The Blue Heeler, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, is an active happy pooch that needs a well-balanced and nutritious diet. These cute pups are ready to run all day and have a powerful appetite to match their active lifestyle.
When it comes to choosing the right food for your four-legged friend, many considerations come into play. Their age, health, and activity level are just a few. Beyond the individual factors, though, you need to find healthy food that will have the nutrients your pooch needs.
Unless you plan to chef it up for your pup on the daily, you are going to be faced with the pet food aisle quagmire called “pick a food, any food”. That is not the greatest way to choose, though, so we have decided to help out our Blue Heeler pals by providing a guide to the best food.
We will share ingredients, vitamins and minerals, taste, and much more. Plus, there are some additional tips to help you navigate the wide world of dog food.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Model||Price||Sizes Available||Editor Rating|
|Purina Pro Plan|
|Instinct Ultimate||1 Size||4.2/5|
The 7 Best Dog Foods for Blue Heelers
1. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
Our favorite food for your Blue Heeler is the Diamond Naturals 1551_40_DEA High Protein Dry Dog Food. It is formulated for extremely athletic pups who need a good deal of protein and other minerals. Available in a chicken and rice flavor, you can pick this up in a 40-pound bag.
This dog food is packed with all the stuff your cattle dog needs. It contains antioxidants, probiotics, plus it has a great amino acid profile. Your pet will also benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin to help with joint support.
The Diamond Naturals dog food does not have any corn, wheat, or fillers. It also doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Made in the USA, the highly digestible formula is made with cage-free chicken that is featured as the first ingredient. There are also more than enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep your pup healthy. Designed for Adult dogs, this is the best choice for your Blue Heeler.
2. Purina Pro Dry Dog Food – Best Value
Looking for affordable dog food? The Purina Pro Plan 15097 SPORTS Formula Dry Dog Food is your best choice. This healthy meal uses the 30/20 plan meaning it contains 30 percent protein and 20 percent healthy fats to keep your pup going strong.
Available in either chicken or salmon, both flavors are made with real meat, and it has no artificial flavors or preservatives. What this food does contain is amino acids, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. There is also a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, as well.
The Purina Pro Plan is formulated for active dogs and includes EPA and glucosamine to protect joints. Unfortunately, the source of the glucosamine comes from poultry by-product meal. Pet owners should also note that this formula contains corn, as well.
Beyond that, this USA based brand is easy to digest. You can choose from five different size bags, and the dry meal is appropriate for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes. Overall, this is the best dog food for Blue Heelers for the money.
If you need a grain-free meal for your Blue Heeler, the Holistic Select 31102 Natural Dry Dog Food is right for you. This formula contains no meat by-products, wheat, gluten, fillers, plus no artificial ingredients.
This is a natural dog food that comes in a tasty salmon, anchovy, and sardine flavor that dogs are wild for. The chow is full of prebiotics, probiotics, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. What’s more, there are also live yogurt cultures to promote healthy digestion; which incidentally makes this meal easy on your pup’s stomach.
Made in the USA, the Holistic Select dog food comes in a 4, 12, or 24-pound bag. The only drawback to this formula is it does not have any joint support supplements such as glucosamine. Also, buyers beware that this is a higher-priced premium option.
4. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food – For Puppies
The ORIJEN DOR4400-13 Puppy Dry Dog Food is our top choice if you have a Blue Heeler puppy. This dry food is packed with all the nutrients and minerals your growing pup needs. Made with 85 percent meat, there is an abundance of protein and healthy fat.
Made with free-run chicken and turkey plus wild-caught fish, this formula has no rendered meats. Furthermore, it has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. What this pooch chow does have is omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, PHA, EPA, glucosamine, and chondroitin to keep your pet’s bones and joints healthy.
ORIJEN is sourced and made in the USA. You can pick it up in either a 12-ounce bag or a 4.5, 13, or 25-pound option. Made specifically for puppies, this meal is higher in fat and calories to help them grow, however, this may not be right for pups with a few extra pounds.
Beyond that, you should note that this food takes longer to transition than other formulas. You will need to give your pet extra time to get used to it. What’s more, the meal can be difficult to digest if adequate exercise is not being met.
5. Instinct Ultimate Natural Canned Dog Food
If you prefer a wet food for your furry friend, the Instinct Ultimate 769949518112 Natural Wet Canned Dog Food is a good choice. You can pick either beef or chicken, and it comes in a case of six 13.5-ounce cans. This is a grain-free diet that has no fillers, potatoes, corn, wheat, or soy. It also does not have any artificial colors, preservatives, or carrageenan.
Although this food lacks a lot of nasty ingredients, it also does not have any joint supplements either. That being said, you will find omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals essential to your adult dog’s needs. Be aware, though, this chow is recommended for dogs ranging from puppies to seniors, yet the formula is better suited for adult dogs.
You should also consider that this formula does not have as much protein as other brands, and it does have a higher concentration of salt. Also, the Instinct food can be harder to digest for some pups. It is recommended that you mix the wet with some dry food. Finally, it is sourced and made in the USA.
6. Iams Proactive Dry Dog Food
Iams 10171567 Proactive Health Dry Dog Food is a mini-chunk formula that is especially great for pups with smaller teeth. It comes in a chicken flavor, and it is available in six different sizes. With a lot of nutrients, this food contains healthy levels of protein and fiber.
Beyond that, you will find Omega 6, probiotics, antioxidants, and L Carnitine for a healthy metabolism. You should note that you can also find grain in this formula, so pups with sensitivities are not recommended.
Unfortunately, this product also contains chicken by-product meal, although, chicken is the first ingredient; which means it is the higher concentrated ingredient. There is also no wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives. Additionally, there is no glucosamine for joint support.
Finally, you want to be aware that the formula in the Iams dog food is harder to digest for many dogs. Other than that, this is a dry food for adult pups.
7. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
The number seven spot goes to the Taste of The Wild 9565 Dry Dog Food. This pooch chow is made with smoked salmon, as it’s the number one ingredient that is both wild-caught and farm-raised. Available as dry dog food, there is only one size option for this chow.
Packed with protein, the Taste of The Wild food is grain-free and contains no wheat, corn, and fillers, plus no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It also does not have any eggs or egg products for those pups with sensitivities.
The formula in this meal has a good amino acid profile, antioxidants, probiotics, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Unfortunately, there is nothing to support joint health, not to mention, it is higher in fat and lower in fiber. This makes it harder to digest, and it can upset your pup’s tummy.
Made in the USA, the kibble in this food is hard, and we do not recommend it for smaller dogs or those with small and sensitive teeth. Overall, this is our least favorite option for you Blue Heeler pal.
What Makes A Good Product in This Category?
Australian Cattle Dogs, or as we affectionately call them, Blue Heelers are very active individuals who require a diet that will support their lifestyle, metabolism, immune system, and overall health. Just as each one of us requires certain ingredients, so do different breeds of dog.
When it comes to your Blue Heeler, they need a good combination of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and joint support. Let’s take a closer look at these things below:
Unfortunately, due to your pup’s extra active lifestyle, they are more prone to developing hip and elbow dysplasia in their lifetime. That is besides the fact that 65 percent of older pups will end up with arthritis. This can be painful for your pooch, and it can significantly reduce their mobility; even before reaching their golden years.
Thankfully, supplements can be given to your pet to not only reduce the pain but also prevent the breakdown of the tissue between their joints. Dog foods that have glucosamine and chondroitin are both recommended to reduce pain and help prevent these issues from happening.
Also, ingredients such as fish oil acts as an anti-inflammatory which will help reduce pain and make your pup more mobile. When shopping for a good dog food, try to find one that will contain at least one of these ingredients. Be aware though, chondroitin typically works better in conjunction with one of the other two ingredients.
Already have a pooch with joint pain? Check out our 10 best dog foods with glucosamine.
Healthy fats are an important part of your furry-friend’s diet. Many pet owners try to keep the fat as low as possible because of the false assumption that fat is bad and will lead to problems like high cholesterol.
In truth, dogs don’t suffer from high cholesterol, and they need fats in their diet to support their immune system, maintain their skin and fur, and most importantly give them energy. In a balanced diet, the formula should contain at least 10 to 15 percent healthy fats.
As mentioned, your pup is going to turn the fat into energy, and for a cattle dog, this is essential. Not only that, but these fats will also provide many other benefits. Good fats to look out for are omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and fish, flaxseed, and canola oil. You can also look for chicken, pork, sunflower, and corn oils. Stay away from lards and tallow, though.
Protein is typically the number one ingredient pet owners want to find. What is not commonly known, however, is that it’s not the protein that is important, but the makeup of the protein altogether that makes the difference.
Protein is made up of amino acids that dogs need to live. Canines use 22 of these acids, 12 of which their body produces themselves. The other ten they need to get from their diet to keep their muscles, bones, and body healthy.
Amino acids are the stepping stones of protein. Unfortunately, if one of the acids is missing, your pooch will not be able to gain the benefits of the others. So, what does all this mean? Well, it is not enough to look for food that is just “high in protein”. You need one that has the right protein or has a good amino acid profile.
The difficult part of the equation here is that nutrition labels do not list amino acids. Instead, look for AAFCO adequacy labels as they provide standards for amino acid levels for pups. Also, be aware of the quality of the protein in the food.
Although we have gone over some essentials for your Blue Heeler, they are by no means the be all end all of your pup’s nutritional needs. There are other ingredients and factors you should consider before choosing a food. Take a look at these other things you should consider:
- Vitamins and Minerals: All dogs require vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy. Some of the important nutrients you should be on the lookout for are vitamins A and E. You should also look for probiotics to help their digestive system, and antioxidants to help with their fur, skin, and immune system. You also want to have a good dose of fiber and calcium, as well.
- Life Stage: The age of your pet should also play a role in what you are feeding them. For example, younger dogs need more protein and fat to help them grow, but they do not need supplements like glucosamine right away. On the other hand, senior pets benefit from joint support and other ingredients that would not be appropriate for puppies.
- Allergies: Many dogs suffer from allergies and sensitivities from ingredients such as grains. Formulas that contain wheat, corn, and soy can be hard for certain pets to digest. Luckily, there are grain-free formulas. Just be sure they are getting the amounts of proteins and other nutrients they need.
- Digestion: This is connected to the last one, but healthy digestion is also important for your pup. Foods that contain probiotics will add healthy microorganisms to their digestive tract that will kill any harmful bacteria. As dogs are known to chow down on some “questionable” things, this is essential.
Important Things to Know
Now that you know the important things to look for, you should also know what it is not a healthy ingredient for your pooch. Although the FDA regulates pet food, and only necessary ingredients can be added, there are still some questionable ingredients floating around.
Some formulas cause a lot of debate among pet professionals and enthusiasts. For example, meat “meals” are highly contested. Depending on how the “meal” is made, it can be either very nutritious or very unhealthy for your pet.
That being said, there are some universal things dogs should not be consuming. Take a look at this list of things you should avoid in dog food:
- Vegetable oil
- Meat by-product meals
- Artificial flavors and colors
- Artificial preservatives
- High levels of yeast
- Corn Syrup
- High levels of salt
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate
- High levels of sugar
- Propylene Glycol
- Rendered fat
- White Flour
This list is long, we know. Having a general idea, though, of what is not going to benefit your dog is important to keep them living a strong and healthy life. Besides these ingredients, dogs should also not be fed onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, candy, oily foods, garlic, and caffeine. All of these things can be toxic to your pooch.
We hope you have enjoyed our review of the seven best dog foods for Blue Heelers. We understand that your furry-friends health is important, and choosing the right food can be difficult. If this has helped relieve that stress in any way, we consider it a job well done.
Does your pet have a wheat allergy? Choosing a food can be hard. Check out our reviews on the best grain-free dog food.
Overall, though, if you want the best food available for your pup, go with the Diamond Naturals 1551_40_DEA High Protein Dry Dog Food. This has all the vitamins, nutrients, and essential ingredients your pet needs. If you want a cheaper choice, try the Purina Pro Plan 15097 SPORT Formula Dry Dog Food. The cost-friendly option is packed with everything your active pal needs to be healthy and happy.
Written by Shannon MacDevine
Featured image credit: impromotools, Pixabay
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 7 Best Dog Foods for Blue Heelers
- 1. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
- 2. Purina Pro Dry Dog Food – Best Value
- 3. Holistic Select Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice
- 4. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food – For Puppies
- 5. Instinct Ultimate Natural Canned Dog Food
- 6. Iams Proactive Dry Dog Food
- 7. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
- Buyer’s Guide
- What Makes A Good Product in This Category?
- Shopping Tips
- Important Things to Know