Kelpies live and work on farms throughout Australia. They are great sheep herders, with boundless energy and intelligence superior to that of many dogs. To stay healthy, kelpies need a particular balance of protein and minerals. Use these five top tips to ensure your kelpie dog gets the nutrition they need from their diet.
1. Choose the Right Foods
A kelpie's diet should primarily consist of premium, dried dog food. Premium brands are rich in the nutrients that an energetic dog needs to support their hardworking lifestyle. To add variety, you can supplement this basic diet with nutritional foods, including meat, bones, wet dog food, boiled eggs and even some vegetables.
2. Feed Your Dog an Age-Appropriate Diet
Kelpie pups can begin to eat solid puppy food from approximately three weeks after birth. However, they continue to need their mother until they reach about seven weeks old. The mother will continue to feed the pups, naturally reducing their portions of milk until they are fully weaned. Don't take the pups away from their mother sooner than seven weeks, as they need the nutrients in her milk to help them grow and thrive.
3. Feed Your Kelpie Regularly
Adult kelpies can thrive on a single meal a day, although many prefer to eat in the morning and evening. Kelpie pups aged under 12 weeks need four meals a day to keep them happy and healthy. You can gradually decrease the frequency of meals, giving three meals a day between the ages of three and six months, after which you can reduce the number to two. Remember to increase the portion size to match your kelpie's growing size.
4. Provide Plenty of Water
Kelpies love to run around in the hot sun, but this can lead to them getting dehydrated. Provide plenty of cool, clean water at all times so your farm dog can slake their thirst whenever they need to.
5. Help Your Kelpie Maintain a Healthy Weight
Like all dogs, kelpies can develop health problems if you allow them to become obese. During periods when your dog isn't working, reduce the amount you feed them so they don't start to get chubby. Increase their feed again when they start working hard in the fields. On average, male kelpies should weigh between 15 and 20 kg, while female dogs are slightly smaller at only 11 to 16 kg. These weight ranges are just averages, so ask your veterinarian to check that your dog's weight is healthy.