8 Best Wheaten Terrier Dog Foods Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors

Wheaten Terriers are a staple of Irish Farms. Their unusual coat is a low shed, and they’re a happy go lucky breed…until you try to get them to do something they don’t want to do, that is. They’re extroverts like their terrier family members and will require dense nutrition to keep up with their energy levels throughout the day.

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Their structure is highly muscular, but the coat itself is soft. They’ll need plenty of support to keep the coat shiny and soft while also encourage healthy muscle growth to support their bones and work habits.

Feeding a Wheaten Terrier requires a careful mix of protein and fats along with antioxidants to support their working habits. Cheap foods and empty calories will leave them feeling lethargic and could lead to muscle loss or a dull coat in the long run. Let’s take a look at our favorite picks for Wheaten Terrier food to find one that’s right for your Wheaten.

What Is The Best Dog Food for a Wheaten Terrier?

Understanding A Wheaten Terrier’s Diet Requirements

There are a few things to consider for keeping your Wheaten Terrier healthy. They’re great family dogs and are fun loving, but because of their working dog background will need a lot of exercise. The best thing is to make sure the food you choose has plenty of dense nutrition with no empty calories that can cause weight gain.

Your Wheaten Terrier food will also need to have plenty of support for the skin and coat. Although the coat is considered low shed, it does have a lot of maintenance to stay soft and prevent it from becoming wiry. The skin will also need support to remain supple and alleviate any itchiness or dryness that can interfere with coat growth.

  • The first ingredient should always be a meat-based protein, preferably from a whole protein source. A labeled, whole meat is often the most easily digestible and makes it easier to identify if your dog has any allergies. Meat meals are second best, but they should also be labeled (i.e., chicken meal) instead of just generic meat meal.
  • Fats are also crucial for a dog’s diet. Healthy fat not only gives your dog energy. It also supports skin and coat health by softening the skin and preventing itchiness. The coat can grow healthy and soft and won’t be too wiry to keep brushing.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be excellent sources of fiber for proper digestion and provide critical vitamins and minerals to support other systems. There’s some debate about whether dogs are true carnivores or omnivores, but for the most part, veggies (especially leafy green ones) are an excellent addition to food.
  • Holistic ingredients can also be great additions. Glucosamine and chondroitin can help prevent joint damage and heal joints that have degraded with age. Other holistic additions could be things like probiotics to support the immune system. A few things like added vitamins could also help in certain situations.

Special Diet Considerations For Wheaten Terriers

  • Dysplasia
  • Protein Losing Nephropathy
  • Bloat

Some foods are determined by the type of breed because each breed has its own benefits and problems. Wheaten Terriers are hardy dogs, but they do have a few issues that plague them. Let’s take a look to see which ones to watch out for and how food might help.

Dysplasia

Working and athletic dogs are sometimes prone to forms of dysplasia. This genetic condition causes the joint to malform which may lead to injuries down the road in athletic or overweight dogs. It’s characterized by weakness and pain and is most common in hips. Elbows may also be affected.

Foods should build joint health early. Maintaining a proper weight is critical because excess stress on the joint can cause more pain for the joint. Also, building strong muscles to support the skeleton properly. Added supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can build joint cushioning, cut down on discomfort, and possibly reverse mild damage in older age.

Protein-Losing Nephropathy

This condition causes an excessive loss of protein and plasma through the kidneys. Dogs may be lethargic, experience unexplained weight loss, and increased urination. There’s no cure for the condition, but it can be managed through diet and exercise. Affected dogs must reduce the stress on the kidney through medications and certain food types.

While we’d generally recommend good protein and fats for this breed, a reduced protein and phosphorus diet is usually recommended for this condition. Make sure your food is formulated specifically for this condition and that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

Bloat

Active dogs can also be subject to a life-threatening illness known as bloat. This condition has unknown triggers, but the stomach suddenly distends and twists. It’s fatal without intervention. Some possible ways to treat bloat are to divide up meals into smaller portions throughout the day and to rest for a little bit after eating.

Densely nutritious foods require less per serving than cheap kibble, reducing the volume going directly into the stomach. The smaller meal portions don’t sacrifice any nutrients, and your dog remains happy and healthy.

What Are A Wheaten Terrier’s Dietary Needs?

A Wheaten Terrier is a medium sized dog, so nutritional portions will be based off that class. Your veterinarian is an excellent source of information because different factors will go into deciding how much to feed your dog correctly. Final adult size, life stage, and special conditions such as pregnancy or injury could all affect the amount of serving sizes.

Your requirements will be specific to your dog depending on the above factors, and your chosen food, but here’s a general idea of what to expect.

  • Puppies: A puppy needs rapidly changing nutritional requirements to account for healthy growth and to maintain weight. The recommends may change a few times throughout the puppy stage so be prepared to change with your puppy.
  • Adults: The general idea is that adults get around two to three cups of food per day divided up between several meals. This number depends on the food and your terrier’s unique conditions. It also could change depending on your terrier’s activity level.
  • Seniors: Seniors get much the same nutrition, but you may need to consider some weight control if your terrier has gained too much weight. You may also want food that adds glucosamine and chondroitin to the regimen if you haven’t already.

Best Dog Food for Wheaten Terrier: Our Top 2020 Picks

Here are our top 15 picks:

Your Wheaten Terrier’s food should have plenty of protein to help keep up muscle tone and a healthy blend of fats for skin and coat health. Fats can also support brain function and keep your Wheaten Terrier feeling spry. Let’s take a look at our top picks and find the perfect Wheaten Terrier food for your companion.

Best Overall – Ziwipeak Tripe And Lamb Recipe

Ziwipeak’s recipes use a unique air dried method of production that preserves all the nutrients in the raw food while removing pathogens and bacteria. It’s as close to raw as you can get in a shelf stable, dried dog food and should be an excellent option for making sure your Wheaten Terrier has all the proper nutrients.

It starts with tripe and lamb, two rich sources of protein and healthy fats. Your Wheaten Terrier should be able to maintain energy levels throughout the day and build strong muscles to support its frame.

This recipe is 96% meat and contains 100% single sourced, pasture-raised lamb. The company subscribes to a meat-based diet, giving your dog everything it needs from this predominantly animal source. It has no fillers, no artificial ingredients, and no preservatives. IT won’t spike your terrier’s blood sugar, and it contains plenty of natural glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

The protein and fat should also help your dog build a healthy coat and skin. The food is usually very appealing to dogs and keeps for much longer than simple raw foods will. It’s an investment, but for most picky, allergy prone terriers, it’s totally worth it.

  • Pros: close to raw without the hassle, tripe and lamb provide rich sources of protein, naturally derived glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Cons: big investment, some dogs may not like the texture

Best Value: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Recipe

Taste of the Wild’s recipes are intended to mimic what your dog may have eaten with its ancestral diet. It uses smoked salmon plus ocean fish meal to provide rich protein sources with plenty of omega fatty acids for energy and to support the skin.

Fresh fruits and vegetables provide not only fiber but also critical vitamins and minerals. Together, the recipe helps keep your Wheaten Terrier’s digestion regular and the immune system robust.

Holistic Ingredients such as chicory root for better digestion and probiotics to improve gut flora help keep your Wheaten Terrier in top shape. It’s grain free and contains no cheap fillers, no artificial ingredients, and no by-product meals. It’s optimized to support healthy muscles and a shiny coat.

  • Pros: affordable, contains digestive support supplements, smoked salmon may entice picky eaters
  • Cons: strong smell, contains peas and potatoes

Most Popular: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe

Blue Buffalo’s recipe is a throwback to your Wheaten Terrier’s ancestral diet. It uses whole salmon plus chicken meal as a source of healthy proteins and rich fats designed to keep up energy all day. The recipe also uses fruits and vegetables for critical sources of vitamins and minerals that support the immune and other systems. Plus, it keeps the coat soft and shiny.

It’s grain free and uses no cheap fillers or artificial ingredients. Added antioxidants build up your Wheaten Terrier’s health while good sources of fiber keep digestion smooth, reduce weight, and support gut health.

  • Pros: whole proteins with healthy fat balance, supports the coat, added antioxidants
  • Cons: uses both potatoes and peas, picky dogs may not be big fans of the taste

Best Super Premium: NomNomNow Chicken ChowChow

Sometimes a cooked diet is the only one a picky dog will eat or the only one that can help soothe digestion issues. The downside to cooked meals is that you have to coordinate the preparation, making it difficult to handle from week to week.

NomNomNow has an answer. This company provides veterinarian created cooked recipes each week through a delivery service. Your meals arrive in portioned bags that are ready to serve or store. It’s not cheap, but for dogs that have run out of options or families that only want top of the line food, it’s a worthy investment.

Chicken ChowChow is a limited ingredient recipe that uses chicken and sweet potatoes for balanced proteins and carbohydrates. Fish oil provides healthy fats to support the skin and coat as well as mental acuity. The entire recipe list is only six ingredients and is made entirely from human grade ingredients that you could eat yourself.

  • Pros: easy meal delivery keeps you from running out of food, cooked meals already prepared, human grade ingredients
  • Cons: requires room in your freezer when you don’t serve right away, could be messy depending on your dog’s eating habits

Best For Allergies: Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Recipe

Zignature recipes are designed to minimize ingredients and provide novel proteins for dogs whose allergies are severe. If you’ve had trouble with standard kibbles and are looking at having to make your own food, give Zignature’s limited ingredient foods a try.

Kangaroo is a high protein meat that won’t trigger allergies in most cases the way poultry will. The recipe uses high quality fat plus a single protein source. Antioxidants and a vitamin blend provide support for your dog’s various systems and build overall health. Plus, the recipe could finally calm some of the skin and digestion issues related to your dog’s allergies.

  • Pros: novel protein source, limited ingredients, added antioxidants to reduce inflammation
  • Cons: uses peas and potatoes, expensive

Best For Sensitive Tummies: American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain Free Duck and Sweet Potato Recipe

American Journey’s recipe is another limited ingredient one. It uses duck as a rich protein source that builds muscle and supports a healthy coat. Sweet potato is a good source of carbohydrates and won’t spike your Wheaten Terrier’s blood sugar.

The recipe is an excellent blend of whole ingredients with vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s immune system, eye and brain health, and bone health. It uses no cheap fillers or artificial ingredients (those can be difficult to digest) and only a single protein source.

  • Pros: easier on digestion, healthy fat content, low glycemic carbohydrates
  • Cons: uses peas, kibble can be tough for seniors

3 More Top Rated Wheaten Terrier Foods

Nutro Max Natural Beef Meal And Rice Recipe

Nutro Max never uses any artificial colors or cheap fillers with their recipes. Instead, a healthy blend of natural beef and healthy rice balances protein and carbohydrates for all day energy. Rice provides fiber content to improve overall digestion and build healthy gut bacteria while natural beef improves muscle tone. The recipe also includes a good blend of omega fatty acids that supports coat and skin health.

Solid Gold Fit And Fabulous Chicken, Sweet Potato, And Green Bean Recipe

Solid Gold’s weight control formula is great for Wheaten Terriers who may be on the heavier end accidentally. It contains quality proteins with healthy carbohydrates and fiber designed to make dropping pounds just a little bit easier. It doesn’t sacrifice any of nutrition you need in a Wheaten Terrier food, but it can help your Wheaten lose a few extra pounds along with exercise and healthy portions. A blend of vitamins and minerals help ensure a healthy immune system, good brain function, and overall health.

The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Fish Recipe

The Honest Kitchen’s unique dehydrated food provides dogs with a mouthfeel they like and plenty of quality ingredients to build health and wellbeing. The grain free fish recipe provides healthy proteins and fatty acids, which can provide all day energy in addition to support coat health (so important for Wheaten Terriers). It comes in a convenient box and rehydrates well. A blend of antioxidants and vitamins help ensure your dog is happy and healthy.

3 More Recommendations For Puppies

Merrick Backcountry Raw Puppy Recipe

Merrick’s recipe contains real bits of freeze-dried raw meat to provide an interesting texture and a boost of protein for growing muscles. It contains no grains and deboned chicken as the first ingredient.

The recipe is meant to mimic a dog’s ancestral diet with a good balance of oils and fats with protein to provide your puppy with plenty of energy throughout the day. Probiotics help boost the immune system while guaranteed levels of DHA for healthy brain development.

Nulo Freestyle Turkey, Cod, and Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe

If your puppy isn’t into kibble yet, wet food can bridge the gap between that and weaning without sacrificing any nutrition. The recipe uses Turkey and Cod as complementary proteins to help build strong muscles while providing healthy fats for brain development and healthy skin. Guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus help build strong bones.

A few healthy vegetables and fruits give your puppy critical vitamins and minerals while providing fiber for healthy digestion. It’s a well-balanced recipe that contains everything your puppy needs to build strong muscles and bones without straining delicate joints.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Lamb and Brown Rice Formula

Puppies with sensitive tummies need good nutrition too and Natural Balance’s LID formula is great for just that. It contains healthy lamb with brown rice, a great blend of proteins and carbohydrates that help your puppy feel full and energetic all day long.

It won’t cause rapid growth and it may help firm up any loose stools you may have seen with other types of foods. It contains a single protein source plus a handful of other ingredients to insure healthy bones, skin, brain development, and a robust immune system.

3 More Recommendations For Seniors

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Senior

This Nature’s Variety recipe uses real bits of freeze-dried raw meat to create a boost of protein that seniors may need to keep strong and active. It also contains healthy fats with a premium kibble for all-day energy and skin support.

As skin ages, it becomes more brittle, so those fats along with vitamins and minerals from whole fruits and vegetables help support skin and coat condition. It contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health as well as L-Carnitine for a healthier metabolism.

It has no cheap fillers or potatoes, which can cause unnecessary weight gain and no artificial ingredients. The recipe is intended to be densely nutritious, providing the right amount of protein and carbohydrates with plenty of antioxidants for immune system health.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Formula

Blue Buffalo is an excellent affordable option for premium senior food. It uses proprietary LifeProtection bits to help build overall health with a blend of vitamins and minerals. It uses deboned chicken as the first ingredient and brown rice for a blend of protein and carbohydrates for energy and fiber.

Vitamins and minerals help with healthy immune systems and skin while glucosamine and chondroitin help with any joint issues that may have cropped up. Studies suggest that those supplements may even help reverse mild damage if it’s caught in time and could relieve pain. L-carnitine also supports metabolism, keeping weight under better control.

Merrick Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free Senior Recipe

Merrick’s senior recipe is designed to provide seniors with all the nutrition they received as young adults while adding support for joint and immune system health. It contains healthy, lean chicken for a quality protein source plus sweet potato to balance blood sugar and provide energy. Vitamins and minerals support the aging immune system and help keep brain activity high. It’s densely nutritious and supports quality of life well into the senior years.

It’s good for seniors that may have gained a little bit of weight. It uses chicken with no antibiotics or hormones and contains no cheap fillers that can affect weight. With good fiber content, your senior should also maintain proper digestion.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve still got questions about your Wheaten Terrier, we may have some answers. Owning a Wheaton for the first time is rewarding but may even leave you with things to find out. Let’s take a look at some other questions new pet owners commonly have about their Wheaten Terrier.

How Much Do I Feed My Wheaton?

Feeding your Wheaten Terrier will depend a lot on different factors besides just the breed. Adult terriers weigh a range of weights and food will depend a lot on what your particular terrier’s ideal weight is. Another factor is life stage. Seniors, for example, could have portion sizes altered if they’ve gained too much weight or are inactive.

Certain situations can change feeding as well. If your terrier is pregnant or lactating, she’ll require more calories than a normal dog. Also, if your dog is injured for any reason and in recovery, that could change portion sizes too. The most important thing is to consult your veterinarian with any decision you make about eating habits.

How Do I Feed My Wheaten Terrier?

Feeding your terrier isn’t difficult, but there are some precautions to take just in case. First, never free feed your terrier. It can lead to weight gain and make it difficult to notice changes in eating habits. Dogs don’t always display outward signs of distress, so noticing right away if appetites change is a big part of getting ahead of potential issues.

Instead, give your Wheaten Terrier an allotted amount of time to eat. If it doesn’t show any interest in finishing the food after that period of time, take up what’s left. After a few days, your terrier may begin to eat everything in one sitting again.

What If My Wheaten Terrier Has Allergies?

Allergies are common in some dogs, so if you notice that your Wheaten Terrier seems more itchy than usual or has trouble digesting food, it could be a sign of food allergy. Talk to your vet about how to approach this issue, but most recommendations are the removal of known allergens. Adding things back one at a time can help you know what bothers your Wheaten.

Common allergies include poultry and beef, so don’t forget to check those in addition to fillers and artificial flavors. Some dogs are sensitive to grains as well. Limited ingredient diets can help sensitive dogs, and cooked or raw food could help the worst of the bunch.

What About Grains?

Studies aren’t conclusive about whether grains are harmful to canines. Many foods have begun removing them from their recipes list, but that has added potatoes and peas which could be as dangerous. If you aren’t sure, talk to your vet.

Removing grains could help some dogs show improvement in digestion. If your dog frequently has loose stools or seems to have trouble remaining regular, grains could be to blame. Plenty of grain-free options are out there, so try one if you feel like your dog would benefit from a grain free food.

How Do I Transition To A New Food?

If you’ve decided to feed your dog a new food, switching all at once could be detrimental to the dog’s health. To switch to foods with fewer problems, try this method.

  1. Add a little bit of the new food on top of your dog’s old food.
  2. Each day, shift the ratio of the new food to old food, adding in more new.
  3. Continue the process until there’s no more old food and your dog is entirely switched.

This gives your dog time to get used to the food and to digest better. It also reduces the chances your dog will reject the new food.

What If My Wheaten Terrier Is Picky?

If your dog is picky, there are a few things you can try to help reduce the fighting:

Don’t free feed. Taking up food after a specific time teaches your dog that it must eat when food is available. You may notice a difference just from this change alone.

  • Resist the urge to feed people food. If your dog is holding out for something better, there’s little chance kibble will satisfy. Reduce treats and eliminate human food to help encourage your dog to eat what’s available.
  • Mix a bit of wet food in. Canned food sometimes has a more pleasing texture and taste than kibble. Mixing some on top could encourage your dog to eat everything including the kibble.
  • Change to an all meat diet. Foods that use 95% meat or more are sometimes more appealing than foods with lots of fruits and vegetables. That could also help you to encourage your dog to eat.
  • Try limited ingredient diets. Sometimes pickiness masks food irritations. If your dog experiences discomfort while eating, it can be frustrating to continue to eat, causing poor eating habits. Limited ingredient foods may help you feed only what your dog loves and is comfortable with.
  • Try cooked meals. If you can’t prepare them yourself, there are plenty of delivery options you can try. One of our recommendations is a cooked meal delivery service, NomNomNow, that could be an excellent choice for getting your picky dog back on track.

Final Thoughts

Wheaten Terriers are wonderful companions with plenty of personality and energy. Their distinctive coats make them the center of attention wherever they go, so a great food that can support their beautiful fur is a must.  They’re working dogs at heart, so foods should also support their energy.

Be sure to try one of our top picks and let us know how well your Wheaten Terrier improves on its new premium food!

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