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9 Best Dog Foods for Australian Cattle Dogs: 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

9 Best Dog Foods for Australian Cattle Dogs: 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Australian Cattle DogAustralian Cattle Dogs were built to work—and it shows. They have high energy needs that need to be supported by quality dog food. However, not just any dog food will do. Instead, you need to choose a high-quality dog food that contains everything your Australian Cattle dog needs to thrive.

However, choosing the best dog food for your dog can be challenging. There are tons of options on the market, so sorting through them all can be nearly impossible. Luckily for you, we’re here to help.

We’ve done the sorting for you and have chosen the  best dog foods for your Australian Cattle Dog. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to dog food. However, one of the foods below should be more than suitable for your canine.

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription
  • Delivered via subscription
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Made in USDA kitchens
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Dog Food Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Dog Food
  • Designed for sensitive skin and stomachs
  • Highly digestible
  • Includes quality grains
  • Third place
    VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Formula Dry Dog Food VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Formula Dry Dog Food
  • High amount of meat
  • Nutrient-dense
  • All life stages
  • Gentle Giants Chicken Dry Dog Food Gentle Giants Chicken Dry Dog Food
  • High in omega fatty acids
  • Includes a variety of “superfoods”
  • Whole fruits and veggies added
  • Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food
  • Real beef and pork as the first two ingredients
  • Added omega fatty acids
  • Includes healthy grains
  • The 9 Best Dog Foods for Australian Cattle Dogs

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall

    the-farmers-dog-full-recipe-packaging

    Main ingredients: USDA pork, potatoes, sweet potatoes, USDA pork liver
    Protein content: 9% minimum
    Fat content: 32% minimum
    Calories: 152 kcal/serving

    The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food is easily the best overall dog food for Australian Cattle Dogs. It is made from human-grade ingredients that are not overly processed like many kibbles out there. Instead, it is made from fresh ingredients and specially cooked at one of their facilities. You can see the meat and veggies in it so you know exactly what you’re feeding your canine.

    This food is delivered on a subscription basis. You enter all your dog’s information on the Farmer’s Dog website, and the company will help you choose the best recipe for your dog. You can select more than one recipe if you wish, which may help prevent your dog from growing bored with the food.

    After you sign up, the food is sent to your door regularly. No more are the days when you wake up and discover that you’re out of dog food. Plus, the packaging is environmentally-friendly, so you don’t have to feel bad about getting your food shipped.

    All the food is as natural as possible and there are no preservatives or fillers.

    Pros
    • Delivered via subscription
    • Fresh ingredients
    • Made in USDA kitchens
    • Formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists (which are rare)
    • Environmentally-friendly
    Cons
    • More expensive than store-bought kibble

    2. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Dog Food – Budget Buy

    Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Turkey, Oat Meal, Barley, Fish Meal, Canola Meal
    Protein Content: 26%
    Fat Content: 16%
    Calories: 439 kcal/cup

    If you’re looking to save a bit of money, then Purina Pro Plan Specialized Sensitive Skin & Stomach Turkey & Oat Meal Formula High Protein Dry Dog Food is one of the best options out there. Purina is one of the top dog food producers on the market thanks to its board of veterinary nutritionists and low recall rate.

    This formula is specifically made for dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs. However, it is more than suitable for practically any Australian Cattle Dog out there, especially if you’re looking to save some money.

    This food is highly digestible and made without any wheat or soy. However, it does include barley, rice, and oats. Therefore, you have to worry less about the heat conditions commonly associated with grain-free foods. It includes salmon as the first ingredient, which contains extra omega fatty acids that provide some extra nourishment to your dog’s coat.

    Plus, we love that this formula contains live probiotics for digestive support. That feature alone is enough to make this dog food the best dog food for Australian Cattle Dogs for the money.

    Pros
    • Designed for sensitive skin and stomachs
    • Highly digestible
    • Includes quality grains
    • Salmon as the first ingredient
    Cons
    • Not as much meat as other options

    3. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Formula Dry Dog Food

    VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Formula Dry Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Pork Meal, Chicken Meal
    Protein Content: 30%
    Fat Content: 20%
    Calories: 406 kcal/cup

    Victor Classic Hi-Pro Formula Dry Dog Food is easily one of the best options on the market, especially if your dog is on the most active side. However, you’re paying for the extra quality. Compared to other options out there, this formula costs considerably more. Therefore, it is not the best option for all pet owners.

    If you can afford it, there are very few things that are better than this dog food. It is made with 88% meat protein, including chicken, beef, and pork. Because it is nutrient-dense, this formula works for all life stages. You can begin feeding it to your puppy and continue to feed it to them as they age.

    As you’d guess, this formula includes everything an active dog needs. It is fortified with extra nutrients and includes essential fatty acids, which are vital for coat health. Plus, it includes a VPRO blend that supports healthy digestion and immune functioning.

    Pros
    • High amount of meat
    • Nutrient-dense
    • All life stages
    • Includes quality grains
    Cons
    • Very expensive

    4. Gentle Giants Chicken Dry Dog Food

    Gentle Giants Chicken Dry Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Peas
    Protein Content: 22%
    Fat Content: 9%
    Calories: 359 kcal/cup

    While Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food is not what you’ll usually find on the pet store shelves, it is a quality dog food that has a bit of a cult following. Many pet owners claim that this food helped their dog live a longer-than-average lifespan with minimum health problems. It includes tons of ingredients that have been scientifically shown to help dogs in one way or another.

    For instance, New Zealand Green Mussels are included as a supplement. These mussels are extremely high in omega fatty acids, which can help with a range of conditions from dry skin to osteoarthritis.

    In all likelihood, the inclusion of ingredients like these is likely why this brand is touted for helping dogs thrive. In total, this food includes 12 whole fruits and veggies, which also help add extra nutrition to the dog food. Plus, probiotics and fiber are included too. We loved that antioxidants are added through the inclusion of fresh, non-GMO fruits.

    Pros
    • High in omega fatty acids
    • Includes a variety of “superfoods”
    • Whole fruits and veggies added
    • Chicken meal as the first ingredient
    Cons
    • Not as widely available as other brands
    • Not many alternative flavors

    5. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food

    Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Pork Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
    Protein Content: 26%
    Fat Content: 15%
    Calories: 386 kcal/cup

    With healthy grains like brown rice, Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is a solid choice for most Australian Cattle Dogs. It includes deboned beef and pork meal as the first two ingredients, which helps ensure that is it high in animal protein. Plus, it also comes with added omega fatty acids to support your dog’s coat health and joints.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin are also included. These added nutrients help support your dog’s joints. While Australian Cattle Dogs are not particularly prone to joint problems, there is nothing wrong with offering extra nutrients just in case.

    We loved that this food is crafted and cooked in the United States. However, the ingredients are sourced from around the world, including the nutritional additives (which are commonly linked to serious recalls).

    Pros
    • Real beef and pork as the first two ingredients
    • Added omega fatty acids
    • Includes healthy grains
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin included
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • No guaranteed taurine content

    6. Natural Balance Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Natural Balance Grain-Free Dry Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Duck, Duck Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Tapioca Starch
    Protein Content: 24%
    Fat Content: 10%
    Calories: 370 kcal/cup

    We recommend Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Reserve Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food for canines that have allergies. It is made with duck as the only protein, to which most dogs are not allergic. This food is completely chicken-free (the most common dog allergen) and beef-free. Therefore, it should work for the large majority of canines with allergies.

    After both duck and duck meal, this recipe utilizes potatoes and sweet potatoes as a fast energy source. Therefore, it is a fantastic option for canines who are sensitive to grain, though this is rare. We recommend speaking to your vet if you believe your dog may benefit from this limited ingredient dog food.

    This food also includes flaxseed, which contains omega fatty acids. These are vital for improving your dog’s coat and immune health, so we highly recommend them for most canines.

    Pros
    • Duck as the sole protein source
    • Fiber-packed potatoes
    • Includes flaxseed for added omega fatty acids
    • Free from grain, soy, gluten, chicken, and other common allergens
    Cons
    • Grain-free
    • Not suitable for every dog

    7. Nutro Natural Choice Adult Dry Dog Food

    Nutro Natural Choice Adult Dry Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Chicken, Brown Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Barley
    Protein Content: 22%
    Fat Content: 14%
    Calories: 343 kcal/cup

    Nutro Natural Choice Adult Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food utilizes chicken and a range of healthy grains to provide the nutrition that your Australian Cattle dog needs. It is a bit higher in fat than most recipes, so we highly recommend it for young and active dogs.

    It is made without any GMO ingredients and contains no wheat or soy. It does include a variety of antioxidants, which can support your dog’s immune system. We also liked that it included a high amount of fiber, improving digestive health. Omega 3 and 6 are included to promote healthy skin and coats. These additives may also be helpful for improving arthritis symptoms in older dogs.

    This formula is not designed for puppies, so we only recommend it for Australian Cattle dogs that are older than one year.

    Pros
    • No GMO ingredients
    • Added omega fatty acids
    • High in fat
    Cons
    • Not designed for puppies
    • High fiber can cause stomach upset for some dogs

    8. Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

    Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Kidneys, Ground Beef Bone
    Protein Content: 42%
    Fat Content: 28%
    Calories: 195 kcal/cup

    If your dog is athletic and sensitive to grains, then you may want to try Nulo Freestyle Beef Recipe With Apples Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food. We found that it was best for dogs that are sensitive but also extremely active. It has a high amount of protein—nearly twice as much as other formulas. Therefore, it is a great option for active dogs that need the extra protein for their muscle development.

    We loved that this formula utilizes the whole-food approach, which means that it includes lots of organ meats. Organ meats are extremely nutritious as they are packed with nutrients. However, they are not often seen in dog food, as they can be expensive.

    On top of lots of meat, this formula also includes high amounts of veggies and fruits. For instance, broccoli and apple are both included, providing some extra nutrition. Probiotics are included as well, which are vital for your Cattle Dog’s gut health.

    Plus, this food is also made in a USDA-inspected facility. It is fast-frozen to help ensure maximum nutrition and flavor, so it may work well for pickier dogs too.

    Pros
    • Includes high levels of meat
    • Added fruits and veggies
    • Made in a USDA-inspected facility
    Cons
    • Lower calorie count than most formulas
    • Grain-free

    9. Acana Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food

    Acana Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food new

    Main Ingredients: Beef, Deboned Pork, Beef Meal, Oat Groats, Whole Sorghum
    Protein Content: 27%
    Fat Content: 17%
    Calories: 371 kcal/cup

    Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat Recipe Gluten-Free Dry Dog Food includes both beef and pork as the main two ingredients. Grains of all sorts are also included with most being whole grains for added fiber and nutrition. Plus, squash and pumpkin are also added for improved nutritional content. These ingredients are rich in fiber and help support optimal gut health, as well as help dogs maintain a healthy weight.

    This formula includes absolutely no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It is absolutely free from legumes, gluten, and potatoes. While these aren’t necessarily bad ingredients, they are linked to certain health problems, and some dogs may have sensitivities.

    While this dog food is fantastic, it is also one of the more expensive options on the market. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, this food is likely not for you in the least.

    Pros
    • Includes beef and pork as the first two ingredients
    • Quality grains and veggies added
    • Free from legumes, gluten, and potatoes
    Cons
    • Extremely expensive
    • Not necessarily for picky dogs

     

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Food for Your Australian Cattle Dog

    Australian Cattle dogs may not need very specific nutrition compared to other breeds. However, that doesn’t mean that the dog food you choose for them doesn’t matter. As active dogs, Australian Cattle dogs need a diet that is going to support their active lifestyle.

    There is no one-size-fits-all food that works for every dog. Instead, you’ll need to consider your situation and dog to select the best food. Here are some things you should keep in mind when selecting your dog’s food from the list above.

    Protein

    Every dog needs quite a bit of protein to thrive. Typically, dog foods will contain anywhere from 24% to 35% protein. The amount of protein your dog needs depends largely on how active they are. However, some dogs will simply do better on extra protein, while others may do best on less.

    Where the protein comes from matters. Preferably, dogs should get most of their protein from animal sources, as these sources are “complete”. In other words, they include all the amino acids that your canine needs to thrive. With that said, the exact type of animal doesn’t matter all that much when it comes to protein.

    With that said, if your dog has a sensitivity, you should avoid the ingredients that your dog is specifically sensitive to. The best way to avoid food allergies is to avoid your dog’s allergens.

    Fats

    On top of this, your dog also needs enough fat to thrive. Fat is a vital nutrient for dogs. It supports their brain, eyes, and other parts of their body, while also working as an energy source. Therefore, most dogs need more fat than people realize.

    Omega fatty acids are one of the most important fats your dog needs. These have been shown to help with a variety of different health problems, ranging from mange to arthritis. Furthermore, they can also help prevent these problems. Other fat sources, such as fish, flaxseed, and many oils are high in omega fatty acids.

    Grains or No Grains?

    For the last decade or so, some dog food companies have pushed the agenda that dogs cannot digest grains well. However, this is not true. Science has shown that dogs have evolved to eat grains, unlike their wolf cousins. Dogs have been next to people for thousands of years and have evolved to eat what we eat.

    Furthermore, some studies have found that grain-free diets may be linked to certain health problems. While this is currently being studied, it is likely because these formulas contain high amounts of peas and legumes (which they use in place of grain). These ingredients may negatively affect dogs’ health when eaten in larger amounts over a long period of time.

    Therefore, most dogs do best on a grain-inclusive diet. They can digest grain just fine, and it lowers their risk for many of the health problems associated with grain-free diets.

    training Australian Cattle dog
    Image by: lara-sh, Shutterstock

    Added Nutrients

    There are many nutrients that you need to keep in mind when looking for suitable dog food. If your Australian Cattle Dog has specific health problems, then you’ll likely want nutrients that support that health problem—if there are any. For instance, dogs with arthritis may need glucosamine or omega fatty acids added to their food.

    However, not all health conditions require specific nutrition. In many cases, your dog will not need specially added nutrients, though it is usually not a bad idea to include them anyway. More nutrients aren’t necessarily better, of course. You can have too much of a bad thing but nearly every dog will benefit from glucosamine.

    On top of special nutrients, some other nutrients may need to be added just to meet your dog’s specific health needs. For instance, in many cases, taurine is added to improve heart function, though it is not technically “necessary”.

    Correct Calories

    More active dogs will need more calories, as you might imagine. Plus, extra calories will mean that you need less of the food, which may help you save quite a bit of money in the long run. However, if you feed your dog too much, you’ll also end up with an obese or overweight dog. As you might imagine, obesity is linked to a variety of problems—just like it is in people.

    Therefore, if your dog is not especially active, you may want food that isn’t as high in calories. For very active dogs, more calorie-dense food is more suitable.

    This is not an exact science, so feel free to experiment a little bit.

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    Conclusion

    Australian Cattle Dogs are quite active, so they need food that will support their high level of activity. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food is the best option for most dogs. It is made with fresh ingredients and not terribly processed.

    If you’re on a budget, Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food is another great option, but it is much cheaper. Therefore, we recommend it primarily for those on a budget. It includes quality animal proteins and a variety of different fats and has just about everything your dog needs to thrive.

    We hope these reviews have helped sort through the options and that one of these foods works well for your canine.


    Featured Image Credit: Madelein Wolfaardt, Shutterstock

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