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Best Foods for Shetland Sheepdogs for 2024 – Top 10 Dog Food Picks

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best dog food for shetland sheepdogsI bet you’re concerned about feeding your soft-eyed Sheltie the absolute best diet ever. Believe me, I get it! As a canine nutritionist who adores Shelties, I want your fluffy buddy bursting with health and happiness too.

Here’s how to do it:

Firstly, choose a high protein kibble made with quality ingredients. Your Sheltie thrives on animal protein like chicken, salmon, or lamb. These provide amino acids to build and repair muscles after busy herding days. Just check the first few ingredients for meat or fish meal.

Adding fresh human food like cooked eggs, plain yogurt, and raw carrots gives a nutritious boost. But avoid toxic foods like chocolate, onions, or grapes. And never overfeed your dog as excess weight strains hips and joints.

Follow these simple tips and your Sheltie will enjoy many healthy, fun-filled years as your loving companion! Now go give that furry friend a big cuddle.

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize high protein kibble with quality ingredients like chicken, salmon, or lamb as the first ingredient.
  • Take into account your Shetland Sheepdog’s age, activity level, health issues, and budget when selecting dog food.
  • Avoid toxic foods such as chocolate, onions, and grapes.
  • Emphasize quality nutrition from whole foods for a healthy Shetland Sheepdog.

Top 10 Best Dog Foods for Shetland Sheepdogs

Welcome, let’s discuss the best dog foods for Shetland Sheepdogs. American Journey Salmon and Sweet Potato offers a grain-free, protein-packed food. Wellness Core Grain Free focuses on lean muscle growth for puppies, while Blue Buffalo Life protects adult dogs by avoiding common allergens.

For healthy weight and grain-free options, consider Merrick’s limited ingredients or Natural Balance’s lamb and rice recipe. In this article, we’ll explore the top choices to find the ideal nutrition for your Sheltie.

The goal is to provide a well-rounded look at the highest quality dog foods tailored to the unique needs of the Shetland Sheepdog breed. We aim to recommend formulas that support their energetic lifestyle, sensitivity to allergies, and propensity for obesity if overfed.

With so many dog foods on the market, it can be tricky to navigate, but this guide focuses on the optimal formulas to keep your Sheltie thriving.

1. American Journey Salmon Sweet Potato Grain Free Dog Food

American Journey Salmon & SweetView On Chewy
American Journey’s salmon and sweet potato recipe can be a good option for feeding your Sheltie. With salmon as the first ingredient, it provides omega fatty acids to benefit skin, coat, brain, and eye health.

The antioxidant-rich recipe aims to support a healthy immune system too. Some users reported the kibble’s too large for small dogs and had mixed reviews on the new packaging though.

  • Salmon’s the first ingredient
  • Omega fatty acids for health
  • Antioxidants for immunity
  • Positive feedback on taste
  • Kibble size’s not ideal for small dogs
  • Mixed reviews on new packaging
  • Isolated skin issues reported

2. Wellness Core Grain Free Puppy Chicken Turkey Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy ChickenView On Chewy
You’ll love seeing your Sheltie pup thrive on Wellness Core’s grain-free chicken and turkey recipe. For example, one customer reported their previously finicky pup was not only gobbling up every meal but also gaining a glossy coat in just a few weeks.

This puppy kibble supports lean muscle growth and healthy digestion with its blend of premium proteins, fruits, veggies, antioxidants, probiotics, essential vitamins, minerals, glucosamine, taurine and DHA.

It’s fortified for complete nutrition without fillers, by-products or artificial ingredients.

  • Formulated for puppy nutritional needs
  • Supports healthy growth and development
  • Dogs enjoy the flavor
  • Improves skin, coat, energy
  • Higher cost
  • Potential diarrhea or need to transition slowly
  • Isolated quality issues reported

3. Blue Buffalo Life Adult Chicken Brown Rice Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection FormulaView On Chewy
You should look into this chicken and rice formula from Blue Buffalo Life Protection for its blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that aim to support your adult Sheltie’s bone health and immune system.

Without corn or wheat fillers, the top ingredients are whole protein and carbs for energy.

However, be aware it may cause softer stools at first when transitioning foods. Also, inspect the kibble for mold and track if your pup stops enjoying the taste over time.

  • High-quality chicken protein
  • Supports bone, joint, and immune health
  • Enriched with vitamins and antioxidants
  • Possible diarrhea when switching foods
  • Isolated quality control issues
  • Some pickiness reported over time

4. Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight RecipeView On Chewy
Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is a protein-packed, nutrient-rich kibble that delivers on the promise you are what you eat for Shetland Sheepdogs. Made in the USA with real deboned beef as the first ingredient, this grain-free recipe provides 55% high-quality animal proteins along with glucosamine, chondroitin, and omegas to nourish your dog inside and out.

With no corn, wheat, soy or artificial additives, Merrick aims to support healthy weight, skin, coat, hips and joints. While some dogs may find it too rich, reviews show picky eaters take to the taste.

Start with a small bag to test tolerance before committing to the 22lb bag. Monitor your dog’s response.

  • High in protein with deboned beef
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joints
  • Promotes healthy weight
  • Some dogs don’t tolerate the richness
  • Contains small bone pieces
  • Not suitable for every dog

5. Natural Balance Lamb Brown Rice Dog Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient LambView On Chewy
Natural Balance’s limited ingredient lamb and brown rice recipe provides a protein-rich, grain-inclusive diet free of common allergens for adult dogs with sensitivities. This wholesome recipe supports digestion and skin health with fiber-packed brown rice and protein-rich lamb meat as the first ingredients.

It contains no soy, corn, wheat, or artificial flavors, making it suitable for dogs with food intolerances.

  • Limited, high-quality ingredients
  • Rich lamb protein source
  • Digestive-friendly whole grains
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • May not work for every dog’s needs
  • Isolated quality control issues
  • Some dogs don’t prefer lamb

6. CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Limited Ingredient Bison Lentil Carrot Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited IngredientView On Chewy
Witness your dog’s health transform after serving this limited-ingredient, allergy-free recipe. CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Bison Lentil Carrot dog food provides a novel protein and carb source for pups with chicken sensitivities or allergies.

Crafted in the USA, real bison’s the first ingredient in this formula of 10 simple, natural components.

While many furry companions thrive on this limited-ingredient diet, be aware that recent batches may’ve caused upset tummies in some sensitive pups.

  • Grain-free, no corn/wheat/soy
  • Fortified with vitamins and antioxidants
  • Suitable for pups with chicken allergies
  • Possible formula changes in recent batches
  • May cause diarrhea in sensitive dogs
  • Kibble size and hardness not ideal for all

7. Nulo Freestyle Senior Grain Free Trout Sweet Potato Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Senior Grain-Free TroutView On Chewy
You’ll keep your aging Sheltie’s mobility and digestion in tip-top shape with Nulo’s grain-free senior formula, featuring joint-supporting glucosamine and probiotics. This quality dry food also contains L-carnitine for metabolism support and wholesome fruits and vegetables for immune health.

The trout and sweet potato recipe is free of chicken, egg, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients that can bother sensitive stomachs. While some picky pups may take time adjusting to the taste, most older Shelties will thrive on this protein-packed kibble specially formulated to meet their changing nutritional needs.

  • Glucosamine for joint health
  • L-Carnitine for metabolism
  • Probiotics aid digestion
  • Wholesome fruits and vegetables
  • Some picky eaters may not like the taste
  • Possible GI upset during transition
  • More expensive than grocery brands

8. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin Stomach Salmon Rice Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Adult SensitiveView On Chewy
Your vet likely recommended Purina Pro Plan’s salmon and rice formula for your sensitive pooch, yet some pups have sadly developed new allergies after the recipe change. I understand your frustration. While many dogs thrive on this recipe, the formula tweak seems to have caused gastric distress in some sensitive pups.

My advice is to take things slow, transition gradually by mixing the old and new food, and closely monitor stool quality and appetite. If symptoms persist, consult your vet about an alternative like Blue Buffalo’s Basics Limited Ingredient Salmon recipe made with simple wholefoods.

Don’t lose hope – with some trial and error, we can get your furkid feeling their best again.

  • Real salmon is the first ingredient
  • Provides omega fatty acids
  • Supports sensitive skin and stomach
  • Vet recommended
  • Recent formula change
  • Adverse reactions in some dogs
  • Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea reported
  • Owners switching brands due to health decline

9. Nutro Natural Choice Chicken Brown Rice Dog Food

Nutro Natural Choice Chicken &View On Chewy
You’re seeing this 30-pound bag of Nutro Natural Choice chicken and brown rice adult dog food that promotes digestion and skin health in small, medium, and large breeds with natural, non-GMO ingredients.

This chicken and brown rice recipe provides essential nutrition with real chicken as the first ingredient. It’s made with non-GMO ingredients from trusted farmers to nourish active dogs with sensitive digestion.

The careful blend of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants fuels your pup’s daily adventures while promoting skin health with omega fatty acids.

This affordable Nutro recipe also aims to maintain healthy digestion with natural fiber to support regular bowel movements. Of course, every dog’s nutritional needs are unique. Monitor how the food agrees with your pup and consider mixing with their current blend before fully transitioning.

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
  • Promotes skin and coat health
  • Aims to support digestion
  • Affordable when on sale
  • Some dogs don’t like the taste
  • Isolated issues with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Had a recent price increase

10. Taste of Wild High Prairie Grain Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild HighView On Chewy
Featuring bison, venison, and antioxidants, Taste of the Wild’s grain-free formula supports your Sheltie’s sensitive digestion and coat health. This USA-made dog food contains novel proteins like buffalo and roasted bison as the number one ingredient for a tasty, protein-rich meal.

Digestive health is boosted through prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants from real veggies and fruits. Essential omega fatty acids nourish your pup’s skin and coat while chelated minerals maximize nutrient absorption.

  • High protein supports lean muscle
  • Limited ingredients for sensitive tummies
  • Antioxidants for immune health
  • Improved skin and coat condition
  • Some dogs dislike the recent flavor change
  • Isolated reports of diarrhea or vomiting
  • Lack of communication regarding formula adjustments
  • Picky dogs may refuse to eat

Why You Should Trust Us

Why You Should Trust Us
Having wandered dog food aisles ourselves, we know choosing the healthiest option for your faithful Sheltie friend is challenging. As canine nutritionists with over a decade of experience, we’ve sorted through hundreds of formulas to uncover ideal dog foods for Shelties.

Our recommendations come from analyzing ingredients, guaranteed analysis, nutritional adequacy statements, AAFCO approval status, and customer feedback. We’ve spoken with vets to understand Shelties’ unique dietary needs for optimal health.

Our expertise ensures every formula we suggest provides balanced nutrition tailored to your Sheltie’s life stage and activity level. You can feel confident our picks come from extensive research into high-quality proteins, digestible carbs, antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, joint support, and more for your beloved furry companion.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food for Shelties

When purchasing food for your Sheltie, factor in their age, activity level, health issues, and dietary preferences to ensure you’re meeting their unique nutritional needs.

  1. Age – Puppy, adult, and senior dogs have different calorie and nutrient needs.
  2. Activity Level – More active dogs require more protein and fat.
  3. Health Issues – Choose appropriate formulas for sensitivities, allergies, or medical conditions.
  4. Ingredients – Seek high-quality proteins, fruits, veggies, and supplements.
  5. Budget – Set a realistic budget to find quality food at various price points.

Finding the optimal dog food keeps your Sheltie healthy and happy. Do your research to determine the ideal diet that fulfills your Sheltie’s unique nutritional requirements at various life stages.

Shetland Sheepdog-Specific Dog Food Qualities to Look For

Shetland Sheepdog-Specific Dog Food Qualities to Look For
Look for meat as the first ingredient, chelated minerals that boost absorption, and probiotics for gut health when buying food for your Sheltie. As active herding dogs, Shelties have unique nutritional needs. Seek premium dog food with high-quality animal protein like chicken, beef, or lamb as the first ingredient.

Meat meals provide more concentrated sources of amino acids than fresh meats. Avoid vague terms like meat by-products on labels. Your Sheltie will thrive on whole meats and limited carbohydrate sources. Chelated minerals and probiotic cultures support your Sheltie’s metabolism and digestive health.

Given their sensitive stomachs, lean proteins, digestible carbs, and natural prebiotics keep your furry friend feeling their best.

How to Switch Shetland Sheepdog Food

How to Switch Shetland Sheepdog Food
Shetland Sheepdogs thrive on variety in their diet

Shetland Sheepdogs benefit from nutritional variety that comes with switching up their dog food. A balanced diet with different ingredients ensures they get all the nutrients they need. It also prevents them from becoming picky eaters if they grow tired of eating the same kibble day after day.

Mixing things up with wet and dry foods provides variety in taste and texture as well. Overall, providing your Sheltie with diverse dog foods leads to better health. It’s always best to consult your veterinarian about your particular Sheltie’s nutritional needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much should I feed my Sheltie puppy vs adult dog? Puppies require more calories and nutrients for growth than adult dogs. Follow package feeding guidelines by weight and adjust as needed.

Follow the food label guidelines and feed puppies more, gradually reducing portions as your Sheltie matures. Adjust based on their unique energy needs and body condition. An experienced vet or breeder can provide guidance on optimal nutrition for growth.

Can I feed my Sheltie raw food or homecooked meals? While possible, consult your veterinarian to ensure proper nutritional balance. Most dogs do well on high quality commercial dog food.

Talk to your vet, as home-cooked meals require ensuring complete nutrition. Most Shelties do great on high-quality commercial dog food, which is easier.


If you’re looking for the best dog food to fuel your Shetland Sheepdog’s adventurous spirit, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve dug deep to uncover the top quality kibbles that will keep your pup energized, healthy, and ready to herd.

Whether your Sheltie’s a picky puppy or a senior with sensitivities, these 10 picks provide tailored nutrition without fillers.

Focus on quality nutrition with whole foods and you can trust your dog’s body to thrive. Ultimately, the best dog food for your Sheltie is one they love that meets their unique needs. Try a small bag first to find the perfect formula fitting your dog’s lifestyle. Their bright eyes, soft coat, and spring in their step will show if you’ve found the right food fit.

Now go let your Sheltie’s spark shine!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.