Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog breed that is known for being intelligent, energetic, fluffy, and easy to train.
Raising an Australian Shepherd puppy can be challenging especially if you are new to dogs and don’t know how often, how much, and what food to feed them to have a healthy and happy life.
So, you may be wondering how much to feed an Australian Shepherd puppy once you have adopted them.
The amount depends on the size, age, and activity level of your dog but planning and scheduling their meals will lead to a healthier adult dog.
Starting your Australian Shepherd puppy with good nutrition from when they are young by feeding them the right amount and type of food will increase their quality of life.
Continue reading to learn more about the Australian Shepherd puppy feeding chart, the best dog food for Australian Shepherd as well as how you can help them maintain a healthy weight.
How Much Should An Australian Shepherd Puppy Eat?
There are several factors that you should consider when determining the amount of food to give to your Australian Shepherd puppy.
This is because every dog’s metabolism is different. Some of these factors include age, activity level, size, health issues, and the type of food and brand you are using.
Use the quantities provided in the product guidelines at the back of the package or online but remember that most puppies need less than the recommended amounts.
If you have concerns, speak to your vet to come up with a feeding schedule for your specific pet for them to get all the necessary nutrients for growth and development.
Australian Shepherds are active dogs and require a good amount of high-quality protein, healthy carbs, good fat, and vitamins and minerals.
Australian Shepherd Puppy Feeding Chart
Distributing food throughout the day when feeding your Australian Shepherd will ensure they get all the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy weight.
The amount of food changes as they grow because the nutritional needs also change.
Having an Australian Shepherd feeding chart will help you monitor the amount of food that your puppy eats, and you can tell when there is a change in appetite.
To know exactly how much food your puppy needs in a day, you should multiply their RER (Resting Energy Requirement) by two.
RER = 70 multiplied by the weight in kg to the power of three quarters.
For example, if your puppy weighs 8kg their RER is 70*(8)3/4 which is equal to 332. Therefore, your puppy needs 664 calories of food per day.
4-Week-Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
At four weeks the weaning process should have begun and during this age, your Australian Shepherd feeds on a mixture of solid food and water. You can also use puppy milk formula to make the weaning process smoother.
The puppy should get about ½ to ¾ cup of puppy food mixed with puppy milk formula or water.
6-Week-Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
At this age, most puppies are fully weaned if not almost as they prepare to move to their new homes. You should feed them ¾ to 1½ cups divided four times per day as their energy levels are starting to increase.
8-Week-Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
This is the age when the Australian Shepherd moves into their home. The amount of food your puppy needs is about 1½ cups per day divided through three mealtimes.
If you must change the food types or brands, do it gradually and in small portions to avoid stomach upsets until the puppy fully eats the new brand
10-Week-Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
At ten weeks, your puppy still eats 1½ cups three times per day.
12-Week-Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
At 12 weeks, increase the amount to two cups of food per day but maintain to three mealtimes. Remember to always divide the food into equal portions.
14-Week-Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
The amount of food you feed your puppy differs depending on their activity level at this stage. It could range from 2 to 3 cups. Sticking to three mealtimes is still recommended at this stage.
16-Week-Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
At four months your puppy’s activity level increases and they need more nutrients. So you can increase the amount to 3 1/3 cups per day divided across three mealtimes.
6 Months – 12 Months Old Australian Shepherd Puppy
From the age of 6 to 12 months, you can reduce mealtimes to twice per day. The amount of food per day may remain constant or reduced depending on your dog.
The recommended amount is between 2 1/3 and 4 cups per day.
12 Months & Above Australian Shepherd
From the age of one year and above, you can reduce mealtimes to once per day or stick to two times per day depending on your dog.
The amount of food also differs from one dog to another, but it can range from 2 1/3 to 5¼ cups per day.
Understanding Australian Shepherd Puppy Nutritional Needs
The following are the key nutrients that your Australian Shepherd puppy needs to have for healthy growth and development:
- Protein – your puppy needs 22% protein in their meals daily. This is because Australian Shepherds are energetic and active dogs and need protein to build muscle power as they grow.
- Fats – Australian Shepherds need fats to fuel their daily physical activities. It is not recommended to rely on foods with only carbohydrates as they are not necessary for your puppy. Instead, find foods with a moderate amount of fat, about 5%.
- Vitamins and Minerals – to stay healthy and strong as well as have a great immune system, your Australian Shepherd needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins also help with keeping the skin and coat healthy while minerals help in preventing deficiencies.
- Carbohydrates – dogs need about 5% to 8% carbohydrates as a source of energy which should come from sources like fruits and vegetables such as potatoes and peas.
How Many Times A Day to Feed an Australian Shepherd Puppy?
The number of times your puppy should eat in a day depends on their age and activity level. When they are two months old, they should eat four times per day at a minimum. After weighing their daily food ratio, divide them into four portions.
When they reach three months, most puppies can get all their nutritional needs by feeding three times a day. If your puppy gets an upset stomach, you will know you did this transition too early.
At six months, your puppy can eat two meals in a day and some Australian Shepherds stick to this schedule for the rest of their lives while others will reduce to one meal per day when they reach their first birthday.
Kibble vs Wet Food for Australian Shepherd Puppies
There are two types of commercially prepared foods that you can feed your puppy, that is, wet food or kibble.
Dry food or kibble is great for puppies because it encourages them to chew their food, hence helping in preventing periodontal disease and tartar development by cleaning the teeth. Kibble is also cheap to buy.
Wet foods are also essential for puppies as they have some benefits that kibbles do not have. They have a high moisture content which is great for digestion and for dogs that do not like drinking water.
Wet foods are often aromatic and flavorful, which is useful for a puppy who is sick and lost appetite. Wet foods are also easy to chew and make your puppy feel full for longer.
Whichever food you choose, consult with your vet first.
Switching From Puppy Food to Adult Food
When your Australian Shepherd reaches maturity, they can be switched to adult food. The process of switching to adult food from puppy food should be done gradually over a week or 10 days to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach.
Through the seven days, slowly increase the adult food while reducing the puppy food until what is left on the plate is only adult food.
If your puppy reacts negatively to the food, take time before introducing the next meal. Speak to your vet to help you with the transition process.
What If My Australian Shepherd Puppy Won’t Eat?
Understanding the reason why your puppy is not eating will help you in dealing with the issue.
If your Australian Shepherd has lost their appetite for a short while but goes back to eating their food, then you should not be worried. However, if they are not able to eat their food for a few days, you should take them to the vet for examination.
If the vet finds a health condition causing the loss in appetite, he/she may recommend a specific diet to help them get extra nutrients and improve their immunity to improve recovery.
If they are cleared, then the loss of appetite could be due to behavioral issues or a change in environment. You can establish a feeding schedule, reduce the amount of human food and treats you are giving them, and try feeding them a different kind of food.
Can You Freefeed an Australian Shepherd Puppy?
Free feeding is always leaving food out for your puppy, meaning they can eat as much as they want whenever they want.
Free feeding is convenient and easy, but it is not recommended for an Australian Shepherd puppy as it may cause unnecessary weight gain due to the constant access to food.
Instead, having a feeding schedule and sticking to a routine will prevent your puppy from being overweight and help them stay healthy.
A feeding schedule also helps with house training. Therefore, you should find a routine that works better for your puppy and you.
How Long to Feed an Australian Shepherd Puppy?
Australian Shepherd puppies need balanced and complete puppy food until they reach maturity. Since Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs, they reach their maturity at the age of 12 months, and this is the time to transition them from puppy food to adult food.
As a puppy German Shepherds need more calories and specific nutrients that help them in their growth and development. As adults, their nutritional needs change and need food that provides them with energy and helps them maintain lean muscles.
As your puppy grows, monitoring their food consumption is essential as leftovers could be a sign of them needing fewer calories or they are simply full. Give them less food and monitor their body condition.
Best Puppy Dog Food for Australian Shepherd
1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Formula
The Purina Pro Plan dog food contains lamb as the first ingredient to provide high-quality protein for building lean muscles. The DHA from fish oil ensures that your puppy has healthy vision and brain development.
It contains live probiotics, antioxidants, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin A, omega 6, and other minerals
- Supports digestion.
- Promotes immune health.
- Encourages brain and vision development.
- Nourishes coat and skin.
- Builds strong bones and teeth.
- Causes vomiting.
- Issues with the packaging.
2. Purina SmartBlend Natural Healthy Formula
Purina SmartBlend contains real chicken as the first ingredient to give your puppy the protein they need for growing strong muscles and a healthy heart.
It contains DHA which is an essential nutrient that is found in the mother’s milk.
This dog food is easily digestible and features high-quality ingredients such as omega-6 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. The kibbles are crunchy and tender to deliver a good taste for your dog.
- Supports brain and vision development.
- Improves the immune system.
- Encourages a shiny coat and healthy skin.
- Not suitable for picky eaters.
3. Iams Proactive Health Smart Chicken
This dog food is specifically formulated for large breed dogs and their needs. The first ingredient is real farm chicken to provide the proteins your puppy requires.
It contains 22 essential nutrients that are found in the mother’s milk including omega-3 and antioxidants.
This is balanced and complete puppy nutrition as it is made with good quality animal protein and no additives. This line contains all foods that your dog needs from puppy to adult.
- Help in developing a strong immune system.
- Helps build strong bones.
- Promotes healthy cognition.
- Promotes strong muscles.
- Can cause bloating and gas.
- Causes vomiting.
4. Blue Buffalo Protection Formula
The Blue Buffalo has real meat as the first ingredient to provide high-quality protein for your dog. It also contains wholesome ingredients such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
This specifically formulated formula contains ARA and DHA which are the fatty acids found in the mother’s milk.
They come with the finest ingredients and a blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins done by holistic vets to make sure your puppy gets the best nutrients.
- No artificial flavor and preservatives.
- Supports vision and cognitive development.
- Supports muscle growth.
- Improves the immune system.
- Diarrhea and vomiting in some dogs.
5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Food
This dog food is packed with real chicken which provides a high amount of protein to your dog. The healthy ingredients in this dog food will help promote healthy development.
It features a specific blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are carefully selected to provide your dog with strong immune support and a healthy oxidative balance.
It is made with natural ingredients and contains no chicken by-products, wheat, soy, corn, preservatives, or artificial flavors.
- Supports retinal health and cognitive development.
- Encourages strong muscles.
- Supports the immune system.
- Improves coat and skin health.
- Causes runny stool.
- Kibble sizes are different.
Is A Raw Diet Healthy for An Australian Shepherd Puppy?
There are benefits of feeding an Australian Shepherd puppy raw food including improving digestion, boosting the immune system, healthier coat and skin, and cleaner teeth.
However, according to some experts, raw food like chicken can cause salmonella infection which is dangerous for your dog.
Additionally, raw foods with bones could be a choking hazard and some of the bone fragments can cause internal puncture or intestinal blockage.
Consult with your vet before feeding your puppy a raw diet as it involves proper cleaning and handling practices as well as special preparation and storage requirements.
How Much Do Australian Shepherd Puppies Grow Each Week?
Monitoring the weight of your Australian Shepherd weekly will ensure they maintain a healthy weight throughout their life and the risk of getting ill is reduced.
The weekly weight change is not very significant, but they add some weight each week.
From the age of 8 weeks to 16 weeks, their weight increases by 0.5 pounds each week. From the age of four to six months, the increase in weight is rapid which can be about 2 pounds per week.
After six months, the growth reduces, and your puppy gains about one pound or less per week until they reach their adult weight.
Should You Feed an Australian Shepherd Puppy Supplements?
Feeding your Australian Shepherd puppy supplements is not necessary unless your vet advises you otherwise.
Puppies with severe deficiency of a specific nutrient should be given supplements to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development.
If you are feeding your puppy homemade and raw food, it may be tricky to calculate the correct amount of nutrients in the food, unlike commercial foods where they already have the nutrients pre-mixed in the right amounts.
Your vet may advise you to give your puppy supplements if they are on a homemade or raw food diet.
How Much Water Should an Australian Shepherd Puppy Drink?
The normal amount of water that a healthy Australian Shepherd needs to drink is between ½ to 2 ounces of water per pound.
However, the amount varies among dogs as there are factors that can make your dog drink more water such as medication, physical activity, dehydration, a dry diet, and illnesses.
To be able to judge every situation, you should know your puppy’s normal thirst. Keep a record of your puppy’s diet and drinking habits so that you can tell when there is an issue.
If you notice any changes in the amount of water they are drinking, take them to the vet.