Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd Dogs

The Australian Shepherd despite its name is a breed that was developed in the United States. It was first recognized by the American Kennel Club as an established breed in 1991. This high energy, medium sized dog is a highly intelligent work oriented animal that takes great pleasure in being given a job such as herding. These dogs require a good deal of exercise, and with that they require a high standard of nutrition. Higher than your average dog because of the great deal of calories they burn performing their working tasks. When choosing a food for a working dog you’ll want to be concerned with both the quality of the ingredients and the ratio of proteins and fats. Today’s we’re going to make a couple great recommendations for the best dog food for Australian shepherd dogs.

The Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd Dogs

Merrick Backcountry Dog Food

back country dog food rating

Best Dog Food For Australian Shepherd

Merrick is well known in the pet industry for heir high quality dog foods, and the backcountry recipe is a great choice. This food is packed full of high quality proteins and fats that a hard working dog needs. All of Merrick’s foods are made in the United States. This recipe is grain free which limits the possibility of a bad reaction for dogs with allergies. Let’s take a look at the ingredients for the Merrick Backcountry Big Game Recipe.

Deboned Lamb, Pork Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Buffalo, Venison, Salmon Meal, Beef, Beef Liver, Apples, Gelatin, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salmon Oil (source of Omega-3 fatty acids), Salt, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

As we can see from this ingredient list this food is chock full of high quality proteins like lamb, pork, turkey, buffalo, venison and salmon. This food is actually a mixture of high protein kibble and high quality freeze dried real raw meat. Not only is this food very nutritious, but dogs gobble it up as well. The second ingredient, the pork meal is no doubt responsible for the large amount of protein in this diet. A protein “meal” is meat that has been dehydrated. Once all the moisture is removed the resulting product has around 4-5 times the nutritional benefit of the whole meat product. A protein meal is often added to dog foods to raise the nutritional benefit of the food.

Below you can see the nutritional analysis for this food. It has a whopping 38% protein and 17% fat which is excellent. A hard working Australian Shepherd will benefits greatly from a diet like this. You can see a full review I’ve done of all of Merrick’s high quality dog foods here. In addition to the kibble mixture they also sell just the real meat pieces if you’d prefer to feed your dog just those.

Merrick Back Country Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein (min.) 38.00%
Crude fat (min.) 17.00%
Crude fiber (max.) 3.50%
Moisture (max.) 11.00%
Omega-6 fatty acid* (min.) 3.00%
Omega-3 fatty acid* (min.) 0.30%
Glucosamine* (min.) 800 mg/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate* (min.) 800 mg/kg

Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food

back country dog food rating

zignature salmon dog food


Zignature offers a stellar line of dog foods that are limited ingredient recipes. This means that they feature very simple recipes that are very easy on the digestion. Instead of a bunch of different proteins these recipes focus on just one key high quality protein like lamb or turkey. If your pup has a sensitive stomach this can go a long way for them. All of their foods are also chicken free which is an oddly common dog allergen. Instead they’ve replaced chicken with high quality proteins and fats from turkey, salmon, lamb and even kangaroo! Here’s the ingredients list for the Salmon formula.

Salmon, Salmon Meal, Pea Flour, Chickpeas, Peas, Sunflower Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid), Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Lactic Supplement), Lactic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.

As you can see from the ingredient list the first two on the list are high quality salmon products. Salmon is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats which are awesome for a high energy dog. You’ll also get a healthy dose omega 3s. Fish oil makes for healthy skin and a shiny coat. On the fiber side there’s some easily digestible peas and chickpeas. The salmon meat comes from the United States, but some of their proteins do not. They also source proteins from New Zealand, France and Australia.

Below is the nutritional profile for the Zignature foods. This is the guaranteed minimum nutritional benefit from their foods. As you can see the protein is a little bit less than the Merrick Backcountry, but it does have more fiber. This could be important if your pup has some stomach problems. There’s also a lot more omeg 3 and omega 6 which is very nice, and why I might actually prefer this food. Fish fats and oils are very healthy, and feeding them to your dog really shows. This food has an excellent nutritional profile, and would be excellent for keeping up the high energy of a shepherd.

Zignature Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein (min.) 31.00%
Crude fat (min.) 18.00%
Crude fiber (max.) 6.50%
Moisture (max.) 10.00%
Omega-6 fatty acid* (min.) 7.0%
Omega-3 fatty acid* (min.) 1.0%
Phosphorous (min) 0.9%
Calcium (min) 1.0%