Last Updated on April 24, 2023
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.
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 best dog foods for Blue Heelers in this article. Read through their advantages and disadvantages to pick the righ food for your pooch.
- 1 A Quick Comparison: Our Top Picks
- 2 What Kind of Dog Food Should a Blue Heeler Eat?
- 3 What is the Best Diet to Keep Your Australian Cattle Dog Healthy?
- 4 Should You Give Your Pet Dry Kibbles, Wet Food, Raw Diet, or Homemade?
- 5 Ingredients Should You Avoid When Feeding Your Dog
- 6 Blue Heeler’s Health Issues
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 8 What is the Best Dog Food for My Blue Heeler?
- 9 Reference
A Quick Comparison: Our Top Picks
|Dog Food Recipes
|Best for Puppies
|Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula
|Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
|Best for adults
|CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Recipe
|Chicken Meal, Chicken, Ground White Rice
|Best for seniors
|VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
|Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet
What Kind of Dog Food Should a Blue Heeler Eat?
Due to their high energy levels, Blue Heelers 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 Puppy Food for Blue Heelers
Foods crafted for the growing needs of Blue Heeler 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 Food
Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
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.
- 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
- Peas are not recommended for dogs with kidney problems
2. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Puppy Recipe
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes
The Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Puppy Recipe is a grain-free dry dog food specifically made for growing Blue Heeler puppies. It is packed with protein from premium sources such as chicken and salmon.
- 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
- Also contains peas
3. Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Grain-Free Salmon, Anchovy & Sardine Meal Recipe
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Potatoes, Peas
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.
- Salmon, sardine meal, and anchovies provide your pet with plenty of essential amino acids
- Formulated with prebiotics and probiotics for maintaining good gut health
- Peas feature in the top three ingredients
4. ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Turkey Giblets (Liver, Heart, Gizzard)
The ORIJEN Puppy Formula 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.
- 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
- Whole peas also feature in the ingredient list.
Best Dog Food for Adult Blue Heelers
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
Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Bison, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes
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.
- 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
- Grain-free diets have been linked to heart disease in dogs
6. American Journey Active Life Formula
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Turkey Meal
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.
- 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
- Many dogs are allergic to chicken
7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal
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.
- Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics and prebiotics to aid digestive health
- Made in the USA by a family-owned company
- Also contains peas in the fifth ingredient
Best Dog Food for Senior Blue Heeler
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.
8. VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet
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.
- 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
- Contains various grains which can cause allergies in dogs
9. Nulo Freestyle Senior Grain-Free Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal
The Nulo Freestyle Senior Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe is grain-free dry dog food made for senior Blue Heelers. It is free from chicken and egg proteins but does feature 30% protein from quality sources such as trout, turkey, and salmon.
- 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
- Features various pea-based ingredients in the recipe
10. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley
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.
- Blueberries and cranberries supply your pet with plenty of antioxidants
- Packed with omega oils to nourish your dog’s skin and coat
- Some dogs could be allergic to the grains and chicken in this recipe
What is the Best Diet to Keep Your Australian Cattle Dog Healthy?
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 and how much food 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.
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.
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 Pet Dry Kibbles, Wet Food, Raw Diet, or Homemade?
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.
Ingredients Should You Avoid When Feeding Your Dog
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.
Blue Heeler’s Health Issues
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 they 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 they 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What fruits and vegetables can Australian Cattle Dogs 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.
They 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 ACD 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.
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.
Janine is an experienced content writer and travel journalist based in Cape, Town, South Africa.
Raised by a bundle of botanists, researchers, and biologists, she is passionate about things related to the animal kingdom, including, our furry friends. However, as a terrible allergy sufferer, she is limited in her pet selection and so has grown up surrounded by curly-haired Poodles.