What Is The Best Dog Food for a Shetland Sheepdog? – Buying Guide

Shetland sheepdogs, also known as shelties, are a small, active, and cheerful breed. If you have one at home, you know how much they enjoy themselves and are always a joy to be around. They are intelligent, dedicated, and willing to please, which makes them an excellent choice for training and companionship.

Shelties have a short head and a broad snout. Their ears stick straight and are rounded. They have deep chests and torsos with a level back. They have straight hair and a thick undercoat that can be sable, purple, blue, or merle in colour. Shelties have the appearance of a miniature collie.

Shetland sheepdogs are originally from Scotland, where they were used as herding and guard dogs. They were able to protect the sheep while still keeping them out of the yard. They also deterred hungry birds from approaching the property. Shelties are an active breed that requires a lot of exercises, mental stimulation, and entertainment due to their history.

Shelties, on the other hand, need adequate nutrition in order to sustain their active lifestyles and happy, energetic personalities. As a result, it’s important to find the right dog food for shetland sheepdogs. Thankfully, we’re here to assist you. Our top recommendations for shelties are listed below. The best sheltie diet is high in healthy fats and protein, which helps the dog’s joints remain intact and is easy to digest.

You’ll read everything you need to know about feeding your sheltie in this post. We’ll start with our favourite dog foods, then go through nutritional requirements, and feeding schedules.

5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Shetland Sheepdog

Although all dogs need a combination of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, striking the right balance is more important than ever for an active breed like a sheltie. Adequate nutrition is essential to keep your sheltie happy, energetic, and ready to please.

With that in mind, there are a few things to think about. Since Shelties are made with a lot of lean muscle for running and jumping, it’s important to give them enough protein. However, if they consume too much or their digestive system is thrown off, they can experience stomach issues, so a high-protein diet combined with supplements for vitamins, digestive health, and joints is ideal.

As a result, here are five dietary requirements to bear in mind:


Protein is probably the most essential of your sheltie’s nutritional requirements. Muscles are constructed with protein as the building blocks. Your sheltie needs a lot of protein to develop muscle as a puppy. Then, as an adult, retaining lean muscle is important for tasks ranging from fetch to jumping over obstacles.

Sheltie puppies should have a protein level of at least 22% in their diet. For adult dogs, the minimum protein intake drops to 18 per cent, but maintaining a high-protein diet remains important.


Fats are the second most important nutrient after protein. Fats are particularly important for an active breed like the shetland sheepdog because they provide long-lasting energy. Shelties have a high energy need, so their diet should be high in fats.

Animal fats should be eaten for good health. Look for foods that contain fat from animals like salmon, beef, and chicken when buying food for your sheltie. Bioavailability and proper digestion are ensured by animal fat.


Shetland sheepdogs don’t have any particular carbohydrate requirements, but they can help your dog get the nutrients he or she needs. They’re also a good source of nutrition for your sheltie, and the fibre can help with digestion.

Digestibility is an important aspect to remember when it comes to shelties. Whole grains and carbohydrates from legumes and vegetables should be sought out. However, dietary fibre should never reach 5% of total calories, as too much will disrupt your dog’s stomach and cause poor digestion.

Vegetables and Fruits

Important nutrients not present in whole grains or animals can be found in vegetables and fruits. Nutrients obtained this way are more valuable and bioavailable than those obtained by supplements. Look for dog food that includes a variety of vegetables as well as some fruit.


Supplements are also important, especially as your sheltie gets older. Shelties, as previously reported, have digestive problems and benefit greatly from prebiotics and probiotics. For muscle health, taking chelated minerals (minerals attached to protein molecules to enhance absorption) is often a good idea.

Your sheltie’s bones and joints must be kept in good working order. Glucosamine is an excellent joint supplement that is beneficial to all dogs, but particularly shelties.

Feeding Schedule for a Shetland Sheepdog

A daily feeding schedule is beneficial to Shelties. Nonetheless, the amount of food your sheltie requires is determined by his or her age, weight, and level of operation. Shelties are similar to small breeds to larger breeds because their metabolisms are quicker and they require more calories than other medium-sized breeds.

Shetland sheepdogs can consume between one and two cups of high-quality protein and fat-rich food a day, on average. This should be divided into two meals a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Puppies, particularly as they grow, can require three meals per day. You will need a third meal to boost your sheltie’s metabolism if he or she is especially active or if you are preparing your dog for sports or herding. Adult shelties with an average level of activity should be fine with two square meals a day.

Best Overall Dog Food for Shetland Sheepdog

Now that you know what there is to know about shetland sheepdogs, it’s time to go dog food shopping. We’re looking for natural, high-quality ingredients. Food that is high in protein and low in fat is required. It should also include carbohydrates from easily digestible sources, as well as vegetables and fruits for added nutrients. It’s also a huge plus that safe supplements are included.

We’ve scoured the market and selected a few of our favourites. With any of these dog treats, you can’t go wrong. However, since every dog is special, it’s important to find the best possible food for your sheltie.

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Whole Food Clusters Dog Food

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To be honest, there are a range of excellent dog food choices for shelties. We debated for a long time about which brand to choose before settling on The Honest Kitchen. It’s minimally processed, made with high-quality ingredients, and has a recipe that’s perfect for active shetland sheepdogs.

The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food is designed to have a higher calorie and fat content than other dog foods. This high-fat content contributes to your sheltie’s dietary requirements as well as his high metabolism. It contains free-range chicken, garden vegetables, and whole-grain barley for carbohydrates.

What’s great about this product is that it’s dehydrated rather than kibble, so all you have to do is add water and the food comes to life. It’s a fantastic compromise between pricey delivery systems and dry kibble. It offers a fulfilling meal for your dog. Dehydration also retains the taste and nutritional value of the food.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free

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Taste of the Wild came close to being our top pick, and with good reason. It offers a grain-free, easily digestible diet for your sheltie that is both economical and healthy. As the first ingredient in this recipe, buffalo is used. Sweet potato and peas are included for carbohydrates and fast energy that does not come from grains.

We also like this food because it contains ingredients that help with digestion, such as real fruits and vegetables and chicory root, which aids digestion. It also includes chelated essential minerals paired with amino acids to ensure absorption.

Overall, Taste of the Wild is a lean, natural food that will keep your dog safe. It’s designed to keep your dog’s skin clean and his gorgeous sheltie coat in tip-top shape. It gives your sheltie long-lasting energy, immune system help, and omega fatty acids.

Key Features:

  • Gluten-free
  • Vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids have been added in significant amounts.
  • Designed to be easily digestible


  • Contains high-quality animal proteins.
  • Grain-free carbohydrates that are easily digestible
  • chelated minerals, omega fatty acids, and probiotics are added to the mix.


  • Canola oil, a plant-based fat, is the main source of fat.
  • Potatoes and peas have plant proteins.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

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Blue Buffalo dog food is a good all-around choice. Its first ingredient is real meat, which provides your dog with high-quality protein. The meal is then made with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and vitamins to create a food that is suitable for most breeds, including shelties.

Blue Buffalo’s “life source parts,” which are vitamin-fortified pieces that contain important vitamins and minerals, are one of the company’s biggest selling points. As a result, this diet is beneficial to immune function and healthy bones. It also contains glucosamine, which is good for joint protection.

Blue Buffalo is made of natural ingredients like chicken protein, animal fat, and the right kind of carbohydrates. It provides a good balance for healthy shelties while also encouraging overall health and well-being.


  • Protein and fat content is high.
  • Vitamins, chelated minerals, and glucosamine are included for good health.
  • There is no maize, wheat, or soy in this recipe.


  • Not specifically formulated for shelties

Check here for more products on Shetland Sheepdog

Special Dietary Considerations for a Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs make wonderful companions for families. They are smaller than larger breeds, ranging between 13 and 16 inches tall and resembling miniature collies. They weigh about 30 pounds when fully grown. They are, however, extremely fast and possess remarkable endurance and agility.

Shelties, unfortunately, are vulnerable to a variety of health issues that must be avoided. However, with good nutrition and treatment, they will live for 12 to 14 years. Many of the issues mentioned below can be avoided or handled with proper nutrition.

Eye Problems

Collie eye anomaly is a disease that affects Shelties. This is a disease in which the eyes do not grow correctly due to a genetic mutation. Your sheltie can develop an impaired vision and eventually blindness as a result of a collie eye anomaly. While a healthy diet is important, if you suspect your sheltie might be suffering from this illness, contact your veterinarian right away.

Musculoskeletal Problems

Hip dysplasia and elbow luxation are two other problems that shelties can have. Both of these conditions include slipping bone joints, resulting in inflammation, discomfort, and joint injury. As a result, it’s critical that you feed your sheltie a balanced diet. You may even want to look at supplementation to support your dog’s joint health.

Food Allergies

Allergies do not affect Shetland sheepdogs as much as they do other breeds. Even so, it’s important to keep all dogs away from foods that can trigger severe health issues. Raisins, cookies, tomatoes, and mushrooms are among them. Many of these foods are indigestible or cause adverse reactions in dogs, including organ failure and seizures.

Level of Activity

The shetland sheepdog is a medium-sized breed with a small dog’s metabolism. As a result, your dog can need a high-calorie diet to keep up. Shelties are high-energy dogs that need a lot of care, games, and exercise.

When it comes to feeding your sheltie, keep these things in mind. Check to see if your dog is having enough food. If your sheltie starts to gain weight, though, it’s time to make a change.

Daily Calorie Intake

In general, most medium-sized dogs require about 700 calories per day as puppies and between 800 and 900 calories per day as adults. This amount can vary depending on how active your dog is, but because shelties have a lot of energy, it’s important to feed them accordingly.

Also, See Top 8 Best Salmon Dog Food to Buy in 2021 – ( Reviews )

Dog Food for a Shetland Sheepdog Buying Guide

All of us have doubts when it comes to finding the best food for our shelties. Fortunately, we have many of the same concerns. If you’re still unsure about what to eat, hopefully, one of these will point you in the right direction.

Is Fresh or Dry Food Better for My Sheltie?

Both choices are on our list, and it’s difficult to tell which is the better. The most important thing is to ensure that your sheltie receives all of the nutrients he or she needs to stay active, balanced, and happy. A high-quality protein-rich diet with sufficient fat and supplements would normally suffice.

Fresh food, on the other hand, is usually preferable. It typically has a high nutritional value and is quick to digest. The issue is that it is very costly.

Not everybody can afford to sign up for one of the previously listed home delivery options. Don’t stress if you can’t. Many dry foods still provide your dog with all of the nutrients he or she needs to survive.

When Would My Sheltie Puppy Be Able To Eat Adult Food?

By the time they turn one year old, most puppies are able to start consuming adult food. To prevent a sudden move, gradually add new foods to your sheltie’s diet. Begin by blending a small amount of puppy food with adult food at a time before your sheltie is used to the new diet. This method will help to keep your dog’s stomach from being disturbed.

It’s important not to turn to adult food too soon because puppy food contains higher levels of some nutrients that your dog requires for muscle and brain growth. Your puppy will need additional fat and minerals as they develop.

Do Shelties Need Supplements?

As long as they consume high-quality food, most young dogs get all of the nutrients they need from what they eat. However, as your sheltie gets older, you might want to start supplementing his or her diet. These supplements can assist in joint health, bone health, and overall health and activity levels.

Find a supplement for your sheltie that contains glucosamine as well as other beneficial ingredients including chondroitin and curcumin. When in doubt, choose one that contains a wide range of nutrients.

Also, to ensure that the supplement has the desired effect, make sure it contains about 20mg of glucosamine per pound of your dog weighs. This is relevant since certain supplements do not provide enough glucosamine to provide your dog with any real value.

Final Thoughts

Shetland sheepdogs have special dietary requirements. They are a medium-sized breed that needs a diet more similar to that of small dogs. Shelties are affectionate, loyal, and happy to please, but they are also energetic and need the best food to keep them going.

You can’t go wrong with any of the dog food choices discussed in this article when it comes to keeping your sheltie safe and happy. That being said, it’s up to you to figure out what works best for your family, your budget, and your dog. We hope you enjoyed this list of the best shetland sheepdog foods.

Also, See 10 Best Food for German Shepherd – Reviews