How Much to Feed a Blue Heeler (Feeding Chart & Guide)

Blue Heeler eating dog food from bowl

Feeding a Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog the right amount is crucial for their health and vitality, especially considering their active lifestyle as a herding breed. 

This guide contains everything you need to know about Blue Heeler feeding, including how much and how often to feed them, as well as other frequently asked questions about their diets.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Blue Heeler?

Happy Blue Heeler puppy with a bowl of dog food

There are different factors that contribute to how much food must be given to an Australian Cattle Dog. Pet parents need to consider these accordingly to be comfortable with their feeding practice.

Here is a summary of the factors that need to be considered when determining the amount to feed a Blue Heeler:

  • Age: Dogs of different life stages would have different physical needs. Hence, a puppy would need a particular amount of dog food to support its growth, while an adult would need a different amount for its health and maintenance.
  • Weight: The Blue Heeler is a medium-sized dog and will obviously require more food than smaller dog breeds and less compared to larger ones. The amount of dog food should match the breed’s body mass to sustain its ideal weight.
  • Activity level: Blue Heelers are very active dogs with excellent herding ability. Hence, they need more calories to gain the energy to fulfill their daily tasks, especially if they are being utilized as working dogs.
  • Reproductive Status: A pregnant or lactating Blue Heeler needs the right nutrients to support its physiological needs during this stage. On the flip side, calorie reduction is needed for spayed and neutered dogs due to their lower metabolism.

Aside from these factors, partnering with your veterinarian is an excellent way to determine the amount of dog food to give your dog, especially in relation to health.

Note: For smaller versions of the breed or miniature Blue Heelers, ensure to partner with your vet to ensure that they are given the best and most nutritious diet for their size without overfeeding them.

How Much to Feed Your Blue Heeler?

Dog food in white background

The sections below will show you feeding guidelines to follow for the Blue Heeler based on its age. These will help you further determine the right amount of dry dog food to give your dog through its different life stages.

While the amounts mentioned are recommended, they may be adjusted based on factors such as the activity level and health status of your Blue Heeler dog.

Blue Heeler Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

As Blue Heeler puppies are born, breeders allow them to nurse completely from their mothers. This initial flow of mother’s milk contains colostrum, a component that will give your Blue Heeler puppy its first set of natural antibodies.

At 3 to 4 weeks after birth, Blue Heeler puppies may start transitioning to puppy food, called the weaning phase. They can begin with soft food and gradually switch to dry dog food when they reach about 6 to 7 weeks.

Below is the feeding chart for how much dry dog food should your Blue Heeler puppy eat:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 3 months¾ – 2388 – 885
4 – 5 months1 ¼ – 2590 – 862
6 – 7 months1 ¾ – 2 ¼810 – 964
8 – 9 months2 – 2 ¼ 892 – 1,068
10 – 12 months2 – 3942 – 1,344
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Probiotics may also be given to your Blue Heeler puppy to support their digestive health and the absorption of all critical nutrients during this stage.

Also, given the sensitivity of the stomach of the Blue Heeler puppy compared to an older dog, make sure to select a dog food brand that is grain-free and has no artificial flavors.

Further, hydration is also necessary for the normal functioning of all the other body processes of your Blue Heeler puppy, so ensure they are well-hydrated through a steady supply of clean drinking water.

Adult Blue Heeler Feeding Chart (1 to 6 years)

As your Blue Heeler puppy turns a year old, it must be slowly transitioned from puppy food to adult food due to the change in nutrient needs of this active dog.

Refer to the feeding chart below for how to feed your Blue Heeler:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 6 years2 – 3793 – 1,164
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Aside from the usual grain-free diet present in many commercial adult foods, make sure to check the label of the dog food and look for high-quality ingredients that can support their daily bodily functions.

Additional supplements may also be given at this stage, like omega fatty acids from fish oil, to keep your dog’s coat shiny and to keep your dog’s health in tip-top shape.

An adult dog is also less sensitive to other diets, like raw feeding or homemade meals. As these are introduced, research on what constitutes a balanced diet with the right amount of carbs, amino acids, and fats.

Senior Blue Heeler Feeding Chart (7 years and older)

A senior Blue Heeler’s digestion is much slower and is more prone to obesity and age-related health problems. Hence, monitoring its food intake becomes all the more critical during its later stages in life.

You may refer to the chart below on how much to feed senior Blue Heelers to maintain their healthy weight:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
7 years and above1 ½ – 2 ¼635 – 932
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Calcium and phosphorus supplements will also be effective in maintaining your Blue Heeler’s healthy teeth for better chewing. These will also be effective in supporting your senior dog’s joints and bones.

So long as you continue giving it a well-balanced diet, that should help boost your dog’s immune system, promote healthy skin, and prevent age-related illnesses.

On the other hand, if your dog displays any sensitivity to food due to old age, limited-ingredient dog food may help with this.

How Often Should You Feed Your Blue Heeler?

Australian Cattle Dog eating outdoors

A newborn Blue Heeler puppy up to 12 weeks must be fed 3 to 4 times a day, then switch to just three times daily until it is 12 months old. As it reaches adulthood, twice-a-day feeding should be enough, while as a senior dog, once-a-day will suffice due to its lower activity level.

Knowing the proper frequency of feeding for each age group is important to maintain the dog’s energy throughout the day and avoid possible health problems like bloat or indigestion.

The table below should guide you in determining how many feedings per day are appropriate for your Blue Heeler per age group:

AgeFeeding Frequency
0 – 12 weeksThree to four times a day
4 – 12 monthsThree times a day
1 – 6 yearsTwice a day
7 years and aboveOnce a day

A Blue Heeler puppy can start with four meals a day to support its need for growth and development, as well as its high energy levels. As it grows older, the frequency is reduced due to lower energy requirements.

How to Transition Your Blue Heeler to a New Food

There are many instances when you may need to switch your Blue Heeler’s diet, like transitioning from puppy to adult food, possible lifestyle change, or when you need to reinvent its diet when it gets bored with its current food.

Like with other dogs, transitioning the diet of Australian Cattle Dogs to a new food must be done gradually to give your dog’s sensitive tummy time to adjust and avoid indigestion or upset stomach.

The table below shows how the Blue Heeler diet should be gradually transitioned:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25% 
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

As you transition your Australian Cattle Dog’s diet to the new food, closely monitor your dog’s reaction, especially changes to its bowel movement. If everything looks normal, proceed as indicated.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Blue Heeler

Even if the Blue Heeler has an active lifestyle, it can still become overweight or obese if fed beyond the normal amount of food it needs.

Free feeding, giving table scraps and too many treats, and a reduced activity level are all factors that can make your pet prone to excessive weight gain.

You can check at home if your Blue Heeler is overweight or obese by touching its ribcage. If you can’t feel your pet’s ribs and if the hips are not as visible anymore, it is time for your dog to undergo weight reduction.

Here are some tips on how to get your overweight Blue Heeler back to its ideal weight:

  • Monitor food intake closely: Check the feeding chart in this guide and see if the amount of food you are giving matches what your ACD should be getting for its age. If your dog is obese, chances are you are feeding more than what is required, and keeping to the indicated food amount on the charts is recommended.
  • Increase daily exercise: Take advantage of your Blue Heeler’s natural high energy to increase its physical activity daily. A routine of walking, running, playing, or even swimming should help it reach its ideal weight faster.
  • Avoid giving too many snacks: Resist the urge to give food in between the dog’s regular meals. If you give your Blue Heeler snacks, table scraps, or treats too often, these would just pile up as additional calories for your dog.
  • Add fiber-rich foods: High-fiber foods will give your dog a feeling of satiety without adding too many calories. Hence, always consider dog food with fiber-rich human-grade ingredients or even actual table food like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.

In addition, be gradual in terms of reducing the amount of food your dog consumes as well to avoid a sudden decline in energy, weakness, or indigestion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Australian Cattle Dog puppy lying on grass

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Blue Heeler Enough?

An easy and accurate way to check if you are giving your Australian Cattle Dog the right food amount is by measuring its weight and comparing it against the ideal weight for its age. 

If it is significantly higher or lower, then you are not feeding your dog the proper amount it should be given. 

Another way to determine this is by using the body conditioning score chart to feel your dog’s ribs. 

Not being able to feel your dog’s ribs means you are giving it more food than necessary. On the other hand, if these are highly visible, even without touching, it signifies that it is being underfed. 

Why Is My Blue Heeler Not Eating?

If your Blue Heeler is not touching its food, it could be as simple as it being bored with its food, still full, stressed, or adjusting to a new environment.

You can try experimenting with your dog’s food to make it more appetizing, like adding wet food or canned food, switching to a raw food diet, or preparing a homemade meal with animal protein.

However, if your dog is also experiencing lethargy, weakness, or diarrhea along with a lack of appetite, it could be a sign of a more serious health problem, and it is best to seek veterinary advice immediately.

Can I Feed My Blue Heeler With Human Food?

Giving your Australian Cattle Dog the same food that humans consume is fine, given its omnivorous nature. However, be wary that a lot of human foods may be poisonous to your beloved pet. 

Hence, it is always a smart idea to do your research before feeding them anything straight from your dinner table.

Do Blue Heelers Eat a Lot?

Being active dogs, Blue Heelers tend to eat a lot in order for them to store energy for their daily activities. This makes giving them high-quality dog food essential to keep them strong and energized.

However, there might be instances when your Australian Cattle Dog might be picky with its food, especially if it gets bored with its current dog food. When this happens, adjust the food to make it more appealing and aromatic.

Can Blue Heelers Eat Bones?

Blue Heelers can eat bones as long as they are raw. In fact, these are also good sources of calcium and phosphorus. However, avoid giving cooked bones with sharp edges that can injure your dog’s digestive tract.

With this guide, you’re now equipped to make informed decisions about feeding your Australian Cattle Dog. If you have any more questions or need further guidance specific to your dog, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.

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