Featured image of five active dogs

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about active dogs? Is it the picture of a Husky darting across a polar region pulling a sled? Maybe a sheepdog rounding up his flock? Or is it just your frisky little pup that will keep on running around and bouncing all day long?

Whatever your answer may be, one thing is certain. It is necessary to provide such canines with a substantial source of energy on a daily basis. Their diet calls for careful planning and choice of nutrients, to keep them vital and healthy.

There is one thing owners should keep in mind – what actually matters is the quality rather than the quantity of food you serve. Several quality food formulas for hyper dogs available on the market will certainly live up to your expectations.

High-Performance Food For Hyper Canines

Our Top Pick

Small Product image of Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages
Purina Pro Plan
Our Top Pick
Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols
Brewer's Rice
Corn Gluten Meal
Poultry By-Product Meal
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For Joint Health

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Victor Performance
For Joint Health
Beef Meal
Grain Sorghum
Chicken Meal
Chicken Fat
Whole Grain Millet
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For Sporting Events

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For Sporting Events
Corn Meal
Chicken By-Product Meal
Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
Brewers Rice
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Strong Muscles

Small Product image of Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete ADULT DOG
Diamond Naturals
Strong Muscles
Chicken Meal
Ground White Rice
Chicken Fat
Cracked Pearled Barley
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Small Product image of Taste of the Wild High Prairie
Taste of the Wild
Chicken Meal
Lamb Meal
Sweet Potatoes
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Healthy Metabolism

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Sport Dog Food
Healthy Metabolism
Turkey Meal
Dried Sweet Potato
Chicken Fat
Coconut Meal
Cassava Root
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For High Energy

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Dr. Tim's
For High Energy
Chicken Meal
Chicken Fat
Brown Rice
Dried Beet Pulp
Whole Oat Groats
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Purina Pro Plan - Our Top Pick

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols
  • Brewer’s Rice
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Poultry By-Product Meal

The manufacturers of this outstanding dry food formula paid careful attention to the needs of athletic and working pups. They chose chicken as the main source of protein. It makes up a total of 30% of all the nutrients. At the same time, high contents of fat, or more precisely 20%, ensure a substantial source of energy. Your energetic canine of any age will be provided with the best quality nutrients, to support all of his daily activities.

Supported by the essential vitamins, minerals, DHA and EPA Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids, it strengthens the immunity, enhances metabolic processes and oxygen metabolism in particular.

WIth glucosamine added to the list of ingredients, your puppy’s joints will remain healthy and mobile. This made-in-USA formula eliminates the use of artificial colors and flavors, wheat, soy, and preservatives.

With this savory blend, the stamina and energy levels in your pup will skyrocket in no time.

Victor Performance - Best For Joint Health

First Five Ingredients:

  • Beef Meal
  • Grain Sorghum
  • Chicken Meal
  • Chicken Fat
  • Whole Grain Millet

With limited levels of carbohydrates of only 35%, this delicious formula focuses on protein to cater to the needs of high-energy canines.  Proteins from multiple animal sources blend together to create the unique natural taste of this blend. It is ideal for young puppies which are still growing, as well as for any active pup.

Beef, chicken and pork meals served as the source of 83% of the protein in this mixture. They make sure that your puppy grows to become a strong, muscular and healthy pup. With the addition of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids together with vitamin E, the skin and coat of your pup will remain healthy and silky. Glucosamine and chondroitin take care of joint health and flexibility. Victor Performance rules out any corn, soy, wheat, and gluten, along with grain by-products.

It is time to tickle your furry friend’s taste buds and provide him with this top quality food formula.

Eukanuba - Ideal For Sporting Events

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Corn Meal
  • Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
  • Brewers Rice

The guiding principle of the manufacturers of Eukanuba dry dog food formula is that dogs are in the first place carnivores. Such an approach to feeding meant focusing on animal-sourced protein, as the vital component in the canine diet. It made a significant contribution to the improvements made to dog foods overall.

High levels of protein (30/20) are combined with an abundance of fats to ensure a rich source of energy. Your pup’s body will remain strong and provided with a good balance of nutrients, without added fillers. Moreover, the strength of the bones is guaranteed due to optimal Calcium levels. 3D Dental Defense System promotes healthy teeth and helps remove tartar.

Offer this innovative formula to your active pal to provide him with the energy needed to excel at performing tasks both at work or in sporting events.

Diamond Naturals - Best For Strong Muscles

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken Meal
  • Chicken
  • Ground White Rice
  • Chicken Fat
  • Cracked Pearled Barley

This superb formula ensures a well-rounded, energy-packed diet for your sporty canine. Superfoods and probiotics which make its integral elements support the development of a healthy and content canine.

Protein, the most important nutrient for pups, comes from the cage-free, real chicken. The combination of fruits and veggies contributes their beneficial features by providing minerals, vitamins and an overall antioxidant effect.

The muscles of your athletic dog will be strong and lean owing to the high contents of protein. Omega Fatty Acids ensure the coat and skin health and softness. This easily digestible formula will help your pup utilize the nutrients effectively. Plus, the joint mobility and health will be supported by chondroitin and glucosamine.

Offer your furry pal nothing but the best with Diamond Naturals, and get ready for your activity-packed time!

Taste of the Wild - Best Grain-Free

First Five Ingredients:

  • Buffalo
  • Chicken Meal
  • Lamb Meal
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes

This unique formula will be the key to the sound nutrition of your athletic canine. It acknowledges the importance of protein for the proper functioning and overall well-being of dogs. This is why the creators of this blend picked buffalo and bison, to pamper even the pickiest of eaters.

Combination of sweet potatoes and peas add to the savory taste of this well-rounded blend. To take care of oversensitive puppies, it excludes any grains and ensures easy digestion and reduced risk of allergies.

Prebiotic support in the form of chicory root and K9 probiotic formula will play a great role in healthy digestion. Minerals, vitamins and amino acids support the wellbeing of your pet on a holistic level. This includes healthy skin and coat, due to Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids. No artificial ingredients such as colors, flavors or food preservatives have made their way into this formula.

Adhering to strict safety standards for the maximum of quality, this delicious formula will become your pal’s greatest craving.

Sport Dog Food - Ideal For Healthy Metabolism

First Five Ingredients:

  • Turkey Meal
  • Dried Sweet Potato
  • Chicken Fat
  • Coconut Meal
  • Cassava Root

As the name suggests, this nutrient-rich food formula will meet the needs of highly-active, working or sporty pups. Protein originating from a single source is combined with fats and carbs to provide a substantial source of energy needed for daily activities of your pup. The balance between carbs and fibers is optimal, with lower levels of the former, and sufficient amounts of the latter.

Sport Dog Food will be a safe option for pups dealing with oversensitivity. It never contains artificial flavors, fillers, preservatives or by-products. It even eliminates the use of peas, flax or white potato – as they are often responsible for digestion problems in pups. Zinpro Availa Pet Performance Minerals and Diamond V Probiotics are combined to bolster metabolism, immunity, and elimination of toxins.

Sport Dog Food is organic, GMO-free, nutrient-rich and safe – plenty of reasons to opt for this excellent food brand.

Dr. Tim's - Best For High Energy

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken Meal
  • Chicken Fat
  • Brown Rice
  • Dried Beet Pulp
  • Whole Oat Groats

Whatever the level of your pup’s activity, Dr. Tim’s dog food formula is sure to provide all the necessary nutrients. Carbs, fats, and proteins present in this blend combine to support the energy requirements of your active pooch.

This quality blend is the result of two professionals’ joined work. A nutrition expert and a vet invested their knowledge and experience in formulating the perfect combination of ingredients. Sustaining metabolic processes, it helps pups make use of all the vital nutrients.

A total of 86% animal protein support a lean, muscular body of your athletic pet. Fish oil included in this formula provides high levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  A patented BC30 probiotic and in combination with an abundant amount of fibers promote healthy digestion.

Expert knowledge and love for animals are what this great food blend resulted from, so you can be sure it will help your pup thrive.

Image of four Siberian Husky dogs

Athletic Dog Breeds

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

People initially used this breed of dogs to help them herd livestock. It is an active and playful dog, always ready to join in amusing and energetic activities. Corgis belong to the group of most intelligent dogs, too. This is why they enjoy mental stimulation and learn tricks with ease.

For all these reasons, both adequate nutrition and the proper amount of training help these pups thrive.

Shetland Sheepdog

Originating from Shetland Islands, Scotland, these pups are great companions to people who follow an active, outdoor lifestyle. They will make eager participants in interactive games and long walks. If kept indoors, regular daily exercise is necessary.

They are easily trainable, owing it to their playful nature and strong herding instinct. Known for their agility, you can often find them winning competitions.


One never gets bored with a Dalmatian around. What is more, it might be a bit of a challenge to keep up with this dynamo in the dogs’ world. Elegant, lean and muscular, he is capable of participating in any kind of activity together with his family.

Always ready to play, run or goof around, it is one of the most energetic dog breeds. No wonder they had various roles in the past – from hunting to performing in circuses.

To keep your pet healthy and energized try out our dog food selection for Dalmatians.

Russell Terrier

Fiery and vigorous, it made an excellent fox hunter in the past. It is known for its incredibly lively nature and a great need to be in motion. These frisky little rascals will spend most of their time fidgeting, running and jumping.

Fast and restless, they will take great pleasure in fetching games, running after a ball, exploring or digging. To fuel this little power engine with the necessary energy, owners should make a careful choice of the best dietary option.

Siberian Husky

These wonderful dogs originating from Siberia are keen on participating in any kind of activity. They will achieve the maximum of their potential if you provide them with enough exercise. Dogs from this breed are strong and athletic and put up with harsh weather conditions. Huskies are known to be excellent working dogs. Sled-pulling is their favorite activity at which they excel.

Golden Retriever

This appealing breed is known for its playfulness, agility, intelligence, and affection. Owing to these traits, you can find them performing a range of tasks. They make great assistants in hunting since they are able to fetch the game undamaged. They can sniff for substances like drugs with a great level of reliability or serve as therapy dogs. Obedience and agility competitions are events at which you can frequently find these high-energy canines.

Labrador Retriever

A lot of owners go for this breed, as it is well-known for an amiable nature and great affection. Labrador Retrievers are extremely active, and they welcome any kind of physical activity no matter how intense it may be. This is why owners need to provide them with a sufficient amount of daily workout and calorie-burning activities. This kind of lifestyle will keep your athletic Labrador healthy and content.

Border Collie

This keen and energetic breed was first bred in Scotland. Border Collies excel at herding jobs, dealing mostly with sheep. Hence, these lively canines require a greater deal of energy to perform their tasks efficiently.

If you keep one as a pet, rather than a working dog, be ready to engage in a lot of play and training sessions with this intelligent, responsive pup. Also keep in mind that feeding this breed can be tricky, so better stick with top rated dog food for Border Collies from our list.

Australian Shepherd

Despite its misleading name, this breed originates from the US. Popular Aussies are keen on working. They will do their best to perform herding tasks successfully. When not at work, their lively nature will be obvious, as well. For this reason, dog sports and other types of interactive physical activities will make these pups feel at home.

Read more: Top Rated Dog Foods For Australian Shepherd

English Springer Spaniel

Dogs from this breed will find the time spent in nature most enjoyable. Agile and hyper, they make outstanding hunting companions. These canines are easily trainable and perform well in obedience and agility tests. As pets, they will suit people with active lifestyles willing to provide them with exercise and energetic play sessions.

Image of fast brown and white dog

Considerations in Buying A High-Energy Dog Food


The life stage of your pet dog makes a difference when it comes to the choice of food. All puppies are typically more active while they are growing.  More calorie-dense nutritive formulas are usually specially designed for developing puppies.

Adult active dogs require a combination of nutrients revolving around quality protein and fats, but a lower calorie contents in the form of carbs. In senior dogs, the ideal option will be the one containing protein, a moderate amount of fats and a high amount of fibers. It will help them obtain the required energy, support healthy digestion and minimize the risk of obesity.


Packing on extra pounds is something that a responsible pet parent will try to prevent. Obesity might potentially lead to a number of disorders, usually related to joints or heart issues. Although it is less likely to occur in a high-energy pup taking regular exercise, it is an inadequate diet that causes it.

An excessive intake of calories from carbohydrates may increase the risk of obesity in pups prone to gaining weight quickly. It is therefore important to choose the type of food which will not have such an effect.

Read more: Dog Food For Muscle And Healthy Weight Gain


Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Basic features of different breeds can vary to a great extent. They will make a starting point in making a choice of the right food type to help your active pup thrive. It is advisable to make yourself familiar with these characteristics and potential issues you would like to prevent.

Some breeds may have a tendency to gain excessive weight. Others are likely to develop various orthopedic issues. All these may get in the way of your furry friend’s daily activity needs. Properly designed nutrition plan will thus be of great significance.

View more of our breed guides:

Body Condition

Pups that need a greater level of exercise and overall activity usually maintain a good body shape. It means they are able to keep up with different work tasks or sporting activities efficiently. Their muscular system is strong and well developed, and no unhealthy fat is present.

On the other hand, at some point, active dogs can get less fit too, as a result of certain factors. To regain a lean, fit body, owners usually explore different feeding options. Finding the ideal formula which will supply such pups with quality nutrients and energy keeping them lean and healthy is the ultimate goal.

Health History

It is not unusual for even the most active of pups to develop a certain health problem over time. Such problems range from allergies or intolerances to food, to more serious ones such as joint malfunctioning and so on.

The role of nutrition in such dogs is vital. It may help alleviate or get rid of the symptoms completely. Owners need to take into account the history of health issues relating to their pet and choose the food type accordingly.

Exercise Expectations

Nutrition of highly active pups differs considerably from that of their lazier relatives. Yet, not all high-energy pups get involved in the same types and intensity of the daily workout or task performing activities.

Some canines work extremely hard, often exposed to harsh weather conditions. Others take part in time-taking agility and obedience training sessions, which also calls for increased energy supplies. The combination of all these relevant factors is vital when looking for the proper feeding option for your hyperactive pup. Certain quality formulas are designed to meet various energy and nutrition needs.

How To Feed Active Canines Breeds

Nutritional Needs

We cannot state a single rule regarding the nutritional needs of canines whose days are activity-packed. It is true that their needs for energy are higher, but the size of portions depends on their breed and life stages too.

Nutrition of active pups should base primarily on protein and fats, as the two best sources of energy. Levels of carbohydrates need to be kept reasonable, to avoid obesity and other health issues. Excessive calories obtained from carbs is not what these pups actually need.

When it comes to contents of protein, nutrition experts believe that it should make at least 28% of all nutrients in dry foods, and a minimum of 7% in wet food formulas.At the same time, they should contain at least 20% and 5% of fats each.

Other elements such as B vitamin, Magnesium, amino acids, and glucosamine are also valuable in maintaining energy levels, body strength, and healthy joints.

Read more: Top 5 High-Calorie Dog Food Review

Important Ingredients

  • Proteins

Nutrition experts agree that protein plays the most important role by keeping your pup lean and healthy. This is particularly the case with active dogs. It provides essential amino acids, which help your pup develop a strong, muscular body, without the unhealthy fat. For this reason, animal protein obtained from real meat should make the very first or several first ingredients of a food formula fed to an active dog.

  • Fatty Acids

Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids both have a number of benefits for your pup. This is why they need to be present in your canine’s diet in sufficient amounts.

These acids help your pup maintain the healthy skin and glossy coat. In addition to this,  they promote the growth of cells. At the same time, they are responsible for the development of both the heart and the brain. All of these make them indispensable in your active pup’s diet. Fish oils present the richest natural source of Omega Fatty Acids.

  • Carbohydrates

The content of carbs in many commercial food formulas is rather high and ranges from 40-70%. However, owners should remember that the need for carbohydrates decreases as your dog grows. This rule applies to high-energy pups as well. Carbohydrates are most commonly found in grains.

If consumed in large amounts, they result in your pup becoming obese. This is why it is important to keep their levels lower in mature and senior canines’ s formulas. Instead, protein and quality fats compensate for the necessary energy to support a day filled with activity.

  • Vitamins and Minerals

A good food option for your furry pal will certainly be abundant in minerals and vitamins. Ingredients that provide the richest source of both are fresh fruits and vegetables. If present in sufficient levels, they will contribute their antioxidant features and eliminate toxic elements from the body. They will provide support to the immune system and enhance metabolic processes.

Feeding Tips

Sound nutrition provides the driving energy which will keep your pup in motion all day long. Here are a few useful guidelines to help you establish a healthy feeding routine.

The feeding routine of adult dogs normally includes two meals a day. When it comes to dogs doing more exercise or performing work tasks, proper timing of meals is essential. It is not a good idea to feed them immediately before or after an intense workout session. This can trigger a number of gastric issues, such as vomiting or even bloating.

You can serve your athletic pup’s main meal in the evening, at least one hour after the exercising.  A small amount of food can be offered in the morning, too. A treat or two may be useful during the days with the increased intensity of the workout. This way, you will prevent exhaustion. Fresh water should be available at all times.

At some point, your furry athlete may need to take a longer break from his regular activities. It can be the result of some injury or other health-related issues. It is important to adjust the intake of nutrients and energy to these new circumstances.  Some alterations to the regular diet may follow accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Active Dogs

Is Raw Feeding Better?

Supporters of the raw diet for canines emphasize a number of benefits this type of diet can bring. Its major advantages include dental health, better skin and coat quality and increased energy. The home served raw food needs to be completely safe and clean, which can sometimes present a problem.

Dogs with high activity levels call for a substantial amount of energy, so it is advisable to have a word with your vet and decide whether a raw diet would make an adequate option for your pal.

Should I Feed My Dog After Exercise?

Intake of food immediately before or after exercise is likely to cause trouble. Your pup can develop a range of digestive problems, from loose stool and vomiting to more serious ones. This is why vets advise owners to time their furry friends’ meals properly. There should be at least an hour long break between the last exercise session and the meal, to ensure the best utilization of nutrients.

Should I Feed My Dog Several Times a Day?

Natural feeding patterns are, as many would agree, most beneficial for your dog. In other words, a grown-up pup can have one or a maximum of two meals a day. Active pooches should be fed in the same way. You may offer occasional snacks, making sure they do not go above 5-10% of total food intake.

Growing puppies’ energy needs are considerably higher. In these cases, three to four meals per day are recommended.


Having a high-energy, restless pup by your side is certainly amusing. Engaging together in a number of activities brings great joy to both the pet and the parent family. However, designing an adequate nutrition plan may be challenging. You need to tailor it to your pet’s specific needs. You also need to make the best selection of ingredients.

The same goes for working canines. They are in need of higher energy levels to perform demanding physical tasks. Lack of adequate information about proper nutrition may lead to a number of health conditions. Excessive amounts of food in your pup’s feeding bowl are not a guarantee that he will get all the needed nutrients in the right proportions.

So, you had better play it safe by going for some top-rated food formula, such as Purina Pro Plan. Your pup will certainly be grateful and show it wholeheartedly!