The 10 Best Dog Foods For Shelties

Shetland Sheepdog, affectionately known as the shelties, is one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs.

This is why they love to train and are well adept at performing their jobs.

Even though the origin of this breed is unknown, Shelties are believed to have descended from the small varieties of Charles Spaniel and the Scottish Collie.

This perhaps is the reason why they take so much of the characteristics of the collies.

Other than their intelligence, the shelties are also known for their beautiful, thick coat. In order to make sure that your darling pets remain healthy and happy, not only do you have to give them plenty of exercises but nutritionally balanced food too.

This is where I feel that commercially produced food does what homemade may not be able to, give your dog all the nutrition they need for excellent health and development.

If you aren’t sure what’s the best dog food for shelties, you have come to the right place. Here you will find all your answers and some more.

The Best Dog Foods for Shelties – My Top 5 Picks

The following list, as per my research, are the best shelties dog food…

1. American Journey- Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3640 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Chickpeas, 3. Tapioca Starch, 4. Dried Beet Pulp, 5. Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Folic Acid

American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food formula has been designed for the specific needs of your small to medium sized pup. This means that all the nutrients along with supplements are present in this carefully manufactured formula. It contains the perfect mix of meat, fruits, and vegetables, along with antioxidants and probiotics.

Deboned lamb is the major meat source which means instant energy for your pooch. Also present are a mix of fruits and vegetables like blueberries, carrots and dried kelp which help in providing the right amount of vitamins and minerals to your beloved pet. The addition of salmon oil and flaxseed help in developing bone health, improved immune system, eye health and skin/coat of your dog. The best part is that your shelty will love the taste of this meal.

Buy on Chewy


2. Annamaet- Ultra 32% Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4228 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 20%, Fiber (max.) 3%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Chicken Meal, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)), 4. Whole Dry Eggs, 5. Millet
  • Niacin Supplement
  • Biotin

Created with love and consideration, top ingredients in Annamaet Ultra contains antibiotic and hormone-free chicken, along with fish and brown rice. This means that any chance of developing an allergic reaction reduces significantly. What is unique about this formula is the addition of algae, from where omega 3 acids are obtained. These ensure that your little buddy has all the nutrients needed for proper growth.

The formula also contains L-Carnitine and DHA, two supplements that help in the development of bones, joint health, immune system and healthy brain cells. There are also no artificial additives like color, flavor or preservatives, neither is there inclusion of wheat, soy or corn. Your little puppy or adult pet would take to this recipe very happily.

Buy on Chewy


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

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3719 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 18%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Buffalo, 2. Sweet Potatoes, 3. Peas, 4. Potatoes, 5. Roasted Bison
  • Vitamin D Supplement
  • Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms

Taste of the Wild is one of those safe foods that all dog parents absolutely love. Their formulas are fulfilling, nutritious and completely risk free, no matter what the breed or age of your dog is. This recipe is made with novel proteins including buffalo and bison. The grain-free recipe also includes peas and sweet potatoes, along with many supplements that give happy growth to your beloved pooch. The presence of real fruits, vegetables and chicory root ensures that your dog gets enough probiotics for a strong gut health and immune system.

Also added to the formula are powerful antioxidants along with with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help in fighting off diseases and improving metabolic reactions. There are absolutely no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, so you would not have to worry about upset stomach or allergies.

Buy on Chewy


4. American Natural Premium- Grain-Free Ocean Fish Meal & Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 397 kcal/cup
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Menhaden Fish Meal, 2. Salmon Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), 3. Safflower Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), 4. Tomato Pomace, 5. Vegetable Broth
  • D-Calcium Pantothenate
  • L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate

American Natural Premium Grain-Free Ocean Fish Meal & Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food is the kind of formula your dog needs when they are liable to a sensitive stomach. It is created with whitefish meal and salmon oil, the two things which are a complete miracle workers for upset stomachs and digestive system that aren’t very strong. Your pooch will easily be able to chew and digest, as well as metabolize this recipe without any kind of medical ailment. Supplements preset in the formula also provide skin and coat nourishment with healthy omega fatty acids.

This is a perfect diet for all dogs that have grain or chicken sensitivities, since there are no chicken protein, fat, egg or cartilage. Probiotics have also been added to promote better gut health. The best part? There is no compromise on taste so your dog will love the taste!

Buy on Chewy


5. Nutro- Wholesome Essentials Senior Farm Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3526 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 23%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Chicken, 2. Whole Brown Rice, 3. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), 4. Split Peas, 5. Rice Bran
  • Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
  • Potassium Chloride

Pet parents are generally always concerned about the health and well being of their senior citizen dogs. Nutro Senior Dog Food with our Senior Support System Formula ends all those worries, because it has been designed specifically for older dogs. Made with real chicken, brown rice and oatmeal, this formula contains omega-3 fatty acids, ALA and DHA for brain and cellular health.

There is also naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin added to the recipe as it helps in keeping your pooch’s joints strong and healthy. Once you start giving them Nutro, you will notice a definite change in their health. They will become more active and much more fit than ever before.

Buy on Chewy



Frequently Asked Questions About Shelties Dog Food

Now that you know about the 5 best dog foods for your sheltie, your head may be abuzz with dozens of questions. Do not worry at all, because here we have a list that is frequently asked by sheltie owners.

Remember though, if there seems to be something wrong with your canine buddy, then you will need to take it to the vet to ensure they are not ill or getting down with something.

Here are all the most frequently asked questions about sheltie dog food.

How much food should I give my Sheltie?

When thinking of how much food you should give your sheltie, you will have to consider their age, weight, activity level along with the calorie content of the product you decide to give them. I most cases 1 to 2 cups a day are enough. Read the feeding instructions on the box and then decide accordingly.

How many times a day should I feed a Shetland Sheepdog?

This depends on the age, activity, gender and reproductive health of your canine friend. A small puppy needs to be fed at least three times a day, as they are unable to take too much food in one go. An adult Shetland Sheepdog, on the other hand, needs only to be fed twice a day. If your dog is a working dog or has very high levels of activity, you may need to feed them thrice a day.

What are the best foods for Shelties?

The best type of food for your sheltie is one that is made of natural and wholesome ingredients. This means more than 50% of meat sources and the rest should be vitamins, minerals, and supplements. This can mostly be obtained through commercially produced foods as they understand all the nutritional requirements of your dog. Opt for high-quality food that contains everything wholesome and rich.

What are the best vegetables for shelties?

Vegetables are the source from where your dogs obtain vitamins, fiber and other supplements. You can choose to give food items that contain an assortment of vegetables or you can even give fresh veggies as treats. Some of the best vegetables for your dog are asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, peas, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, zucchini. Make sure they are a regular part of your pooch’s diet.

Is grain-free diet better for Shetland Sheepdogs?

Shetland Sheepdog isn’t particularly allergy prone. This means they are only as susceptible as any other breed. There are some skin allergies though that they develop because of the food they consume. If you feel that your dog has recurrent skin problems or ear infections, then this is a clear sign of an allergic reaction. These allergies mostly occur because of the consumption of grains. You may want to stop giving them grains altogether. Most dog owners prefer giving grain-free diet.

Do shelties have sensitive stomach?

Most shelties do have a sensitive stomach which means that they develop allergies from grains. This is the reason why most pet parents prefer to give their shelties a grain-free diet instead of experimenting.

What to give if not gluten grains?

You will find that most dog foods will contain some kind of grain as it helps your pooch in keeping full for longer stretches of time. The best way to remain free of allergies while giving grains is to opt for limited gluten or gluten free options. Safer grains include rice, barley, oats or even oatmeal. You will, of course, have to experiment a little to be sure of what best suits your individual dog.

How many times do I feed a puppy and which food is best for them?

Most puppies, be they shelties or other breeds, need to be fed 3-4 times a day. This is because your little pup is unable to eat the right amount of food in a single serving. Puppies need more supplements and rich food as they are in a growing developmental phase. So ensure that their diet consists of high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of carbs and moderate to low levels of fats, along with fiber, vitamins, minerals and other essential supplements.

What food should I never give my Shetland Sheepdog?

Some of the most hazardous foods for your dogs include:

  • Corn and wheat gluten.
  • Meat and grain meals and by-products.
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  • Ethoxyquin.
  • Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
  • PG (Propylene Glycol)
  • Rendered fat

You may take this lightly, but keep in mind that these things when present in your pet’s food can be life threatening.

What are the healthiest treat options for my sheltie?

Other than the food, if you wish to reward your beloved canine for their hard work or good behavior, then you can give them small treats. These can be in the form of commercially produced treats or fresh fruits, vegetables, peanut butter, eggs etc. Remember, food or table scraps are never too good for your dog’s digestive system so refrain from giving them those. When you do give treats, keep in mind that too much of it can lead to excess weight gain, which is why you should give it moderately.

Is cheese harmful to my dog?

No, it isn’t. So long as it is given in moderation, cheese can be an excellent source of calcium for your dogs. Just keep in mind that giving too much can cause their stomach’s to get upset, so you need to limit their intake.

Are tomatoes bad for my sheltie?

Yes they can be. Basically their stem is what can become to toxic to dogs as it contains solanine, a substance that is harmful. Therefore, in order to avoid making their dogs sick, owners generally do not allow them to have tomatoes at all. Make sure that when you are buying commercially produced food, you check the label for the absence of tomatoes in the recipe.

The Buyer’s Guide: Food For Shelties

Shetland Sheepdog, or the Sheltie, is a small to medium sized dog, that loves to be trained and doing their required tasks. They are active, loyal and extremely beautiful. The shelties are mostly kept as farm dogs because of their energetic style and willingness to work.

Since they are an intelligent and obedient breed, they are also kept as pets particularly in households where there are children, the elderly or special needs people.

As the shelties are so full of energy, they need to be exercised regularly and have to be fed food that is full of nutrition and supplements. If this is your first sheltie and you want to ensure their health and well being, then read on for all your questions on the best dog foods for shelties.

Nutritional Requirements

When it comes to nutrition, you are looking for food products that contain the right balance of meat, fruits, vegetables and supplements. Here is what the shelties need most.

Meat Source

The most important thing in any dog food is meat source. More than 50% of the nutrition that your pet requires comes from the meat, which is why you have to become very particular about it. Opt for a formula that contains real meat like that of chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, bison, venison, duck or fish. Meat is what provides proteins to your dog, which is what aids in the development of muscles and cells. Also, remember that amino acids or proteins that come from animal source are much better than the ones coming from a plant source.

Vitamins and Minerals

These are very important and must be well balanced along with the meat. Most vitamins and minerals come from the addition of fruits and vegetables. So check the labels for what types of veggies and fruits are a part of the recipe. As long as there are 4-5 sources, you’re good. Many product designers add further supplements in order to enhance the health of your pooch. Vitamins like B, C, D and E are very important along with minerals like calcium, phosphorous and more as they improve bones, teeth, gut health and immune system.


As we have already discussed that Shetland sheepdogs are always full of energy. This means that they need food that contains at least a moderate amount of carbohydrates in order to meet all their needs. Sweet potato, tapioca and other grain-free options will work best. Just do not opt for food items that contain fillers as they can lead to allergies.

The Diet of a Sheltie at Different Life Stages

Here is how much nutrition your sheltie dog needs at different stages of their lives.

  • Puppy: The average diet of a Shetland Sheepdog puppy comprises of at least 22% proteins and 8% fats. Keep in mind that this is the bare minimum and since this breed is exceptionally energetic, it needs good amounts of food.
  • Adult: As soon as the sheltie is an adult, you need to transition them to food designed especially for adult dogs. This food should have at least 18% protein and 5% fats. If the level of protein is higher than it will be even better as protein helps in building muscle mass.
  • Senior: When your dog grows older, they do get slower too. Their activity and energy levels wane, which is why you need to lower their carbs intake. Keep in mind that this happens when they turn 8-9 years old. If you feel that your dog has developed a sensitive stomach or is gaining excess weight, start them on a special diet that has low-fat content.

Disease among Shetland Sheepdog

Some of the most common diseases among shetland sheepdog are Collie Eye Anomaly, Corneal Dystrophy, Congenital Deafness, Dermatomyositis, Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Von Willebrand Disease. Some of them are inherited diseases, while others ca be acquired due to a number of reasons including the kind of diet your dog is fed.

Hence the reason why you need to be very careful about what kind of food you give to your sheltie and how often they work out their excess energy.

Some Food Products to Avoid

There are certain food items that are hazardous for the health of your beloved pooch. Not only can they cause allergic reactions, they can also lead to multiple diseases and even be fatal. This is the reason that you need to make sure that the following products are either completely absent or present in very small quantities in your dog’s commercially produced food.


These are artificial preservatives that can give rise to diseases like liver and kidney dysfunction, plus bladder and stomach cancers. They are mostly banned in all European countries but are sometimes used by American manufacturers. So be mindful of them and read the label carefully.


Ethoxyquin is another preservative that is added to food items but which has been termed as a pesticide by the department of Agriculture. You need to be very careful about going through the ingredient list and finding whether or not it is added to the food products. It has to be avoided at all costs as it can cause many types of cancers.

Meat Meals and Fillers

One more thing that may not exactly be hazardous but which causes your dogs to gain excess weight and become obese are meat meals, like turkey meal, chicken meal etc. Likewise fillers such as brewer’s rice, animal by-products such as eyes, neck, feet etc. are fillers that add amount to the food item, but contain little to no nutritional value. Hence, it is best to avoid them.

The Competition – Dog Foods for Shelties

6. Primal- Duck Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 5477 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 42%, Fat (min.) 30%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 3%
  • Form: Freeze dried food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck, 2. Duck Necks, 3. Organic Kale, 4. Organic 5. Organic Apples,
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries

If you have been looking for a safe raw diet, then your search ends here. Primal Duck Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food is the perfect balance of meat, vegetables, gluten free grains and fruits. It is manufactured from antibiotic, hormone and steroid-free duck meat and organs, with the addition of fresh ground bone for calcium supplementation. If your pooch isn’t taking well to chicken or beef, duck is an ideal option for them. The formula is prepared keeping in mind how your dog needs maximum amounts of protein, limited number of fats and fiber. Since the taste is delicious, your baby will just love this freeze dried food. There are simply no grain, gluten, corn, wheat or soy. Once you give your canine buddy this formula, they will never want to go back to anything else.

7. Blue Buffalo- Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Healthy Weight Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3278 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20%, Fat (min.) 9%, Fiber (max.) 10%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Canola Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), 5. Powdered Cellulose
  • Copper Sulfate
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7)

Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Turkey & Potato Recipe is a limited-ingredient diet created with the aim of giving complete nutrition to your dog with a sensitive tummy. Made with real turkey and potatoes, this formula is not only full of balanced nutrition, it also contains absolutely no heavy food items that could bring about an upset stomach for vomiting for your pooch. Addition of L-carnitine, phosphorus, calcium, omega 3 & 6 fatty acids give your dog bone and teeth health, better immune system and a stronger joint health. There are o chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, dairy or eggs, so you won’t have to worry about allergic reactions.

8. Hill’s Science Diet- Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 392 kcal/cup
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 21%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Chicken, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Yellow Peas, 4. Egg Product, 5. Dried Beet Pulp
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Flaxseed

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food is another great option for dogs with difficult digestive systems. If your dog has a hard time adjusting to commercially produced food, then try this formula because it will help them gain all their nutrition without being too heavy on their stomachs. Also present are antioxidant, vitamin E and C that work together to help support a healthy immune system. You darling buddy will happily chow away all the food that you put in front of them and will not lose their energy.

9. Stella & Chewy’s- Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4420 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 48%, Fat (min.) 28%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 5%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Chicken With Ground Bone, 2. Chicken Liver, 3. Pumpkin Seed, 4. Organic Cranberries, 5. Organic Spinach
  • Organic Broccoli
  • D-Calcium Pantothenate

Stella & Chewy’s Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food is the kind of food item that your dog craves. It is the perfect raw food option that provides the right kind of nutrition without you having to slave away for hours mixing up different kinds of meats and other assortments. The formula contains 95% cage-free chicken, organs and bone, plus 100% certified-organic fruits and vegetables. This means that your dog obtains the goodness of all kinds of nutrients, amino acids, fats and fiber. The limited ingredient diet, grain-free, gluten free, raw, pea-free also contains no artificial additives like colors, flavors or preservatives.

10. The Honest Kitchen- Proper Toppers Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food Topper

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4580 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 48%, Fat (min.) 21%, Fiber (max.) 2%, Moisture (max.) 5%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Dehydrated Chicken, 2. Dried Apples, 3. Dehydrated Pumpkin, 4. Dehydrated Kale, 5. Dried Blueberries
  • Vitamin A Supplement
  • Thiamine Mononitrate

The Honest Kitchen Proper Toppers Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food Topper contains just the right super foods that your pooch needs for their nutritional needs. Since the formula is 90%, you will have no worries about gaining the right kind of fulfillment for your dog. This grain-free kibble will be a favorite of your beloved pet within no time and you will have a hard time restricting their eating schedule. Created with original chicken meat that has been combined with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, The Honest Kitchen’s formula is completely grain-free and has no corn, wheat, soy, preservatives, by-products or GMO ingredients.

So these are, I believe the best dog foods for shelties. Of course, keep in mind that your individual pooch will have a preference for one or the other and their nutritional needs may differ, so you will need to try a few foods to find which one is best for your pet.

Just make sure you make the right decision and discover the food formula that works best for your beloved canine friend.