12 Best Dog Foods for Blue Heelers 2023 (Premium & Budget)

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Last Updated on December 30, 2022

The Blue Heeler, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, is a distinctive-looking dog known for its beautiful blue mottled coat.

Bred as livestock herders, these dogs are very hard-working canines, renowned for their protective, intelligent natures.

Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle dog with puppies

Australian Cattle Dogs need a high, quality, balanced diet to help sustain their strong muscular bodies and high energy levels. 

To help you make the right choice for your dog, we’ve put together a list of our favorite dog foods for Blue Heelers in this article. Read through their advantages and disadvantages to pick the perfect food for your pooch.

A Quick Comparison: Best Dog Food Recipes for a Blue Heeler

Here’s a quick overview of K9Web’s top picks for your Blue Heeler with their corresponding main ingredients, protein percentage, and calories per cup.

Overall Rating Dog Food Recipes Main Ingredients Our Rating
Best for Puppies Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes 5
Best for adults CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Recipe Chicken Meal, Chicken, Ground White Rice 5
Best for seniors VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet 5

As you can see the top foods for your Blue Heeler will depend on your pet’s specific stage of life.

It is best to get food that has been specifically crafted to meet your dog’s needs in puppyhood, adulthood, and his senior years, providing him with the right balance of protein and fat for his energy levels and development.

What Kind of Dog Food Should a Blue Heeler Eat?

Due to their high energy levels, these dogs need high-quality, high-protein food dense in calories that can sustain their energy levels and keep them performing at their best at any time of day.

Lean meats, healthy fruits and vegetables, and the ideal balance of protein and fat are what you need to look for when picking out dog food for your Blue Heeler.

Best Dog Food for Blue Heeler Puppies

Two Australian Cattle dogs playing
An Australian Cattle mother dog and her puppy playing in the backyard – Image source

Foods crafted for the growing needs of puppies should have a high percentage of protein and fat to help with your dog’s development.

They should also contain all the essential amino acids, plenty of omega fatty acids, and the supplements your pet needs for brain and eye development.

1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula

Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Taste of the Wild
Caloric Content: 3,600 kcal/kg, 408 kcal/cup

The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula is made using 25% protein from salmon and ocean fish meal.

It contains 15% fat content for energy production and plenty of antioxidant-rich ingredients such as blueberries and tomatoes.

Advantages:

  • Contains easily digestible carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and peas
  • Has 80 million live cultures of probiotic bacteria per pound of food to promote good gut health

Disadvantages:

  • Peas are not recommended for dogs with kidney problems

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2. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Merrick
Caloric Content: 3,635 kcal/kg, 396 kcal/cup

The Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Puppy Recipe is a grain-free dry dog food specifically made for growing puppies. It is packed with protein from premium sources such as chicken and salmon.

Advantages:

  • Features freeze-dried raw coated kibble and freeze-dried raw bites to provide a taste your dog will love
  • Packed with omega fatty acids to protect your dog’s skin and coat
  • High in glucosamine and chondroitin for maintaining healthy hips and joints

Disadvantages:

  • Also contains peas

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3. Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Grain-Free Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine Meal Recipe

Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Grain-Free Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine Meal

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Potatoes, Peas
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Holistic Select
Caloric Content: 3,585 kcal/kg; 448 kcal/cup

The Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Grain-Free Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine Meal Recipe is made to provide your dog with balanced nutrition no matter his life stage.

It features 29% protein and 14% fat for building lean muscles and providing your dog with plenty of energy.

Advantages:

  • Salmon, sardine meal, and anchovies provide your pet with plenty of essential amino acids
  • Formulated with prebiotics and probiotics for maintaining good gut health

Disadvantages:

  • Peas feature in the top three ingredients

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4. ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Turkey Giblets (Liver, Heart, Gizzard)
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Orijen
Caloric Content: 3960 kcal/kg, 475 kcal/cup

The ORIJEN Puppy F is a grain-free dog food specifically formulated with puppies in mind. It contains a whopping 38% protein from chicken, turkey, flounder, mackerel, eggs, herring, and liver.

Advantages:

  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s growing bones and joints
  • Apples, pears, pumpkin, and other healthy fruits and vegetables make up 15% of the recipe

Disadvantages:

  • Whole peas also feature in the ingredient list.

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Best Dog Food for Blue Heeler Adults

Tongues out Blue Heeler dog
Adult Blue Heeler dog tongue’s out while waiting for treats – Image source

The exact food that you choose for your Blue Heeler as an adult dog will depend greatly on his energy levels, daily activity, personal tastes, and allergies.

You may pick a chicken and grain-free diet if your dog suffers from skin problems or sensitivities or you may look at a diet designed to help your pet maintain a healthy weight.

5. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Bison, Lentil & Carrot Recipe

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Bison, Lentil & Carrot Recipe

Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Bison, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Canidae
Caloric Content: 3,450 kcal/kg, 1,565 kcal/lb, 445 kcal/cup

The CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Bison, Lentil & Carrot Recipe is a limited ingredient diet made from just ten high-quality ingredients with lamb and bison as the protein sources. It contains 27.5% protein and 13% fat.

Advantages:

  • Free from any corn, grain, gluten, wheat, soy, and other fillers or ingredients that could give your dog allergies
  • It doesn’t contain any artificial colors, preservatives, or additives

Disadvantages:

  • Grain-free diets have been linked to heart disease in dogs

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6. American Journey Active Life Formula Healthy Weight Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe

American Journey Active Life Formula Healthy Weight Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Turkey Meal
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: American Journey
Caloric Content: 3,050 kcal/kg or 304 kcal/cup

The American Journey Active Life Formula Healthy Weight Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food is a reduced calorie food that is designed to help your dog maintain a healthy weight.

Real chicken serves as the primary protein source and main ingredient with various sources of quality fiber to help your dog feel fuller for longer.

Advantages:

  • Contains L-carnitine, which aids fat metabolism and helps build lean muscles
  • Has glucosamine and chondroitin to support mobility
  • Free from any corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors and flavors, and poultry by-products

Disadvantages:

  • Many dogs are allergic to chicken

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7. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chicken, Ground White Rice
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Diamond
Caloric Content: 4,107 kcal/kg, 470 kcal/cup

The Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula Dry Dog Food is a high protein recipe that contains 32% protein from quality ingredients including real chicken.

This food is ideal for supporting the high energy needs of the Blue Heeler breed.

Advantages:

  • Made in the USA by a family-run company
  • Contains plenty of omega fatty acids for maintaining a luscious skin and coat
  • Superfoods like blueberries and oranges provide plenty of vitamins and minerals

Disadvantages:

  • White rice is seen as a filler ingredient that doesn’t provide much nutritional value to your dog

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

Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Taste of the Wild
Caloric Content: 3,719 kcal/kg, 422 kcal/cup

The Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a high protein diet that contains 32% protein from novel protein sources such as water buffalo, venison, and lamb.

It also features plenty of fruits and superfoods in the recipe to provide your pet with all the vitamins and minerals he needs.

Advantages:

  • Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics and prebiotics to aid digestive health
  • Made in the USA by a family-owned company

Disadvantages:

  • Also contains peas in the fifth ingredient

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Best Dog Food for Blue Heeler Seniors

Senior Australian Cattle dog
A panting senior Australian Cattle dog – Image source

As your Blue Heeler enters his senior years, he will need a dog food that is crafted to support his muscles without providing too many calories so that your pet begins to put on weight.

Your dog’s food should also be fortified with probiotics and prebiotics to maintain good gut health and the supplements your dog needs to support mobility.

9. VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Victor
Caloric Content: 3385 kcal/kg, 360 kcal/cup

The VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is a nutrient-dense recipe with 27% crude protein with beef as the primary ingredient. Chicken and fish meals also help to provide additional energy for your senior dog.

Advantages:

  • This food is sourced and made in the USA
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support your aging dog’s joints
  • Includes L-carnitine which aids metabolism

Disadvantages:

  • Contains various grains which can cause allergies in dogs

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10. Nulo Freestyle Senior Grain-Free Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Nulo Grain Free Senior Dog Food with Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Nulo
Caloric Content: 3,359 kcal/kg, 396 kcal/cup

The Nulo Freestyle Senior Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe is grain-free dry dog food made for senior pets. It is free from chicken and egg proteins but does feature 30% protein from quality sources such as trout, turkey, and salmon.

Advantages:

  • Fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to assist your dog’s hip and joint health
  • Packed with calcium and phosphorus to help your dog maintain strong bones and teeth
  • Plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables help build your pup’s immune health

Disadvantages:

  • Features various pea-based ingredients in the recipe

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11. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Blue Buffalo
Caloric Content: 3,403 kcal/kg, 342 kcal/cup

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe features 18% protein with chicken as the main ingredient. The recipe is also packed full of wholesome grains such as barley, oatmeal, and brown rice.

Advantages:

  • Blueberries and cranberries supply your pet with plenty of antioxidants
  • Packed with omega oils to nourish your dog’s skin and coat

Disadvantages:

  • Some dogs could be allergic to the grains and chicken in this recipe

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12. Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 4.0
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Barley
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Iams
Caloric Content: 3,435 kcal/kg, 349 kcal/cup

The Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Large Breed Formula is a dry dog food crafted to support the health and wellness of your senior pet. It features farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient to keep your dog’s muscles lean and strong.

Advantages:

  • Wholegrains, carrots, and probiotic-rich beet pulp help aid digestion
  • Contains plenty of antioxidants to help boost the immune system

Disadvantages:

  • By-product meal is listed as the second ingredient

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What is the Best Diet to Keep Your Blue Heeler Healthy?

A standing Blue Heeler dog
A standing Australian Cattle Blue Heeler on a field

There are so many dog foods on the market that it can be challenging to pick the perfect one for your pet.

Blue Heelers need a diet crafted for hard-working, active pets that features top-quality protein from real animal sources such as chicken, fish, bison, or lamb. 

Additionally, the recipe should also feature various sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates through healthy fruits and vegetables.

Superfoods like spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and oranges make a great addition to your pet’s diet. 

You’ll also want to make sure the recipe includes good sources of omega fatty acids, like fish oil, to keep your dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling great.

How often should you feed your Blue Heeler?

Blue Heelers expend a lot of energy each day, meaning they require constant calories to support their active lifestyle. It is likely not going to be sufficient to feed these hard-working dogs once a day.

Be sure to check the guidelines on your specific dog food, as this will give recommendations on how much and how often each day your dog should be fed. 

As a puppy, your Blue Heeler will likely need three or four small meals a day and this could possibly reduce to two meals a day as your dog gets older.

How much food should you feed your Blue Heeler?

The exact quantity of food you should give your dog will depend on the size of your pet, his energy levels, and the dog food you choose.

Typically, these dogs eat about half a cup of dog food a day as puppies spread across their various meals, but as he gets older and bigger, your dog could be eating around two cups of food a day split between at least two meals.

How many calories should a Blue Heeler eat?

On average, you are looking at around 20 to 30 calories per pound of your dog’s body weight, with Blue Heelers reaching between 30 and 50 pounds (13 and 22 kg) when fully grown.

More active dogs may even need around 25 calories of dog food per pound of body weight.

Should You Give Your Blue Heeler Dry Kibbles, Wet Food, Raw Diet, or Homemade?

Australian Cattle puppies
Three Australian Cattle puppies eating wet dog food – Image source

Dry kibble is perfectly acceptable for your Blue Heeler dog to eat as long as it contains high levels of protein and a good balance of fats.

In some cases, these dogs may benefit from being given a wet diet as it contains more moisture and is easier to digest. Wet foods also tend to have a higher protein content than dry food but are more expensive. 

Homemade and raw food diets are also an option, but when making food at home, it can be different to control the balance of ingredients. You will need to do plenty of research to ensure that you are giving your dog enough protein and calories.

Are grain-free diets good for Blue Heelers?

Grain-free diets can be easier to digest and thus are chosen by many Blue Heeler owners as this particular breed of dog is known to suffer from allergies and a sensitive digestive system that grain-inclusive diets can irritate. 

That said, there are currently ongoing investigations into a possible link between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy, a type of canine heart disease, so it’s best to chat to your vet first before offering your Blue Heeler a grain-free diet.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid When Feeding Your Blue Heeler?

Blue Heeler looking at banana coated with chocolate
A Blue Heeler dog looking at banana coated with chocolate treat – Image source

When looking for the perfect dog food for your Blue Heeler, you need to stay away from ingredients that can be toxic to dogs, such as grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and nuts. 

You should also avoid recipes that contain bones that can damage your dog’s internal organs, as well as unmanned meat by-product meals which could contain all manner of unknown ingredients.

Cheap filler ingredients like corn and soy should also be avoided, not only because they don’t provide your dog with any nutritional value but also because they can cause allergies.

Artificial ingredients or flavors and preservatives should also be avoided, as you want your dog to have a diet that is as close to possible as what he might eat in the wild.

Do Dog Foods Have an Effect on your Blue Heeler’s Health?

Australian Cattle Dog portrait
Huge Australian Cattle Dog, also known as Blue Heeler lying on the wooden floor

Blue Heelers are susceptible to inherited musculoskeletal issues such as arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia, which can cause mobility problems.

Thus, you need to look for a dog food that has a good balance of calcium and phosphorus and has been fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to help your pet maintain strong joints and bones.

Do Blue Heelers have sensitive stomachs?

Yes, Blue Heelers are known to have sensitive stomachs; that is why we have recommended several limited ingredient diets and grain-free options for your pet.

These foods are free from common allergens and contain probiotics and prebiotics, which help promote good gut health.

Do Blue Heelers have skin allergies?

Yes, many Blue Heelers do suffer from dry and itchy skin caused by allergies. Chicken is a common cause of skin allergies in dogs, and if your dog does suffer from skin problems, you may want to look for a food with novel protein sources, like beef or bison.

Your dog’s food should also contain omega-fatty acids that help to nourish the skin and coat.

Blue Heeler’s Dietary Requirements and Nutrition Summary

As discussed, dogs are carnivores, and quality animal protein should serve as the main ingredient in your pet’s diet.

This should be backed up by plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables that supply your pet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals he needs to maintain good health. 

Carbohydrates are also essential in your dog’s diet for supporting digestion and providing sustained energy, which is also provided through high quality animal based fat sources.

The nutrional needs of the Blue Heeler breed

Dry Dog Food Puppy Adult Senior
Protein 22.5-32% 18% 28-32%
Fat 10-25% 10-15% 8-12%
Fiber 6-10% 3-5%  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Australian Cattle dog licking the eggplant
Australian Cattle dog chewing an eggplant – Image source

What fruits and vegetables can Blue Heelers eat?

Sweet potatoes are a great superfood to include in your dog’s diet. They, along with pumpkins, are an excellent source of highly digestible carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins.

Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of iron, as is spinach, which helps prevent various diseases such as cancer and inflammation.

Another green vegetable that is great for your Blue Heeler to consume is green beans. They are packed full of omega-three fatty acids as well as calcium, copper, potassium, and various other nutrients.

Does your Blue Heeler need vitamins and supplements?

Yes, dogs that suffer from joint diseases like the Blue Heeler can benefit from being fed dog food containing glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.

These supplements help to lubricate the joints and assist with better mobility.

Best homemade food you can try for your Blue Heeler

If you are thinking of making dog food at home for your Blue Heeler, there are various recipes that you can try that combine good quality protein sources with several healthy fruits and vegetables and delicious carbohydrate sources.

Here are a few to get you started.

  1. Slow cooker dog food
  2. Beef and sweet potato homemade dog food
  3. Chicken and brown rice homemade dog food

The Best Dog Treats for Blue Heelers

Australian Cattle dog inside the car
Australian Cattle dog asking for treats inside the car – Image source

All dogs need a treat every now and again, and treats can be used for the Blue Heeler breed when training them to perform new tasks.

Be sure to take into account the calories of the treats you give your dog when working out how much to feed him every day.

Here are some great treat options for the Blue Heeler breed.

  1. Pawstruck Braided Bully Sticks Dog Treats
  2. ORIJEN Regional Red High-Protein Grain-Free Biscuit Dog Treats

What is the Best Dog Food for My Blue Heeler?

The best dog food for your Blue Heeler will depend on various factors, including your budget, your pet’s life stage, and energy levels.

You should also take into account if your pet suffers from any allergies that could lead you to choose a grain-free or chicken-free diet or one that is made from limited ingredients.

All of the recipes listed above come from reputable brands whose food is crafted in the USA using only the best quality ingredients.

They all feature the right balance of protein and fat for the Blue Heeler breed and include animal protein sources mixed with plenty of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and fiber rich carbohydrates. 

Which food have you chosen for your Blue Heeler? We would love to hear more about your dog and what he likes to eat in the comments below.

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