients. The protein-rich formula contains essential fats to keep your dog’s coat and skin in the best shape. It also contains moderate levels of carbohydrates to help your Aussie keep up with his high energy levels. The diet is suitable for dogs with high physical demands and therefore is one of my top choices for energetic dogs like Australian Shepherds.  


7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Whole Grain Wheat, 5. Whole Grain Corn

If you’re looking for complete nutrition for dogs who are 7 years or older, this recipe by Hill’s Science Diet is an ideal pick. Designed keeping the nutritional requirements of mature and senior dogs in mind, the recipe is crafted with the best and high-quality ingredients to provide your pooch with precise nutrition to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle during his golden age. This recipe includes everything to help your pet restore youthful energy. This complete and balanced diet is made in the USA.


8. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal & Chicken Meal Dry Dog Food Recipe

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Potatoes

Formulated with protein-rich ingredients, this high-protein formula is made with real deboned turkey, chicken meal, and turkey meal. The recipe boasts a perfect blend of wholesome nutrition and is also rich in antioxidants, probiotics, glucosamine, and omega fatty acids. The probiotic coated kibble supports your furry buddy’s digestive health while chondroitin and glucosamine help maintain joint and bone health to support high activity levels and mobility. This meal is the perfect example of real ‘wellness’, which is exactly what your Aussie boy needs!  


9. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula with Probiotics Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice, 3. Poultry By-Product Meal, 4. Corn Gluten Meal, 5. Beef Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols

This is a unique recipe that your Australian Shepherd pup will surely love. The formula offers advanced nutrition with real chicken as the primary source of protein. The best part about this food is its dual-texture formula. It works well for picky eaters too as it contains both crispy kibble and tender shredded pieces that add great flavor to the mix. In addition to flavor, the recipe contains antioxidants to support overall development, growth, and immune system. The highly digestible diet is a complete and balanced option for young Aussie pups.  


10. Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Classic Beef & Rice Entrée Canned Dog Food – Case of 12

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Liver, 3. Meat By-Products, 4. Chicken, 5. Rice

If you’re looking for a delicious wet-food option for your beloved pooch, this blend is a guaranteed hit. Formulated with delicious flavors of beef, the protein-rich formula is packed with essential nutrition in every bite. The adult formula contains added biotin for great coat and skin and carrageenan for better immunity in growing pets. This is a complete diet option that can be served on its own or used as a topper for dry food. Packed with powerful antioxidants and other essential nutrients, the diet is a highly recommended wet food option for a dog with an active lifestyle.


11. Eagle Pack Power Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Pork Meal, 3. Ground Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Chicken Fat

Offer maximum nutritional support to your canine companion with this diet option by Eagle Pack. The recipe contains everything that your demanding active dog requires. Not only it will help your Aussie with weight maintenance, but also aids in building stamina and toning muscles. This is complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs and contains nutrient content according to the specific demands of highly active dogs. Let your super-energized Australian Shepherd enjoy the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fats with this ideal mix.


12. CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken & Rice Formula Canned Dog Food – Case of 12

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Chicken Liver, 4. Dried Egg Product, 5. Brown Rice

The drool-worthy recipe by CANIDAE is another wet food option that works well with Australian Shepherds and other active dogs. Made from real chicken, the recipe is crafted with the best and highly nutritious ingredients that are simmered in a savory broth. Even the pickiest eater can’t resist the delicious flavors packed with protein and other essential nutrients.


13. Dr. Tim’s Active Dog Pursuit Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Whole Oat Groats, 5. Dried Beet Pulp without Sugar

This grain-free recipe by Dr. Tims is a work of expertise. Suitable for large and active dogs, the recipe contains five sources of high-quality protein to aid your super-active pooch’s adventurous lifestyle. This protein-rich recipe includes turkey and chicken as the primary ingredients along with a blend of other nutritional supplements and botanicals. This special recipe nurtures and supports your pet’s health from inside and out.  


Buying Guide

The medium-sized Aussie breed is an adorable-looking dog known for their herding skill and intelligence. And while those are the most known traits of the Australian Shepherd breed, they are also highly versatile due to their eagerness to please and trainability

This section has all the information that you’ve been looking for to help yourself buy the best dog food for Australian Shepherds.

Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherds

These highly active dogs have special dietary needs to take care of their super-energized lifestyle. Their nutritional requirements are similar to that of a German Shepherd. The following are some important boxes that you need to tick to ensure your Aussie boy or girl is getting the best nutrition.

High-Quality Protein

Dogs thrive on high-quality protein. Foods with meat first are better options for dogs. Always check for the label to see if the protein source is listed as the first or second ingredient. Poultry, pork, fish, and various fish are some excellent choices for quality protein. Choose foods with whole meats as well as meat by-products.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats and saturated oils are crucial for your dog’s diet. It is important to keep the quantity in moderation, especially for Aussie’s as they have a tendency to gain. Like humans, canines cannot make fats on their own. They also require omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids to keep their fur and skin in the best condition. Animal-based fats such as chicken fat are also good options, but you should particularly look for added oils in canine food. Fish oil, flaxseed oil, and canola oil are some excellent options.  

Essential Complex Carbs

Carbohydrates are important for a balanced canine diet. Unless your dog is allergic or sensitive to grains, it is okay to pick food with whole-grain ingredients. Other than that, fruits and vegetables are great to boost your Aussie’s energy. Similarly, carbs that offer antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins for your dog’s diet are essential too. Avoid grains and carbs if your dog has a very sensitive stomach or if they have a condition that doesn’t allow consuming grains.

Nutritional Needs of Australian Shepherds

Even though Australian Shepherds are unique when it comes to behaviors, traits, and tendencies, their nutritional needs are pretty close to the general dietary recommendations for canines. As mentioned earlier, focus on providing a complete and balanced food to your pooch with good protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.

Aussies are prone to gaining too much weight too fast if they don’t exercise regularly. Therefore, it is important to focus on a healthy lifestyle along with a food option that’s not too calorie-dense.

As a general rule, an Australian Shepherd should get 30 calories per pound of their weight in a day, but this depends on a number of factors such as their age, gender, activity level, and health condition.  

Food You Should Never Feed an Australian Shepherd

Like most dog breeds, the following foods can be toxic for your Aussie.

  • Garlic and Onions: Responsible for killing red blood cells in canines, causing anemia
  • Xylitol: Common sweetener present in candies, gums, baked goods, and toothpaste can dangerously affect your dog’s blood sugar levels, leading to liver failure
  • Chocolate: Contains theobromine that can cause severe digestive issues and heart problems in dogs, and can even cause death.  
  • Caffeine: Coffee, caffeinated teas, and other foods and beverages that contain caffeine can cause digestive problems, vomiting, restlessness, and rapid heart rate in dogs, and can even lead to death.
  • Alcohol: Affects dogs just like it affects humans. It can lead to diarrhea, breathing problems, and vomiting. Too much alcohol can cause death.

Common Health Problems in Australian Shepherds

Aussies are a lively and healthy breed. But they are prone to certain health conditions. Here are some common ones that you need to be aware of.  

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition where the femur is not perfectly adjusted with the pelvic socket of the hip joint. Regular hip evaluation is necessary to prevent this condition.

Progressive Retinol Atrophy (PRA)

This one is a degenerative eye disorder that may eventually cause blindness. The condition is detectable way before your dog is at risk of blindness. With regular evaluations, this condition can be prevented too.

Elbow Dysplasia

This one is another heritable condition that is caused by varying growth rates in different bones that make up the elbow.

Obesity

Aussie’s love food and they have a hearty appetite too. It is important for them to eat enough to fuel their energy levels. However, it is important to channel those calories well and keep an overall healthy lifestyle. Feed your Aussie according to their activity level to prevent obesity.

Multiple Drug Sensitivity (MDS)

Australian Shepherds is one of the rare breeds that are susceptible to a condition that causes high sensitivity to veterinary drugs. Testing before prescribing doses is important to prevent MDS.


FAQs

1. How much food should I feed my Australian Shepherd?

Generally, these highly active dogs can be fed 30 calories per pound of their weight in a day. However, do consider factors like their physical activity, age, and health condition to feed the right amount.

2. Can I change my Aussie’s diet?

Yes, you can. If you want to switch your Aussie’s diet to a more suitable option, it is best to make the switch slowly and gradually. Don’t replace the food overnight. Start mixing the new food with old food first and gradually increase the quantity of new food until you completely replace it.

3. How often should I feed my Australian Shepherd during puppyhood and adulthood?

Your young Aussie puppy should be fed three to four times a day. For adult dogs, two times a day is enough. Make sure you divide their daily calories accordingly.

4. Are Australian Shepherds good family dogs?

Known for their herding skills, these obedient dogs make for great family pets for their cool temperament and loyalty.

5. Do Australian Shepherds get along with kids and other pets?

These easy-going yet active dogs love to romp with children and easily get along with other pets too.

Leave a Comment