10 Best Diets for Your Australian Shepherd (From Puppy to Senior)

Pick a dog food for your Australian Shepherd that you feel good about and they'll love to eat.

Published July 22, 2023
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Look of an Australian shepherdess asking for snacks

There's a lot of truth to the statement "You are what you eat," and if you have an Australian Shepherd, you want to make sure you're feeding them the right diet. Aussies are very active and they need plenty of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and minerals to keep up with their endless energy.

But Aussies also notorious for having sensitive stomachs and allergic skin. Based on personal experience with my own Aussie as well as feedback from owners in the veterinary hospital, we found the best dog foods for Australian Shepherds that check all the boxes.

1. Best Overall Food for Australian Shepherds

JustFoodForDogs Chicken & White Rice Recipe Frozen Human-Grade Fresh Dog Food

Our top food pick for Aussies is Just Food for Dogs Chicken & White Rice Recipe. Just Food for Dogs diets aren't like other packaged dog foods; they use fresh, whole foods to create meals that look good enough to put on your dinner table (seriously!) Spoiler alert: they're made with 100% human-grade ingredients, so technically you could.

The chicken and white rice recipe is a fan favorite, so your Australian Shepherd is sure to gobble it right up. But most importantly, it contains all the essential nutrients they need to remain healthy. The diets are all formulated by a team of veterinarians; they can even create customized diets for your dog based on their individual needs.

Quick Tip

Our favorite thing about Just Food for Dogs is that you can purchase frozen food (just defrost it and store it in your fridge to serve), pantry fresh food, AND DIY recipes with supplement packets you can prepare at home.

2. Best Food for Australian Shepherd Puppies

Purina Pro Plan Sport Development Puppy High Protein

Growing Australian Shepherd pups have special nutritional requirements they need to develop correctly. Because puppies can become dehydrated quickly (especially while running around and playing in the sun), we think a wet food is better for puppies over a dry kibble. Purina Pro Plan Sport Puppy High Protein Wet Dog Food is formulated with higher levels of protein to help your active Aussie puppy build lean muscle and keep up their energy.

3. Best Food for Mini Australian Shepherds

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed

Everything is smaller in the Mini Aussie; their legs, paws, and even their teeth. Our food choice for Mini Australian Shepherds is the Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Bites. Hill's food has a lot of research backing it up. The tiny pieces can accommodate your Mini's smaller features, and the formula is meant to be easier on their classically sensitive digestive tracts.

Fast Fact

Mini Aussies are actually a separate breed called the Miniature American Shepherd. They're closely related to Aussies, though.

More Recommended Foods for Australian Shepherds

4. Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken Patties: Owners who prefer to feed their Australian Shepherds a raw diet can consider Instinct raw diets. Depending on your Aussie's size, they can eat up to three to five raw patties each day. Because they're stored frozen, your best bet is to visit your local pet store to find these.

Instinct Frozen Raw Patties Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Dog Food

5. Royal Canin Medium Digestive Care: Royal Canin has several breed-specific diets, but unfortunately, they haven't made one for the Australian Shepherd yet. But what they do have is something comparable: a sensitive digestive diet for medium-sized dogs. We think this one is a great choice for Aussies.

6. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Formula: Australian Shepherds who have food allergies will do well with a limited ingredient diet like the Wellness Turkey & Potato formula.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

7. The Farmer's Dog Beef Recipe: The Farmer's Dog is a subscription-based dog food that delivers your pup's meals directly to your door. The service is gaining popuarlity, and reviews are good. Our editor Ethan Mizer's dogs love it. The foods are made with fresh ingredients and "gently" cooked to avoid damaging the important nutrients in the food.

8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula: You want to protect your Aussie's life at all costs, and Blue Buffalo shares this sentiment. Their LifeSource Formula's Bits contain a special blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to help your dog live a healthy life.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

9. NOM NOM All Life Stage Frozen Dog Food: Just thaw out NOM NOM's frozen packs to serve your pup a fresh meal that's been expertly formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. The Pork Potluck recipe is another great option for Australian Shepherds with food allergies.

10. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Plant Powered Vegetarian Recipe: Aussies who have severe food allergies and cannot eat any meat protein source might find success with Natural Balance's vegetarian formula. This is also an excellent option for vegetarian owners who wish to feed their dogs a plant-based diet. It contains the minimum 18 percent crude protein that your dog needs, along with all other necessary nutrients.

Tips for Picking Dog Food

Not sure which Australian Shepherd diet is right for your dog? These tips can help you narrow down your search to find a high-quality product you'll both love.

  • Consider your dog's life stage. Pick a food that's appropriate for your Aussie's age. Dogs under one year old should eat a puppy formula, dogs aged one to six should eat an adult diet, and older Aussies (7 years and older) should be fed a senior diet.
  • Think about their size. There's a big difference in the size between a Toy Aussie and a standard Aussie. Pick a diet that's formulated for their predicted adult size (typically small or medium, unless your Aussie is exceptionally large!)
  • Look at the protein source. Most dog foods use chicken or beef as the primary protein source, but if your Australian Shepherd has food allergies, you'll probably need to pick something different. Novel protein sources like duck, venison, or even kangaroo can help keep their allergies at bay.
  • Find something that works with your lifestyle. If cooking a homemade diet isn't practical for your lifestyle, skip that option. If you can't safely store frozen raw food, pick something else. Find something that works for you as well as your dog.

Find the Right Diet for Your Australian Shepherd

Among all the other things you have to do as a new pet owner, picking a food for your best friend can feel overwhelming. Speak to your veterinarian to get their recommendations based on your dog's medical history and any conditions they might have. You know that look of joy your dog gives you when you set down their bowl at mealtime? We want you to feel that confident after choosing the right diet for them.

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10 Best Diets for Your Australian Shepherd (From Puppy to Senior)