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Blue Heelers, also known as Australian Cattle Dogs, are special little dogs.
They may not have the size of some bigger working dogs, but they will put in just as much effort with just as much energy.
These dogs are capable of running rings around other breeds – and their owners. This make them perfect companions and herding dogs for either active owners or cattle farmers.
An energetic, healthy Aussie Cattle Dog needs the right diet. So, what is the best dog food for Blue Heelers?
This means looking at different food by age, such as the best dog food for Blue Heeler puppies or seniors. It also means looking at factors like health issues, allergies and specific ingredients.
This guide will cover lot of different points with some top brands of Cattle Dog food to illustrate the point.
To begin with, let’s look at the importance of a good diet with these dogs.
A good Blue Heeler diet is essential with their active lifestyle. Whether they are working dogs or not, these pooches will keep their owners on their toes.
They need a lot of exercise and play. Therefore, they need the right nutrition in their diet to handle there energy needs.
This typically means a source with two or three meat proteins in, such as whole chicken, beef, fish or lamb.
This means an average daily caloric intake on that higher end of the scale of 1212 kcal. Too much more than this, with minimal exercise, and they could easily put on weight.
Also be aware that dogs that have been spayed/neutered will require a reduction in calories.
Portion control is important in any breed. It helps to ensure they have energy and nutrients across the day, but don’t eat too much.
It is also important here because of the risk of bloat in Blue Heeler. Smaller portions, with limited access to water, can help to decrease this risk.
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Fromm cover all the bases when it comes to providing high quality dog food for all kinds of pets.
They promise the best ingredient from puppies to seniors, and many Blue Heeler owners will love their Fromm Adult dog Food.
There is a crude protein level of 24%, with the chicken, duck, lamb and fish meal. There are also plenty of vegetables with the carrots, potatoes and celery. Finally there are added vitamins, minerals and probiotics.Buy On Amazon
Fromm Family Foods also have a Fromm Gold Dog Food Weight Management option for those that may struggle to keep weight off.
This is great for those owners that struggle with portion control and dogs that have too many calories.
This means that dogs can eat the same size portions and hopefully begin to lose a few pounds.Buy On Amazon
The best place to start with some good dog food for Blue Heelers is with some basic options for adult dogs.
If you’re lucky enough to have a full grown, healthy Blue Heeler, then you just need a simple formula with all the most important ingredients for good health.
We have already seen the potential of Fromm for maintaining a healthy weight in adult dogs. Later on we will look at other options for working dogs, puppies and seniors.
BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food is another option where there are lots of different types to suit different needs.
It pays to read the labels carefully as the differences might not be automatically clear to everyone. There are different protein options with brown rice, options for larger and small breeds and one for weight loss.
The only potential downside is the inclusion of the whole grains – more on this later.
Another consideration with the Australian Cattle Dog diet is their calorie intake. This is particularly important for those that are working dogs and therefore more active.
Herding dog need to get through the day on a healthy supply of calorie rich food. The same is true for those involved in sports and agility.
This means that the average intake for an average sized Australian Cattle Dog could increase to around 2020 kcal or more.
Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula is a great choice here.
There is also the added bonus here of extra EPA and glucosamine for joint health and increased mobility.
As you will see further on in this guide, this is particularly helpful with the health history of the Australian Cattle Dog.Buy On Amazon
This is all great for dog that have no complaints. However, some of this Blue Heeler dog food wont be suitable to all pets.
There is a risk of having to deal with some Australian Cattle Dog allergies here.
This could present itself through itching and irritation on the skin, or through intestinal problems and digestive issues. When this occurs, take your pet to a vet for a check up. This could pinpoint the source of the allergy, while ruling out any other possible causes.
Unfortunately, there could be a case of trial and error until the culprit is found.
Others will have problems with some herbs, spices or other flavoring that weren’t so clearly labelled. Then there is the issue of grains.
The good news on this front is that there are many brands that offer a form of grain-free food to eliminate these problematic carbs.
The good news is that there are lots of different grain free foods out there that can provide a great source of nutrition.
This means that dog owners can feed their pets some familiar formula with great taste, while retaining some peace of mind.
There are also plenty of probiotic, fatty acids and antioxidants.
Other choices in grain free Blue Heeler food include Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food and Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food.
The latter has some stranger ingredient combinations, such as their wild game mix and fish mix. It is all-natural and completely safe.Buy On Amazon
The options above all have their benefits for adults, but what about the needs of Blue Heeler puppies?
Puppies need different nutrients to allow them to grow fit and strong.
These Aussie Cattle Dogs are also prone to osteochondrosis dessicans (OCD). This means that their bones grow faster than the cartilage within. It is important to check the calcium levels and calcium to phosphorus ratio in any puppy food.
There is a tasty blend of chicken and oats with plenty of additional vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help with puppy health.
There is also a strong focus on the natural sources of glucosamine, chondroitin and calcium. This means that owners should have no concerns over the developing bones and joints of pups. There are also no artificial elements, such as colors, flavors or preservatives.
The other plus side to Hills is that this is a company with a conscience. They donate lots of food each year to shelters. This means high quality food for dogs and pups in need.Buy On Amazon
There are two issues to consider with food for senior Cattle Dogs.
The first is that problem with their joints. This is more likely to affect their mobility and lifestyle in older age. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis can worsen with repetitive strain and exercise at a young age.
Also remember that older dogs need fewer calories because of reduced activity levels. They may put on weight more easily with their old diet and portions.
Luckily, there are plenty of senior dog foods that can help.
This is a simple “limited ingredient” formulas that is designed to still offer the right amount of nutrients that older dogs need.
This freeze-dried chicken mix has non grain and no weird extra for fussy eaters.
Buyers say that it can put the spring back into the step of older dogs.
The only problem is that it is quite an expensive choice compared to some other options that are available.Buy On Amazon
There is a blend of deboned chicken and barley that should be easy for older dogs to digest.
There is also added glucosamine and chondroitin, for maintaining those healthy joints, and no sign of any wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, preservatives, or artificial flavors.
The added benefit with this option is that is it much cheaper. Ideally, you want to find the perfect option for your pet, without paying a fortune every month for it.Buy On Amazon
A lot of the brands mentioned in this guide have a focus on healthy, well-sourced ingredients with the best nutrients. This is clear from the Blue Heeler puppy food to all those grain-free solutions.
There are some that look at other sources of meat, such as boar, rabbit or even kangaroo. This adds a little authentic touch to the Australian Cattle Dog diet. Others like to use more unusual ingredients with the carbs and fillers, such as sweet potatoes.
It is worth looking around to see what is available. This could offer a nice change for pets stuck with the same flavors. However, some these products are a little more expensive as a result.
The other benefit of turning to these odder, naturally sourced meats and vegetables is that reduces the risk of those allergies.
If you can’t figure out if your heeler is allergic to chicken or lamb – or perhaps both – try a more unusual source of protein instead. These natural formulas also mean fewer preservatives and additives that might also contribute to allergic reactions and poor health.
There are plenty of interesting alternatives out there:
They are the “high prairie” option, with the bison and venison, “pacific stream” with smoked salmon, “wetlands” with roasted fowl, “sierra mountain” with roasted lamb and “southwest canyon” with wild boar.
Each bag contains a series of premium ingredients, complex carbs and no grains. They also promote the dog’s immune system in a natural way.Buy On Amazon
This is a purely natural solution with nothing that wild dogs shouldn’t enjoy. There is no risk of grain, gluten or preservatives.
The meat isn’t as interesting, with a choice of turkey, chicken or white fish. But, this may appeal to owners with dogs that are slightly fussier eaters.Buy On Amazon
All this talk of the best brands and natural sources of food brings up one final factor that we shouldn’t overlook.
This way they know precisely what is in the bowl. There are no additives and preservatives, no strange flavorings and no questionable processes. This allows for real, well-prepared food.
There is also a chance to reduce costs a little if the dog is eating what the family is eating – to a degree.
The downside is the time spend preparing the meals.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when considering the best dog food for Blue Heelers.
Age plays a part here, as there are different brands and formulas for puppies, adults and seniors. However, other factors like activity levels and allergies play a part too.
There could be many owners that find that they stick with the same brand throughout their heeler’s life – just with different versions. Others may experiment a little more with different solutions.
If your dog has a negative reaction, seek advice from a vet on ingredients to avoid. If they love it, and still strong and lean, you have a winner. Most importantly, listen to your dog. He will soon show you if it tastes good and keeps him fit and strong.
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