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The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is a small- to medium-sized dog that is known for its thick coat and herding ability. These little dogs look like miniature Collies and they are actually very similar to the Collie breed in many ways. Shelties are a very intelligent breed that trains well and loves having a job to do – that is why they are so popular for herding and other dog sports. In order to keep your Shetland Sheepdog healthy you not only need to provide him with enough daily exercise – you also need to make sure he has a healthy diet. Below you will find valuable information about meeting your Shetland Sheepdog’s nutritional needs as well as some special considerations to make. You will also find recommendations for commercial dog foods for this loving breed.
Nutritional Needs for Shetland Sheepdogs
The Shetland Sheepdog typically stands between 13 and 16 inches tall at maturity and weighs between 11 and 24 pounds. These dogs are thought to have descended from smaller versions of the King Charles Spaniel and the Scottish Collie, though the exact origins of the breed are unknown. What is known about this breed is that it has a high level of intelligence and a thick double coat. Shelties come in a variety of colors including sable, black, white, and tan in many different combinations including merle, bi-color, and tri-color. Not only is the Shetland Sheepdog an incredibly beautiful and intelligent breed, but it makes a great pet as well. This may be why it is consistently ranked around 21 among U.S. dog breeds according to AKC registration statistics.
Although the Shetland Sheepdog is a fairly small breed, it has high energy needs because it is very active. You also have to consider the fact that smaller dogs have faster metabolisms than larger dogs. To make sure that your Sheltie gets the energy he needs, you should provide him with a high-quality commercial dog food diet formulated for small- to medium-sized breeds – you may also want to consider an active breed formula. No matter what type of food you choose, make sure it provides a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. Both protein and fat should come from high-quality animal-based sources because animal products are more biologically valuable to dogs than plant-based foods. You should avoid dog foods made with byproduct meals and low-quality fillers made from corn, wheat and soy.
In terms of carbohydrates, your dog doesn’t have any specific needs for a certain amount. You should, however, make sure that the carbohydrates in your Shetland Sheepdog’s diet come from high-quality sources. Whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal are preferable to processed grains and grain-free alternatives like sweet potato and tapioca are also great choices. When shopping for a pet food for your Shetland Sheepdog, avoid products that contain artificial preservatives, flavors, and dyes – as a general rule, you should be wary of any ingredient that is not easy to identify. It is also a good rule to follow that the fewer the ingredients, the better – some of the highest quality dog foods are made with just a few key ingredients.
Special Considerations for Shetland Sheepdogs
When it comes to choosing a commercial dog food diet for your Shetland Sheepdog you want to go with something that is specially formulated for small- to medium-sized dogs. Small-breed dogs have very fast metabolisms so they need a dog food that will provide for their high energy needs. Most small-breed formulas are made with moderate amounts of protein to maintain lean muscle mass and higher amounts of fat to provide energy. Formulas for small breeds also come with smaller kibbles that are easier for small dogs to chew and the formulas are energy-dense so your dog can get the nutrients he needs in a small portion size for his small stomach. To make sure that you feed your Shetland Sheepdog’s metabolism throughout the day, follow the feeding recommendations on the package to determine your dog’s daily portion and then divide it into three or four small meals.
Another thing you should be wary of in choosing a commercial dog food diet for your Sheltie is the fact that this breed is very susceptible to food allergies. Food allergies in dogs can develop at any age and they are largely a matter of exposure – the more your dog eats a common allergen, the more likely he is to develop an allergy. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a food allergy you should switch him to a Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) for 12 weeks until all signs of the allergy have disappeared. LIDs are made with novel sources of protein and carbohydrate (like duck instead of chicken) as well as a limited number of ingredients. Once your Shetland Sheepdog has recovered you can add potential allergens back into his diet one at a time until you identify the culprit. Then, simply remove that ingredient from your dog’s diet permanently.
Top Recommended Dog Foods for Shetland Sheepdogs
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Shetland Sheepdog, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure that the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
Nutro Original Adult Dog Food
If you are looking for a high-quality commercial dog food that will meet your Shetland Sheepdog’s nutritional needs, look no further than this Nutro Original Adult Dog Food formula. This formula is made with chicken, whole brown rice, and oatmeal in a recipe that will keep your Sheltie healthy and active for as long as possible. This formula is specially designed for dogs between the ages of 1 and 7 years that weigh between 15 and 65 pounds. This Nutro Original Adult Dog Food formula includes both chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients with other notable ingredients like whole brown rice, whole grain oatmeal, chicken fat, and split peas. All of Nutro’s formulas are made with the finest quality natural ingredients, fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure overall health and well-being. Nutro also offers a selection of limited ingredient and grain-free dog foods if your Shetland Sheepdog suffers from food allergies.
Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Turkey and Potato
The Blue Buffalo pet food company uses only the highest quality ingredients in their pet foods and they offer a wide variety of different products. For dog foods, there are four different product lines – Freedom, Basics, Life Protection, and Wilderness. The Basics line of dog foods consists of Limited Ingredient Diets which are ideal for dogs suffering from food allergies. The Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Turkey and Potato formula is made with deboned turkey and oatmeal as the top two ingredients, followed by brown rice, peas, and turkey meal. This formula is high in protein to ensure healthy muscles as well as antioxidant-rich ingredients for a healthy immune system. The Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Turkey and Potato formula is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy bones and joints as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for a radiant coat. If you are looking for a commercial dog food formula that will provide for your Shetland Sheepdog’s nutritional needs without activating food allergies, give this Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Turkey and Potato formula a try.
By Nature Active Defense Balanced Diet Dog Food
The By Nature pet food company is devoted to producing premium-quality pet foods developed using the latest dietary science. This company offers a variety of formulas that are designed to provide a new level of nutrition for pets, keeping them active and healthy throughout their entire lives. The By Nature Active Defense Balanced Diet Dog Food formula is just one example of this commitment in action. This formula comes in four different flavors using novel proteins like pork, turkey, lamb and ocean whitefish as well as grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potato, lentils and green peas. This line of dog foods provides optimal levels of nutrition through the use of high-quality ingredients backed by qualified pet nutritionists. What more could you ask for?
The Shetland Sheepdog is a medium-sized breed that is highly energetic and playful. If you want your Sheltie to be as healthy as possible you need to feed him a diet that meets his nutritional and energy needs – start with one of the top-rated dog food brands listed above.