This is a review of the best dog food for Australian Shepherd.
I have tested popular medium to large dog food brands. I found Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, the best dog food for the Australian Shepherd.
As a canine Nutritionist, I know the importance of balanced nutrition for all pets. It is so important to get the balance right from the very start. Some dog breeds are prone to health problems later on in life. A balanced diet is the first stepping stone to a healthy and happy dog.
Australian Shepperd is a great breed. They are affectionate, easily trainable, and can be great friends with kids and other pets.
Despite their name, the Australian Shepherd dog breed originated in the western United States, not Australia, around the time of the Gold Rush in the 1840s. Originally bred to herd livestock, they remain a working dogs at heart. (1)
For this very reason, Australian Shepherd dogs need an active lifestyle and balanced nutrition to spend their energy.
In my experience, not all characteristics are the same for all dogs in one breed. Each dog will have different nutritional needs. This depends on the genes, lifestyle, and activity levels. Also, the best dog food for Australian Shepherd will be slightly different nutritionally in different stages of life.
At every life stage for dogs, nutritional needs might change.
I have reviewed 5 top choices for the best dog food for Australian Shepherd.
See my top choices below:
5 Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd:
Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd Overall)
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherd Puppies)
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd Adults)
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd Seniors)
Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight High Protein Formula Adult Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd Weight Management)
Best dog food for Australian Shepherd review:
All dog food for Australian Shepherds included in this list is within the standard of AAFCO and AAHA guidelines. Speaking with your dog’s veterinarian before changing its diet is advisable.
Because different life stages lead to different needs for your pup, we select the best food for Australian Shepherds when they are puppies to when entering old age. Have a look!
Best dog food for Australian Shepherds overall
Top 5 ingredients
Chicken, Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Poultry By-product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Soybean Meal
Crude protein 26.0% min, Crude Fat 16.0% min, Crude fiber 3.0% max, Moisture 12.0% max
- Real chicken is the first ingredient– a good and plenty of protein are crucial for a working dog like an Australian Shepherd. Protein supplies amino acids to build hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It also plays a central role in hormone production.
- Pack contains hard and tender bits for a great texture. You will be making your dog’s food bowl more adventurous and exciting.
- Prebiotic– added to benefit your dog’s intestinal flora and good digestion.
- Omega 6 and Vitamin to promote healthy coat and skin.
Customers who have purchased this product rate it 4.6 stars out of 5.
Key topics from buyers:
- Kibble might be too large for smaller dogs,
- Transition to a new dog food brand has to be gradual, not to have digestive issues,
- Most dogs enjoy the texture and flavor of this dog food brand,
- Better quality than store-bought brands and cheaper than foods at vets’ offices,
- I loved the free delivery from Chewy,
- Picky eaters like this dog food.
What type of kibble this food has?
This product includes crunchy kibble plus tender, meaty pieces to provide outstanding taste and texture. This formula is made with golden brown ¾” triangular disc-shaped and shredded-shaped extruded dry kibbles. This food is formulated for adult dogs of all breed sizes.
How long will this food last once the bag has been opened?
The food will last until the expiration date is printed on the bag. It’s recommended to store the food in an airtight container in a dry, excellent location.
What is a significant difference between this and the Purina One Smart Blend Large Breed Adult formula?
The Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula has a more tender kibble and probiotics for healthy digestion. The Purina One Smart Blend Large Breed Adult Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large-breed dogs.
What is a poultry by-product?
By-products from poultry are parts of the animal that remain after the meat is removed. They may include the lungs, spleen, liver, and kidneys. These poultry by-products are high-quality ingredients that contribute nutritional value to dog food. Purina pet foods don’t have parts, including the feathers, hide, hair, hooves, and intestinal contents of animals are never used in Purina pet foods.
How many cups are there in a pound of this food?
There are approximately 4 cups of kibble in every pound of food. The 6-pound bag contains 24 cups. The 18-pound bag has 72 cups, the 35-pound bag contains 140 cups, and the 47-pound bag has 188 cups.
Top 5 ingredients
Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Pea Protein
no grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
Crude Protein 28.05 min, Crude Fat 17.0% min, natural fiber 5.0% max, Moisture 10.0% max
- High in protein: buffalo, bison, beef, and venison, to promote lean muscle build and support strong muscles.
- Omega 3 and 6: support healthy skin and coat.
- Added probiotics: for digestive health.
- It is made and produced in the USA.
Customers who have made purchases rated this product 4.7 stars out of 5.
Main feedback includes:
- Made dog’s coat shiny but developed digestive issues,
- Great quality ingredients, but a bit expensive,
- The dog has lots of energy when eating this brand,
- Some picky eaters prefer this brand,
- An excellent option for dogs with chicken allergies,
- Great grain-free formula.
Is there a significant difference between puppy & adult food?
The difference between the adult and puppy formulas is the number of nutrients. Puppies require more protein than adult dogs because their bodies are busy growing. Puppy food should be higher in calories than adult food to compensate for how much energy puppies expend by increasing.
What is a “lamb meal” in this product?
Lamb meal is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of lamb or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.
How many cups are in a 28lb bag?
There will be approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound. The 5-pound bag will have close to 20 cups, the 14-pound bag close to 56 cups, and the 28-pound bag close to 112 cups.
How old should the pup be before switching to adult food?
A puppy is generally considered an adult when they stop growing taller. Typically for small breeds, this is between 9-12 months; for medium breeds, around 12 months; and for large breeds, closer to 15 months. We always encourage reaching out to your vet for the best results for your pet.
How big is the kibble?
This small, disc-shaped kibble measures 8.5 millimeters x 4.5 millimeters. This recipe features hard, crunchy kibble.
How long does it stay fresh in a sealed bag?
An unopened bag of food will last until the expiration date is stamped on the bag. Ideally, dry food and treats should be consumed within 6-8 weeks of opening the bag. Exposure to air, light, hot temperatures, and humidity speeds up the rate at which foods degrade. To limit these effects, keep dry foods in their original packaging and store them in an excellent, dry location.
Best dog food for Australian Shepherds adult formula
Top 5 ingredients
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Starch
No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
Crude protein 24.0’5 min, crude fat 14.0% min, Crude fiber 5.0% max
Moisture 10.0% max
- Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support a robust immune system.
- Calcium and essential vitamins for strong bones and teeth.
- Glucosamine for added joint health and support mobility.
Customers who have purchased this product give 4.6 stars out of 5.
Main feedback includes:
- Picky eaters might have a more extended transition period to this dog food brand,
- Good ingredients, but pricey,
- Small kibble size, suitable for smaller dogs,
- Dogs have lots of energy when eating this brand,
- Dogs get excited when served this brand.
The ingredient list shows garlic which is toxic for dogs. Is the amount listed safe?
When used in small amounts, garlic can help support the immune system, liver, and cardiovascular system, preventing blood clots and reducing cholesterol/fat buildup in the blood and heart. Also, it aids in the fight against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, increase the rate of killing off parasites and is excellent for palatability.
Do any meats or poultry in Blue Buffalo contain antibiotics or hormones?
The meats used in Blue Buffalo products do not contain any antibiotics or added hormones.
Is Blue Buffalo GMO-free?
This formula is not GMO-free.
Does this 15lb bag have the resealable strip on the bag?
The 15-pound bag is not resealable. Any Blue Buffalo bags that are 7 pounds and under will have the resealable feature, except for the 4-pound Toy Breed bags.
How long will this food keep fresh?
An unopened bag of food will last until the expiration date is stamped on the bag. Ideally, dry food and treats should be consumed within 6-8 weeks of opening the bag. Exposure to air, light, hot temperatures, and humidity speeds up the rate at which foods degrade. To limit these effects, keep dry foods in their original packaging and store them in a superb, dry location.
What size and type of kibble this food has?
The kibble in Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice recipe is a triangle shape and can range in size from 11-13 millimeters. This kibble features a rugged, crunchy texture.
Does this food help with a sensitive stomach and make hair and skin healthy?
This variety contains chicken meal, a rich protein source, providing pets with extra energy and nutrients while aiding digestion. It also contains flaxseed, which is a rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids and is an excellent source of fiber that aids in digestion and promotes healthy skin and coat.
Top 5 ingredients
Turkey, Rice Flour, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal
Weight Control, High-Protein
Crude protein 27.0% min, Crude Fat 8.0% min and 12.0% max, Crude fiber 5.5% max, Moisture 12.0% max
Adult with a weight issue
- Real Turkey, as the first ingredient: supports lean muscles.
- High-quality protein and fiber keep your dog full for longer and support the heart and other muscles.
- Vitamins A and E support eye health.
- Glucosamine from quality protein for healthy joints.
- Antioxidants from fruits for immune system support.
- Made in the USA.
Customers who have purchased this dog food rate it 4.6 stars out of 5.
Main feedback includes:
- Picky eaters might not like this food brand,
- Dogs get excited when smelling this food being served,
- Cheaper than prescription weight loss kibble, and the dog has lost weight,
- The vet recommended weight-loss dog food brands,
- Perfect digestive condition for my dog when feeding this brand,
- No more gas or stinky poop.
What is in the chicken by-products and the chicken meal?
By-products from poultry are parts of the animal that remain after the meat is removed. They may include the lungs, spleen, liver, and kidneys. These nutritious poultry by-products are high-quality ingredients that contribute nutritional value to dog food.
Chicken meal is made up of chicken that has been ground and cooked, reducing the fat content to create a protein-rich ingredient. It’s high in protein and amino acids to help strengthen and maintain your pet’s muscles. It’s also a high-quality source of glucosamine for joint health.
Purina pet foods don’t include parts including the feathers, hide, hair, hooves, and intestinal contents of animals are never used in Purina pet foods. This formula is not recommended for pets with a chicken allergy.
Will this help my dog lose weight?
This recipe is formulated to help pets support an ideal body condition and helps keep them feeling fuller for longer. This formula has a calorie content of 320 kilocalories per cup (kcal/cup), or 3,336 kilocalories per kilogram (kcal/kg).
How large are the kibbles?
This variety contains a brown 3/8 to ½-inch square disc-shaped kibble, a 3/8 to a ½ inch brown triangle kibble, and an irregular tender meaty morsel.
Top 5 ingredients
Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn
Digestive Health, Vitamins & Minerals
Crude Protein 15.5% min, crude fat 10.5% min, crude fiber 4.0% max, Moisture 10.0% max
353 kcal/8-oz cup
- Made in the US.
- No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives for natural food.
- Omega 6 for healthy skin and coat.
- The added Antioxidants and Vitamins will support the immune system.
This formula has been shown to improve your dog’s health in just 30 days.
Customers who have purchased this product rate it 4.7 stars out of 5.
Main feedback includes:
- The dog’s coat has improved and is now shiny,
- Some older dogs might have difficulty chewing,
- Loving the ingredients, but it does not smell good,
- Some picky eaters do not like it,
- Veterinary recommended; my dogs love it,
- Perfect digestive health for dogs when feeding this brand previously had sensitive stomach and diarrhea from other brands,
- Good value for money.
What is the size of the kibble?
This food has a medium kibble size of approximately 12 by 12 millimeters.
How many cups are in the 33-pound bag?
There will be approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound. The 5-pound bag will have close to 20 cups, the 15-pound bag close to 60 cups, and the 33-pound bag close to 132 cups.
Best Buy Guide
Choose one with quality protein to ensure you have the best dog food. Good nutrition will support your dog’s growth and build lean muscle.
The Australian Shepherd is considered a medium to large breed. It depends on a particular dog and its genes. Remember that the Australian Shepherd breed’s energy levels are very high. Therefore the caloric supply might not be enough in regular dog food.
You will need to assess your dog’s activity levels and consider the Active or Working bread formula.
Here are some additional things to know about the best dog food for Australian Shepherd
You need to consider some specifics when buying your furry friend’s food.
Balanced and Complete Formula
Make sure the dog food of your choice is certified by AAFCO. This certification will mean that particular dog food has been formulated to meet your dog’s minimum nutritional requirements.
High-quality animal protein
Check the label; the first ingredient on the list shows the percentage of the protein. This ingredient should mark at least 25% for an Australian Shepherd. Protein is necessary to build lean muscle.
This should be medium to high-fat content as the Australian Shepherd is a high-energy dog. It will need a higher fat content in its food.
This includes whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fresh fruits– they provide dietary fiber for digestive health. Ensure that the amount is relatively low, as dog nutrition calls for more animal-based ingredients.
Avoid fillers, additives, and artificial flavors. Generally, the shorter the ingredients list on the pack, the better.
Health problems in Australian Shepperd dogs
A General Health Guide
Like any dog breed, Australian Shepherds can have genetic disorders and diseases.
Unfortunately, these can not be cured by dog food. When getting an Australian Shepperd puppy from a breeder, check that both puppy’s parents have clearance for breeding.
In Aussies, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease; from Auburn University for thrombophilia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA website (offa.org). (1)
Unfortunately, Australian Shepperd is prone to have dental issues during their lifetime.
It starts with food residue, then tartar buildup on the visible parts of the teeth, and progresses to infection of the gums and tooth roots. (2)
Prevention is better than cure.
Here are 4 points of advice on how to look after your dog’s teeth:
- Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is the best way to keep your dog’s dental hygiene in check.
- Dental chews and the correct diet have some effect in reducing plaque.
- You should slowly train your dog to accept having its teeth brushed using positive training methods.
- If your dog’s teeth have a large amount of plaque on them, you should seek the advice of your vet. (3)
Viral Infections and Parasites
Australian shepherds are susceptible to infections and parasites like any other breed.
Make sure that your dog’s vaccinations and medicines are up to date. Your local veterinarian can recommend them based on the diseases they see in your area, the dog’s age, and other factors.
Australian Shepherds are prone to gain weight.
They are a very active breed, so their owner must ensure an adequate exercise regime.
It is a severe issue that may cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain, and heart disease.
Remember that overweight dogs may develop arthritis years earlier than average weight, causing undue pain and suffering!
Do not give your dog food from your table; this will add extra calories. The best treat you can offer your dog is a walk or a game of fetch. I know that your dog will appreciate it.
If you are interested, you can check out our article on how to help your dog lose weight.
Speak with your veterinarian if the best dog food for Australian Shepherds could be a suitable choice for your dog.
How much of best dog food for Australian Shepherd I should I feed my dog?
There are simple guides on every dog food pack. However, they are very generous and are aimed at unneutered or pregnant dogs most of the time.
If in doubt, your local vet practitioner can advise on your dog’s specific food amount needs.
Here are some general feeding guidelines:
- Two Months Old: 1 ½ cups a day
- Three Months Old: 2 cups a day
- Four Months Old: 2 ½ cups a day
- Five To Six Months Old: 3 cups a day
- Six To Seven Months Old (male pups only): 3 ½ to 4 cups a day (females should stay on 3 cups/day) (4)
Generally, divide the amount of food into four meals during the day. Spreading out is vital as large meals can upset small stomachs.
- Females: 2 to 2 ½ cups a day
- Males: 3 to 3 ½ cups a day
- Active Males: 4 cups a day
- Nursing Females: 5 to 6 cups a day
Aim for feeding two times a day. In the morning and the evening. Some dogs might prefer one big meal per day.
After assessing the top seller’s brands and Australian Shepherd dogs’ needs, my top choice for best dog food for Australian Shepherd is Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food.
This dog food is a perfect blend for the Australian Shepherd breed with a high protein count and caloric grade.
Choose your best dog food for Australian Shepherd Here: