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8 Best Dog Foods for Shelties in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

8 Best Dog Foods for Shelties in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Shetland Sheepdog_Lisjatina_ShutterstockRenowned for their intelligence, athleticism, and sweetness, Shetland Sheepdogs—also known as “Shelties”—have qualities in abundance that make them such a hit with dog lovers the world over.

Luckily, like many small breeds, Shelties have a long lifespan. Nevertheless, the breed has been linked to certain health issues, including dermatomyositis—a skin condition—and joint issues like hip dysplasia.

Appropriate nourishment plays a massive part in keeping your Sheltie as happy and healthy as possible, so we’ve picked out some of the most popular and best-selling dog foods that we think are worth looking over. Let’s get straight to it!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Ollie Fresh Dog Food Subscription Ollie Fresh Dog Food Subscription
  • Made with fresh ingredients
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Delivered to your door
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
  • Supports all areas of health
  • Made with real meat
  • Rich in nutrients and antioxidants
  • Third place
    Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • Made with real salmon
  • Easy to digest
  • Supports healthy digestion, skin, and coat
  • Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula
  • Supports overall development
  • Live probiotics for digestion
  • May benefit dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe
  • Contains quality proteins
  • Vitamin and mineral-packed
  • Has helped some dogs with health issues
  • The 8 Best Dog Foods for Shelties

    1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall

     

    Main ingredients: Varies by recipe: chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb are the four protein choices
    Protein content: Baked food: 26% min. Fresh recipes: 10%-12% (varies by recipe)
    Fat content: Baked food: 16% min. Fresh recipes: 5%-10% (varies by recipe)
    Calories: Baked food: 3850 kcal ME/kg. Fresh recipes: varies by recipe

    Our pick for the best overall dog food for Shelties is Ollie, a dog food delivery service offering fresh, baked, and mixed recipes tailored to your dog’s needs. When you get started, you fill out a basic questionnaire on your dog’s lifestyle, weight, size, and any health issues or allergies they may have, and then you get personalized meal recommendations based on this information.

    Ollie uses high-quality protein sources and includes a range of fruits and veggies in their recipes. We like Ollie’s emphasis on using only natural, fresh ingredients and how personalized the service is, something a lot of users have agreed with in online reviews. In terms of reviews, Ollie gets a pretty glowing write-up for the most part, with excellent quality food and customer service cited as two of the main benefits.

    Some users, however, have cited delivery issues and a frustrating customer service experience. Ollie seems to be very responsive when issues are raised, though, and the reviews they get are mostly positive in nature.

    Pros
    • Made with fresh ingredients
    • Personalized recommendations
    • Delivered to your door
    • Pre-portioned packages
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food – Budget Buy

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley
    Protein content: 24% min
    Fat content: 14% min
    Calories: 3,618 kcal/kg, 377 kcal/cup

    Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula is our choice for the best dog food for Shelties for the money on this occasion. It’s nutrient, vitamin, and mineral-rich and contains plenty of antioxidants in the form of various fruits and vegetables. It contains no wheat, corn, or soy, so it’s an especially good option if your dog eats a diet that excludes these ingredients.

    The Life Protection Formula supports a healthy immune system, skin, coat, and appropriate muscle development. User reviews say that this dog food is tasty, a good option for sensitive stomachs, and is enjoyed even by finicky eaters. Others noticed that their dog picked out the LifeSource Bits (small pieces infused with antioxidants) and refused to eat them.

    Pros
    • Supports all areas of health
    • Made with real meat
    • Rich in nutrients and antioxidants
    • May be beneficial for sensitive stomachs
    • Many great user reviews
    Cons
    • Some dogs may pick out the LifeSource Bits

    3. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Salmon, barley, rice, oatmeal, canola meal
    Protein content: 26% min
    Fat content: 16% min
    Calories: 4,049 kcal/kg, 467 kcal/cup

    Due to the Sheltie’s potential to develop skin issues, this recipe specially formulated for sensitive dogs is an option worth considering. Salmon is the first ingredient with oatmeal—which is easy to digest—and it contains no wheat, soy, or corn. It’s also fortified with probiotics to aid the digestive process. Omega-6 helps keeps your dog’s coat and skin in tip-top condition.

    Some users detailed in reviews that they had been recommended this product by a vet and have noticed positive differences in skin and coat condition particularly. A few users weren’t happy with the formula, however, and felt that it didn’t help their dogs. Some also found the texture powdery.

    Pros
    • Made with real salmon
    • Easy to digest
    • Supports healthy digestion, skin, and coat
    • Highly reviewed
    Cons
    • May not benefit every dog
    • May be powdery

    4. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Formula

    Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Puppy Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: 28% min
    Fat content: 18% min
    Calories: 4,188 kcal/kg, 456 kcal/cup

    Another Purina Pro product for our list is the chicken and rice formula for puppies. Like the adult recipe, it contains live probiotics for digestion but also DHA from fish oil to support brain and visual development and calcium and phosphorus for tooth and bone development. Antioxidants help the developing immune system.

    Positive reviews mention how well this food went down with puppies with sensitive stomachs and that their dogs seem to be happy and active on this food. Some reviewers, however, weren’t pleased with the condition the food arrived in and some were frustrated with apparent changes to the product.

    Pros
    • Supports overall development
    • Live probiotics for digestion
    • May benefit dogs with sensitive stomachs
    • Made with real chicken
    • Lots of great reviews
    Cons
    • Might not be suitable for every puppy
    • Not for adult dogs

    5. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Dog Food

    Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley
    Protein content: 27% min
    Fat content: 16% min
    Calories: 3711 kcal/kg, 404 kcal/cup

    Shelties are a small breed, so you might want to consider a diet specially made for small breeds. This small breed formula by Merrick contains 54% proteins and 46% whole grains, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and glucosamine, which support healthy joints.

    For many dogs, feeding this formula has been beneficial according to reviews, with improvements in joint health and reduced skin issues being cited. Negative reviews—of which there weren’t many—point to issues like the kibble size having gotten bigger recently and the product not being available in a bigger-sized bag.

    Pros
    • Contains quality proteins
    • Vitamin and mineral-packed
    • Has helped some dogs with health issues
    • Formulated for small breeds
    • Mostly positive reviews
    Cons
    • Only comes in up to 12-pound bags
    • Kibble size may be too large for some

    6. Nutro Natural Choice Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food

    Nutro Natural Choice Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice
    Protein content: 22% min
    Fat content: 14% min
    Calories: 3654 kcal/kg, 343 kcal/cup

    This recipe by Nutro Natural Choice comes in five bag sizes ranging from 5 pounds to 40 pounds. The first ingredient is real chicken and natural fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help to keep your dog’s overall health in check. It’s also made with non-GMO ingredients, contains no chicken by-products, and is suitable for dogs over the age of 1 year.

    In terms of positive reviews for this product, there are plenty. It seems to be well-liked by a large number of dogs and plays a role in keeping them happy and healthy according to their humans. Others were frustrated with a change in formula and some mentioned how pricey this dog food is.

    Pros
    • Contains real meat
    • High-quality ingredients and proteins
    • Non-GMO ingredients
    • Highly reviewed
    • Multiple bag sizes available
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Formula has changed at some point in recent years 

    7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Water buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes
    Protein content: 32% min
    Fat content: 18% min
    Calories: 3,719 kcal/kg, 422 kcal/cup

    Taste of the Wild is a dog food brand famous for creating recipes based on what dogs would eat out in the wild. Because of this, they tend to use more unique protein sources as opposed to the standard chicken, lamb, and beef. This roasted bison and venison recipe is grain-free and high in protein at a 32% minimum. It contains K9 strain proprietary prebiotics and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

    As a very popular dog food and bestseller on online vendors like Chewy, it’s unsurprising that this recipe gets lots of great reviews. Users have praised its value for money and how beneficial it has been for their dogs health-wise. Unhappy users claimed that it just didn’t sit well with their dogs and some dogs simply didn’t enjoy it.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Uses uncommon protein types
    • Nutrient-rich
    • Prebiotic fiber aids digestion
    • Very popular recipe
    Cons
    • Grain-free recipe not ideal for all dogs

    8. American Journey Active Life Formula

    American Journey Protein & Grains Formula Salmon

    Main ingredients: Deboned salmon, menhaden fish meal, brown rice, peas
    Protein content: 25% min
    Fat content: 15% min
    Calories: 3,506 kcal/kg or 345 kcal/cup

    Our last dog food pick for Shelties is this Active Life formula by American Journey. The protein source is real salmon and antioxidant sources are a blend of fruits and vegetables including carrots, cranberries, and blueberries. The recipe also contains omega fatty acids for keeping the skin and coat healthy and is free of corn, soy, wheat, and poultry by-products.

    Some users consider this recipe a great choice for sensitive stomachs and a large number of dogs enjoyed the taste. A few users found that there was a strong and unpleasant “fishy” smell that was too overpowering.

    Pros
    • Formulated for active dogs
    • Supports overall health
    • May be beneficial for sensitive stomachs
    • Tasty and well-liked by most dogs
    Cons
    • Possible strong “fishy” smell

    divider-pawBuyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food for Shelties

    Dog food shopping can be a royal pain sometimes—how on earth do you choose between all these formulas that seem to offer the same thing?! Narrowing it down is easier if you build a sort of “profile” for your Sheltie based on their needs and preferences. Consider:

    • Your budget
    • Your dog’s age
    • Your dog’s size (some foods are breed size-specific)
    • Your dog’s activity level
    • Any health conditions your dog has
    • Any allergies your dog has
    • Your dog’s favorite meats

    We also highly recommend checking out user reviews online. Now, not every dog has a good experience with every product—there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dog food and it’s a bit of a gamble if you’re buying for the first time as to whether or not a product will sit well with your dog specifically or if they’ll like it. Every dog food—even those with mostly excellent reviews—will always have at least a few negative reviews.

    However, if a product has a large percentage of positive reviews, then this can help reassure you as to its quality and the likelihood that your dog will have a good experience.

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    In Conclusion

    For a quick recap of our reviews, our best overall dog food for Shelties recommendation is Ollie’s fresh food delivery service. We love the “tailor-made” approach and that you get recommendations based on your dog’s specific needs. Our best value pick is the Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula. We picked these foods based on their popularity and mostly excellent user reviews, and hope your dog enjoys them as well.


    Featured Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock

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