The best dog food for high energy and working dogs


A good working farm dog is worth its weight in gold. Whether they help us work cattle or simply bring a smile on every tractor ride, they are an integral part of the farming operation. With such an important role, they also deserve the best dog food. However, recent marketing tactics have sought to confuse pet owners and vilify some brands and ingredients. 

Working dogs require a special diet to assist them with their daily needs. If you have a high energy working dog, you need a high protein dog food to give them sustained energy. Just like in humans, dogs need the right nutritional value and calories to provide their body with the fuel to accomplish the task. 

It is important to realize what your specific dog needs and find the right dog food for them. This list includes some of the best dog foods that are rich in protein and fat — along with other nutrients. As always, talk with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet. 

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete

Diamond Naturals dry dog formulas are formulated with K9 Strain Probiotics, beneficial bacteria that support digestive and immune systems and help your dog maintain an active lifestyle.

  • Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Adult Dog with Chicken and Rice dry dog food; includes real chicken; high-protein (32 percent) and specially formulated to support the needs of highly active and sporting dogs.
  • Formulated for highly active and sporting dogs, it’s nutrient-rich and provides the energy to thrive; vitamins and minerals from superfoods, including fruits like blueberries and oranges; omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. 
  • Each serving includes species-specific K9 Strain proprietary probiotics — plus antioxidants and prebiotics — to help support healthy digestion, immune system and overall health and wellness
  • Family-owned and made in the USA using quality ingredients from trusted domestic and global sources

Elite Series Herding Dog Buffalo Formula, 

An unique proprietary blend of micro nutrients is specifically designed to promote healthier more active animals, naturally. Each ingredient has been specifically selected to work together in enhancing performance, helping your K9 companion meet their peak genetic potential.

  • 1st ingredient: high protein, easily-digestible, lean Buffalo Meal.
  • Legume-free.
  • 30 percent protein, 15 percent fat, 460 kcal/Cup, 89 percent from animal protein
  • High natural taurine from animal sources.
  • Grain free re-imagined with no peas, lentils, or beans
  • Pumpkin to regulate digestion, ensure firm stool.
  • Trumune, 100% natural yeast culture, has been proven to help manage stress, inflammation, and sensitive stomachs

Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food

Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food is a nutrient-dense, multi-meat formula packed with high levels of quality protein to support the nutritional needs of growing puppies, pregnant and lactating females, and high-performing dogs. With scientifically advanced and nutritionally complete ingredients, this dry dog food promotes sustained energy and healthy immune and digestive systems. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, except for growth of large size dogs (70 pounds or more as an adult).

  • Nutrient-dense high protein dry dog food recipe made with premium-quality beef, chicken, pork and fish meals
  • Excellent for dogs that need high levels of quality protein, like growing puppies and pregnant or nursing females
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein and amino acids
  • Formulated with our scientifically advanced, proven VICTOR Core ingredients to promote healthy immune and digestive systems
  • Made from gluten-free grains

Purina One True Instinct with Real Turkey & Venison

With 0 percent fillers, every ingredient in this wholesome dog food has a purpose. Along with a highly digestible formula that lets more nutrition go to work inside your pal, this nutrient-dense recipe also features natural sources of glucosamine to support joint health for dogs. Plus, a crunchy kibble texture and added calcium helps support his strong teeth and healthy gums. 

  • Real turkey is the No. 1 ingredient in this dog food with venison to help deliver 30 percent protein that helps support strong muscles, including a healthy heart
  • Natural dog food with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients and with no poultry by-product meal or artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Premium dog food with omega-6 fatty acids to help support his healthy skin and radiant coat and with four antioxidant sources to support a strong immune system
  • Complete and balanced dog food kibble for adult dogs crafted by a veterinarian recommended brand in Purina-owned, U.S. facilities

Purina Pro Plan Senior 7+ Brain Support, High Protein Senior Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Senior formulas are tailored to meet senior dogs’ changing nutritional needs. Every dry formula is made with a great taste dogs love as well as glucosamine and EPA for joint health and mobility. Each Bright Mind Formula also contains a proprietary blend of brain-supporting nutrients for cognitive health. And with small breed and large breed formulas to choose from, the right Pro Plan formula for your senior dog is waiting to be discovered.

  • Enhanced botanical oils promote alertness and mental sharpness in senior dogs age 7 and older
  • Contains real chicken as the first ingredient
  • EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine support joint health and mobility
  • Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Wet Dog Food

Made with real beef as the first ingredient, plus garden fruits and veggies, this recipe is packed with natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s formulated to support the nutritional needs of adult dogs. This recipe contains high-quality protein from real meat to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass, plus healthy carbohydrates to provide energy for an active life.

  • Real beef first: This paté style wet dog food features high-quality protein from real beef to support healthy muscle maintenance
  • Feed three ways: Blue Homestyle Recipe adult dog food makes a delicious treat, adds interest mixed into their favorite dry foods or can be fed as a meal on its own
  • Natural dog food: All Blue canned dog foods are made with the finest natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins and minerals
  • Wholesome ingredients: Blue wet dog food contains No chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, No corn, wheat or soy, and no artificial flavors or preservatives

Purina ONE SmartBlend Canned Wet Dog Food

Satisfy your dog’s cravings and give him the nutrition he needs with Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Classic Ground Chicken & Brown Rice Entree adult wet dog food. Made with real chicken, brown rice and oatmeal, this recipe delivers the wholesome goodness you expect. It features a highly digestible formula, so more nutrition goes to work inside your dog, and the SmartBlend of ingredients helps to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your adult dog. Because it’s made with 0 percent fillers and no poultry by-products, this formula lets you rest easy knowing that every high-quality ingredient has a purpose. 

  • Made with real chicken, brown rice and oatmeal
  • Natural sources of glucosamine help support healthy joints
  • Antioxidants help to support a strong immune system

Do you need a grain-free dog food?

In addition to a high protein, high fat diet, it is important to understand the labels on the dog food. Recently, marketing companies have pet owners thinking they need a grain-free diet for their canine. However, according to Dr. Deb Zoran, a professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS), that is often not necessary. 

For example, Dr. Zoran said, “It is important for dogs to have a balanced diet in order to thrive, dog owners should know that there are nutrients present in grains that are essential for a complete and balanced diet. If grains are removed from a diet, they must be replaced by another food source that has those nutrients in sufficient quantities to balance the diet.”

How to save money on dog food

For many dog owners, once they find the perfect dog food, they continue to purchase the same brand every time. Since you will be buying the same dog food every time, dog owners should look into the subscribe and save function on Amazon and Tractor Supply. 

  • Amazon — Save 5 percent when you receive five or more products in one auto-delivery to one address.
  • Tractor Supply — TSC Subscription also offers a 5 percent discount on eligible orders. Another perk for orders over $49, customers will receive free standard delivery on TSC Subscription eligible products.

Not only does the subscribe and save option save money, but it also saves pet owners time and worry. The food will arrive with out a reminder to order, ensuring your dog never runs out of food. 

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