Also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, the Blue Heeler is a medium-sized breed that’s been used for years as a herder, as their name implies. Packed with intelligence and ease of training, the Blue Heeler’s health depends on their food and proper feeding schedules during puppyhood.
So, how can you raise a healthy Blue Heeler? How much should you feed them and how often? We’ll answer that and more in this article, as we list down some fast facts in regards to feeding your Blue Heeler puppy.
Part of the responsibility of dog parents is to raise their pets healthily, which means they have to enforce proper feeding schedules, pick the right kind of food, and work on every possible way to maintain your puppy’s ideal weight, nutrition, and eating habits that they will take to adulthood.
How much to feed a Blue Heeler puppy?
On average, a Blue Heeler puppy should be given 3 to 4 meals a day and easy access to a clean water supply to drink. When the puppies turn into adults, the meals per day can be reduced to 1 or 2 depending on their physical activity and weight.
Depending on their age, your Blue Heeler puppy might need different amounts of food per day. Here’s an example portioning plan for your pup so that they won’t get overweight too easily:
8 weeks old
During 8 weeks of age, your Blue Heeler should be fed 4 times a day. Make sure that they’re equally divided. The quantity of food depends on the brand that you have because some brands have more protein while others have more carbohydrates (e.g. supermarket brands) so it’s best to consult your vet about this.
12 weeks old
Limit your Blue Heeler puppy’s food intake schedule to 3 times a day. As they grow, they need to have slightly fewer amounts of food to keep their weight in check. In case your puppy gets loose stools from their food, always consult your vet for the best possible action.
6 months old
When your Blue Heeler puppy turns 6 months old, it’s time to reduce their meals to about 2 times a day. If you want to transition your puppy to adult food by this time, it’s best to consult your vet first so that your pup won’t get into any digestive troubles. They might also recommend a good brand of dog food for your Blue Heeler puppy.
Scheduled meals are important to maintain your puppy’s overall health and keep their weight in check. Your Blue Heeler will have different feeding schedules throughout their puppyhood. With that said, here are example feeding schedules for your puppy:
|Age of puppy||Meal 1||Meal 2||Meal 3||Meal 4|
|8 weeks old||7 a.m.||11 a.m.||3 p.m.||7 p.m.|
|12 weeks old||8 a.m.||1 p.m.||5 p.m.||–|
|6 months old||9 a.m.||3 p.m.||–||–|
You can adjust the times as needed depending on your availability and other factors. This is just a guide – you decide the time intervals that work well for your puppy.
However, whatever schedule you plan, make sure that your puppy doesn’t eat very late. Oftentimes, puppies that chow down dinner later at night will have to use the toilet in the middle of the night, which will be an annoyance for you.
Blue Heeler puppies turn adults at about 18 to 24 months old. During this time, they should be given the right amount of food based on their age. A healthy pup has their ideal weight depending on how old they are.
To help you figure out how much food you need to feed to your Blue Heeler puppy, here’s a helpful growth chart:
|Blue Heeler weight chart, 3 to 10 months old|
|Male puppy weight (lbs.)||13 to 15||16 to 18||21 to 24||24 to 26||26 to 29||27 to 30||28 to 31||29 to 33|
|Female puppy weight (lbs.)||12 to 14||16 to 18||19 to 22||23 to 26||26 to 28||27 to 29||28 to 30||29 to 31|
|Blue Heeler weight chart, 11 to 16 months old|
|Male puppy weight (lbs.)||30 to 34||31 to 35||31 to 37||31 to 39||32 to 42||32 to 45|
|Female puppy weight (lbs.)||29 to 33||30 to 34||30 to 35||30 to 35||30 to 36||30 to 36|
FAQs on Feeding a Blue Heeler Puppy
Here are the most commonly asked questions on feeding a Blue Heeler puppy:
Can I give treats to my Blue Heeler puppy?
Yes, you can – with caution. Puppies are usually trained using treats, regardless of breed. However,f you want to maintain a healthy weight for your Blue Heeler puppy, their treats should be counted in the daily food intake.
We think that instead of resorting to puppy treats, you can use their meal food, such as kibble, as their training reward instead. Be sure to use the food reward sparingly to avoid begging problems and voracious eating behavior during their adolescent years.
What kind of food is best for Blue Heeler puppies?
Four types of puppy food are usually available for most pet owners: kibble, raw, canned/wet, and homemade/cooked. All of them have their pros and cons but in the end, the ultimate choice is yours – along with the expertise of your vet.
So, which type of food works best for your Blue Heeler puppy? Let’s find out about the different puppy food options available and if they’re yay or nay for your Blue Heeler pup:
1. Wet food
Is canned food okay for Blue Heeler puppies? We’d say yes because it’s a popular choice for weaning your litter. If your puppies are still teething, they will find wet food much easier to chow down versus kibble.
However, with that in mind, to make sure that your puppy’s dental health is watched over, try adding a little sprinkle of kibble on top of their wet food. This food combination makes them use their teeth properly.
The only downside to depending on canned food is perhaps the expiration date. If you live in a country where humidity isn’t very good and food items spoil fast, wet food might not be an option for you. Moreover, if you purchased canned food and you live by the sea, they could get corrosion, too.
If you’re on a budget, you might want to resort to kibble as your feeding option for your Blue Heeler puppy. Kibble also doesn’t get spoiled fast so it’s great for stocking up if you can’t get out of the house. Moreover, kibble will help your puppy’s dental health due to its crunchy texture.
With that said, not all puppies will munch down kibble due to being a picky eater. In this case, you can mix a bit of homemade, raw, or wet/moist food to add a bit of flavor.
When choosing kibble for your Blue Heeler puppy, make sure to get a brand with fewer fillers and more protein and organic ingredients. This ensures that your puppy will grow healthy and strong without weight issues.
3. Raw diet
Most pet owners might tell you that raw food is the best for your puppy, but it takes a lot of work (and budget resources) to do so. You’ll also have to consider maintaining a balanced diet because compared to pre-mixed commercial foods, you have to do some research on which foods have this and that nutrient, vitamin, or mineral that’s needed by your pet.
With that said, raw feeding has a plethora of benefits for your puppy. For instance, it lets you feel at ease not giving preservatives and fillers to your pet. Aside from that, you’ll know where the food comes from so this is a good choice for you if you’re a bit skeptical of where companies source their ingredients.
However, a word of caution: always consult your vet when feeding a raw diet. Aside from that, you should handle the raw food properly to avoid bacterial infection, such as salmonella, which often occurs in raw foods that are mishandled (e.g. meat).
4. Homemade meals
If you don’t feel comfortable with a raw diet due to the possibility of bacterial infection and food mishandling, you can always stick to homemade meals. Keep in mind that, like raw feeding, it’s best to consult your vet to have a balanced meal diet plan.
You may also want to consider combining home-cooked meals with kibble or with wet food, depending on your puppy’s eating preferences and weight.
How do I choose the best food for Blue Heeler puppies?
Maintaining your puppy’s nutrition rests upon your hands, which is why you have to decide for them since they cannot decide on their meals. Here’s how you choose the ideal Blue Heeler puppy food:
- Balanced nutrients. Look for AAFCO-recommended puppy foods because these usually have a balanced array of nutrients that are important for growing puppies.
- Choose food that’s specific to your puppy’s age. Many beginners in pet-owning have the mistake of feeding whatever to their puppy, which causes digestive upsets. Look for puppy-specific food (not adult food) so that they’ll digest it properly and that it will have the right amount of nutrients.
- Free from fillers. Many commercial foods for dogs and puppies alike have fillers and preservatives, which aren’t healthy for your pet. It’s best to stay away from those and consider organic alternatives. Though these organic brands are pricier, you’re ensuring a healthy diet for your Blue Heeler puppy in the long run.
- Decent amounts of protein. A Blue Heeler puppy needs about 22.5% of protein from their daily food intake, which will help in strengthening their muscles and keeping them physically fit for outdoor (and indoor) activities. High-quality puppy food usually has more protein than fillers.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin. The Blue Heeler is a breed that’s prone to hip dysplasia so it will help if they start with glucosamine-rich foods, which are commonly found in organic dog foods, nowadays. Talk to your breeder if your puppy has a genetic history of hip dysplasia and consult your vet for good puppy food, supplement, or diet plan for such.
My Blue Heeler puppy won’t eat. What should I do?
There are instances when puppies don’t eat much, which may cause you to panic. However, you may need to rule out other reasons, such as their food taste preference, being slightly nervous due to their new surroundings after being adopted, as well as teeth problems or digestive upsets.
If you suspect that your puppy is seriously ill or if they haven’t eaten for almost a day, you should take them to your vet for assessment. The vet will determine any underlying reason as to why your Blue Heeler puppy won’t eat.