The Ultimate Kerry Blue Terrier Food Buyer’s Guide
The Kerry Blue Terrier’s trademark “blue” coat ranges from black at birth, to shades of silvery blue as they age. Strong, fast, and intelligent, this breed does well in obedience, agility, herding, earthdog work, and tracking. In Ireland, they have sometimes been used as police dogs.
The United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club (USKBTC) offers several possible origins of the Kerry Blue Terrier but none can be proven. DNA evidence places the Kerry Blue Terrier close to the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier – another Irish breed with a similar coat texture, though the Soft- Coated Wheaten Terrier is wheaten (fawn) in color. The Glen of Imaal Terrier (Ireland), the Airedale (England), and the Irish Terrier (Ireland) are also close relatives of the Kerry Blue, according to DNA evidence.
Kerry Blue Terrier Health Problems
Kerry Blue Terriers are a reasonably healthy breed. Genetic issues that are found in the breed include Progressive Neuronal Abiotrophy (PNA) and spiculosis. Both of these problems are currently very rare or have been bred out of the breed. Genetic tests have helped breeders essentially eliminate the problems. You can view more information about Kerry Blue health issues on the parent club website.
Other issues include keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eyes); cataracts; and entropion – affecting the eyes; cysts on the skin – rarely malignant; hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism – rare. Factor XI – a bleeding disorder. The frequency in the breed is unknown. Dogs are often asymptomatic. There is a DNA test available.
According to this table, degenerative myelopathy, a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs, is also a condition that can affect Kerries.
Kerry Blue Terrier Diet & Nutrition
Some individual Kerry Blues may have allergies, including food allergies, but it doesn’t appear to be a big problem in the breed. There are different kinds of allergies: inhalant, contact, flea bite, and food, but flea bite and inhalant allergies account for more allergic reactions in dogs than food. If your Kerry Blue Terrier seems to be having an allergic reaction, with itching, scratching, redness, etc., it may not be due to the food he’s eating.
If your Kerry Blue Terrier has problems with diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence, or a gurgly stomach when he eats, this is not a food allergy. It’s a food sensitivity. It’s a good idea to feed your food-sensitive dog a minimal ingredient diet so there’s less chance of giving him something that could upset his gastrointestinal system.
Otherwise, feed your Kerry Blue Terrier a good quality diet with good sources of meat protein. It’s easier for a dog to digest good meat protein than protein that comes from poor quality sources that may be found in some cheaper dog foods. Dogs also generally digest animal protein more easily than plant protein.
Ingredients to Look for (and Avoid)
- Real whole meat as the first few ingredients.
- A good animal-based fat (ex.chicken fay, omega-3), promotes healthy coat and skin, as well as brain and eye development in puppies.
- A healthy form of carbs. If certain grains don’t work, opt for rice, oats or barley as the carb component, most dogs can tolerate these.
- Food that has a higher percentage of plant-based protein than meat-based protein. Meat protein is easier to digest for most dogs.
- Although finding food without any meal is almost impossible, try to see if you can find one with more meat than meal.
- Food that’s too expensive for you. There’s no point in buying an excellent food one time, then switching to a cheaper food when the budget is tight. Your dog and his stomach will appreciate the consistency.
Recommended Dog Food For Kerry Blue Terriers
Best Dog Foods for Kerry Blue Terrier Puppies
This is one of our favorite foods for all puppies. It’s a limited ingredient food with nine ingredients plus vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. It’s grain-free with antioxidants for a healthy immune system, and omega-3 and -6 to support healthy skin and a beautiful coat. The first five ingredients are chicken; menhaden fish meal; lentils; peas; and potatoes. The recipe is supposed to be especially good for puppies with sensitive digestion. The food has 30 percent crude protein; 12 percent crude fat; 4 percent crude fiber; and 10 percent moisture. This food is high in calories at 520 kcal/cup, but active, growing Kerry Blue puppies can burn them off and you don’t need to feed a lot of food because it’s so nutrient-dense. If your Kerry Blue Terrier puppy does well on this food, Canidae has some good adult food options.
Similar to Fromm’s Gold Adult formula, this puppy formula contains no corn; wheat; or soy. The first three ingredients are duck; chicken meal; and chicken. The food has moderate protein and fat to encourage puppies to grow slowly. The food has 417 kcal/cup. The technical analysis for the food shows the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio for puppies. The food has 27 percent crude protein; 18 percent crude fat; and 3.5 percent crude fiber. Fromm Puppy Gold formula also has added DHA-rich salmon oil for good brain and eye development in puppies. The fresh, USDA-inspected ingredients make this food a good choice for Kerry Blue Terrier puppies.
Best Dog Foods for Kerry Blue Terrier Adults
This Canidae formula is an all life stages food so you can feed it to dogs of all ages. The first five ingredients are chicken meal; turkey meal; lamb meal; brown rice; and white rice. The food contains grains, for dietary fiber (rice, oatmeal, barley); even dogs that have problems with corn or wheat can eat these grains. There’s no corn, wheat, or soy. The food is naturally preserved and contains pre- and probiotics for healthy digestion, along with antioxidants and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for good skin and coat. Guaranteed analysis shows 24 percent crude protein; 14.5 percent crude fat; and 4 percent crude fiber. It has 468 kcal/cup. This is a good food for dogs that do well on moderate protein and fat. Canidae has had a good reputation for many years.
If you would like a higher protein percentage for your Kerry Blue Terrier, many dog owners like Merrick Grain-Free foods. The first five ingredients in this food are deboned chicken; chicken meal; turkey meal; sweet potatoes; and potatoes. This recipe is an all life stage food with 460 kcal per cup. It has 70 percent meat ingredients; 30 percent fruits and vegetables; as well as vitamins and minerals. There’s no corn; wheat; soy; or gluten. It has 38 percent crude protein; 17 percent crude fat; and 3.5 percent crude fiber. It also has added glucosamine; chondroitin; and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This food has good ingredients and quality protein, ideal for a very active Kerry Blue Terrier.
If your Kerry is very active (training for agility or rally, for example), we recommend Acana foods. Champion Pet Foods has completed their new kitchen in Kentucky and they’ve reformulated some of their dog and cat foods to reflect “regional” ingredients. The new formula has 33 percent crude protein; 17 percent crude fat; 6 percent crude fiber; 12 percent moisture; and 388 kcal/8 oz. cup. It has 70 percent meat, game, and fish ingredients. The first five ingredients are deboned lamb; deboned duck; whole eggs; lamb meal; and goat meal. If you’re looking for a good grain-free dog food for your Kerry Blue Terrier that is low in carbohydrates, Acana foods are a good choice.
For food with a little less protein, we like Fromm Adult Gold. This formula has duck; chicken meal; chicken; brown rice; and pearled barley as the first five ingredients. It has 24 percent crude protein; 16 percent crude fat; 3.5 percent crude fiber; and 408 kcal/cup. It is AAFCO-approved for growth and maintenance. The food includes salmon oil – a great source of omega-3 fatty acid for healthy skin and coat; probiotics, and prebiotics. No corn; wheat; or soy. It does contain oatmeal and potatoes so if you’re trying to keep the carbs very low you may not select this food. The Fromm family has been making dog food and products at their facility in Wisconsin for over 100 years and they have a great reputation. Fromm also makes their popular Four Star line of dog foods which feature favorites such as Chicken a la Veg and Hasen Duckenfeffer.
Best Dog Foods for the Senior Kerry Blue Terrier
Nulo has only recently become a nationally-known brand so not everyone is familiar with it. Their foods have 80-84 percent animal-based protein, one of the highest amounts of any dog food. Nulo is also one of the few companies using probiotics that seem to actually survive the manufacturing process. (Check their site to read more.) Their foods are low-carb and low-glycemic. They don’t use corn; wheat; soy; potatoes; tapioca; glutens; genetically modified organisms; poultry; eggs; meat by-products; artificial colors; flavors; or preservatives. The food contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. It also has L-Carnitine which aids your senior dog’s metabolism and helps turn fat into muscle. The first five ingredients are deboned trout; turkey meal; salmon meal; yellow peas; and sweet potato. It has 30 percent crude protein; 12 percent crude fat; and 396 kcal/cup. This food is AAFCO-approved for maintenance. This is probably one of the best senior dog foods available today.
This food (and several others in this product line) is potato-free with no corn or wheat, easy to digest, and low-glycemic. It contains pumpkin and oatmeal for healthy gut motility. The first five ingredients are grass-fed venison; venison meal; salmon meal; herring meal; and oatmeal. The dry matter basis for this food is an estimated 37.8 percent protein;14.4 percent fat; 3.9 percent fiber; and 35 percent carbs. The calorie count 348 kcal/cup. This food is not specifically made for older dogs but it has the ingredients and percentages that make it a good choice for senior dogs that need to watch their weight.
Some senior dogs have problems eating as they get older, either due to dental problems, or because older dogs start to have weakened senses, including a weaker sense of smell and taste. Make your senior dog’s food more appealing to him by adding tasty toppings or choosing canned dog foods. There are many good canned dog foods that dogs will like. Some of those foods include First Mate/Kasiks (they have some foods they recommend for senior dogs) and Weruva/Dogs in the Kitchen. Read the labels and check the nutrients when choosing a canned dog food because their protein, fat, and nutrients tend to vary from one recipe to another.