The 8 Best Dog Foods For Blue Heelers

By Kevin Myers | 2021 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?

To make things easier, we’ve reviewed the best dog foods that will have the nutrients your Blue Heeler needs. Let’s dive in!

The 8 Best Dog Foods For Blue Heelers

Top ProductsRatingTop 5 ingredients:
1. Instinct Nature’s Variety Skin & Coat Health Raw Boost Recipe with Real Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food4.2Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca
2. Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance 21/12 Adult Dog Food4.3Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Ground Wheat, Rice, Chicken Fat
3. SPORTMiX — Premium Puppy Dry Dog Food4.2Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Meat Meal, Brewer’s Rice, Dried Beet Pulp
4. Taste of the Wild — High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.7Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas Grain-Free
5. Royal Canin Adult Dry Dog Food4.4Chicken Fat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Tapioca, Brewers Rice, Corn
6. Purina ONE – SmartBlend Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food  4.8Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Corn
7. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Lamb and Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food4.6Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Split Peas, Rice Bran
8. Iams ProActive Health Senior Dog Food With Slow Cooked Chicken & Rice 4.5Sufficient Water for Processing, Meat Byproducts, Chicken, Chicken Byproducts, Brewers Rice

1. Instinct Nature’s Variety Skin & Coat Health Raw Boost Recipe with Real Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca

This nutrient-rich recipe features all-natural ingredients, including chicken and menhaden fish meal. These animal protein sources supply essential amino acids, making them excellent for your adult Blue Heeler’s immune system. The healthy fats derived from chia seeds and fish oil provide omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Finally, this delicious recipe is free of soy, corn, or wheat, or soy and is highly digestible.

2. Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance 21/12 Adult Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Ground Wheat, Rice, Chicken Fat

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.

3. SPORTMiX — Premium Puppy Dry Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Meat Meal, Brewer’s Rice, Dried Beet Pulp

If you’ve adopted a Blue Heeler puppy, the SportMix formula is a perfect choice to keep it healthy. This dog food contains nutrient-dense ingredients that promote the growth and development of lean muscles, teeth, and bones. The recipe features chicken and fish meal as its primary ingredients and offers essential vitamins and minerals necessary for your puppy’s health. Also, it is highly digestible and has mixed tocopherols for easy nutrient absorption.

This recipe contains DHA content and omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat. It’s a delicious recipe and is perfect for a picky eater.

4. Taste of the Wild — High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients: Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas Grain-Free

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 product from Taste of the Wild is one of the best dog foods you can buy for your Blue Heeler.

5. Royal Canin Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Fat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Tapioca, Brewers Rice, Corn

This recipe is an excellent choice if you are looking for complete and balanced nutrition for your Blue Heeler. It features all the essential nutrition your active dog needs. The recipe includes fibers to support digestive performance and liver-enriched protein for optimum nutrition. Also, the added DHA and EPA content promotes joint and bone health.

The kibble has a crunchy texture and delicious flavor that encourages dogs to finish their meals. Finally, the selective protein in this recipe meets extensive energy requirements and helps your Blue Heeler stay active.

6. Purina ONE – SmartBlend Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food  

Top 5 ingredients: Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Corn

This nutrient-dense recipe features real chicken as the primary ingredient and offers high-quality protein to support your dog’s growth. The recipe includes DHA that supports healthy eye and brain development. Plus, chicken meal is a good source of glucosamine and helps strengthen your dog’s immune system. This recipe has a delicious taste and crunchy texture so that your puppy Blue Heeler enjoys every bite. Lastly, it is easily digestible and has no artificial preservatives.  

7. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Lamb and Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Split Peas, Rice Bran

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.

8. Iams ProActive Health Senior Dog Food With Slow Cooked Chicken & Rice 

Top 5 ingredients: Sufficient Water for Processing, Meat Byproducts, Chicken, Chicken Byproducts, Brewers Rice

If you have a senior dog, consider buying the Iams Proactive Senior Health Dog Food. This recipe has all-natural ingredients and provides essential minerals and vitamins that your senior Blue Heeler requires. The recipe features slow-cooked chicken and brewer’s rice as its main ingredients. It has high-quality proteins to support your dog’s muscles and omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin, and a lustrous coat. Additionally, the recipe has flaxseeds to provide antioxidants that enhance your dog’s overall health and happiness.

9. American Journey Active Life Formula Lamb, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients:  Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Turkey Meal, Barley, Brown Rice, Rice Bran

The American Journey dog food features deboned lamb meat and whole brown rice as its primary ingredients. The delicious combination provides premium quality proteins and essential fatty acids to promote the healthy growth and development of your Blue Heeler. This recipe includes a perfect blend of nutrients to fuel your dog’s adventurous spirit. There’s also 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.

10. Rachael Ray Nutrish Puppy Natural Real Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Dried Peas, Soybean Meal

This nutritionally dense diet is a great choice for your Blue Heeler. It contains cage-free chicken and brown rice as its primary ingredients. This recipe offers delicious flavors with premium quality proteins to support your dog’s lean muscle development. Also, the recipe includes GMO-free fruits and vegetables such as carrots and beet pulp to support healthy digestive function.

11. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Chicken Meal, Brown Rice and Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat

If you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious food product for your dog, this one from Hill’s Science is all you need. With chicken as the primary ingredient, the easily digestible formula is a great choice for your dog. This recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for optimal health. It features clinically proven antioxidants such as vitamin C and E to strengthen your dog’s strong immunity and great health. The scientifically formulated recipe is the perfect option for medium-sized dog breeds with nutrition tailored to their specific needs.

12. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula with Probiotics Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-Product Meal

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. With omega fatty acids supplementation, this recipe helps keep your dog’s skin healthy and promotes a lustrous, shiny coat. 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.

13. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Recipe with Red Meat Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Fish Meal, Peas, Pea Starch, Tapioca Starch

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.

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 support 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.

15. Merrick — Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas

This recipe by Merrick is a great choice for medium-sized dogs like Blue Heelers. It features limited ingredients and provides balanced nutrition for adult dogs.

This high-protein recipe will keep your dog active and healthy. It has real deboned salmon as the first ingredient and offers easily digestible carbohydrates for optimum nutrition. It provides amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to strengthen your dog’s immune system. Also, this gluten-free recipe has no allergens like grains, corn, soy, wheat, dairy, or eggs. Let your Blue Heeler enjoy an all-natural recipe and fulfills its nutrient requirements.

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 to provide 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. In fact, 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 some 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 the 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 are balanced with 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, as long as 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: