Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. I would recommend a premium good quality foods such as royal canin or hills science. Other good ones are blue buffalo, wellness, natures best. Dry food is better for teeth and generally cheaper too than wet food.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The best dog food for an Australian Shepherd should include a well-balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. High-quality ingredients, appropriate caloric content, and nutrients are critical to support their muscular build, high energy levels and maintain their stunning coat.
If your Aussie is very active – engaging regularly or competitively in activities like agility, herding, or flyball – it is best to invest in food that keeps up with them. A very popular and effective source of nutrition that can be easily tweaked to your dog`s needs is Royal Canin.
What type of food do Australian shepherds need to eat? Australian shepherds are a medium to large breed of dog, and as such, they need a diet that is high in protein and fat. The best type of food for Australian shepherds is a dry kibble that is specifically designed for large breeds.
Dogs only need to be bathed every four to eight weeks, but the optimal time between baths varies depending on your pet`s breed and coat type. If you notice your pet`s coat is naturally a little oily, monthly baths may be ideal.
Do not ever feed the following substances as they are toxic to dogs (note this is not a complete list): alcohol, onions, onion powder, garlic, chocolate, coffee or caffeine products, mouldy or spoiled foods or compost, avocado, bread dough, yeast dough, grapes, raisins, sultanas (including in Christmas cakes etc), …
Breed Size

These breeds will be ready for adult dog food at 9-10 months of age. Medium-sized breeds such as English Springer Spaniels, Australian Shepherds, and Border Collies are 25-50 pounds when fully grown, and they reach adult size at 12-15 months of age.

A puppy`s diet must be able to provide enough energy and quality protein to support growth and be easily digestible. ROYAL CANIN® diets are nutritionally balanced to offer a tailored diet to meet the needs of puppies of all sizes, lifestyles, and breeds.
Best dry dog food for adult small breeds: Royal Canin

Laflamme recommended Royal Canin for their peer-reviewed research, owned facilities and well-regarded reputation among pet parents and veterinarians.

Royal Canin Medium Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is the best overall product. This product is a whole bundle; from top quality to incredible nutritional advantages, it gradually provides everything your favourite adult-sized or medium-breed dogs require to become strong and healthy.
Wet food: a satisfying meal for big appetites

The high moisture content also helps make sure your puppy takes in plenty of fluids, and can decrease the risk of urinary tract infections. Young puppies usually find it easier to chew and swallow wet food, so it`s good for fussy eaters.

While adaptable, the loyal and devoted Australian Shepherd does best with its people nearby. They are often demanding of attention and they do not like to be left alone.
Your Aussie will bond to his family and be protective of and loyal to them. Many dog owners are surprised to learn that even though Aussies have strong guarding and herding instincts, they are sweet and cuddly indoor dogs that can even be kept in apartments.
You should bathe your puppy about no more than once a month unless necessary. Puppies and adult dogs have natural oils in their coat to prevent their fur from getting brittle or damaged and to keep it soft and silky. Bathing your dog too often can strip away those oils.
Puppies don`t need a bath when younger than 8 weeks. Their small bodies are not quite ready to self-regulate body temperature yet. If they do need a clean, you can wipe your puppy down with a warm cloth. Once your puppy is older than 8 weeks, you can start bathing them in a sink.
A puppy`s first bath shouldn`t be until they`re about eight weeks old. This is because young puppies can`t regulate their body temperature and can easily become chilled. Holding off a puppy`s first bath is generally a good idea but they can be wiped over with a damp cloth if needed.
From when you bring your puppy home at eight weeks until they are four months old, it`s best to feed them four meals a day. At four months, reduce this to three meals a day and when they turn six months, reduce to two meals. Continue a morning and evening meal for your pup`s life.
The Ideal Puppy Feeding Schedule

A puppy`s meal schedule must include at least three measured meals a day, preferably at the same time every day. For example, feed your puppy`s first meal around 7 a.m., noontime for lunch, and 5 p.m. for dinner.

Best vet-recommended puppy foods

Dr. Satchu and Dr. Bryant both recommend Purina Pro Plan`s puppy formula for dogs under 1 year. It contains fish-oil-derived DHA for brain and vision development as well as live probiotics for digestive health and protein for building muscle.

Manufacturing our formulas requires raw materials that have been increasingly affected by rising costs. The same goes for packaging, transport, and energy. “We will never compromise on the quality of our nutritional solutions.
Royal Canin pet food is causing digesting issues such as diarrhea (soft stool), vomiting, and constipation… ROYAL CANIN® diets utilise very highly digestible ingredients, including importantly, highly digestible proteins, alongside prebiotics to ensure good digestive health.
Breed specific foods, at least from the Royal Canin line, are based on solid scientific and nutritional research to proactively protect those breeds from diseases common to the breed.
Royal Canin is a French manufacturer of cat and dog food. A subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, the company also undertakes research into the formulation and testing of breed and symptom specific nutritional requirements of dogs and cats.
The high rate of digestibility provided by ROYAL CANIN® Digest Sensitive in Gravy will ensure that your cat receives more of the nutrients it needs. The low fat content in this diet can also contribute to maintaining an ideal, healthy weight.
Alternatives to Raw Food or Kibble Diets

Canned food is an increasingly popular alternative to kibble. There is generally a higher protein content in canned food versus dry kibble, and fewer carbs. Since the food comes canned, there`s less need to add artificial preservatives.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

Read Full Q/A … : Symptoms Questions & Answers

Q. What kind of food is recommended for a puppy Labrador and how often should I feed him?
ANSWER : A. Puppy food is designed specifically for the nutritional needs of young and still growing dogs, with twice the daily nutritional requirements that a mature dog needs.

Puppies are growing and developing rapidly — in their bones, muscles, joints, internal organs and immune system, to name but a few of the developmental needs that are being met by nutrition. A well balanced puppy food contains those nutrients that a puppy specifically need for this purpose, nutrients that are not necessary once the puppy has finished growing into a dog and that are not added to adult formula dog foods. For example, to build a strong body, puppy food contains about 30 percent protein, as well as the vitamins and minerals that are needed for a puppy to be healthy.

Q. What brand of dog food should I feed my dog? She’s a husky mix and about 45 lbs. She’s almost 2 years old.
ANSWER : A. I would recommend Natural Balance at your local Petco store. Call the store and ask if they have a Natural Balance Brand rep who comes to the store and see when they come. Make sure the brand rep brings free samples with them. Normally they bring samples of the different flavors to the store and you should ask for some to try to see what your dog likes best. Offer the dog the different kibble and see which they prefer by holding them out in your hands and switch out the flavors. My dog prefered the Salmon based Natural Balance Synergy bag the best from all the flavors. I also found out he doesn’t care for the Bison Natural Balance even though a lot of dogs love it. The Petco may have free samples already so ask if they do. The pet store associates should be able to also assist you in finding the right food for you. The reason you want to go with a high quality high protein food vs the cheaper brands because they are grain free, no by products, and no corn. The cheaper brands have corn in it as the main ingredient and by product which is also very bad. When our dogs are forced to eat the cheaper brands they have to eat more to get the energy they need from the food resulting in more bowel movements and without the proper nutrients this can hurt their health later in life. The higher quality brands will be more cost per bag but you will be buying less because the dog eats less so you will be saving money that way and it comes out about even in the long run. Petco has a great Rewards Program so make sure to sign up and ask about the details on it. Every $100 you spend you get $5 in your email with the Pet Pals Reward Program.

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdU5a6fXKlg

Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.

Q. What is the best limited ingredient dog food for a dog with allergies? Can I buy it online or do I need to get it from a vet? Thanks
ANSWER : A. I’m going to recommend a dog food that is extremely expensive, but absolutely worth the price. It is a food that is fantastic for dogs with many allergies because it is essentially just air-dried raw meat, muscles, vitamins, and kelp. It is called Ziwipeak http://ziwipeak.com/ and it is the best dog food on the market! I feed it to my dog so I do not have to worry about getting raw-food portions right. If you’re worried about the price, there are so many other types of food out there you’ve probably never heard of. You do not have to get food through the vet in order to find the right food for your dog. Many grain-free foods are typically good for dogs with allergies, brands like Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Orijen, etc are great kibbles. It may be pricey, but it’s all about trial and error here unless your vet can tell you exactly what the allergy is and how to manage it.

Q. My dog doesn’t eat, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. If this is a puppy, see a veterinarian immediately. Puppies should want to eat. Common causes for anorexia in puppies include viruses (parvo is a big one), parasitism, and foreign bodies. They need immediate care – go to an emergency vet if yours isn’t open. Puppies can get low blood sugar and dehydration very quickly.

If this is an adult dog and you observe other concerning signs, such as diarrhea or decreased energy, you should see a veterinarian.

If the dog seems otherwise bright and stable, try offering different types of food: wet food, canned tripe, or cooked chicken and rice. Some dogs will go for canned baby food: chicken, turkey, or beef as the main ingredient. Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the ingredients!

Causes of anorexia in adult dogs can range from less serious to severe. Younger dogs are more likely to get into trouble- they tend to eat things they shouldn’t, and can get foreign bodies from eating things like socks, or stomach upset from getting in the trash. Any dog may stop eating due to stress, or just being a picky eater. Middle aged dogs can stop eating when they’re stressed and also have Addison’s disease, which can be fatal. Older dogs tend to stop eating when they develop cancer or renal disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to know when the right time is to take your dog to the vet. The moral of this story is, if it’s not getting better, your pup feels bad, or you’re worried – go see the vet!

Read Full Q/A … : My Dog Won’t Eat

Q. Which common foods are poisonous to pets?
ANSWER : A. That’s a great question. As responsible pet owners we need to be aware of food items that can be harmful to our canine or feline companions. Here are some of the most common foods proven to cause illness in our animals at home:

Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.

Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.

Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.

Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.

Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.

Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.

Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.