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9 Best Puppy Food for Australian Shepherds in 2024

Dazzling eyes, a vibrant coat, and boundless energy – these are hallmarks of the Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd, affectionately known as the ‘Aussie’, is renowned for its intelligence, agility, and boundless energy. 

However, the energy and vitality they exude aren’t just because of their genetics; it’s also about what they consume. It’s essential that their food bowl reflect the same vitality.

To nurture this puppy’s growth and intellect, the best puppy food for Australian Shepherd is a superior diet is non-negotiable.

Ever wondered what fuels the boundless enthusiasm of an Australian Shepherd puppy? It’s not just their inherent zest for life but also the hearty meals that grace their bowls. 

With a plethora of food brands vying for your attention, making the perfect pick can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Fear not! We’ve dug deep, sifting through the noise, to bring you a curated guide that your Aussie will woof approval for. 

The future health and vitality of your puppy begin with the choices you make today. And as the calendar pages turn to 2024, the quest for the optimal puppy food is more significant than ever. Discover the meals that will lay a strong foundation for your Aussie’s tomorrow.




Key Features


WholeHearted Grain Free All Life Stages Chicken & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food, 25 lbs.

  • Grain-Free

  • Real Chicken

  • Supports immune health

Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural

  • U.S. farm-raised chicken

  • No poultry by-products

  • Includes DHA

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Fre Roasted Bison & Venison Dry Puppy Food

  • Bison & Venison

  • Probiotics

  • Omega fatty acids

Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Formula Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

  • Real chicken

  • Glucosamine source

  • omega -6 fatty acids

  • omega -6 fatty acids

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Puppy Food

  • Veterinarian recommended

  • Antioxidant blend

  • No artificial additives

ORIJEN Grain Free High Protein Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients Dry Puppy Food

  • High protein

  • Fresh & raw ingredients

  • Biologically appropriate

Merrick Grain Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Puppy Food

  • Deboned chicken

  • Omega fatty acids

  • Grain free

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Puppy Food

  • Real meat

  • Wholesome grains

  • antioxidant-rich

Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food, chicken, Salmon & Oatmeal

  • Dual protein

  • Omega fatty acids

  • Natural ingredients

How to Choose the Best Food for an Australian Shepherd?

This breed, known for its agility and intelligence, demands a diet as robust as its personality. They also require nutrition that complements their active lifestyle and specific breed needs.

  • Ingredients & Nutrition: A good meal starts with high-quality ingredients. It’s imperative to feed your Australian Shepherd high-quality food with natural, whole ingredients. Scan the label to ensure whole foods are at the forefront.
    Avoid brands that list fillers, artificial colors, or by-products in the first few ingredients. Instead, opt for those highlighting real meats, vegetables, and beneficial grains.
  • Premium Proteins: Aussies are known for their active nature, and protein is the building block of their energy. Proteins play a pivotal role in building muscles and providing energy for these spirited dogs.
    Choose foods that list real meats like chicken, beef, or fish as their primary ingredient. This ensures that your Aussie is getting the high-quality protein it needs for its agility and stamina.
  • Good Fats: Contrary to popular belief, fats can be friends, fats aren’t the enemy! Essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, are crucial for brain development and promote a glossy coat and healthy skin.
    They also support cognitive function and cellular health. Look for foods containing sources of good fats, such as fish oil or flaxseed.
  • Beneficial Carbs: Carbs provide your Aussie with the stamina to keep going, but the source matters. Quinoa, barley, and oats are fantastic options, offering long-lasting energy without unnecessary fillers.
    Ingredients like sweet potatoes, barley, or brown rice offer sustained energy without spiking blood sugar. These provide sustained energy and are easy on the tummy.
  • Food Types: From kibble to canned, and raw to freeze-dried, the choices are endless. Whether dry kibble, canned food, or raw diets, each type has its advantages.
    For example, dry food is convenient and helps in cleaning teeth, canned food offers more moisture content, and raw diets offer a natural, unprocessed approach. Reflect on your dog’s needs and your convenience when deciding.
  • Allergies and Reactions: Food intolerances are not uncommon for them. Australian Shepherds, like many breeds, can develop allergies.
    Common culprits include soy, corn, and sometimes chicken. If your Aussie shows signs of an allergic reaction, like excessive scratching, inflamed skin, or digestive issues, consider consulting a vet and shifting to hypoallergenic foods.
    Your vet knows your Aussie’s health better than anyone else.
  • Every Dog is Different: Lastly, it’s essential to remember that every Aussie is unique. While one might thrive on a chicken-based diet, another might prefer beef or fish. Pay close attention to your dog’s individual preferences and any signs of discomfort or pleasure after meals. 

A working dog might have different nutritional needs compared to a senior dog. Always consider age, activity level, and any specific health concerns when choosing a diet.

Ensure the nutritional profile matches whether they’re a growing pup, active adult, or a serene senior.

What to Look for When Choosing Food for Your Australian Shepherd?

Here are the dietary essentials for your spirited companion – 

1. Understanding Nutritional Needs

  • Protein Balance: Protein aids muscle development and maintenance, which is critical for these energetic canines. Aim for foods with high-quality protein sources like chicken, beef, or fish, constituting at least 25% of their diet.
  • Fat Harmony: Contrary to what many think, fats are essential. They provide the energy needed for their active days. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fish oil and flaxseed, also promote a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  • Carbohydrate Wisdom: Carbohydrates provide energy and are good for digestion. However, ensure the carbs in their diet come from high-quality sources like whole grains and vegetables, avoiding simple sugars.

2. Health Considerations

  • Joint Health: Due to their active nature, joint problems can be a concern. Foods fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin can be beneficial. High-activity breeds can face joint issues. Foods infused with glucosamine or chondroitin can help in promoting joint health.
  • Allergy Awareness: Aussies, like many breeds, can develop food allergies. If you notice symptoms like excessive itching or digestive troubles, consult a vet. They might recommend grain-free or limited-ingredient diets.
  • Sensitive Stomachs: Australians can sometimes display food sensitivities. Therefore, it is better to find the right food for their sensitive stomach. In such cases, a limited-ingredient diet or one free from common allergens like corn and wheat might be best.

3. Decoding Dog Food Labels

  • Lead with Quality: The primary ingredients on the list should resonate with quality. Whole foods, especially meats, should dominate the top spots
  • Dodging Fillers: Keep an eye out for low-nutritional-value fillers like corn gluten meal or excessive starches. Your Aussie’s diet should be as genuine as their affection.
  • Preservative Perspective: Natural preservatives like mixed tocopherols are preferable over artificial alternatives. A rule of thumb? If it’s hard to pronounce, your Aussie might be better off without it.

9 Best Puppy Food for Australian Shepherds in 2024

Discover the top 9 puppy foods for Australian Shepherds in 2024, carefully curated to meet the unique needs of growing pups. From WholeHearted’s grain-free chicken and pea recipe to Wellness Complete Health’s dual-protein essence, embark on a journey of nutrition that prioritizes health, vitality, and taste.

Explore the advantages, pros, and reasons to choose each option, ensuring your furry companion gets the best start on their journey to a healthy and happy life.

1. WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea Recipe Dry Puppy Food

WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea Recipe Dry Puppy Food

This food is crafted to provide complete, balanced nutrition for growing pups. Here’s what makes it stand out:

  • Grain Free Recipe: A formulation devoid of grains ensures easier digestion for puppies, especially those with grain sensitivities.
  • Premium Protein Source: Made with real chicken as the primary ingredient, it promises high-quality protein to support muscle growth and overall puppy development.
  • Rich in Essential Nutrients: With the inclusion of peas, the recipe is not only a source of protein but also provides essential vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in the health and well-being of your pup.
  • No Artificial Additives: This food prioritizes natural nutrition and avoids artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.


Choosing WholeHearted’s Chicken and Pea recipe has some added benefits:

  • Skin & Coat Health: Fatty acids present in the food can assist in promoting a shiny coat and healthier skin for your puppy.
  • Boosted Immunity: The blend of vitamins and minerals supports a robust immune system, helping puppies ward off illnesses.
  • Enhanced Digestibility: Without the potential allergens found in grains, this formula can be gentler on a puppy’s stomach, minimizing digestive issues.

Reasons to Purchase

If you’re in search of a nutritious start for your young canine companion, this puppy food is a brilliant choice. Not only does it center around natural and health-focused ingredients, but it also caters to the specific needs of growing pups.

Its grain-free nature means it’s perfect even for those puppies who might have sensitivities, ensuring they get only the best without any adverse reactions.


  • Rich and high-quality protein source
  • Grain-free formula
  • Natural ingredients


  • A bit expensive
  • Specific dietary needs

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural

Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural

This food is an outstanding blend of ingrdients and nutrition tailored for youthful canines. Let’s dive into what makes this product shine – 

  • Natural Ingredients: Emphasizing nature’s best, this puppy food contains wholesome components free from artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Farm-Raised Chicken: As its main ingredient, this formulation guarantees that your puppy receives ample high-quality protein essential for growth.
  • Fortified with Vitamins & Minerals: Ensuring a well-rounded diet, this food is enriched with vital vitamins and minerals for comprehensive puppy health.
  • Omega Fatty Acids: Incorporated from fish oil, these are essential for cognitive function and a glossy coat.


Choosing Rachael Ray Nutrish for your puppy offers added perks:

  • Brain Development: Omega fatty acids, particularly DHA, are key for neural development, assisting in your puppy’s learning and cognition.
  • Bone & Joint Support: The added calcium and phosphorous support strong bones and joints, vital during the rapid growth phase.
  • Natural Digestive Health Boosters: With natural prebiotics, this formulation supports a healthy gut and smooth digestion.

Reasons to Purchase

If you’re seeking a balanced, natural diet for your fur baby, Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural is a top contender.

Beyond its prime ingredients, it supports brain, bone, and digestive health, giving your puppy a comprehensive nutritional foundation.

For those keen on giving their pets an all-natural diet from a trusted brand, this product emerges as a front runner.


  • Natural formulation
  • Brain and cognitive support
  • Digestive health


  • Flavor might not appeal to all puppies. 
  • Depending on regions or stores, this food might be less readily available 

3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Roasted Bison & Venison Dry Puppy Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Roasted Bison & Venison Dry Puppy Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is more than just puppy food; it’s an invitation to your furry companion to savor the flavors of nature. Delve into the distinguishing features of this exceptional blend:

  • Novel Proteins: Roasted bison and venison take center stage, offering high-quality, unique protein sources. This can be especially valuable for puppies with sensitivities to more common proteins.
  • Grain-Free Excellence: Drawing inspiration from an ancestral diet, this grain-free recipe aims for peak nutrition and digestive ease.
  • Superfood Fusion: Blueberries, raspberries, and other superfoods are interwoven, showering your pup with essential antioxidants for immune health.
  • K9 Strain Probiotics: These specialized, active cultures are designed to maintain a balanced gut environment, fostering digestive health.


Taste of the Wild High Prairie isn’t just food—it’s an experience:

  • A Culinary Journey: The combination of roasted bison and venison delivers a unique taste sensation many puppies eagerly anticipate.
  • Glowing Health: Omega fatty acids in the blend ensure a vibrant coat and supple skin.
  • Reduced Allergy Concerns: The novel protein choices can potentially minimize allergy risks compared to traditional protein sources.

Reasons to Purchase:

If you’re seeking a diet that echoes the wilderness, merging taste and nutrition seamlessly, Taste of the Wild High Prairie beckons.

Infused with unique proteins, superfoods, and probiotics, it’s a comprehensive meal solution. For those wanting their puppies to taste the wild while receiving optimal nourishment, this product stands tall.


  • Novelty in nutrition
  • Holistic health approach


  • Expensive
  • Potential overnutrition

4. Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Formula Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Formula Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

When it comes to nurturing the giants of tomorrow, not just any food will do. Enter a formulation that understands the essence of large breeds and caters to their unique needs.


  • Designed for Giants: Specifically crafted for large breeds, this formula addresses the distinct nutritional requirements that support rapid growth and development.
  • Priority on Protein: With real chicken leading the ingredient list, this formula guarantees the protein boost essential for robust muscle formation.
  • Balanced Nutrition: An ideal protein-to-fat ratio ensures large breed puppies evolve at a healthy pace, keeping weight concerns in check.
  • Brain & Vision Fortification: The inclusion of DHA from fish oil plays a pivotal role in the development of cognitive functions and vision.


Opt for this formula and reward your large breed pup with:

  • Guarded Joint Health: Specialized nutrients focus on the joint health typical to larger breeds, laying the groundwork for a mobile and comfortable life.
  • Immunity Boost: Enriched with vital antioxidants, the blend stands guard, enhancing the immune response.
  • Smooth Digestion: With a dash of prebiotic fiber, it ensures a harmonious gut environment, paving the way for efficient digestion and nutrient assimilation.

Reasons to Purchase

Raising a large breed puppy brings its own set of joys and challenges. While their playful antics fill our lives with joy, their dietary needs demand careful consideration. This Purina Pro Plan formula rises to the occasion, offering not just sustenance but holistic well-being.

If you envision a healthy, active future for your large pup, this is the nutritional partner you’ve been seeking.


  • Tailored for large breeds
  • Inclusion of high protein
  • Comprehensive nutrition


  • Contains grains
  • Premium pricing

5. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Puppy Food

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Puppy Food

Crafted with precision, Hill’s Science Diet for large breed puppies presents a harmonious blend of science and nature to foster optimal growth.


  • Precision Nutrition: Tailored for large breed puppies, it ensures they receive the exact nutrition needed for balanced growth.
  • Quality Protein: Chicken meal leads the ingredient list, providing a protein-rich foundation for strong muscle development.
  • Wholesome Grains: Brown rice, a digestible grain, offers sustained energy without overwhelming their developing digestive system.
  • Vital Nutrients: Enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, it addresses the multifaceted nutritional needs of growing giants.


Choosing Hill’s Science Diet for your large breed pup brings forth several benefits:

  • Bone & Joint Support: It contains essential nutrients tailored to support the rapid growth and joint health of larger breeds.
  • Optimized Fat & Protein Levels: This ensures balanced, healthy growth without the risk of accelerated weight gain.
  • Veterinarian Recommended: A trusted name, many veterinarians recommend Hill’s Science Diet for its science-backed approach to nutrition.

Reasons to Purchase

Embarking on the journey of raising a large breed puppy requires dedication and the right nutritional partner. Hill’s Science Diet, with its impeccable blend of quality ingredients and precise nutrition, ensures your pup grows at the right pace, with all the health support they need.

If you desire a tried and trusted formula backed by science, this is a standout choice.


  • Scientifically formulated
  • Provides bone and joint support
  • Inclusion of natural ingredients


  • Limited protein variety
  • Contains grains

6. ORIJEN Grain Free High Protein Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients Dry Puppy Food

ORIJEN Grain Free High Protein Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients Dry Puppy Food

Experience the power of nature tailored for your pup’s primal needs. ORIJEN’s approach marries evolutionary science with contemporary pet nutrition.


  • Grain-Free Excellence: Crafted without grains, it’s a boon for pups sensitive to common grain-related allergens.
  • Premium Protein Source: Brimming with fresh and raw animal ingredients, this food offers an unparalleled protein richness, mimicking a dog’s natural diet.
  • Diverse Nutrient Profile: With varied animal sources, it provides a wide spectrum of essential amino acids.
  • Whole Prey Ratios: Emulating nature, the formula includes meat, organs, cartilage, and bone to deliver comprehensive nutrition.


Feeding your pup ORIJEN’s Grain-Free Puppy Food comes with a plethora of benefits:

  • Natural Immune Boost: Packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, and botanicals, it supports and strengthens the immune system naturally.
  • Enhanced Metabolism: The high protein content supports lean muscle growth and fosters an active metabolic rate.
  • Skin and Coat Health: Essential fatty acids from quality fish sources ensure a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Reasons to Purchase

For the pet parent who understands the value of biologically appropriate diets, ORIJEN is more than just food – it’s a commitment to returning to nature. If you seek a blend that mirrors the richness and diversity of a wild diet, ensuring vitality and health for your pup, ORIJEN stands as an unmatched choice.


  • High protein content
  • Grain free
  • Biologically appropriate


  • Rich formula
  • Limited vegetarian content

7. Merrick Grian Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Puppy Food

Merrick Grian Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Puppy Food

Dive into a culinary experience that prioritizes your puppy’s well-being. Merrick’s offering combines nutrient-rich ingredients with gourmet flair.


  • Grain-Free Recipe: Skillfully crafted without grains, making it a perfect choice for puppies who have grain sensitivities.
  • Lead with Real Chicken: Quality chicken is at the forefront, ensuring your pup gets the protein needed for optimal growth.
  • Nourishing Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes provide a digestible source of energy and essential dietary fiber.
  • Fortified Nutrition: Enhanced with essential vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids, addressing the full spectrum of puppy nutritional needs.


Opting for Merrick’s Grain Free Puppy Food opens a world of wellness:

  • Joint Health: Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to nurture and protect developing joints.
  • Digestive Support: Probiotics and fiber from sweet potatoes aid in maintaining a balanced gut environment.
  • Healthy Skin and Coat: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote a radiant coat and nourished skin.

Reasons to Purchase

Merrick stands as a testament to the idea that gourmet can be healthy. This food is more than just a meal; it’s an assurance of quality and commitment to your puppy’s growth and vitality. For those who wish to blend taste with top-tier nutrition, Merrick becomes an obvious choice.


  • Real Chicken for muscle growth
  • Protbiotics and sweet potatoes for gut health
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin inclusion


  • Premium price point
  • Certain pups may react to ingredient blends

8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Puppy Food

Unveiling a formula where nature’s finest meets scientific innovation. Blue Buffalo Life Protection ensures every step your puppy takes is filled with vitality.


  • Holistic Nutrition: Crafted with the best of nature’s ingredients balanced with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Real Meat First: Deboned chicken, lamb, or fish, depending on the variant, ensures protein-rich nourishment.
  • LifeSource Bits: Unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals specifically chosen by veterinarians and nutritionists.
  • Wholesome Grains and Veggies: Brown rice, barley, and oatmeal provide energy, while garden veggies offer nutritional depth.


Choosing Blue Buffalo Life Protection brings forth numerous perks:

  • Immune System Boost: The LifeSource Bits are specially formulated to enhance immune health.
  • Omega Fatty Acids: Ensure a shiny coat and healthy skin for your pup.
  • No Poultry By-Products: Quality and transparency in every bite.

Reasons to Purchase

Blue Buffalo Life Protection stands out as a testament to balanced and holistic nutrition. Its blend of nature and science aims to address every aspect of your puppy’s growth. For those desiring a holistic approach to puppy nutrition, this food is a cut above the rest.


  • Lifesource bits
  • Holistic nutrition
  • Quality protein


  • Expensive 
  • Specific flavor might not appeal to all puppies

9. Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Oatmeal

Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Oatmeal

From the rustle of feathers to the splash of water, Wellness Complete Health embodies the very essence of nature’s bounties, ensuring your pup gets a vibrant start.


  • Two-fold Protein Essence: Chicken for lean muscle and salmon for brain development.
  • Digestive Harmony: Oatmeal as a gentle and nutritive carbohydrate.
  • Nature’s Guardians: Blueberries and spinach lend their antioxidant prowess.
  • Unadulterated Goodness: Absent of wheat, corn, soy, or artificial fillers.


Venture deeper and discover the essence of Wellness:

  • Cognitive Boost: Omega-3 from salmon fosters neural connections.
  • Bone Blueprint: A balance of calcium and phosphorus charts skeletal growth.
  • Digestive Ecosystem: Probiotics paired with oatmeal ensure a harmonious gut.

Reasons to Purchase

The mantra behind Wellness Complete Health is clear: every bite matters. It’s a harmonized blend of what nature offers and what science affirms. If a bright future for your pup is the goal, this food is the path.


  • Dual protein formula
  • Maintain gut balance
  • Free from common allergens and artificial additives.


  • Inclusion of grain
  • Dual protein source might not be a favorite for all pups. 

Best Picks

Best Puppy Food for Australian Shepherd – Champions

Taste of the Wild High Prairie stands out with its Bison & Venison blend, offering a unique protein source packed with essential nutrients. It’s grain-free, rich in omega fatty acids, and boosted with probiotics, making it an all-round champion for Australian Shepherd puppies in 2023.

Best Food for an Australian Shepherd – Runners up

Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural follows closely with its farm-raised chicken and DHA enrichment. Free from poultry by-products and with the added benefits of natural prebiotics, it ensures a balanced meal for growing pups.

Wrapping UP

Choosing the right food for your Australian Shepherd puppy sets the foundation for their lifelong health and vitality. The market is flooded with options, but the ten products we’ve explored stand out for their quality, nutrition, and value.

From grain-free to protein-packed, these offerings cater to diverse needs, ensuring every Australian Shepherd gets the start they deserve.

As a puppy parent, investing time to understand your dog’s nutritional requirements will pay off in spades, with a happy, healthy, and energetic companion by your side. Here’s to the many playful days ahead!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a specific protein source better for Australian Shepherd puppies?

No specific protein is universally best; however, lean meats like chicken or lamb are commonly recommended.

How often should I feed my Australian Shepherd puppy?

Can I mix wet and dry puppy food?

When should I switch from puppy food to adult food?

Are there supplements recommended for Australian Shepherd puppies?

Should I consult a veterinarian before changing my puppy’s diet?


Jessica Comstock

Jessica Comstock

As a passionate dog breeder with 7 years of experience, I've dedicated my career to ethically and responsibly breeding dogs. My expertise in genetics, breed standards, and nurturing environments has allowed me to produce healthy, well-tempered puppies, ensuring their future owners receive loyal and cherished companions.

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