The 14 Best Dog Foods for Blue Heelers

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

Blue Heelers are hard-working, intelligent, and loyal dogs. They are highly energetic and thrive on a healthy diet.

Choosing the right food for your Blue Heeler can be challenging. They have a big appetite to match their active lifestyle and need plenty of nutrients to replenish sore muscles. So, how can you find the best dog food for Blue Heelers?

We’ve reviewed the best dog foods with the nutrients your Blue Heeler needs to make things easier. Let’s dive in!

The Best Dog Foods for Blue Heelers

Top PicksCategory
1. American Journey Active Life Dog FoodBest For Adult Blue Heelers
2. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Dog FoodBest For Puppy Blue Heelers
3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Dog FoodBest For Senior Blue Heelers
4. Instinct Original Grain-Free Beef Canned FoodBest Wet Food For Blue Heelers
5. The Farmer’s DogBest Fresh Food For Blue Heelers
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Dog FoodBest Premium Food For Blue Heelers
7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog FoodBest Budget Food For Blue Heelers

1. American Journey Active Life Lamb & Brown Rice Dog Food — Best For Adult Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Barley, 5. Brown Rice

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,454 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 23% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 6% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

The American Journey dog food features deboned lamb meat and whole brown rice as its primary ingredients. This delicious combination provides premium quality proteins and essential fatty acids for the healthy growth and development of your Blue Heeler, and it includes natural fiber from easily digestible grains like barley and rice bran. You can feel great about filling your dog’s food bowl with this complete and balanced meal.


2. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Dog Food — Best For Puppy Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, Rice, 2. Corn Gluten Meal, 3. Whole Grain Corn, 4. Poultry By-Product Meal, 5. Beef Fat

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,934 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28% | Fat (min.) 13% | Fiber (max.) 4.75% | Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry

This puppy formula provides excellent nutrition that your precious dog needs. The recipe has high-quality chicken so that your puppy grows into its lean and toned adult frame. The recipe also includes complex carbohydrates obtained from rice to keep your pet active and playful all day long. 

This recipe helps keep your dog’s skin healthy and promotes a lustrous, shiny coat with omega fatty acids supplementation. It also has fish oil with DHA for optimal brain and vision development. Overall, it’s a good choice for all dog breeds, including Blue Heelers.


3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Lamb and Rice Dog Food — Best For Senior Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Split Peas, 5. Rice Bran

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,487 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

This recipe has grass-fed lamb meat as its primary ingredient. It delivers essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your senior Blue Heeler needs for a healthy body. The recipe also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for stronger bones.

If you’re looking for non-GMO dog food, this one is a good option. It contains recognizable ingredients and is free of byproduct meals. Additionally, this dog food contains dietary fiber for easier digestion and calcium to support healthy joints.


4. Instinct Original Grain-Free Beef Canned Dog Food — Best Wet Food For Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Beef Liver, 3. Beef Broth, 4. Ground Flaxseed, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,432 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 11.5% | Fat (min.) 7.5% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 78%
  • Form: Wet Food

Two things make Instinct Original Real Beef Canned Food perfect for Blue Heelers; loads of meat protein and high calories. Almost 95% of its protein is sourced from beef meat and liver, which plays a crucial role in repairing and building muscle, ligaments, and blood in the active Blue Heeler. 

Moreover, the canned food has 1,432 calories per kg to fuel the intense adventures of your Blue Heeler. It’s bursting with flavor and contains beef broth that gives it a juicy texture, making it ideal for dogs with finicky eating habits. You can also choose the food for dogs with sensitivities or allergies as it contains zero grains, gluten, corn, wheat, or soy.


5. The Farmer’s Dog — Best Fresh Food For Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. brussels sprouts, 3. chicken liver, 4. bok‐choy cabbage, 5. broccoli

  • Life Stage: All
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per lb): 721 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 11%, Fat (min.) 8%, Fiber (max.) 1.5%, Moisture (max.) 72%
  • Form: Frozen

The Farmer’s Dog is all about creating the best diet plan from the highest-quality ingredients for canines. This premium fresh-food service allows dog owners to choose from four recipes, all of which contain human-grade meat, veggies, and whole grains. You fill a form with your dog’s basic attributes such as age, breed, activity levels, and health history, and expert nutritionists craft a personalized diet plan for your Blue Heeler. 

A major advantage of choosing The Farmer’s Dog is that your dog won’t suffer from allergic reactions or sensitivity-related issues. The freshly-cooked meals will be delivered to your doorstep and can be frozen to serve later. And let’s not forget the incredible flavor the food offers, which is enough to attract the most stubborn dogs out there.


6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Premium Food For Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Beef, 2. Pea Protein, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Tapioca Starch, 5. Fish Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,641 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

If your Blue Heeler has a sensitive stomach, this grain-free diet is an excellent choice. It contains carefully selected ingredients to prevent food-related allergies.

This recipe includes multiple protein sources, including venison, lamb, and beef. Also, it features chondroitin and glucosamine for joint and bone health. If you’re looking for a good alternative to raw food, consider this red meat diet by Blue Buffalo. It contains essential nutrients and is completely free of byproducts and harmful additives.


7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Budget Food For Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,719 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 18%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Supply your Blue Heeler with the novel proteins and balanced nutrition required to support strong, lean muscles. The High Prairie Grain-Free recipe features bison and buffalo as primary ingredients. It provides the rich nutrients necessary for the growth and development of your adult Blue Heeler. This natural recipe also includes powerful antioxidants and minerals to support overall health.

The highly digestible recipe features a K9 probiotic blend that helps support your dog’s digestive health. Additionally, the tomato pomace provides vitamin C for general health and wellbeing. This Taste of the Wild product is one of the best dog foods you can buy for your Blue Heeler.


8. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food — Best Weight Gain Food For Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Chicken, 3. Ground White Rice, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Cracked Pearled Barley

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,107 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32% | Fat (min.) 25% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Although Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete is designed for athletic dogs, it’s also an excellent option for canines looking to gain weight quickly. A single cup of this food contains 470 calories and consists of at least 32% protein, which is the perfect combination for stimulating muscle growth and mass gain.

Apart from that, the food also contains loads of fat, including omega-fatty acids that make your dog’s coat softer and lustrous. Since your dog will be consuming so many calories, the food also provides digestive support with K9 probiotics and fibers. It also delivers a full range of micronutrients, including vitamins and antioxidants, for full-body support and long-term vitality.


9. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dog Food — Best Weight Loss Food For Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Potatoes, 3. Pea Starch, 4. Lamb Meal, 5. Canola Oil

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, giant breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,562 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 13% | Fiber (max.) 6% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Many weight management formulas reduce calories in their food at the expense of your dog’s energy. But not Blue Buffalo. Their dog food cuts down on excess fat while still providing enough calories to fuel the most energetic Blue Heelers. It also promotes muscle repair with deboned chicken and uses whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal to deliver fiber.

Another concern with obese dogs is joint damage, which the food reverses by building new cartilage with glucosamine and chondroitin. It will also metabolize extra body fat with L-carnitine and give your dog a leaner, slimmer physique. Antioxidants in the food will repair your Blue Heeler’s immunity, and omega fatty acids will ensure that their coat becomes healthier.


10. Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Dog Food — Best Food For Blue Heelers With Sensitive Stomach

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Lentils, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,725 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 26%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Constant diarrhea and bloating can ruin your dog’s health and quality of life. Luckily, Solid Gold Leaping Water has the answer to all of their sensitive stomach issues. It’s made from only a handful of ingredients, such as salmon meat, tapioca, and chickpeas. All of them are gentle on the stomach and rarely cause any digestive issues in canines. 

To further strengthen your dog’s sensitive stomach, the food features probiotics that build gut bacteria and speed up the digestive process. It’s also fortified with omega fatty acids to regrow healthy fur and nourish your dog’s skin. Grains and gluten, the most common culprits of stomach upset, are also completely eliminated from the recipe. 


11. Go! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Venison Dog Food — Best Food For Allergic Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. De-Boned Venison, 2. Venison Meal, 3. Tapioca, Peas, 4. Pea Flour, 5. Lentils

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,022 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 22% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Specially designed for working breeds that suffer from allergies and sensitivities, this dog food from Go! is an ideal choice for energetic Blue Heelers. It’s based on a single protein source, namely venison, which packs a rich taste and is full of amino acids used for building muscle. For carbohydrates, the food contains vegetables like chickpeas, tapioca, and lentils that digest easily and are full of fiber and calories.

In fact, the food contains approximately 442 calories per cup, which is a good figure for extremely-active breeds like the Blue Heeler. Omega fatty acids are also added to improve skin health and nourish the coat. Any ingredient that carries a risk of triggering allergies, including grain, gluten, potatoes, poultry, corn, and soy, is removed from the recipe so your dog can thrive on their new diet.


12. ACANA Red Meat Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Tasting Food For Picky Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Deboned Pork, 3. Beef Meal, 4. Whole Red Lentils, 5. Whole Pinto Beans

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,405 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 29% | Fat (min.) 17% | Fiber (max.) 6% | Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry

Made from raw beef and pork meat, fresh apples, pumpkins, and pears, it’s easy to see why Acana Red Meat Dog Food is the favorite choice of picky canines. The dog food features a 60% to 40% ratio of meat to botanicals, most of which are at their freshest stage when cooked to maximize flavor. 

Your dog will also be able to grow more muscle and become leaner as the food is full of premium-quality meat protein. Essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are added to support general body functions, and probiotics are included to enhance your dog’s digestive efficiency. All in all, the combination of freshly-sourced ingredients and the absence of grains make the food perfect for all kinds of Blue Heelers. 


13. Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance 21/12 Adult Dog Food — Best Food For Active Blue Heelers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken By-Product Meal, 2. Corn Meal, 3. Ground Wheat, 4. Rice, 5. Chicken Fat

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,580 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 21% | Fat (min.) 13% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry

Consider the Sportsman’s Pride formula if you’re looking for a protein-rich recipe for your adult dog. This dog food has real chicken as its primary ingredient and offers high-quality proteins to strengthen your dog’s immune system. Flaxseeds supply essential fatty acids to support the skin and coat health of your pet.

This recipe features minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to support whole-body health. Also, this recipe is completely free from artificial colors and preservatives.


14. Diamond Naturals — Senior Formula Dry Dog Food

First 5 ingredients: Whole Grain Brown Rice, Chicken, Peas, Egg, Oatmeal

Ensure superior nutrition for your senior Blue Heeler with this tasty formula from Diamond Naturals. This recipe features probiotics to support the digestive health of your senior and is a superb choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It features cage-free chicken as the primary ingredient to maintain strong, lean muscles. The antioxidants extracted from blueberries, coconut, kale, and peas promote overall health and wellbeing. It also contains omega-fatty acids to help your Blue Heeler feel and look great from the inside out.


Related:

Buyer’s Guide – Important Features To Consider

Choosing the best dog food for Blue Heelers is a challenging task. Your puppy and adult Blue Heelers have unique dietary needs. Look for these features in the best dog food for Blue Heelers:

High Protein Content

Blue Heelers are strong and athletic dogs. They need plenty of protein to replenish tired muscles and achieve optimal health. Choose premium-quality animal protein sources for your dog, and make sure to give them a variety of proteins for healthy nutrition. If your Blue Heeler is a high-energy dog, you need additional protein to develop and maintain lean muscle mass.

Protein supplies essential amino acids to build hair, skin, nails, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It also plays a vital role in hormone production. Good quality protein sources include bison, chicken, beef, and fish. Additionally, you can offer ground-up meat meals.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs are a great source of sustainable energy for Blue Heelers. They can help your dog build stamina and endurance for daily activities.

The best dog food contains complex carbs, including sweet potatoes, peas, oatmeal, brown rice, and more. 

Avoid feeding your dog simple carbohydrates such as corn and soy. These carbohydrates burn out faster and can weaken the digestive system.  

Fiber

Fiber can improve your dog’s digestive function. It helps absorb excess water and aids in bowel regularity so that your dog produces firm stools.

Highly fermentable fiber sources, such as vegetables, provide short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your dog’s gut.

The best dog food for Blue Heelers contains highly soluble fiber sources such as beet pulp and canned pumpkin.

Fats

Blue Heelers require healthy fats in their daily diet. These fats provide sustainable energy and help your dog absorb vitamins. They also provide omega fatty acids and help nourish your dog’s skin and coat. Additionally, fats help maintain body temperature and control inflammation. If you want to improve your dog’s health, look for high-quality fat sources such as chicken fat, fish oils, flax, and vegetable oils.

Minerals and Nutrients

Blue Heelers need essential minerals and nutrients to support healthy body functioning. A complete and balanced diet can help them build bones and keep them strong. Your dog can get all the nutrients it needs in commercial dog food, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • B-complex vitamins
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

Dogs don’t need vitamin C in their food because their bodies make it. When dogs eat nutrient-rich food, they don’t need vitamin or mineral supplements. Giving your dog dietary supplements can be dangerous.

Ingredients to Avoid

Preservatives

Preservatives help extend the shelf life of commercial dog food. But they are not healthy for your dog and can cause cancer.

Ethoxyquin: This can cause liver damage in Blue Heelers. Small quantities of Ethoxyquin aren’t a huge health risk to our dogs, but cumulative exposure can lead to serious health problems.

Propylene Glycol: Blue Heelers cannot digest propylene glycol, and repeated exposure can cause serious digestive health issues. Plus, some researchers suggest that propylene glycol can lead to nervous system damage.

BHA/BHT: According to the World Health Organization, BHA and BHT can increase the risk of canine cancer. BHA and BHT are also hard for dogs to digest and can trigger allergic reactions.

TBHQ: This preservative may damage cellular DNA. It’s a harsh chemical ingredient, and overexposure can poison our dogs.

Sodium Metabisulphite:  This can cause nervous system damage and trigger severe allergic reactions in dogs.

Animal By-Products

Animal byproducts are cheap fillers used to bulk up the protein content of commercial dog food. These ingredients can be remnants of animal carcasses.

Sweeteners

Dogs cannot process artificial sweeteners or refined sugars. You should avoid sweeteners, including corn syrup, sugar, and xylitol. Be extra careful when you’re buying dog treats because they contain high sugar content.

Dietary Recommendations and Common Health Problems

Blue Heelers are powerful and active dogs. They work on farms as herding dogs and may suffer from joint and ligament damage. Dietary sources of glucosamine and chondroitin can improve joint flexibility and health. Tearing of a Blue Heeler’s cruciate ligament is a big concern and should be surgically addressed for dogs with a long life of running ahead of them.

Some Blue Heelers can also suffer from canine hip dysplasia. Symptoms include hobbling, reduced physical activity, and stiffness—especially after a night’s rest. Dog foods with high calcium content can help prevent this condition.

Progressive retinal atrophy is another relatively common condition that appears in Blue Heelers. It’s an eye condition that involves retinal deterioration and may lead to impaired vision. Pay attention to how your dog sees at night. While this eye condition is painless, it can lead to complete blindness. A healthy diet can help prevent retinal atrophy and may even reduce eye fatigue.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between prescription and regular diets?

Prescription diets help manage disease symptoms or slow disease progression. They usually contain carefully selected ingredients for complete and balanced nutrition. Plus, they have tighter quality-control standards, and the recipes don’t change unless new research becomes available. Unlike regular dog food, prescription dog food is available through veterinarians.  

How much should I feed my Blue Heeler?

The amount your Blue Heeler needs to eat depends on various factors, including life stage (puppy, adult, pregnant or lactating), lifestyle, size, and general health. Buy high-quality food, weigh your dog and then read the feeding guidelines provided on the food label. Every dog is unique, so you may need to adjust its feeding accordingly. Click here to understand more about feeding your Blue Heeler.

Can I give my dog bones to chew on?

Yes. Bones are a great source of minerals and help satisfy your dog’s appetite. But you can’t let your dog chew any kind of bone. Some bones can splinter and become stuck in a dog’s throat. These bones can also cause constipation if swallowed. Click here to select the safest chewing bones for your dog.

When should I switch from puppy to adult dog food?

Puppy food is different from adult dog food. It is suitable for a rapidly growing pup. You can begin to switch to adult dog food when your Blue Heeler reaches 80 to 90 percent of its anticipated adult weight.

Can my Blue Heeler be a vegetarian?

Yes. Some Blue Heelers can be vegetarian as long as their meals contain protein from plant-based sources. There are many commercial vegetarian dog foods out there, but you should first discuss your dog’s diet with your veterinarian.

Are rawhides bad for my Blue Heeler?

No. You can satisfy your dog’s natural instructs by giving them rawhides. They can also help relieve tooth pain during canine teething. But if your dog has special dietary needs and allergies, it may have a bad reaction to rawhides.

Is cat food good for my Blue Heeler?

No. Dogs and cats have different dietary needs. Your Blue Heeler may survive on cat food, but it won’t thrive.

What is in dog food?

Dog food features a variety of ingredients, such as meat, poultry, seafood, and animal byproducts. It also contains natural or artificial preservatives to keep dog food fresh on the shelf and color to make it look more attractive.

Can my Blue Heeler eat table scraps?

Most table scraps are harmful to your dog’s digestive system. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, obesity, and other health conditions.

Isn’t my Blue Heeler bored eating the same food?

No. Your Blue Heeler has fewer taste buds than humans, so it doesn’t get bored eating the same food.

What tests are done to ensure dog food safety?

Manufacturers use standardized animal feeding tests designed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These trials help them find the right balance of nutrients for dog food.

Which dog food brand is the best?

There are many prominent dog food manufacturers. They include Iams, Hill’s Science Diets, American Journey, Purina, and Merrick. The best dog food for your Blue Heeler depends on its unique dietary requirements. Talk to your veterinarian to find out what is best for your dog.

Is expensive dog food better than generic dog food?

Yes. Pricier brands are better, and they usually aren’t available in a supermarket. You need to go to a pet store to buy high-quality, expensive dog food. Supermarkets stock generic brands rather than the healthiest dog food.

Does my Blue Heeler need vitamins and supplements?

Dogs that eat a complete and balanced diet do not need supplements. Talk to your veterinarian If you think your Blue Heeler needs supplements.

What is the best way to store dry dog food?

You can store dry dog food in a cool, dry place. It is helpful to transfer dry dog food from the bag into a large canister with an airtight lid.

What healthy treats can I give my Blue Heeler?

Vegetables make excellent treats for dogs. They are healthy, and your Blue Heeler can digest them. You can also find healthy dog treats at pet food stores. Consult with your veterinarian to find out what dog treats are best for your Blue Heeler.

Should my Blue Heeler eat raw meat?

Some people claim that Blue Heelers need raw meat because they are natural hunters. Others worry about the harmful bacteria and parasites present in raw meat. A little raw meat isn’t bad if it is not the primary part of your dog’s diet. We recommend high-quality beef, chicken, or turkey. It’s best to avoid raw pork meat.

Further reading:

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