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How Much To Feed An Australian Shepherd: From Puppy To Senior

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Those who welcome a new Australian Shepherd into a family are in for a treat. These medium-sized dogs are energetic dog breeds and are always excited to interact with others.

Bringing an Aussie pup home is a moment you’ll never forget. Those adorable puppies will quickly steal the hearts of their pet parents. Alas, they won’t be tiny for long. 

Puppies will rapidly grow up until the point in which they reach adulthood. 

The fast growth and constantly changing body sizes of Australian Shepherds mean that owners will need to be prepared to feed these pooches an assortment of different portions throughout the dog’s life. 

Some owners are experienced Aussie parents who are up to the challenge, while new fur parents may be overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping up with their dog’s constantly-shifting diet. 

Determining the amount of dog food to give your Aussie while also balancing the other aspects of raising a pup can be stressful. Not to worry-we’re here to help! 

This thorough guide to Australian Shepherd feeding will have all of the answers to your questions and more.

If You’re A New Owner, Be Sure To Watch This Video Before Continuing The Article!

Feeding An Australian Shepherd Puppy

Feeding An Australian Shepherd Puppy

Bringing your new puppy home is a surreal experience, but it will soon dawn on you that you are now responsible for the prosperity and health of your dog. 

Australian Shepherd puppies have specific nutritional needs that need to be met to help them flourish. Let’s take a look!  

Most importantly, always feed your Australian Shepherd high quality food to keep them happy and healthy. These are our favorite foods!

Best Organic
Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Dog Food
9.8
  • Natural dog food for adult dogs with added vitamins, minerals and taurine
  • Real chicken is the #1 ingredient and a good source of protein that helps support healthy organs and maintain lean muscle mass
  • Fiber sources including peas and brown rice help support healthy digestion
  • No poultry by-product meal, fillers, or added wheat or wheat gluten ingredients and No artificial flavors or artificial preservatives
Best Overall
Royal Canin Large Breed Dry Dog Food
9.5
  • Precise nutrition specifically made for large dogs 15 months to 5 years old weighing 56–100 lb
  • Mature dog food helps support bones and large breed joint health in older dogs
  • Easy-to-digest, high-quality proteins and a balanced supply of fiber promote dog digestive health
  • EPA and DHA nourish skin and a healthy dog coat
  • Highly palatable large dog food kibble is specially designed for large adult dogs
Best Value
Purina One Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
9.2
  • Chicken and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Microbiome balance and a SmartBlend of high-quality ingredients, including prebiotic fiber for dogs, to help your pal be his best self
  • Supports your dog's strong muscles, including his healthy heart, and has high-quality carbohydrate sources for healthy energy
  • Made with omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, plus four antioxidant sources to help maintain a strong immune system

Bringing An Australian Shepherd Puppy Home

Although Australian Shepherds are known to be an outgoing dog breed, your puppy may not act how you expect during its first few days at home. 

This may be worrisome for some owners, but there is no need to panic. It’s perfectly normal for your dog to be withdrawn when they are first brought home. 

Think about it-your puppy is starting a new life with you and leaving behind everything that they’ve ever known. Going through these changes may leave your puppy in a temporary state of shock. 

All of this considered, a dog lover should expect that your furry friend may not eat much during their first couple of days at home. 

Of course, be sure to offer your pooch food, but don’t be surprised if your puppy eats only a small portion of its dog food.

If your puppy still isn’t eating after a few days at home, you may want to consult your vet. Also read this article by Preventive Vet.

What Food Should I Feed My Australian Shepherd Puppy? 

Owners often wonder about what type of food to feed their Australian Shepherd puppy. Should they be fed dry food, wet food, or raw food? 

Whatever the case, choosing a diet for your pup at a young age and sticking to that diet is optimal, as this will ensure that your dog grows accustomed to their food and continuously receives proper nutrition. 

So, what food is best for your Australian Shepherd puppy? Are there specific dog food brands that are better than others? The truth is that the specific food that a puppy consumes does not matter. 

They can eat wet food, raw food, dry food, or any combination of these foods. So long as your Australian Shepherd puppy appears to be a good weight and is growing well, then they are likely receiving proper nutrition. 

2 Month Old Australian Shepherd 

Two months old is typically the point at which an Australian Shepherd can be welcomed into the home of its new family. If you get an Australian Shepherd puppy prior to this time, you may need to provide them with a dog drink of puppy milk formula to help support their growth.

This is the point in an Aussie’s life at which it should be weaned off of milk or puppy milk formula and now accustomed to eating solid food. 

Your Australian Shepherd puppy will be tiny as far as this breed goes when they are this age, but they’ll still be at least 10 pounds if they’re a healthy weight. 

Since your Australian Shepherd puppy is about to begin a period of rapid growth, it will need to be supplied with lots of dog food to support its development. 

So, how much should a 2-month-old Aussie be eating? Well, two months old Australian Shepherds should be fed at least two-thirds of a cup of puppy food every day. 

Pet owners should begin feeding their Australian Shepherd puppy 0.66 cups of food daily. If your dog still seems hungry after eating this amount, don’t be afraid to up the quantity to 0.75 cups of food. 

Continue to increase the food that you give your puppy as it nears 3 months of age. By the time your Australian Shepherd puppy is nearly 3 months old, it will likely be eating more than 1 cup of food every day. 

3 Month Old Australian Shepherd

At three months old, your Australian Shepherd should be working its way up to eating 2 cups of food every day. 

Don’t worry if your Australian Shepherd puppy is not at this point by the time they’ve reached this age, as they will surely develop an appetite for this quantity of food before long.

By the time your Australian Shepherd is nearly 4 months old, they will probably be able to eat two cups of food every day easily. If this is the case, continue offering your Australian Shepherd puppy food until your puppy eats enough food to be content.  

4 Month Old Australian Shepherd

At this point in your furry friend’s life, your dog may begin to look more like an adult and less like an Australian Shepherd puppy. 

A 4-month-old Australian Shepherd may astonishingly eat about 3 times the amount of food that they once ate when they were 2 months old. 

Feeding a four-month-old Australian Shepherd about at least two cups of food daily will be the bare minimum. In fact, your dog may want to eat closer to 3 cups of food every day. 

So long as they appear to be a healthy weight, feeding a four-month-old Australian Shepherd 3 cups of food or more every day is perfectly acceptable. 

5-8 Month Old Australian Shepherd

The period in which your Australian Shepherd pup is 5 to 8 months old marks an important and memorable time in the life of your pooch. 

At this time, they will be going through their teenage stage-an era characterized by gangly-looking Australian Shepherd puppies and ornery behavior. 

As your dog prepares to become an adult, they’ll need to continue to be supplied with an ever-increasing amount of food. 

Plan to feed your Aussie Shepherd puppy over 3 cups of food every day at this point.

By the time your dog is nearing 8 months old, it will probably be consuming almost 4 cups of food every day, with 3.75 cups being the norm for 8-month-old Aussies. 

9-14 Months Old Australian Shepherd

Your Australian Shepherd puppy may no longer look like a puppy when they’re 9 to 14 months old. Rather, your Aussie may now look like a full-grown adult dog. 

This means that your precious pooch will need to begin eating like an adult. 

Australian Shepherd puppies grow until they are just shy of a year and a half old in most cases.

Starting at 3.75 cups of food and working your way up to a comfortable amount for your puppy is a wise strategy. 

As per usual, make sure that your Australian Shepherd puppy is consuming a healthy amount of food. If they look too lean or too pudgy, adjust their diet accordingly. 

Monitoring The Weight Of An Australian Shepherd Puppy

One important task for pet parents of an Aussie pup is to make sure that they’re monitoring the weight of their Australian Shepherd puppy. 

Everyone knows that excessive weight can be detrimental to a dog’s health, but underweight dogs are also susceptible to developing health issues. 

Puppies need to eat enough food to support healthy growth and development as they get closer to becoming adults. Australian Shepherd pups that are not fed sufficient amounts of food may fail to reach their full adult size since they are deprived of essential nutrients. 

Therefore, owners should monitor the size of their Aussie puppies. If a puppy seems to be slim try to up the amount of food that you provide your precious pooch. 

Can My Australian Shepherd Puppy Drink Too Much?

Some dog owners worry about their Aussie puppy drinking too much. However, there is no need to be concerned about the amount that a puppy drinks.

Ultimately, any weight gain that your dog is involved in will not be a result of drinking water.

Transition From Puppy Food To Adult Food

From the time that Australian Shepherd puppies can eat solid food up until the time that they’re an adult, these dogs will be feeding on puppy food. 

However, as your Australian Shepherd puppy transitions to adulthood, its diet should also undergo a transition so they are no longer eating the same food as they were as an Aussie puppy.

A diet of an Australian Shepherd puppy food provides a young dog with the nutrients and supplements needed to support a puppy’s growth.

An adult food, on the other hand, provides an adult Australian Shepherd with the nourishment that they need to be a healthier adult dog than if they were still eating puppy food.

So, how should the transition from puppy food to adult food play out? 

Well, the switch should not be instantaneous. Rather, plan to phase out your puppy’s food over a few weeks while your dog starts to eat adult food.

Start by adding a small amount of new food gradually to your dog’s puppy food, then begin increasing the amount of new food while decreasing the puppy food until your Australian Shepherd is only eating its new food for adults.

Feeding An Adult Australian Shepherd

Feeding An Adult Australian Shepherd

Are you wondering how much to feed an adult Australian Shepherd? Well, these medium-sized dogs can eat a variable amount of food depending on several factors. 

Four to six cups of food every day is recommended for adult Aussies. This tends to be a reliable range of food for an adult Australian Shepherd, but exceptions to this rule occur. 

Pregnant and Lactating Australian Shepherds 

A pregnant or lactating Australian Shepherd will burn through far more calories than a typical adult Aussie. 

In addition to carrying around a batch of tiny puppies for several months, a pregnant pooch has to get enough calories for themselves and their pups. 

To meet this incredible energy demand, mother dogs will need to eat a substantial amount of food. 

Expect to feed an Australian Shepherd well over 6 cups of food daily in these circumstances. Some dogs may need close to 8 cups of food every day during this time! 

The most important thing at this time is to make sure that your mother Australian Shepherd is getting enough calories. Failure to provide her with enough food could have dire consequences for the female dog or her pups. 

High-Energy Australian Shepherds

If you own an energetic dog, you may be curious as to how much to feed an Australian Shepherd with a seemingly endless amount of energy.

Some adult Australian Shepherds are doubtlessly high energy, while others are quite laid back. High-energy dogs will certainly need to consume more food than a typical adult, but how much food do they need?

Given that adult dogs typically eat 4 to 6 cups of food daily, it may be a good idea to start by providing Aussies that expend a lot of energy with around 6 cups a day to start.

If your pooch still looks like a healthy dog after eating this much food, you can feel confident that they are consuming an adequate amount of food.

Feeding A Senior Australian Shepherd

Feeding A Senior Australian Shepherd

Older dogs do not have the same caloric requirements as they once did when they were younger. This is because senior dogs experience a slower metabolism and are generally not as active compared to their younger counterparts.

Australian Shepherds reach their golden years when they are over seven years old. An Aussie may very well live past ten, but most start to slow down around the time that they turn seven years old.

In their golden years, most Australian Shepherds will only need to consume 2 to 3 cups of food every day.

Transitioning From Adult To Senior Australian Shepherd Food

When an Aussie Shepherd becomes a senior, it is again time to transition them away from their adult food and introduce them to a new dog food.

So, when your dog’s age is older than 7 years old, it is time to consider switching them to a senior dog diet. A dog’s diet generally does not change as much during the transition from adult to senior food as it did when it made the transition from puppy food to adult dog food.

Senior dogs require fewer calories than adults. Therefore, a senior dog’s diet will prioritize omega fatty acids for joint health, real meat protein, and healthy fats to give your senior Australian Shepherd all of the nourishment that they will need.

Monitoring The Weight Of Your Adult Australian Shepherd

We previously discussed the importance of monitoring a young Australian Shepherd’s weight. Well, it is just as important to monitor the weight of an adult Aussie.

An overweight Australian Shepherd puts stress on its joints and is prone to developing dangerous health conditions like hip dysplasia, heart disease, and diabetes.

Figuring out how much to feed an Australian Shepherd to maintain a healthy weight is the responsibility of the owner.

If an owner is unsure of how to prevent their Australian Shepherd from packing on the pounds, they should consult their vet for ideas.

Do Australian Shepherds Eat A Lot? 

Australian Shepherd dogs tend to be high-energy canines that expel plenty of energy every day. This notion combined with the fact that Aussies are medium-sized dogs means that they can consume a considerable amount of dog food every day. 

Though Australian Shepherds won’t need to eat as much food as some large breed dogs, they tend to eat quite a bit for a medium-sized dog. 

On the high end of the dog food consumption spectrum, an Australian Shepherd dog may consume up to 6 cups of food every day. 

How To Make My Australian Shepherd Eat More

Most pet owners understandably convey concern about making sure that their dog does not become overweight, but few consider underweight dogs.

In truth, underweight dogs may be equally at risk of developing an assortment of health complications as overweight Australian Shepherds.

Some dogs are simply picky eaters, and it can be difficult to prompt these Australian Shepherds to eat a sufficient amount of food.

However, if you notice that your Australian Shepherd’s ribs are visible, then you need to increase the amount of food that you offer your dog until it adopts a healthier appearance.

If your dog is not gaining weight after eating more food, it may be time to switch up the dog’s diet.

Many commercial foods do not prioritize animal protein and other ingredients that are part of a balanced diet. So, if your Aussie is having trouble gaining weight, try to switch up its diet and see if any changes occur.

Consult your veterinarian if your Australian Shepherd is still struggling to gain weight after its dietary change.

Should I Free Feed My Australian Shepherd?

Free feeding is the process in which an Australian Shepherd puppy essentially has an endless supply of food.

Dog owners either use contraptions to keep their dog’s bowl full or they do it themselves. Whatever the case, we do not recommend that owners use free feeding to provide food to their dogs, as it can promote obesity and poor eating behaviors.

Creating an Australian Shepherd feeding schedule for your dog is a much better idea, as this builds a routine for your dog while promoting healthy eating habits.

What Is The Recommended Australian Shepherd Feeding Schedule?

All of this talk of food probably has most pet owners wondering about how often they should feed their medium-sized dog breed Aussies.

Well, the answer to this question is everyone’s favorite: It depends!

The number of times that an Australian Shepherd needs to be fed will be dictated primarily by its age, but size and activity levels will also play a role.

When your Australian Shepherd is a tiny pup, it should eat four meals every day. So, puppies up to 3 months old should have their daily food allotment broken up into four meals.

One meal can be offered first thing in the morning, another meal can be offered in mid-morning, while the final two meals can be offered mid-afternoon and in the evening.

Feed three meals per day to Australian Shepherd puppies past the time they have their first birthday. So, 3-month-old to 14 or 15-month-old Australian Shepherds can follow this schedule.

A simple morning, afternoon, and evening meal works well for dogs who eat three meals every day.

You can continue feeding Australian Shepherds three meals per day, or you can supply them with two meals per day. Generally, it is best to avoid feeding an Australian Shepherd a single meal per day unless they are a senior.

Should Your Australian Shepherd Take Supplements?

Those who own Australian Shepherds often wonder if they should give their Australian Shepherd puppy supplements or if this practice is dangerous.

Fortunately, providing an Australian Shepherd puppy supplements is perfectly safe. In fact, Australian Shepherds of all ages could benefit from supplements.

Supplements are not necessary, but they can be beneficial in reinforcing your dog’s joint health and providing prebiotics to help digestion.

What Is The Best Dog Food For My Australian Shepherd?

A quick online search related to the best dog food for an Australian Shepherd will produce articles that promote certain dog food brands and commercial food over others. Moreover, such articles may promote raw food, a raw diet, or a wild recipe over traditional diets.

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, we believe that an owner should decide what dog foods to feed their Australian Shepherd. After all, no one knows your furry friend better than you!

No matter if you feed your pup canned food, dry dog food, a raw diet in which they eat raw meat, or wet food, as long as owners keep dogs fed on a consistent dog feeding schedule, they will have a happy, healthy dog.

Can My Australian Shepherd Eat Any Human Foods?

Many pet owners wonder about giving human food to their medium-sized breed. While it is always best to avoid giving your dog processed foods, some whole foods make acceptable dog treats.

Sweet potatoes, fresh fruits, and similar whole, healthy items are not found in most dog food bags of major pet food brands. However, these items can be part of a nutritious diet.

Before feeding your Australian Shepherd any human food, verify with trusted sources that the food is acceptable and safe for an Australian Shepherd pup.