In this article you will find:
- Fast Facts
- Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherds
- What Is The Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherd?
- 1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food Delivery
- 2. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
- 3. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
- 4. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
- 5. Dr. Tim’s Ultra Athletic Fusion Formula
- 6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
- 7. Go! Solutions Carnivore Chicken, Turkey & Duck Recipe
- 8. True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe
- 9. Wild Frontier by Nutro Grain-Free Puppy Food
- 10. Nulo Freestyle Trout & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe
- Australian Shepherd’s Caloric Needs
- The Nutritional Needs of Australian Shepherds
- What’s in the Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherds
- Unique Needs of Australian Shepherds
- Should Australian shepherds eat grain free?
- Are Australian Shepherds picky eaters?
- Do Australian Shepherds have sensitive stomachs?
- Is an Australian shepherd a good dog?
Australian Shepherds are one of the most strikingly beautiful and popular dogs around.
According to the AKC, these beautiful herders have surged in popularity in recent years, and are now among the twenty most popular breeds in the world.
Read on so that you will know what the best dog food for Australian Shepherd are.
- Features real, deboned lamb
- Contains salmon oil and flaxseed
- Human-grade ingredients
- Crafted by a Vet Nutritionist
- 50% off First Order
While their name would have you believe they’re originally from the land down under, the Australian shepherd was actually first bred in America.
Aussies are smart, hard-working, easy to train and have the boundless energy necessary for a life of herding, which is what they’re bred to do. To keep up with the rigors of their work, they need a nutritious diet that’s rich in protein.
Australian shepherds are a medium sized dog, typically weighing in between 45-65 pounds and standing 1 ½-2’ tall. The average Aussie lives about 12-15 years.
Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherds
Today, we’ve learned everything you’ll need to know about your Aussies special needs, and the ingredients that they need in their food to thrive. Now, we’ll take a look at some of the best options available for Australian shepherd puppies, adults, and seniors.
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
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American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
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Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
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Ollie Fresh Pet Food
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Dr. Tim's Ultra Athletic Fusion Formula
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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
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Go! Solutions Carnivore Chicken, Turkey & Duck Recipe
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True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe
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Wild Frontier Puppy Recipe with Turkey & Duck
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Nulo Freestyle Trout & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe
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What Is The Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherd?
- Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
- American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
- Ollie Fresh Pet Food
- Dr. Tim's Ultra Athletic Fusion Formula
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
- Go! Solutions Carnivore Chicken, Turkey & Duck Recipe
- True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe
- Wild Frontier Puppy Recipe with Turkey & Duck
- Nulo Freestyle Trout & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe
1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food Delivery
First 5 ingredients (Turkey Fare): Turkey, Brown Rice, Carrots, Spinach, Eggs
If you want to feed your dog a raw diet, but you don’t want to be responsible for it, you can outsource that responsibility to a company like Nom Nom. It produces excellent raw meals for your dog that can help clear up pickiness and skin issues your dog may be experiencing.
Whole veggies and fruits help with antioxidants and vitamins to promote bone health, coat health, and proper brain function.
You can design your dog’s meal plan directly on the website, and the meals are delivered to you to be frozen or refrigerated until you need them. They’re easy to do, and if you’ve got the budget, you may transform your dog’s mealtime.
Nom Nom teams up with canine nutritionists to help create the most fulfilling raw food diet for your pet. You have meals delivered, making everything simple, and you can fill out a questionnaire to find the right dog food for your Aussie.
- Easy raw food
- Human grade ingredients
- Limited ingredient formula
- Delivery is convenient
- Whole protein options
- Requires refrigeration
- Takes time for dogs to get used to it
2. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Deboned lamb, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, chickpeas
American Journey has fast developed a reputation as one of the premier dry dog food manufacturers on the planet. Their foods are packed with wholesome ingredients, and a healthy dose of protein and fat to provide working dogs with the fuel they need to thrive.
This blend derives the majority of its protein from lamb, chicken, and turkey. There’s also a bit of Menhaden fish meal and pea protein. A healthy dose of chicken fat and salmon oil provide flavor, texture, and the healthy fat your dog needs to thrive.
Sweet potatoes, blueberries, and carrots provide your dog with the complex carbs necessary to maintain a high energy level. In addition to salmon oil, kelp is also added to help your dog achieve a beautiful shiny coat.
This food is also loaded with antioxidants which help to prevent the oxidative stress that is a major contributor to joint damage, and DHA is also added to encourage healthy brain and vision function. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also present, which helps your dog’s joints stay in top condition.
Overall, American Journey delivers premium ingredients and all of the extras your dog needs to perform at their best, at a price point that’s more affordable than most premium foods. For those reasons, it’s our favorite for adult Aussies.
- Loaded with the protein, fat and complex carbs your dog needs
- Contains antioxidants, glucosamine, and chondroitin for healthy joint function
- Not ideal for sedentary dogs
3. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
This dry dog food by Taste of the Wild is made with real Salmon and Ocean fish meal as the primary animal protein sources. Sweet potatoes and peas deliver energy that is easily digestible while real fruits and vegetables are included to provide antioxidant support as part of a balanced diet.
Taste of the Wild incorporates a K9 probiotic blend into their recipe that was created to encourage a well-functioning digestive system. Added vitamins and minerals provide your pup with adequate nutrition. This formula does not include artificial flavors, colors, or fillers.
- Easy to digest ingredients
- No artificial colors or flavor
- No fillers
- Gluten-free and grain-free
- Not certified organic
- May contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)
4. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
First 5 ingredients (Beef Recipe): Beef, beef heart, sweet potato, peas, potato
Ollie is a pet food company that was founded in 2016 by Gabby Slome, Alex Douzet, and Randy Jimenez. This New York-based pet food company set out to turn the pet food industry on its head by offering fresh, custom meals for dogs similar to meal-prep services like Maple and Sprig for humans.
Ollie’s fresh food is made and hand-packed in the USA. They are partners with a veterinary nutritionist to formulate their nutritionally-balanced recipes in accordance with AAFCO standards. All of their food is cooked in small batches in their USDA-regulated kitchen.
They carefully source their ingredients from reputable farms in the U.S and Australia. Each partner must go through an extensive certification process to become a supplier. All of their food is made only with whole, human-grade ingredients.
- Each recipe is vet-formulated
- Made from fresh, natural ingredients
- Met AAFCO nutritional standards
- Improved oral/dental health
- You can customize your subscription
- Price a bit expensive
- Fresh pet food has a shorter shelf life compared to kibbles and canned goods
5. Dr. Tim’s Ultra Athletic Fusion Formula
First 5 ingredients: Chicken liver, Chicken meal, Brown rice, Chicken fat, Menhaden fish meal
Veterinary professional Dr. Tim Hunt has developed this food especially for high energy working dogs to provide them with the nutrition they need to excel. Dr. Tim’s Ultra Athletic Fusion Formula is one of the most advanced foods we’ve seen, and it’s packed with protein and fat.
A whopping 87% of the protein from this food is derived from animal sources, which provide your pup with the most useful and bioavailable protein sources. The majority of the protein in this blend is derived from chicken and fish.
This food is also extremely high in healthy fats, which not only provides a great flavor and texture for your pet but also helps ensure that they have healthy skin and a beautiful and lustrous coat.
A special probiotic blend also helps to provide your pup with immune system support, while supporting gastrointestinal health as well.
At over 500 calories per cup, this is one of the most energy-packed foods on the market, and it provides working dogs with the fuel they need for a day on the range.
This food is a bit more expensive than some brands, but if you’re serious about providing your high energy Aussie with the best, it’s an option to take a closer look at.
- Provides working dogs with the energy they need
- Extremely high in protein and fat
- Contains probiotics
- Not appropriate for lower energy dogs
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein, Menhaden Fish Meal
Blue Buffalo’s salmon recipe uses their famous LifeSource bits for essential nutrients and vitamins. Deboned salmon provides an excellent source of essential fatty acids and high-quality proteins essential for your Australian Shepherd’s high energy. Fish is excellent at helping dogs maintain a beautiful coat and this one should be no different.
There’s no soy or corn, and it’s gluten and wheat free. It uses whole, quality products with none of our usual suspects with skin or other food allergies. It’s meant to mimic the ancestral diet your canine would have had before the days of human couches and apartment living.
- Packed with the delicious real salmon
- Whole proteins with salmon as the first ingredient
- Excellent source of essential fatty acids
- LifeSource bits for extra nutrients
- Grain-free food
- On the expensive side for a budget food
- 24 pounds is the largest option for many sources
7. Go! Solutions Carnivore Chicken, Turkey & Duck Recipe
First five ingredients: Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, De-Boned Chicken, De-Boned Turkey
Go! Is a newer dog food company that places a serious emphasis on animal-based proteins. They’re owned by the Canadian manufacturer Petcurean, and they’re one of the only manufacturers that don’t source a single ingredient from China.
When you take a look at the ingredients in this food, you’ll notice that there are tons of animal proteins listed. Beyond the first five we mentioned above, there’s also trout and duck in this blend, as well.
This food also contains tons of complex carbs from delicious fruit and vegetable sources. You’ll find pumpkin, squash, broccoli, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, These provide your pup with plenty of energy sources, while also feeding them the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they need for optimal performance.
Prebiotics and probiotics are also included to support your dog’s immune system and help them maintain their gastrointestinal health.
We love that this food is packed with so many great sources of protein and complex carbs. While there are plenty of antioxidants to support joint health, we would have also liked to see glucosamine and chondroitin, which are unfortunately missing. The only other knock against Go! Fit is it’s a bit on the pricey side. The per pound price of this food is about $2.84.
- Packed with protein from animal sources
- Tons of complex carbs from fruits and vegetables
- Contains prebiotics and probiotics
- Doesn’t contain chondroitin or glucosamine
8. True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Beef, Peas, Pea Starch, Poultry By-Product Meal, Canola Meal
Using beef as its main protein source, True Acre Foods have created a reasonable dog food formula that gives quite a lot of value for money. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids present within the formula will also work to ensure your dog's coat and skin remain healthy and vibrant.
All of True Acre's dog foods are made with ingredients sourced from trusted farms, and without grains, wheat, corn or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Whilst peas are listed as one of the ingredients, it will be difficult to escape this ingredient within this price bracket.
- USA-raised beef is the first ingredient
- Crafted with farm-grown fruits and veggies
- Free of any grains, wheat, corn or artificial colors or flavors
- Contains natural fibers
- Has Peas (may trigger sensitive dogs)
9. Wild Frontier by Nutro Grain-Free Puppy Food
First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Chicken meal, Split peas, Dried potatoes, Chicken fat
Best Puppy Food for Australian Shepherds: This protein-packed blend features turkey and chicken as their main sources of protein. You’ll also find duck, liver, pork, fish meal and potato protein as well. Several sources of organ meat also provide your puppy with vital nutrients, in addition to protein. Altogether, 36% of this food is protein, which provides your puppy with the fuel they need to build lean muscle.
There’s also plenty of healthy fats to provide flavor and texture while building healthy skin and a shiny coat for your pup.
While this food provides a balanced blend of protein and fat, it doesn’t contain many complex carbs or fiber, which detracts slightly from their overall score. Probiotics and prebiotics are also missing. However, this food should still be a perfect choice for your pup, provided that they aren’t a working dog.
- Rich in animal protein and organ meat
- Plenty of healthy fats
- All ingredients derived from animals or plants
- No prebiotics or probiotics
- Lacks complex carbs
10. Nulo Freestyle Trout & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Yellow Peas, Sweet Potato
Nulo’s Freestyle recipe uses proteins from fish sources including whole trout and salmon meal. It supplements with turkey meal as well giving senior dogs a high protein beginning to their kibble.
Sweet potato is a good source of complex carbohydrates to keep energy levels stable with the addition of L-Carnitine to help your senior dog digest the meal properly.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin offer joint and hip support while pure probiotic strains help keep the digestive system working well. Chicken and egg proteins further encourage muscle resilience and a healthy coat.
Fruits and veggies offer base nutrients while the whole kibble formula mimics an ancestral diet of a variety of foods found in the wild.
Nulo was inspired by the nutrition of world-class athletes, and the small company aspires to give pets a proper nutritional foundation in the way they would have consumed in the wild.
They have a patented probiotic that encourages adequate digestion, and over 80% of protein sources in Nulo foods comes from whole meats. It began in the search for better nutrition for animal diabetes and obesity caused by terrible food and is based in Texas.
- Multiple, whole sources of protein
- Hip, joint, and digestion support
- Egg proteins
- The name is misleading for dogs who have poultry allergies
- Some seniors don’t like the taste
Australian Shepherd’s Caloric Needs
By nature, Aussies are an especially energetic breed. They’re used to spending their days herding animals on acres of property. To keep up with the demands of their work, they require a high protein, high-calorie diet to sustain themselves.
The caloric needs of an Aussie can range widely, depending on their age and activity level. More active dogs will require more food each day than a dog who is more docile. The dog food company Merrick has a handy calculator you can use to determine the caloric requirements of your pup based on their size, age, and activity level.
The Nutritional Needs of Australian Shepherds
When it comes to nutrition, it’s a good idea to look at the recommendations from AAFCO as a baseline for what dogs need in their diets. AAFCO is the organization that regulates the pet food industry, and they recommend that a dog’s diet consist of at least 18% protein and 5% fat. For puppies, those numbers jump up to 22% protein and 8% fat.
Most quality dog food manufacturers greatly exceed those percentages. Considering how active Aussies are, you’ll want to look into foods with around 30% protein and 12% fat.
What’s in the Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherds
When it comes to food, your dog needs four things: protein, fat, complex carbs and fiber. These four components work together to provide your pup with the balanced nutrition they need to thrive.
Protein – At the centerpiece of any dog’s diet is protein. Protein gives dogs the fuel they need to build muscle and remain strong and healthy. The vast majority of the protein in a dog’s diet should come from meat.
Depending on your dog’s individual preferences, beef, poultry, and seafood all make perfect protein sources for dogs. When you’re looking at the ingredients list for a particular brand of food, pay special attention to the first three ingredients listed.
Ideally, all three of these ingredients should be meat. Whole meat sources are best, but meat meals (which is meat with the water removed from it) are also fine. Avoid any dog food that contains ingredients like meat by-products, or meat digests.
These ingredients are a tell-tale sign of an inferior quality dog food, and your pup deserves better. Considering how active and strong Aussies are, a high protein content of around 30% or higher is ideal for these dogs.
Fat – While fat tends to get a bad rap, especially in human diets, the truth is that good fat is a vital part of every diet, and there are many health benefits associated with these kinds of fats.
Fats help to give food its taste and texture, and they also provide critical nutrients that your pup needs to thrive.
A diet that’s rich in healthy fats will help to provide your pup with a healthy coat and clear skin.
Healthy fats have also shown the ability to protect against cardiovascular disease. While the sources of fat are many, always look for food that contains omega III, which will help fortify your dog’s skin and coat.
Complex Carbs – While complex carbs are less critical to a dog’s diet than protein and fat are, they’re still important. Complex carbs are especially important for active breeds like the Australian shepherd because they act as an energy source for your pup.
Keep in mind that simple carbs that come from grains such as wheat, corn, sugar or soy are not the kind of carbs you want to see in your dog food. In fact, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog these kinds of grains wherever possible.
These grains are mainly used by manufacturers to bulk up their bottom line, without any sort of additional benefit for your dog. On the other hand, complex carbs from sources like fruit and vegetables are very useful, and they should be a part of your dog’s diet.
Not only do they provide an energy source, but complex carbs are also a good source of the vitamins and minerals that your dog needs in their diet.
Fiber – The final component of your dog’s diet is fiber. Fiber helps to keep your dog’s digestive system working properly, helps keep them regular, and it also helps your dog to feel full.
Fiber can be especially important if your pup is a bit overweight, and they’re on a weight management diet to get them back to their ideal size.
As a general rule, a fiber content of around 4-5% is perfect for most dogs.
Unique Needs of Australian Shepherds
Beyond feeding your pup a diet that’s rich in protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and fiber, there are a few other things to consider. Aussies are predisposed to some different health conditions, and you may be able to protect them from those conditions by adhering to a diet that helps protect against these conditions.
Allergies – One health concern that affects many Aussies is allergies. While there are many different kinds of allergies, food allergies are the most prevalent among Aussies.
The best way to protect your dog against possible allergens is to feed them a wholesome and grain-free diet that’s rich in natural ingredients. More often than not, a dog’s food allergies are caused by grains such as wheat, corn or soy. Avoiding these ingredients may help your dog to stay allergy free.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – Many dog breeds, including Australian shepherds, are susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia. This condition occurs when the hip or elbow bones don’t fit snugly into their sockets, which can then allow those bones to pop out of place.
While these conditions are usually hereditary, there are some dietary steps you can take to help protect your dog from developing these conditions. A diet that includes glucosamine and chondroitin will help protect your dog's joints and bones, which may help to prevent the onset of this condition.
Cancer – Cancer is prevalent throughout most dog breeds, including Aussies. While there’s little you can do to prevent your dog from developing cancer, you can help reduce the chance of your dog developing cancer by feeding them a wholesome diet that’s rich in natural ingredients.
In some cases, dogs develop cancer because of harmful ingredients that can be found in dog food. By avoiding bargain-priced foods and sticking with foods that limit or eliminate the use of non-natural ingredients, you may be able to reduce your dog’s cancer risk.
Should Australian shepherds eat grain free?
The Australian Shepherd is prone to food allergies and grains are a common culprit, however, so you might try a grain-free recipe just in case. You should also look for beneficial supplements to support digestion like prebiotic fibers and probiotics.
Are Australian Shepherds picky eaters?
Fortunately, Australian Shepherds generally aren't picky eaters. They have a huge appetite, which is higher than most other breeds. However, there may be some exceptions. Some Australian Shepherds have a small tendency to be picky if you don't train them well.
Do Australian Shepherds have sensitive stomachs?
If your Aussie has a sensitive stomach and coat and skin issues, it's a good idea to eliminate coarse grains from her diet and focus on other wholesome foods and ingredients. It's a perfect Australian Shepherd dog food choice, especially for animals who struggle with digestive issues.
Is an Australian shepherd a good dog?
An active yet easy-going dog, the Australian shepherd loves to romp with children and tends to get along well with other pets. Australian shepherds are great family pets, herding animals, police dogs and competitors in obedience trials.