Being a pet parent to a Blue Heeler means committing to an active lifestyle.
The Blue Heeler was bred as a working dog, and the drive to be on the go runs through each dog like the lettering in a stick of rock.
Giving the best dog food for Blue Heeler is all about giving a high-quality food which supplies them with first-class nutrition to fuel all that activity.
Also known as the Australian cattle dog, these dogs are used to listening to one person giving them instructions.
As a result, they can be one-person dogs, which means they are a great choice for singletons wishing to have an active companion.
With an ancestry that involved breeding dogs that can run all day on the ranch, these fellows need plenty of exercise.
If they don’t get daily exertion in the form of long hikes, runs, or games of “Fetch” the Blue Heeler with dig up your yard, bark, or chew the plaster off the walls.
It is, therefore, a sad irony that such an active breed is prone to joint problems. In younger life, they may suffer from osteochondrosis dessicans (OCD).
This may have a fancy name, but it’s simple enough to understand. This is a growth problem whereby the bones grow faster than the cartilage lining the joints, which then cracks and flakes off.
This means OCD is a condition that is amenable to control by feeding the right sort of diet to a growing pup and by not overexerting those growing bones.
The other health concern common in the breed is hip dysplasia. This is a hereditary condition, meaning that parents with hip dysplasia possess genes that pass down to their offspring.
The thought of having a Blue Heeler pup that inherits the hip dysplasia gene is a frightening thing indeed.
In an ideal world you’d buy a pup from screened parents, and also feed a good diet that helps to nourish the joints and provides the building blocks for repair.
The best dog food for Blue Heelers is at the beating heart of keeping your dog well, so let’s take a look at our favorites.
1. Hill’S Science
That gorgeous Blue Heeler puppy has a lot of growing to do, and as an adult will eventually weigh around 35 – 45 pounds.
This means they fall into the ‘large breed’ category with regards to puppy food. When choosing the best dog food for Blue Heeler puppies then consider Hills Science.
Indeed, it is the extensive research done by the Hills Company that led to the development of the very first commercial diet designed to meet the needs of bones with a lot of slow, sustained growth to do.
Hills use quality ingredients and guarantee that the same ingredients are used consistently from batch to batch.
This means you are assured of different batches being of the same high quality, as opposed to other manufacturers where only minimum requirements are met and the quality varies depending on what was the cheapest ingredient to buy at the market that day.
In addition, you have the reassurance that Hills only use manufacturing facilities that meet the highest hygiene standards and that are regularly inspected.
We love that this food is so well balanced and promotes healthy joints, whilst at the same time tasting utterly scrumptious to the dogs.
You are guaranteed clean bowls (indeed, Hills offer a money-back guarantee if your pet isn’t delighted) which saves on the washing up!
In addition, although this is not a cheap food it is competitively priced when compared to other premium puppy foods…so tasty good and growing a healthy pup doesn’t mean a second mortgage.
Hills Science food contains a great anti-oxidant profile and is enriched with amino acids and vitamins, but leaves out those artificial flavorings, colors, and preservatives that we’d rather do without.
2. Purina Pro Plan
Once your pup reaches 12 months of age, it’s time to transition them from a puppy onto an adult food. This is important because the balance of minerals changes yet again in adult food.
At one-year-old the majority of bone growth is done, and so the diet needs to ease up on the amount of calcium and other nutrients which could encourage over-rapid growth.
Which food you chose depends on many factors. Let’s assume your Blue Heeler is active and participates in hiking, herding, or is generally on the go all day long.
This being the case you need to provide enough calories to fuel all that activity.
Of course, it’s not great for a dog to eat close to when they exercise, so you now have the problem of feeding an energy-dense diet where the dog can take in enough nutrition in a couple of meals a day.
Enter Purina’s ProPlan Performance which is a dry kibble designed for active dogs hunting for calories (Definitely NOT recommended for a couch potato or their weight will balloon along with their waistline.)
We recommend this as the best food for a Blue Heeler that’s active because of the high 30% protein and 20% fat content.
These both provide an excellent source of energy to fuel activity and to maintain those lean, hard-working muscles.
A good sign of quality is real chicken which is the main ingredient in Purina Pro Plan, and the food is fortified with EPA and glucosamine.
The latter are well recognized as powerful antioxidants (a detox after exercise) and help the joints to recover from minor inflammation.
3. Taste Of The Wild
Do you believe in healthy eating? Is your dog a member of the family?
If you answer “Yes” to both questions, then you’ll want a food that is the canine equivalent of a healthy diet for your family.
When you want the best dry food for Blue Heelers then look no further than Taste of the Wild.
The name of this brand hints at their ethic, which is to create a natural healthy diet that is as close as possible to the foods eaten in the wild.
The nutritional balance of the food closely follows that the dog’s ancestors would get by eating and killing prey.
The logic behind this is the dog’s digestive system has evolved to process this blend of protein and fat, which means fewer stomach upsets and better all-round health.
Let’s look at the specifics of this Taste of the Wild food for adult dogs.
The recipe gets big thumbs up for having meat as the top three listed ingredients.
Legislation requires the ingredients to be listed in order of quantity so having meat up there in the lead, means you can rest assured of high-quality protein of a sort best suited to the dog’s digestive system.
In addition, the carbohydrate energy comes from potato, sweet potato, and peas, rather than from wheat.
This reduces the risk of gluten triggered digestive upsets since some dogs find wheat products hard to digest.
But the goodness doesn’t stop there with additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supplied by a generous portion of fruit and veg.
All of which adds up to a lip-smacking taste that dogs love. Taste of the Wild isn’t the cheapest food you can buy, but if your priority is quality then it’s hard to know how to better it.
We give Taste of the Wild our vote of confidence, in part because of an excellent product, and in part because of their honesty.
In these days of sensitivity about products originating from China, Taste of the Wild do not hide from the fact that vitamin C, folic acid, and taurine are sourced from China, as there is no alternative supplier.
The manufacturer ensures this information is in the public domain, and do not hide the fact behind sneaky legislation.
Indeed, less scrupulous manufacturers label their food “China free”, whilst including ingredients that were sourced in China but reprocessed in Europe.
A loophole in labeling means they can then claim Europe, not China, as the ingredients origin.
Not so Taste of the Wild, who would rather you made an informed decision rather than trick their customers.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Life’s busy and there are times when you can’t give your Blue Heeler the exercise they need.
Because they are bred to be active, a period of enforced inactivity means the Blue Heeler is prone to ‘sturdiness’ or thickening of the waistline.
With this in mind, acknowledge the problem for what it is and adjust your dog’s diet accordingly.
We picked out Blue Buffalo as our favorite weight loss management diet for its blend of low-calorie ingredients whilst not compromising on taste.
After all, being on a diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring!
Blue Buffalo achieves this miracle by cutting down on fat, using lean cuts of meat, and including delicious fruit and veg.
This has the added benefit of making the food rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
What’s not to like!
For those unfamiliar with the Blue Buffalo brand, it is a family run business that was inspired by the family’s dog, Blue.
Their aim was to feed dogs with as much care and attention as we feed our kids, and so the brand was born.
The Life Protection recipe uses natural sources of antioxidants including apples, blueberries, blackberries, pomegranate, cranberries, spinach, and pumpkin.
The food is also cold-pressed, which is a process that preserves the goodness of the vitamins.
The great news is that dogs love it just as much as the pet parents!
Blue Buffalo has everything: Great taste, weight control, and a formulation that builds lean healthy pets with glossy coats.
This makes Blue Buffalo an ideal choice for those hectic times in life when you can’t exercise the dog as much as you’d like.
5. Wellness Complete Health
When debating “What is the best dog food for Blue Heelers?” don’t forget to take their age into account.
The nutritional balance for a dog aged seven years or older is different to that of an adult dog in their prime.
At this age, the dog is considered “senior” because of changes in their metabolism, and by respecting these changes and feeding an age-appropriate diet you can protect your dog’s kidney function and reduce weight gain.
The Wellness senior formula contains top-grade natural ingredients, majoring on meat, and avoiding cheaper but lower quality foods such as soy, corn, by-products, or wheat.
You’ll also be pleased to learn it skips the artificial flavors, preservatives, and color, and instead relies on the ingredients to give it a great flavor.
What’s the difference between Wellness regular adult and Wellness senior?
Older dogs burn fewer calories, and so this food contains 9% fewer calories than the equivalent adult food.
It contains added chondroitin and glucosamine, in order to nourish those older joints and protect them from old age wear and tear.
The protein balance is different and contains high quality, easy to digest chicken, so that the least possible strain is put on the kidneys.
We love Wellness food because it gives those older pets a helping paw, plus many pet parents tell us how their dog’s itchiness improved when they switched to Wellness.
Just goes to show how avoiding ingredients that are strongly linked to food sensitivities can make a real difference to your dog’s comfort.
So there we have it, our recommendations for the best dog foods for Blue Heelers.
Whether you have a puppy or a senior, a super-active or an enforced couch potato, there is no need to compromise on good nutrition.
And finally, our advice when choosing the best dog food for a Blue Heeler, is to first know your dog and then to read the packaging on the food.
Look for a named meat as the first ingredient and energy derived from delicious sounding fruit and veg, rather than soy, corn, or wheat.
Also, if you do decide to change from your dog’s existing chow onto something extra nutritious, then take a few days to swap the diet over.
No matter how good the new food is, if you swap suddenly, this can cause stomach upsets.
Instead, offer both the old and new food side by side in different bowls, and gradually increase the percentage offered of the new food, whilst cutting back on the old.