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Are Australian Shepherds Picky Eaters?

Are Australian Shepherds Picky Eaters?

A proper diet is one of the most critical aspects of an excellent dog’s health. Australian Shepherds aren’t an exception. They need to be well-fed to be happy. However, this task may turn into a nightmare if the dog is a picky eater. Are Australian Shepherds picky eaters?

Fortunately, Australian Shepherds generally aren’t picky eaters. They have a huge appetite, which is higher than most other breeds. However, there may be some exceptions. Some Australian Shepherds have a small tendency to be picky if you don’t train them well.

Knowing whether or not a breed is a picky eater and hard to feed is essential if you are planning to get a dog soon. Besides, if you already own an Aussie and you’re facing this problem, you need to fix it.

Luckily, today I’ll show you all the information you need about feeding problems of an Australian Shepherd.

Why Aren’t Australian Shepherds Picky Eaters?

I think the best piece of information you will learn today is that Australian Shepherds love to eat! This is because they’re incredibly active and exercise a lot. They are working dogs that originally helped farmers herding livestock.

Even household-born Australian Shepherds nowadays still have a natural herding style. They are very energetic and always want to play with their owners. To sustain this characteristic, they eat relatively large meals, more than the average domestic dog.

On average, you need to provide at least 1,300 calories for an adult Australian Shepherd per day. If you underfeed him, he will not only become weaker but also may start behaving more aggressively.

Right Ways to Feed an Australian Shepherd

Even though Australian Shepherds require a lot of food, you shouldn’t feed your dog without any control. Regularity is vital to keep your furry friend in good health. Don’t give him the food randomly throughout the day.

To start, you need to split his meals. If he eats a massive amount of food only once per day, this is bad for his organism. Divide this large meal into two or three small portions. One in the morning, the second in the afternoon and the last one at night.

Even if you go out to exercise and he asks you for more food, don’t lose control and wait until the right time. That way, he will get used to a more regular schedule.

What to Do If Your Australian Shepherd Doesn’t Want to Eat?

Even though Australian Shepherds commonly don’t show uninterest in eating, this may happen in some situations. If your dog behaves like that, you should try to fix this problem.

If your Aussie is still a puppy, this behavior isn’t rare. In the first moments of life, his mind is very undeveloped. You should bring him to a veterinarian to identify the problems. 

You shouldn’t worry too much, but still, this requires an action. Your dog can’t live without sufficient nutrition.

The kind of food you give to him can also be the cause of this issue. Maybe your friend already had enough of the same product and want something tastier. If that’s the case, try wet dog foods. They have a different taste, that might attract his appetite.

Apart from that, the way you give him the food may also be inadequate. As I mentioned before, make sure he eats reasonable food portions throughout the day.

If you feed your Aussie a huge amount of food once a day, he will look at the insanely big meal and think he is not capable of doing that. Due to that, he may not even try to start. Also, assign a calm place for him to eat.

The last possible reason to explain why he is a picky eater is if you recently changed his food. Different companies or even just brands from the same manufacturer taste differently. This change may not satisfy your furry friend.

If you want to change the kind of food you give to him, do it gradually. Start mixing the old food with a bit of the newer together. Then, increase the dose of the original product gradually, until he fully gets used to it.

What Are The Best Kinds of Food for Australian Shepherds?

Before starting anything, you need to know what are the main types of food for dogs. There are three main categories:

  • Kibble
  • Raw food (BARF)
  • Wet food

Every dog has different characteristics. Therefore, they also have different diets. You should know what kind of food that best matches your furry friend is. To help you choose what to buy, here are the main differences between them.


Probably the most popular choice among dog owners, kibble is also the most practical solution. It is cheap, easy to find and edible by any dog breed. Kibble can also help cleaning your pet’s teeth, but, of course, it doesn’t substitute the regular toothpaste.

Assuming that you buy a high-quality kibble, it can be a fantastic option for your dog. You should opt for a brand that provides him with the proper nutrients he requires.

However, the main downside about kibble is the quality of the cheapest options. Inexpensive brands, in general, aren’t healthy. They don’t supply the required nourishment.

In addition to it, some dry kibble may contain filters and preservatives, which make the product easy to store, but harmful for the animal.

If you go for this option, my recommendation is the Original Dry Dog Food by Orijen. This kibble has top-quality ingredients in its composition. Orijen provides your Aussie with wholesome foods, like whole poultry, pumpkin and various fish.

Since this kibble comes already full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, Orijen includes zinc as its only supplement. Obviously, there aren’t any artificial ingredients.

Raw food

This type of food is a very controversial subject. As the name suggests, this diet is mostly based on raw meat and bones. Owners that prefer this kind of food for their dogs believe in their origins.

Before human domestication, dogs survived in the wild only by preying. Raw food is one of the most natural ways to feed your pet. This diet can bring many benefits to your Australian Shepherd, such as a boost to his immune system, improvement to his digestion and cleaner teeth.

Although a raw food-based diet is incredibly plentiful of protein, it lacks other essential nutrients. I don’t recommend you exclusively serving this kind of food to your furry friend. You should balance it with other foods to provide your Aussie with the nutrition he needs.

My top recommendation for raw dog food is the Backcountry Raw Infused by Merrick. This product contains premium ingredients such as deboned salmon, sweet potatoes and blueberries as well. Since it doesn’t only contain meat, it provides a great variety of nutrients for your furry friend.

Wet food

Dogs find wet food much tastier than regular kibble. However, this comes at a cost to you: they are more expensive. Canned wet food, as I already mentioned, can also be the solution if your Australian Shepherd doesn’t want to eat anymore.

Wet food includes a lot of benefits for your pet. It has a reduced amount of preservatives and carbohydrates and, at the same time, a high concentration of protein.

This food is mostly recommended for dogs that have troubles to chew or those with gum diseases. If your Aussie is healthy, but you just want to give him tasty food, you will need to take extra precautions with his gum and brush his teeth more frequently.

One of the best options available for you is the Purina Pro Plan Savor Canned Wet Dog Food. This product’s composition is based on pure beef. This gives it a higher concentration of protein than the average canned wet food.

But don’t worry, because Purina also includes other crucial ingredients for full nourishment. In addition to it, the formula also features various vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, calcium, manganese, among others.

I advise you to mix wet and dry food to prepare your Australian Shepherd’s meal. This is the perfect combination since it will provide him with the balance he needs.

My Final Thoughts

If you plan to get an Australian Shepherd soon, note that they aren’t picky eaters. Therefore, you won’t undergo a problematic situation in this regard.

If you already own an Australian Shepherd and are struggling due to this behavior, you can fix it. To start, keep your vet in a loop. He will be able to diagnose possible health issues and will orientate you with the first attitudes to take.

Follow the considerations I mentioned in this article. You may be able to resolve the problem in just a few simple steps!

Related Questions

Can my Australian Shepherd eats human food? 

It strictly depends on what food you give to him. Some human treats are also edible by dogs, but others aren’t. For example, while chocolate is harmful to dogs, peanut butter is excellent. This shows us that you need to search for each food in detail.

My Australian Shepherd likes to eat grass. Is it normal? 

Surprisingly, yes. The causes of this condition vary a lot. It can range from nutritional deficiency to only boredom. To try to prevent this behavior, ensure you feed him well. In addition to it, never forget the veterinarian!