Australian Cattle Dog Feeding Guide (Everything You Should Know)

Josh Cassiel

Hello, pet parents! Welcome to my ultimate guide on feeding Australian Cattle Dogs.

In this guide, I will cover how much to feed an Australian Cattle Dog, how often to feed your Australian Cattle Dog, when to feed your Australian Cattle Dog, what foods to feed your Australian Cattle Dog, what foods to avoid feeding your Australian Cattle Dog, and other questions you may have about your Australian Cattle Dog’s nutrition.

You can read the article to the end or go through the table of contents below and jump to the section that answers the questions you have on your mind.

The Australian Cattle dog is best suited to an environment where he gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation. You should take extra care of how much feed you are giving your pup, as you do not want them to be overweight and develop health issues. Although Australian Cattle Dogs are typically in good health, they are susceptible to some health issues like all breeds.

I have created this ultimate guide to feeding your Australian Cattle Dog for curious and new pet parents to solve your dog’s nutrition problem. I will go into detail on every feeding question you may have based on my personal experience working for a veterinarian.

Let’s jump into the article.

Australian Cattle Dog Nutritional Requirements

A brown and white dog on its bed, chewing on a deer antler.

Australian Cattle Dogs are medium sized dogs that require the proper nutrients in their specific amount to grow healthy. Like other dog breeds, if some of these nutrients are present in excess amounts or less, it would end up endangering the overall health of your dog.

Your Australian Cattle Dog’s meal should primarily consist of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins to meet their nutritional requirements for a healthy lifestyle.

The size of an Australian Cattle Dog will require adequate and quality nutrients to maintain its body weight and strong bones to support its massive frame. Anything short of this can result in many health problems and prevent your dog from reaching its peak size.

Your Australian Cattle Dog’s protein source must be animal protein like chicken, turkey, lamb, and beef. Their fat source can be fish oil or vegetables. Their source of fiber can come from wholesome, healthy vegetables like cabbage, carrots, sprouts, and broccoli.

Nutritional Requirement for an Australian Cattle Dog Puppy

The diet of an Australian Cattle Dog puppy should consist of 20-22% protein, 8-20% fat, and 6% fiber. Australian Cattle Dog puppies are incredibly energetic and have a high metabolism. They grow fast and will require quality nutrients to keep up. They require protein for building healthy muscles and minerals for strong bones; carbohydrates for energy; and fats for maintaining a healthy fur.

Nutritional Requirement for an Adult Australian Cattle Dog

The meal plan for an adult Australian Cattle Dog should consist of 18-30% protein, carbohydrate, 5-20% fat, and fiber. At this stage, Australian Cattle Dogs are most active and will need protein and carbohydrates to keep their weight and energy level optimal. However, you should avoid overfeeding your pet at this stage, as they are prone to obesity and will develop health complications.

Nutritional Requirement For a Senior Australian Cattle Dog

Your Australian Cattle Dog is less active at this stage than at previous stages. Your pet’s food at this stage of life should ideally consist of 20% protein, 10% fat, and fiber. Senior Australian Cattle Dogs will need more minerals and vitamins in their food to keep their immune system and bones healthy.

Factors Affecting The Feeding of an Australian Cattle Dog

Dog in motion. Little black and white puppy dog chewing on high grass while looking at camera. Blue heeler puppy or Australian cattle dog. Selective focus.

Some factors will affect the diet of your Australian Cattle Dog, such as the size of the breed, its age, its activity level, and its underlying health conditions.

Let’s take a quick look at those factors before we jump into the quantity of food to feed your dog.

Size consideration

The average length of an Australian Cattle Dog for males is 46-51 cm (18-20 inches), and for females, it is 43-48 cm (17-19 inches) from the soles of its feet to its shoulder. The weight of both male and female Australian Cattle Dogs is 15-22 kg (33-49 Pounds).

Both male and female Australian Cattle Dogs are of the same weight, which means both the male and female Australian Cattle Dog will require the same amount of calories to stay healthy and strong.

Age consideration

Australian Cattle Dog puppies will require more calories during their growing stage due to their high metabolic rate. They need to be fed a lot if you want them to grow into strong, healthy dogs.

Adult Australian Cattle Dogs should not be fed more often than Cattle Dog puppies. The adults have a slow metabolism that can lead to stomach bloating and indigestion if they’re fed excessively.

Your senior Australian Cattle Dog will be less active and require fewer calories than when they were younger. Doing otherwise might lead to obesity and other serious health problems.

Activity Level

Athletes are required to maintain a strict diet compared to non-athletes, so you should also keep your Australian Cattle Dog away from certain foods if you want to maintain its athletic abilities.

You wouldn’t want to feed your Australian Cattle Dog a meal high in fat and sodium, like cheap fast food, which would make him sluggish and lethargic.

These fast foods don’t contain the nutrients that would make your dog perform to the best of their abilities and make them slow to learn new tricks or obey your commands.

Health Consideration

Australian Cattle Dogs are prone to certain health conditions, which should be taken into consideration in their diets if you wish to manage or prevent those issues.

Some health issues that affect your Australian Cattle Dog include eye issues, deafness, orthopedic issues, hip dysplasia, hip arthritis, skin inflammation, and itching.

These health problems could be avoided or mitigated by eating or avoiding certain foods from the start, rather than treating them as they arise.

It might be tempting to cut corners and go for the cheapest food. But engaging in such an act in the long run could lead to pain, seeing your Australian Cattle Dog sick, frequent visits to the vet, and thousands of dollars in expenses.

Australian Cattle Dog Feeding Quantity

Two Dogs sitting in a kitchen being fed scraps from un unidentified human

Your Australian Cattle Dog, just like any other dog breed, will require different amounts of food according to their stage of development. The amount of food a puppy will need will be different than the amount of food an adult will need to meet their nutritional requirements.

On average, feed your Australian Cattle Dog puppy 0.33 to 1.75 cups of food; feed your adult Australian Cattle Dog 1.37 to 2.34 cups per day; and feed your senior Australian Cattle Dog 1.14 to 2 cups per day.

I will provide you with charts below to help you plan your dog’s meals from its puppy years to its senior years. However, this meal plan is not one-size-fits-all. It’s just a general guideline that should be followed based on your dog’s needs and recommendations from your vet or dog nutritionist.

How Much To Feed an Australian Cattle Dog Puppy

For your puppy and adolescent Australian Cattle Dog to grow into healthy adults, the meal should be high in protein and low in fat, which can be obtained from animal meat.

An Australian Cattle Dog puppy should be given 0.33 to 1.75 cups of food per day that contains 127 to 687 kcal of nutrients based on its age, weight, size, gender, and physical activity.

The feeding requirement of your Australian Cattle Dog puppy is given in detail in the charts below:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Kilocalories (Per day)ProteinFats
2 – 3 months0.33 – 0.68127 – 27420 – 22%8-20%
4 – 5 months0.55– 0.92220 – 37420 –22%8-20%
6–8 months0.79 – 1.3315 – 52020 –22%8-20%
9-12 months1.03 -1.71411- 68720–22%8-20%

Following the above guidelines will aid in bone development and muscle growth, as well as strengthen their immune system to combat common bacteria and viruses that can cause health complications.

 How Much To Feed an Adult Weimaraner

The nutritional requirements of an adult Australian Cattle Dog differ from those of a puppy. The food of an adult Australian Cattle Dog should have a lower percentage of proteins and fats to prevent obesity. This is done by reducing the feeding frequency to two times per day.

An adult Australian Cattle Dog should be given 1.37 to 2.34 cups of food per day that contains 479 to 820 kcal of nutrients based on its age, weight, size, gender, and physical activity.

The chart below will give you an understanding of the daily consumption needs of an adult Australian Cattle Dog and help you with their meal plan.

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Kilocalories (Per day)ProteinFats
1 –6 years1.37 – 2.34479 – 82018-20%5-20%

How Much To Feed a Senior Australian Cattle Dog

Senior Australian Cattle Dogs are generally less active than their younger counterparts due to fragile bones and joints. This means their meals will contain fewer calories, protein, and fat.

Geriatric Australian Cattle Dogs are often plagued with health issues. Some of these issues can be alleviated by supplementing your senior dog’s diet with vitamins and minerals to help revive his or her weakened immune system and fragile bones.

Senior and geriatric Australian Cattle Dogs should be given 1.14–2 cups of food per day that contains 400–700 kcal of nutrients based on their age, weight, size, gender, and health issues.

The table below gives you some details about the meal plan for senior Australian Cattle Dogs.

However, you must still ensure they get the essential nutrients.

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Kilocalories (Per day)ProteinFats
7 years and above1.14-2400– 70020%10%

You can continue giving your senior dog the same food you give your adult Australian Cattle Dog, only in a smaller quantity as they don’t need as many calories as adult dogs. However, you should still consult your vet or pet nutritionist to be on the safe side.

Australian Cattle Dog Feeding Frequency

Australian Cattle Dog puppy playing in the garden

Your Australian Cattle Dog’s meal frequency will vary the same as the feeding amounts, which are majorly dependent on its age. Below is a list of how often to feed your Weimaraner:

How Often Should You Feed an Australian Cattle Dog Puppy?

•         During the weaning process or at 8 weeks old and below: feed them four times a day at equally spaced intervals.

•         8 weeks to 3 months old: feed them four times a day at equally spaced intervals.

•         4 months to 12 months old: gradually transition to feeding them three times a day with equally spaced time intervals.

AgeOptimal Feeding Times
2 – 5 months7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.
6 – 12 months8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.
1 year and above8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

How Often Should You Feed an Adult Australian Cattle Dog?

You should feed your adult Australian Cattle Dog twice a day, with 12 hours of spacing between meals. One in the morning and one in the evening is ideal.

How Often Should You Feed a Senior Australian Cattle Dog?

You should feed your senior Cattle Dog two times a day except given a specific schedule by a vet.

Australian Cattle Dog Feeding Schedule

•             Australian Cattle Dog puppies should be free-fed or fed in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night due to a faster metabolism in comparison to their adult colleagues

•         Adolescent Australian Cattle Dogs should be fed in the morning, afternoon, and evening to help them transition properly into an adult.

•         Adult and Senior Australian Cattle Dogs should also be fed in the morning and the evening unless stated differently by your vet or pet nutritionist.

As a general rule, you should feed your Australian Cattle Dog a few hours before going to bed in the evening, so they have enough time to digest the food before going to sleep.

In total, we shouldn’t spoil our companions with treats as they may grow too attached to them. Treats should be heavily used as a reward when training your Australian Cattle Dog.

AgeOptimal Feeding Times
2 – 5 months old6:00 am, 11:00 am, 4:00 pm, and 9:00 pm 
6 – 12 months7:00 am, 12:00 pm, 5:00 pm
1 – 6 years7:00 am, 7:00 pm
7 years and above7:00 am or 7:00 pm if fed once a day;
7:00 am and 7:00 pm if fed twice a day.

The Kind of Food to Feed an Australian Cattle Dog

The food you feed your Australian Cattle Dog should be designed specifically for large breeds and contain the nutrients required for a strong and healthy dog.

The food to feed your Australian Cattle Dog includes dry dog food, wet dog food, home-cooked food, and Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) to ensure your dog eats a balanced diet.

Let me touch on these few points to help you understand what to feed your dog:

Dry Dog Food: Dry dog food, or kibble, is a portion of commercial pet food made by grinding and mixing up ingredients like meats, grains, and nutritional additives, which are then shaped into little kernels and cooked at high temperatures to remove the water content. Dry dog food contains more carbs, less fat, less water, and sometimes less protein. Dry dog food is often recommended by vets due to its lower cost, dental health benefits, convenience, weight loss support, and playtime perks.

Wet Dog Food: Wet dog food, or canned food, is made by mixing up and cooking the ingredients before adding or extracting varying amounts of water. Unlike dry dog food, wet dog food contains more water, fewer carbs, more fat, and often more protein. They are recommended by veterinarians due to their high water content, taste, ease of eating, and high nutritional profile.

Young border collie blue heeler mix licking its lips while walking in field of grass closeup

Home-Cooked Diet:    Home-cooked diets are a great option for pet parents who are not into commercial dog food and want to go the extra length to prepare a meal for their furry companion. Feeding your dog a home-cooked meal gives you control over its nutrition and can put your mind at ease knowing that you are always providing the best care for your dog.

BARF Diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food is a diet that includes raw meat, raw eggs, crushed animal bones, fruits, vegetables, probiotics, and other natural ingredients. BARF diets are used as a substitute for processed foods with preservatives. However, consult your vet before feeding your pet a raw diet to avoid health complications from harmful substances.

The Kind of Food To Avoid Feeding Your Australian Cattle Dog

We should take caution before giving whatever food we’re eating to our Australian Cattle Dog. They have large appetites, which makes it tempting to hand them whatever we find ourselves eating.

There are certain human foods, fruits, and vegetables to avoid feeding your Australian Cattle Dog because these foods contain toxins that are harmful to your pet that could lead you to frequent trips to the vet.

Human foods to avoid feeding your Australian Cattle Dog include chocolates, coffee, gum, peanut butter, candies, cooked bones, etc.

The fruits and vegetables to avoid feeding your Australian Cattle Dog include grapes, avocado, garlic, onions, etc.

You should always check the ingredients on the food label to see if these ingredients are present in the food. Or you can simply consult a vet or pet nutritionist to check the ingredients with them.

When To Transition Your Australian Cattle Dog From Puppy Food To Adult Food

You should transition your Australian Cattle Dog puppy from puppy food to adult food when he’s around 10–12 months old.

Transitioning your adolescent Australian Cattle Dog from puppy food to adult food is an important stage in your dog’s development. Puppy food contains more calories and nutrients than adult food to meet the nutritional requirements at that stage of life.

Transitioning needs to be gradual by introducing adult feed bit by bit until you get to 100% adult feed.

However, feeding your adult Australian Cattle Dog puppy food will fill them with more protein and fat than their body requires and will lead to obesity due to the high fat content the body doesn’t need for optimum growth. 

DayPuppy FoodAdult Food
Day 1–275%25%
Day 3 – 450%50%
Day 5 – 625%75%
Day 7 – 80%100%

Why Your Australian Cattle Dog Is Not Eating

Your Australian Cattle Dog will not eat if it has one or a combination of the factors listed below:

Illness, dental problems, stomach sensitivity, changes in hormone levels, medication, constipation, time of day, spoiled food, anxiety, dehydration, stress

Weimaraners can be picky eaters; one way to combat this is to make their food a mixture, like kibble mixed with some quantity of B.A.R.F. However, you should see the vet as soon as possible if your Weimaraner consistently refuses to eat and drink.

Australian Cattle Dog puppy playing in the garden

Why Your Australian Cattle Dog Is Always Hungry

Australian Cattle Dogs, like other medium sized dog breeds, are big eaters. Other reasons may be a deficiency in some nutrients, learned behaviors, too much stress, or a lack of food training.

Excessive exercise will make your dog’s body burn faster, thus making them hungry after such exercises. Worms could be another reason your dog is always hungry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Australian Cattle Dogs eat a lot?

Australian Cattle Dog eat a lot, but this should not be encouraged as they are prone to obesity, which can cause a host of health issues in your dogs. This is why proper feeding and a schedule need to be in place to train your dog.

Can Australian Cattle Dogs become vegetarians?

As a whole, Australian Cattle Dogs can live on a vegetarian diet as long as their diet consists of enough nutrients, proteins, fats, and calories to meet their nutritional requirements.
However, you should consult a pet nutritionist or veterinarian to plan a vegan diet for your dog breed to prevent health complications that can arise from an uncertain practice.

Can Australian Cattle Dogs eat bones?

Australian Cattle Dogs can eat bones as they contain a great deal of minerals that meet their nutritional requirements. Also, eating bones will strengthen your teeth and gums as well as improve dental hygiene.
However, you should follow some guidelines laid down by the American Kennel Club before giving bones to your Australian Cattle Dog. One of the guidelines is to throw away the raw meat bones given to your furry friend after three to four days.

What human food can I feed my Australian Cattle Dog?

You can feed your Australian Cattle Dog different types of human foods, such as beef, chicken, pork, turkey, salmon, tuna, and eggs. They can also eat noodles, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, unsalted peanuts, parsnips, and other foods such as rice and pasta, yogurt, cheese, and peanut butter.

What fruits and vegetables can I feed my Australian Cattle Dog?

Australian Cattle Dogs can eat many types of fruits, such as strawberries, apples, bananas, raspberries, peaches, mangoes, pears, blueberries, plums, melon, pineapple, oranges, and kiwi fruit. They can also eat vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, peas, corn, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and more. 

Should You Give Your Australian Cattle Dog Supplements?

Your Australian Cattle Dog doesn’t need to be given supplements if you feed it a commercial diet that meets its nutritional requirements. However, you may need to feed them supplements if you feed them home-cooked meals as recommended by your vet or dog nutritionist.

Final Thoughts                          

The Australian Cattle Dog is a loyal, hardworking, and effective dog. They are intelligent, and as such, do not need intense training before being able to pick them up. If they have been properly socialized, they make excellent family dogs and walking companions.   

Options such as dry, wet, raw, and homemade diets are all great for them. You can free-feed your Australian Cattle Dog as puppies, but you have to draw up a strict plan as they go on. It is also essential to know what foods are healthy and should be avoided, as some are toxic.

However, if you desire more information on how to take care of your Australian Cattle Dog, you should contact the nearest vet for information on essential nutrients, and you can also see a pet nutritionist for a regimen schedule for your pet. 

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