Last Updated on August 10, 2021
Australian Shepherds are hard-working, high-energy dogs that need high-quality nutrition. What is the best dog food for the Australian Shepherd?
Now, let’s try to get the answer to this important question. First of all, we’ll give you insights into the Australian Shepherd’s nutritional needs. Then, we’ll dig deeper and explain what is the best food for the dog. Also, we’ll talk you through many other important aspects of the dog’s diet.
Aussies are medium to large dogs that tend to stay active all day long. Smart as they are, Australian Shepherds need premium food to fuel their energy levels and their brains. In nutritional terms, this means high-quality protein, a decent amount of fat and some carbohydrates.
Proteins provide essential and non-essential amino acids that will help the Australian Shepherd’s body recover quickly from injuries and grow stronger muscles and bones. Fats are the primary source of energy to dogs, also providing omega-3 and omega-6. Carbohydrates, in moderate amounts, can supply vitamins and minerals that will overall promote optimum health to the Aussies.
What is the best food?
Different types of dog foods are available today:
- Dry food (kibble)
- Moist/canned food
- Dehydrated food
- Raw diets
The vast majority of dog owners prefer to buy dry food due to the fact that this food is convenient to feed and easy to store. Plus, it helps your Aussie keep his teeth always clean.
Feeding your Aussie with canned food only is not a very good idea because in this case you will need help with the dog’s gums and teeth. But if you still think that canned food is the best option for your Aussie, do not forget to check his dental health on a regular basis.
If you notice plague buildup on your dog’s teeth, do your best to remove it until it causes serious health problems. Buy rubber toys that can help get rid of the plague and make sure to clean your dog’s teeth twice a day with a dog toothbrush and safe toothpaste.
If you are looking for a less processed, but at the same time fully-cooked food, think about dehydrated diet. This type of food undergoes minimal processing and is considered healthier in comparison with the other food options.
There are Aussie owners who prefer to feed their dogs with raw food. They believe that it’s much better to feed the dog with natural food that contains no preservatives or other harmful additives. Some reports reveal that raw food can help your dog develop strong muscles and bones. On the other hand, raw food can cause infections and gastrointestinal inflammation in dogs.
When looking for the best dog food for the Australian Shepherd, make sure you read the label, the nutritional chart and all the ingredients. Optimum food will have a balanced combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
High amount of protein
You want to focus on foods with a protein source listed in the top four ingredients. This means the producer used a larger amount of this protein when making the food. Many lower-quality dog foods use fillers to help reduce the production cost. These fillers, often in the form of carbohydrates, can raise blood sugar levels resulting in some long-term health issues.
Australian Shepherds need protein from early stages of life to help them grow into a strong, healthy and muscular body.
Good choices of protein are meats such as turkey, chicken, bison and others.
High fat content
Fats are the main source of energy to Australian Shepherds. They are high in calories and also help Aussies in protecting their internal organs, ensuring the whole body functions smoothly.
Although fat digestion can be quite complex, healthy dogs, in general, can metabolise great quantities of fats with great efficiency
Fish is usually one of the best sources of fat for dogs.
Carbohydrates are a macro-nutrient and should only be included in small quantities as part of your Australian Shepherd’s diet. Carbohydrates can cause issues with blood sugar in dogs and long-term could cause diabetes.
Good quality carbohydrates, however, such as fruits and vegetables, can offer benefits to your Aussie, such as important vitamins and minerals. Some good options are varied berries, butter nut squash, carrots and others.
A well-balanced diet for your Australian Shepherd puppy
It’s hard not to fall in love with an Australian Shepherd puppy. This fluffy bundle of joy is not just cute. It is very smart as well. Plus, the Australian Shepherd puppy is very active and needs to replenish its energy stores on a regular basis. That is the main reason why eating the right food is critical for your puppy.
Ideally, your puppy should eat dry food that contains at least 26% of protein. The food should also provide fat content of about 8%. Healthy fats are extremely beneficial for your puppy. The Aussie puppies who consume the necessary amount of fat on a daily basis have healthy skin and coat. Moreover, the puppies have healthy eyes and bones.
Keep in mind that the proper eye and cognitive function is supported with such essential amino acids as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Make sure that your puppy gets enough minerals and vitamins to have a strong immune system that can protect the puppy against dangerous diseases. You can incorporate fruits and vegetables into your puppy’s diet. Some owners choose to give their dogs vitamin supplements instead.
When it comes to feeding your puppy, do not forget that it is very important to buy a high quality dry food especially designed for puppies. This formula will provide your puppy with everything he needs to become a healthy and happy adult dog.
What is the best food for your adult Australian Shepherd?
Do you have a fantastic Australian Shepherd puppy and want to know when he becomes an adult dog? In fact, puppies reach maturity between 12 and 24 months of age. This process largely depends on a variety of factors including the breed, socialisation and size of the dog.
Your Australian Shepherd puppy will be fully grown at 12-15 months. During this period of time you will have to switch from puppy formula to adult dog food. It’s worth mentioning that this transition should be gradual in order to give your dog enough time to get used to new food physically and mentally. Working Aussies usually need to consume at least 1,400 calories per day to stay healthy and energetic.
A proper diet is crucial not just for puppies, but for adult dogs as well. Your dog needs omega fatty acids such as vitamin E, flaxseed and fish oil to boost the immune system. These acids will also make the dog coat beautiful and shiny.
Feeding your senior Australian Shepherd
You should switch your Aussie to senior dog food when he reaches the age of 8 or 9 years. At this age, the dog still needs food rich in protein that is ideal for his muscles. In fact, senior Aussies need less energy. They are usually not as active as they used to be. And the amount of fat they consume should be lower as well. A senior dog has a weaker digestive system that can’t break down fat the right way. In his senior years an Australian Shepherd should consume no more than 700 calories per day.
It’s also extremely important to provide your dog with the necessary amount of chondroitin and glucosamine to support his bones and joints. These compounds occur naturally in cartilage that functions as a cushion between the dog’s bones and joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin can be found in bovine and shark cartilage. Plus, there are supplements manufactured in a lab.
No artificial flavours, colouring or preservatives, only the best dog food for the Australian Shepherd!
Artificial ingredients add no nutritional value to food and can sometimes store chemicals that will harm your dog’s health. Some brands might use them to create colourful food with a stronger smell and taste to entice a dog’s appetite, but they are not necessary and should be avoided.
Artificial preservatives are very often added to dog food. The manufacturers use these chemical substances in order to extend the shelf life of the food. However, preservatives can be extremely harmful to your dog. If consumed on a regular basis, these chemicals may cause serious health problems including irregular bowel movements, depression, skin and coat issues.
There are some artificial preservatives that should be avoided. Ethoxyquin is a synthetic antioxidant that can cause the disorders of the liver in dogs. Propylene Glycol is another chemical that should not be consumed by your Australian Shepherd. It may cause serious digestive conditions and the damage of your Aussie’s nervous system.
Preservatives such as BHT and BHA are also some of the components that, if possible, should stay out of your dog’s food. The World Health Organization states that these artificial preservatives may cause cancer in dogs. It’s very hard for Australian Shepherds to digest these chemicals. Plus, the regular exposure to artificial preservatives may cause severe reactions and trigger allergy symptoms.
Be careful when choosing the best food for your Australian Shepherd. Buy healthy food that contains natural preservatives such as rosemary, vitamin C and vitamin E. In fact, natural preservatives cannot significantly increase the shelf life of your Aussie’s food. However, these ingredients are a much better choice in comparison with artificial preservatives. They are absolutely safe and pose no health risks.
Remember: To grow and stay healthy, the best dog food for the Australian Shepherd is the one with the most natural ingredients.