11 Best Dog Food for Blue Heelers in 2021 (Top Picks)

Edited by: Mike Powell
Reviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Premium Option: ORIJEN Dry Dog Food
“Keep your dog healthy and happy with the ORIJEN dog food. It comes in three different recipes and is suitable for Blue Heelers of all life stages. It’s high in protein and fat, and offers exceptional nutrition.”

Runner-up: Acana Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
“Looking for a dog food that combines quality and affordability? The Acana Dry Dog Food has all the nutrients your Blue Heeler needs for a price that is well beyond your budget. It’s nutritious and there’s a great range of flavors to choose from!”

Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Extreme Dry Dog Food
“Diamond Naturals has one of the highest fat contents in our list and is ideal for your Blue Heelers that are active all day long. At slightly over a dollar per pound, you won’t find a better deal anywhere.”

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Blue Heelers, also known as Australian Cattle Dogs, are eye-catching dogs. They’re a cousin of the Australian Dingo, which accounts for their lean yet solid build. 

Whatever you call them, they’re working dogs who are extremely intelligent and thrive on having a job to do. Working dogs need a moderate to high fat count to provide them with enough energy, high-quality protein to keep their muscles strong, and joint supplements to protect their joints from impact during exercise. 

We’ve reviewed the kibble we believe to be the best dog food for Blue Heelers. Check out are our top choices for nourishing your speckled and spotted beauty!

Product Name
Premium Option
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All Breeds, Regional Red, Grain Free & Chicken Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
Acana Grain Free Dry Dog Food, High Protein, Freeze-Dried Coated, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Bison, and Fish, 25lb
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 97/100
Our Rating 95/100
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Good levels of joint supplements
Biologically-appropriate
Very high in fat, high in protein for active Heelers
Feature 2
High protein and fat for active dogs
Four unique recipes
High in Omegas fatty acids to keep that coat sleek
Premium Option
Product Name
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All Breeds, Regional Red, Grain Free & Chicken Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
Our grade
Our Rating 97/100
Feature 1
Good levels of joint supplements
Feature 2
High protein and fat for active dogs
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Runner-up
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Acana Grain Free Dry Dog Food, High Protein, Freeze-Dried Coated, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Bison, and Fish, 25lb
Our grade
Our Rating 95/100
Feature 1
Biologically-appropriate
Feature 2
Four unique recipes
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Value for Money
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Very high in fat, high in protein for active Heelers
Feature 2
High in Omegas fatty acids to keep that coat sleek
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Sources researched
34
Sources researched
Customer reviews
29,564
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
25
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dog Food for Blue Heelers

Here are our top picks for the best dog food for Blue Heelers:

1. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food

Premium Option: Provides enough energy for working dogs, with joint and eye support

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All Breeds, Regional Red, Grain Free & Chicken Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
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Key Features

  • Three different recipes 
  • High protein and fat for active dogs 
  • Suitable for all life stages 
  • Good levels of joint supplements

Dogs of all life stages would benefit from ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, which is why we recommend it as the best dog food for Blue Heelers. 

It’s available in three recipes, which allows you to mix and match so your Heeler doesn’t get bored. You can also avoid problem proteins if your Heeler happens to have a sensitive tummy.

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Great for All Life Stages 

All three recipes contain 38% protein and 18% fat. This is perfect for very active dogs like Heelers. If yours is a little on the sedentary side, you may need to add some exercise into his or her daily activity. 

The recipes also include DHA and EPA. This is a necessity in puppy food, but it’s beneficial in adult dog food too. The addition of glucosamine and chondroitin are great to see for dogs who are as bouncy as Heelers. 

This dog food is also high in essential amino acids, with ingredients like liver, kidney, and heart meat.

2. Acana Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Runner-Up Option: Nutrient-dense, high protein recipe range

Acana Grain Free Dry Dog Food, High Protein, Freeze-Dried Coated, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Bison, and Fish, 25lb
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Key Features

  • Four unique recipes 
  • More moderate in protein than our premium choice 
  • Perfect for all life stages 
  • Biologically-appropriate nutrition

We highly recommend Acana Grain-Free Dry Dog Food for those Heelers who may be picky eaters. With four interesting and nutrition-packed recipes, your dog will never get bored. 

Regardless of which flavor they prefer, they’ll be getting high-quality nutrition. Each recipe has the same amount of protein and fat, with varying glucosamine and Omega fatty acid content.

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Switchable Nutrition 

The beauty of this dry food is its range of flavors. Blue Heelers are not typically fussy, but dogs are as individual as humans! If your Blue is a picky one, this recipe range should satisfy him. 

It’s slightly lower in protein than our top option, at 33%. 17% fat is a good amount for fairly active dogs. 

It’s also suitable for all life stages, so whether you’re feeding an adult or a Blue Heeler puppy, they’ll be well-nourished. 

DHA, EPA, a good calcium/phosphorus ratio, and added joint supplements round this dog food off very well.

3. Diamond Naturals Extreme Dry Dog Food

Best Value for Money: Wallet-friendly kibble for high-energy, active dogs

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
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Key Features

  • Just over a dollar per pound of food 
  • Very high in fat, high in protein for active Heelers 
  • High in Omegas fatty acids to keep that coat sleek 
  • High calorie (470 per cup)

Blue Heeler parents who are counting their pennies, Diamond Naturals Extreme Dry Dog Food will nourish your dog, provide for his high energy needs, and not break the bank. 

At just over a dollar per pound, Diamond Natural Extreme Athlete kibble is perfect for your Heeler if he gets plenty of exercise. The fat and protein counts are high, so he needs to burn off calories to make the most of that.

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Superfoods for a Super Price 

Your dog needs to be active to work off the 25% fat he’ll be getting in every mouthful! 32% protein also keeps his muscles strong, and glucosamine and chondroitin support his joints through all that bustling activity. 

One of the best things about this dog food is its ingredient list. For its price range, Diamond Naturals is loaded with top-quality, all-natural ingredients, some of which are considered superfoods. 

Chicken and chicken meal make up the protein count, while your dog will get a little extra energy and fiber from fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy grains like rice and barley. Pumpkin, spinach, carrots, blueberries, and a good few others add a splash of vitamins and minerals.

4. ORIJEN Puppy Dog Food

Best for Blue Heeler Puppies: Feeding your puppy like his ancestors, just with supportive supplements

ORIJEN Puppy Dog Food, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
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Key Features

  • Multiple proteins 
  • High protein, high fat 
  • High Omega fatty acid levels (plus DHA) 
  • Good joint support

ORIJEN Puppy Dog Food is our pick for the best Blue Heeler puppy food. If you’ve got a little Blue Heeler, she needs the best nutrition to grow up healthy and strong. That’s exactly what this food offers. 

It contains enough fat to fuel a busy, growing puppy, and enough protein to help them build lean muscle mass. 

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Great for Developing Puppies 

Puppies will have plenty of energy with 20% fat content in this kibble. Their muscles will be well-supported by the 38% protein, and glucosamine and chondroitin add joint support too. 

The calcium/phosphorus ratio is perfect for big puppies whose bones are growing. You’ll find the necessary amount of DHA and EPA in this dog food. 

It also features high Omega fatty acid levels, which will give your dog’s coat a shine and moisturize their skin. 

The all-natural ingredient list makes it easy for pups to digest, but there are added probiotics as well just to give the pup a digestive boost.

5. Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food

Best for Blue Heeler Seniors: High protein, lower fat recipe that avoid common allergens

Nulo SR Trout Grain-Free Dry Food, 24 lb
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Key Features

  • Multiple high-quality proteins 
  • Contains L-carnitine for metabolic regulation 
  • Added vitamins and minerals 
  • Joint supplements included

Blue Heelers who are growing long in the tooth need specific components in their food, just like puppies. 

Nulo Senior Dry Dog Food covers everything they need, while avoiding ingredients like chicken that could be hard on the tummy. It’s also slightly lower in fat to accommodate lower energy levels.

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All a Senior Dog Needs 

As your Blue Heeler ages, he’ll become a little less active. That means he won’t need as much fat in his diet. This recipe contains 12% fat, which is enough to see him through a day comfortably. 

It retains a high protein count (30%) to keep his muscles strong. A good dose of joint supplements keep him flexible and without pain. 

L-carnitine is a great supplement to see in a food for senior dogs. It helps to regulate metabolism and energy expenditure, keeping your senior as active as possible without adding too much to his weight.

6. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties

Best Raw Food: Retains most of the natural nutrition during processing

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Stella's Super Beef Dinner Patties Dog Food, 14 oz. Bag
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Key Features

  • High protein, high fat, superb for active dogs 
  • Rich in amino acids 
  • Multiple flavors for picky eaters 
  • Minimally processed

Raw feeding could be a great option for dogs that are as energetic as Blue Heelers. Stella & Chewy's Raw Dinner Patties offer more protein and higher fat levels than anything else on this list. 

They’re also minimally processed, so they’re a healthy option for dogs who may have sensitive stomachs.

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Packed with Energy 

You’ll find these patties in 11 different flavors, as well as two dedicated to puppies. Each recipe uses only premium quality all-natural ingredients, including muscle and organ meat. 

That makes them super-rich in amino acids, as well as sky-high in protein and fat. Your dog’s coat and skin will benefit.  

Depending on the recipe, there’s anywhere from 35% to 45% protein, and between 30% and 35% fat. That’s a lot of fat! Your Blue Heeler will need to be able to work it off every day, otherwise they’ll pack on the pounds. 

The one downside is that there’s no added supplements, including glucosamine. You’ll need  to buy a separate supplement.

7. Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Best Limited Ingredient: Ideal for dogs with allergies or picky eaters

Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Grain Free, High Protein, Lamb & Apple, 25lb
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Key Features

  • Five limited ingredient recipes to choose from 
  • Good protein & fat levels 
  • Suitable for all life stages 
  • Added vitamins and minerals

Dogs with sensitive stomachs could benefit from a limited ingredient food. Each of the five recipes contains only a single-source protein (in various forms) and a small number of vegetables and fruits. 

Blue Heelers aren’t known to have sensitive tummies. But it can happen to any dog! Acana Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is the best food to combat it. 

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Packed with Nutrition for All Life Stages 

One of the great things about this food is that it is suitable for Blue Heelers of all life stages. It contains all the necessary stuff for puppies, adults, and seniors. It’s also among the best food for multi-dog families. 

31% protein and 17% fat content are quite suitable for the average dog. They come from a single-source protein, so your dog can avoid ingredients that she may be sensitive to. 

Even with avoiding certain ingredients, the recipe range is big enough that your pup can switch between a few recipes so they don’t get bored. 

DHA, EPA, glucosamine, and varying Omega fatty acid levels round this food off nicely.

8. Stella & Chewy’s Dog Food Toppers

Best Kibble Topper: Easily digestible freeze-dried raw pieces for added texture, taste, and nutrition

Stella & Chewy's Stella's Solutions Hip & Joint Boost Cage-Free Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food, 13 oz
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Key Features

  • Various recipes for various ailments 
  • High in amino acids 
  • Easy to switch between recipes 
  • Grain-free, legume-free, and potato-free

Even if you’re feeding your pup the best dog food for Blue Heelers, they may need a little extra nourishment. If your dog isn’t getting enough calories, try a kibble topper like the Stella & Chewy's Dog Food Toppers before changing their food completely.

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Various Recipes for Various Reasons 

Blue Heeler dog food will mostly contain what your Australian Cattle dog needs. But in some cases, your Blue may need an extra boost in some areas. 

These grain-free recipes come in five variations: digestive boost (beef), healthy heart support (chicken), immune system boost (lamb), skin and coat boost (lamb and salmon), and hip and joint boost (chicken). 

They’re all raw nutrition, and each one contains supplements specific to what it’s for. 

9. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best without Glucosamine: Great choice for dogs without joint issues, or those already on a joint supplement

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe with Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food, Made with High Protein from Real Meat and Guaranteed Nutrients 28lb
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Key Features

  • Good fat and protein levels 
  • High in Omegas for skin and coat boost 
  • Added probiotics for easier digestion 
  • Vitamins, minerals, and probiotics

Glucosamine and chondroitin are essential supplements to have in the best food for large breeds. If you’re already feeding your dog a separate supplement out of a bottle, you can get by with a food that doesn’t contain it. 

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food contains all your dog needs, except joint supplements. Be aware that this particular recipe contains water buffalo meat that’s sourced from India. Taste of the Wild only sources high-quality ingredients, but not everyone will find that acceptable.

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Everything but Glucosamine 

Typically, dog food for Australian Cattle dogs contains joint supplements. Taste of the Wild doesn’t, but it’s still a superb quality dog food. 

It’s perfect for Australian Cattle dogs who are already taking joint supplements. With 32% protein and 18% fat, your dog won’t miss out on any nutrition. 

You’ll also find added vitamins and minerals, Omega fatty acids, and probiotics. The food also contains chelated minerals, which help with digestion. 

You won’t find corn, wheat, or soy in Taste of the Wild foods. They contain all-natural, wholesome ingredients only.

10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food

Best for Immune System Health: Specially added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for an extra boost

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Red Meat 22-lb
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Key Features

  • LifeSource Bits for an immune boost 
  • Three recipes for variation 
  • Grain-free recipes 
  • Added joint supplements

If your dog needs a bit of an immune boost, we recommend this kibble. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food contains LifeSource Bits. These are small cold-compressed pellets of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are mixed well throughout the kibble. 

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Immune Boosting 

Every recipe features real meat as the first ingredient. This is followed by healthy fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries. 

Blue Buffalo dry dog food is packed with healthy stuff. From the ingredients to the LifeSource Bits, everything in this dog food will improve your Australian Cattle dog’s immune system. 

You’ll also find the necessary joint supplements. The Omega fatty acids are slightly less in this dog food than others. This shouldn’t be a problem but may not help much if your Australian Cattle Dog already has a brittle, dull skin and coat.


Blue Heelers Diet and Nutrition

All-Natural Ingredients 

Wholesome ingredients are the best foundation for a healthy dog! 

The quality of food you feed your dog has an impact on your dog’s immune system. The higher the quality of ingredients, the more good they’ll do for your Australian Cattle dog’s immune system. A healthy immune system means a happier dog! 

The best dog foods for Blue Heelers will always start with a whole, all-natural ingredient list. It’s the most important factor when choosing a dog food. 

Joint Supplements 

Dog food for Blue Heelers needs joint supplements. These dogs are bouncy, and their active lifestyle can take a toll on their joints! 

Glucosamine is essential to a Blue heeler’s diet and it’s vital to see it on the dog food label. If the dog food meets all nutritional requirements except the glucosamine, you should consider buying a supplemental tablet or chew to give your dog. 

Moderate to High Fat Count 

A Blue Heeler is likely to be highly energetic. Unlike humans, dogs get most of their daily energy from fat, so it’s important to choose a moderate to high-fat dog food for Blue Heelers. 

15% fat content is on the lower end of the spectrum. Anything up to 25% is ideal for a Blue Heeler who has an active lifestyle. 

Pay attention to your Blue Heeler to make sure they’re getting enough fat in their diet. It’s an individual thing. Your Blue may be perfectly fine with 15% if they’re quite relaxed, or they may do better on a food with 20% fat or more if they’re very active. 

Ingredients to Look For When Buying a Dog Food for Blue Heelers 

High-Quality Protein Source 

The best Blue Heeler dog food needs to be high in protein. Being active dogs, they need enough protein to support their muscles as they go through all that work. 

But just any protein isn’t enough. The first ingredient in any dog food should be a high-quality animal protein source. Be aware that some proteins can cause allergies, chicken, lamb, and beef being the most common culprits. Blue Heelers aren’t typically sensitive to proteins, but keeping a close eye on them can’t hurt. 

Pay attention and see if there are particular proteins your dog won’t eat. Look for things like deboned chicken, beef, deboned lamb, salmon, or more unusual proteins like rabbit, buffalo, or anchovy and make a note of the recipes that your dog doesn’t like a lot.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants 

Don’t get so busy looking at the big nutrients like fats and proteins and forget to check out the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a dog food. They affect everything from the coat and skin to healthy digestion

Sometimes an ingredient list will show added vitamins and minerals. Other times it won’t, but a good indication is the presence of veggies and fruits. Things like apples, blueberries, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are good vitamin and mineral-filled ingredients. 

Vitamin A and E are two health-promoting and immune boosting vitamins that should be found in a food for Blue Heeler dogs. They both nourish the skin and strengthen the immune system, and vitamin A also helps stimulate the thyroid and improve bone density. 

Minerals to look out for include calcium and phosphorus, which promote good bone health. Note that for puppies, a ratio of 1:1.2 of these two minerals is essential. You may find zinc, copper, or chelated minerals, which are minerals bonded to an amino acid to make them easier to absorb. 

Glucosamine and Chondroitin 

The best dog food for Blue Heelers needs to support their joints. You’ll most likely find a calcium/phosphorus ratio to support healthy bone growth, a high protein count to maintain muscle mass, and joint supplements to keep them flexible but strong. 

Take a look at the dry dog food you’re feeding your Blue Heeler. If it doesn’t contain joint supplements, you can either buy a new Blue Heeler dog food, or add a glucosamine supplement. 

Don’t take your dog’s joint health for granted! Neglecting to add joint support can lead to an increased risk of knee and hip dysplasia, as well as causing your dog pain and discomfort as their joints have to absorb shock when they run, jump, and exercise. 

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Blue Heeler

Artificial Ingredients 

Artificial ingredients can wreak havoc on your dog’s system. They are available in all forms and  can include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. The following should be avoided at all costs: 

As their name suggests, artificial ingredients aren’t real foods. They contribute no nutrition to your dog’s diet. If anything, artificial ingredients can lead to digestive problems, even if your dog has always had a healthy digestion. 

This doesn’t just go for Blue Heeler dog food! If you have other dogs, this applies to them too. 

Grains Containing Gluten 

A grain-free diet isn’t a necessity. But you do need to be careful what grains you choose to feed your dog. Grains containing gluten (corn, wheat, and soy) are not easy to digest. 

You don’t need to go for a completely grain-free recipe. Rice, oatmeal, millet, sorghum, and barley are great, high-quality grains that add good fiber to your dog’s diet. 

If you do choose to go grain-free, that’s perfectly okay too. As long as there are enough fruits and vegetables in the dog food you choose, your dog will still get enough fiber. 

Certain Human Foods 

Some of the best dog foods out there use human-grade ingredients. There’s nothing with this – in fact, it’s an indication of their quality. But some human foods are dangerous for your dog. 

Whatever dry dog food for Blue Heeler dogs you choose, it should avoid things like onions, garlic, chives, salt, sugar, yeast, and raw eggs. 

Common Health Problems of Blue Heelers

(And How Diet Helps) 

Knee, Elbow, and Hip Dysplasia 

Highly energetic dogs like Blue Heelers are prone to dislocating joints. Because of their high-energy lifestyle, their joints can take a bit of a beating! 

There’s also a hereditary component, and it’s more common in large breed dogs. The joints most commonly dislocated are the knee, elbow, and hip. 

Symptoms of joint dysplasia can be hard to detect. They include unexplained lameness or limping, cracking sounds from joints, sitting in strange positions, unusual “bunny hopping” when running, and having trouble jumping onto or off of furniture. 

The best dog food for highly active dogs contains added joint supplements. These will strengthen and support joints so they can handle your dog’s body weight with ease. It also contributes to joint flexibility. 

Although the best dog food won’t necessarily prevent joint dysplasia, it can help reduce the chances of it happening. If it does happen, get your dog to a vet to have it fixed. 

Food Allergies 

Even dogs who have never had digestive issues can develop them along the way. Dogs can develop allergies to proteins and grains. 

The best dog food for your blue Heeler may not be the best for your friend’s Blue Heeler. You’ll need to take a look at your dog’s eating habits. Watch him closely to find out how his digestive system reacts to the protein he’s eating. 

You may need to switch to a different dog food containing a different protein, or a grain-free recipe.  You can switch out potato (a common allergen) for sweet potato to get the same carb benefit. 

Whatever you choose to feed your dog, make sure it’s easy to digest and doesn’t contain anything that may cause tummy troubles.


Questions & Answers

How Often Should I Feed My Blue Heeler?

Blue Heeler puppies will need three  meals a day to keep up their energy levels. As they get older, you can decrease that to two meals a day. 

The key is to make sure your dog is getting enough calories split between those meals. If your dog is very active, it may be worthwhile adding a few high-calorie treats to his daily schedule, to keep him going between meals. 

Make sure these fit into his daily calorie count, though!

How Much Food Should I Feed My Blue Heeler?

The average Blue Heeler will need between 20 and 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. Take note of your dog’s activity levels, though. 

Active dogs will need closer to 30. If he’s a true working dog, he may even need 35. Pups who are less active could do with closer to 20. 

Calculate your dog’s total, and split that between his meals. Then work out how much of his food you need to give him in each meal to hit that count. 

We never recommend using only wet dog food, but it can work as a kibble topper. Adding some wet dog food on top of your dog’s regular kibble can give them a much-needed calorie-boost.

What Vegetables Can I Feed My Blue Heeler? 

Dry food often includes fruits and veggies. In fact, we highly recommend choosing a food that contains them, as it’s likely to be the best food for your dog’s stomach. 

Starchy vegetables are good ones. Pumpkin, potatoes, and sweet potatoes offer slow-burning, long-lasting energy that your Blue Heeler will appreciate. 

Check the label on your dry dog food to find out what it contains. The greatest food for Blue Heeler dogs often also contains apples, blueberries, and cranberries. 

You can feed these to your dog as snacks, in addition to their dry food, or if you’re feeding them raw. 


Wrapping It Up 

Blue Heelers are robust, healthy dogs who can live a good 14 or 15 years. Even so, it’s important that they’re eating the best dog food for Blue Heelers. 

Because they’re active dogs who were bred to work, it’s natural for them to expend plenty of calories. They also need a bit of support for their joints and enough protein to maintain a good lean muscle mass. 

If you’re the pet parent of one of these beautiful dogs, don’t take their nutrition for granted! A well-nourished dog is a healthy dog, and a healthy dog is a happy dog.

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.