How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shetland Sheepdog Puppies
The charming Shetland Sheepdog pup is lively, energetic, and ready for any adventure its family has in mind. A breed that traces its roots to the Shetland Islands, the Shetland Sheepdog originally functioned as a guardian of its owner’s home, alert barking to keep away intruders, predators, and prey. In later years, this early breed type would be selectively and purposefully bred to other Scottish herding dogs to create a new breed that could be utilized to herd sheep.
A highly energetic breed, the Shetland Sheepdog puppy requires regular daily exercise to remain physically and mentally satisfied. A dog type with very high prey drive, the Sheltie puppy requires a fenced in yard that is secure to prevent escape attempts from occurring.
The Shetland Sheepdog puppy is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. Eager, able, and willing to learn, this delightful pup is a happy training companion. The breed is well renowned for its versatility, excelling at many activities including agility, conformation, flyball, tracking, therapy work, Rally, obedience, and more.
Sweet-natured, affectionate, and loving, the Shetland Sheepdog puppy is a devoted family companion. The breed does very well with children with whom it displays a ready patience and gentleness. However, this working breed has a strong instinct to herd. All play should be supervised as this pup will happily corral children or family pets if not kept sufficiently mentally and physically satisfied each day.
The Shetland Sheepdog puppy is not predisposed to becoming overweight due to its high activity requirements. However, this breed can be prone to developing certain genetic conditions. These include collie eye anomaly, corneal dystrophy, congenital deafness, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, and more. To provide a vital support for overall health and wellness in the Shetland Sheepdog puppy, it is recommended that this sweet pup be fed a diet that includes supplements to support both eye and joint health.
The best dog foods for Shetland Sheepdog puppies should ideally be comprised of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat. To ensure this charming pup has the necessary support to grow at an appropriate rate, the correct amount of calcium to phosphorus should be present in its food: 1.2 parts of calcium for each included part of phosphorus.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Shetland Sheepdog Puppies
Shetland Sheepdog puppies are exceptionally active. To support optimal health and wellness in the breed, this pup requires a puppy food that is highly digestible, comprised of the finest quality ingredients, and based on a lean, meat-based protein.
Trying to determine how much of a food to feed a pup involves some trial and error. The best dog foods for Shetland Sheepdog puppies list suggested serving sizes based on age and weight on the side of the packaging. These suggestions can be utilized as a starting point. Using the dog’s weight, appetite, and activity level, the portions can be adjusted in small amounts until the proper meal size is found.
Free feeding the Shetland Sheepdog puppy is not recommended. Maintaining a healthy body weight is very important for growing puppies. To this end, it is best that all food for the Sheltie puppy be measured and all intake monitored. This includes mealtimes, snacks, and treats.
To keep the Shetland Sheepdog puppy’s energy primed to enjoy its busy lifestyle, this sweet pup should be fed three to four small mini meals throughout the day.
Dietary Requirements for Shetland Sheepdog Puppy Foods
The Shetland Sheepdog puppy is a carnivore, and thus, a diet that prioritizes the use of lean meats is best for this busy breed. The best dog foods for Shetland Sheepdog puppies include a whole meat or meat meal as their foundational ingredient. By-products are of lesser nutritional quality, and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs. These ingredients are best avoided.
Today, many commercially prepared dog foods are enhanced through the use of chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. These ingredients are utilized to improve the appearance, taste, or shelf life of a diet. None of them offer any nutritional benefits to the Shetland Sheepdog puppy.
Carbohydrates form an important part of the Shetland Sheepdog puppy’s diet. It is from this food group that the pup gains the nutrients it needs for fluid digestive processing and a strong immune system. These nutrients can come from antioxidant and fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or a combination of the three.
From healthy fats, the Shetland Sheepdog puppy gains support for coat and skin health, brain and eye development, and ample energy reserves. Chicken fat and oily fish are among the best sources of these nutrients; however, plant-based oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, and coconut also contribute all of the essential fatty acids this pup needs to thrive.
Supplements added to a food can greatly benefit the Shetland Sheepdog puppy. The ideal supplements to look for in a food for this breed are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Shetland Sheepdog Puppies
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Shetland Sheepdog puppy:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The best dog foods for the Shetland Sheepdog puppy base their formula on a lean meat or meat meal. By-products and the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are of lesser quality and are not the best options to meet the nutritional needs of the growing Sheltie pup.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to a growing Shetland Sheepdog puppy. Diets which contain one or more of these items are best left on the shelf.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The best supplements to look for in a food for the Shetland Sheepdog puppy include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Shetland Sheepdog puppy should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.