6 Best Border Collie Dog Food Plus Top Brands for Puppies & Seniors

The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog breed known for his intelligence, his herding skills, and his black-and-white coat.

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These dogs were developed specifically for herding sheep, though they are also highly talented in obedience and other dog sports. The Border Collie is one of the smartest dog breeds on the planet, but they are also very energetic which can be a challenging combination. Though they have boundless energy and high needs for exercise, Border Collies are extremely friendly, affectionate, and wonderful with children – all of these qualities make for a great family pet.

The Border Collie has a long lifespan of 12 to 16 years, and they are generally a very healthy breed. Even so, it is essential that you pick out a high-quality diet to meet your dog’s nutritional needs. A healthy diet is the best way to maximize your dog’s lifespan.

Keep reading to learn more about your Border Collie’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the best dog food for Border Collies.

Understanding a Border Collie’s Diet Requirements

All dog breeds have the same basic nutritional requirements, though there are some slight variations from one breed to another. Protein is the most important nutrient because it helps puppies develop strong muscles and it helps adult dogs maintain lean muscle mass. Protein is best when it comes from animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish because animal products are more digestible for dogs and because they are complete sources of protein, containing all 10 essential amino acids.

Fat is the second most important nutrient because it provides a concentrated source of energy – this is particularly important for a high-energy breed like the Border Collie. Fat should also come from animal sources because your dog’s body can better metabolize animal fats than plant fats. Carbohydrates should come from digestible sources like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes. Keep in mind that Border Collies do have a higher risk for food allergies than many breeds, so you may need to avoid grains if your dog is allergic.

  • Puppy Border Collies Diet – As a puppy, your Border Collie needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet to support healthy growth and development. He may even need more fat than other puppies due to the breed’s high energy requirements.
  • Adult Border Collies Diet – When your Border Collie becomes an adult, his minimum requirements go down to 18% protein and 5% but you still need to provide more of each. Higher protein content is essential for maintaining lean muscle mass while extra fat is important for extra energy.
  • Senior Border Collies Diet – As a senior dog, your Border Collie may slow down a bit but his high needs for energy may not change much. If your dog starts gaining weight, try scaling back his feeding a little bit or switch to a recipe with lower fat content.

In addition to his basic requirements for protein, fat, and carbohydrates, your Border Collie can benefit from fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy supplements in his diet. Fresh fruits and veggies provide natural sources for key nutrients in a more biologically valuable form than synthetic supplements. Chelated minerals are mineral supplements bound to protein molecules which increases absorption. Your Border Collie can also benefit from prebiotics, probiotics, and glucosamine and chondroitin.

Special Dietary Considerations for Border Collies

The Border Collie is one of the smartest dog breeds in the world and is also among the healthiest. Even so, all dogs are prone to certain health problems and the Border Collie is no exception. These dogs are prone to an assortment of eye problems, orthopedic problems, and other issues.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Border Collie may be prone:

  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

Several of the health problems to which the Border Collie is prone are eye problems such as collie eye anomaly, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. Collie eye anomaly is an inherited condition that can cause the slow disintegration of the retina and progressive loss of vision. Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increased pressure in the eye. Both glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy can be inherited conditions and can lead to the gradual loss of vision.

Some of the orthopedic problems to which the Border Collie is prone include hip dysplasia and osteochondrosis dissecans. Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the femoral head pops in and out of the hip joint, causing inflammation and gradual damage to the joint. Osteochondrosis dissecans is a condition in which the cartilage in the joints grows improperly, causing a painful stiffening of the joint. Excessive growth and high-protein foods can sometimes increase the risk for these orthopedic problems in medium and large breed dogs. Supplemental glucosamine and chondroitin may help as well.

The Border Collie is also prone to several inherited health problems including epilepsy, hip dysplasia, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and trapped neutrophil syndrome. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes seizures. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is a fatal genetic disorder that causes severe neurological impairment and early death. Trapped neutrophil syndrome is another fatal disease in which the bone marrow produces white blood cells but can’t release them into the bloodstream.

In addition to these health problems, the Border Collie also has a higher risk for food allergies than many breeds. Dogs can develop allergies to any food ingredient but some of the most common culprits are low-quality grains like corn, wheat, and soy as well as common proteins like chicken, beef, and pork. A limited ingredient diet could be a good choice for this breed or simply a grain-free diet.

Border Collie Feeding Chart

When it comes to feeding your Border Collie, you should be prepared to feed him between 1 ½ and 2 cups of food per day. The exact amount will vary depending on his age, weight, and activity level so you should refer to the feeding recommendations on the package. Be sure to feed your Border Collie a puppy recipe for at least the first 8 months or until he reaches his adult size then switch to an adult recipe to prevent overgrowth.

You should feed your Border Collie puppy three small meals a day then scale back to two meals per day when he is full-grown. Remember, the feeding recommendations on the package are for the full day, so divide that amount by the desired number of meals. As always, you should keep an eye on your Border Collie’s body weight and condition to make sure he isn’t gaining an unhealthy amount of fat. You want to make sure as well that your puppy doesn’t grow too fast because overgrowth can increase his risk for musculoskeletal issues in adulthood.

The Best Dog Food for Border Collies: Our Top 15 Picks

Now that you have a better understanding of your Border Collie’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for dog food! Remember, the best Border Collie food will be made from wholesome natural ingredients with plenty of animal protein, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. A limited ingredient or grain-free recipe would not be a bag choice and beneficial supplements like probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin are a must. Here are our top 15 picks:

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Salmon, Whitefish & Trout Adult Recipe

Overall Best Food for Border Collies: If you want the best of the best for your Border Collie, try this Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Salmon, Whitefish & Trout Adult Recipe. This recipe consists of high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces for maximum nutrition and flavor. It features deboned salmon as the first ingredient with grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and potatoes for digestibility. It contains plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants for healthy immunity. Overall, this recipe provides 34% protein and 16% fat for the ideal balance to sustain lean muscle mass and provide high-quality energy.

  • Pros: Premium natural ingredients, high-protein kibble infused with raw pieces, grain-free carbohydrates, rich in omega fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotics
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (potato and pea), expensive to feed as a staple diet

American Journey LID Grain-Free Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Food

Most Affordable Food: A high-quality diet for your Border Collie doesn’t have to break the bank. This American Journey LID Grain-Free Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Food is a great example because it features real duck as the main ingredient with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes. This recipe is a limited ingredient diet which means it comes with a reduced risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities, plus it is supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption. Overall, this recipe provides 25% protein and 12% fat and it is completely free from low-quality fillers, by-products, and artificial additives that might upset your dog’s stomach.

  • Pros: Single source of animal protein, limited number of ingredients, rich in essential fatty acids, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, no artificial additives
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food

Most Popular Food: When you can’t decide what to feed your Border Collie, consider a highly popular option like this Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food. This recipe features premium-quality ingredients including a novel source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It contains real lamb as the first ingredient, followed by lamb meal, sweet potatoes, and eggs. It also contains salmon oil as a rich source of energy and omega fatty acids, plus canola oil to ensure a blend of omega-3s and omega-6s. It also contains chelated minerals and probiotics.

  • Pros: Novel source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery Service

Super Premium Food: When it comes to high-quality nutrition, it is hard to do better than fresh food for your Border Collie. This service provides fresh, customized meals delivered right to your door on a monthly basis. Every recipe is made from the best all-natural ingredients and they are never frozen or cooked at high temperatures which might compromise the nutritional quality. Simply fill out a profile for your dog online, choose your favorite recipe, and start receiving shipments! Everything is perfectly portioned and customized to your dog’s needs – you can even make adjustments for food allergies which is particularly important for your Border Collie.

  • Pros: Made with the freshest ingredients, custom meals for your dog, delivered fresh to your door, perfectly portioned pouches, automatic shipments
  • Cons: Limited number of recipe options, very expensive to feed, delivery restrictions in some areas

First Mate Australian Lamb Meal Formula Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Food

Best Food for Border Collies with Allergies: If your Border Collie suffers from food allergies, this First Mate Australian Lamb Meal Formula Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Food might be just what the doctor ordered. Not only is it a limited ingredient diet, but it contains a single source of novel protein and highly digestible grain-free carbohydrates. This recipe contains 78% animal ingredients with 22% vegetables and supplements. It features a mix of blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries for increased palatability and as rich sources of immune-boosting antioxidants. It is also supplemented with chelated minerals and glucosamine.

  • Pros: Single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, rich in essential fatty acids, fresh fruits for antioxidants, chelated minerals, glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, expensive to feed as a staple diet

Nutro LID Grain-Free Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe

Best Food for Border Collies with Sensitive Stomachs: For Border Collies with sensitive stomachs, you need a limited ingredient diet made with highly digestible ingredients like this Nutro LID Grain-Free Adult Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe. This recipe features pasture-fed lamb as the main ingredient with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and potatoes. It is all-natural and free from artificial additives, plus it is supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption. This recipe provides 20% protein and 14% fat which is a good balance for an active breed like the Border Collie.

  • Pros: High-quality natural ingredients, limited ingredient diet, single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, highly digestible recipe
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), contains some plant protein (potato protein)

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Border Collie Adult Foods

Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe

If you want to keep things simple while meeting your Border Collie’s nutritional needs, try this Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe. This recipe features duck as the main ingredient and a natural source of glucosamine. It also contains grain-free carbohydrates like potato to ensure digestibility and to reduce the risk for food allergies. This recipe also contains plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Canidae PURE Grain-Free Ancestral Fish Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Adult Recipe

The ideal combination of high-quality ingredients and beneficial supplements, your Border Collie would be lucky to have this Canidae PURE Grain-Free Ancestral Fish Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Adult Recipe. This recipe features 7 regionally sourced red meat species with 14 pounds of meat ingredients in every bag. The first ingredient is lamb and the next four are supplemental animal proteins followed by digestible grain-free carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Earthborn Holistic Venture Turkey Meal & Butternut Squash LID Grain-Free Recipe

To avoid triggering food allergies and sensitivities, this Earthborn Holistic Venture Turkey Meal & Butternut Squash LID Grain-Free Recipe is a great choice for your Border Collie. Not only does it contain a limited number of ingredients, but it features a novel source of animal protein and grain-free carbohydrate – turkey and butternut squash. It is also rich in healthy fatty acids.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) Border Collie Puppy Foods

Wild Frontier Turkey & Duck Grain-Free Puppy Recipe

High-quality ingredients are the foundation of a healthy diet for your Border Collie and this Wild Frontier Turkey & Duck Grain-Free Puppy Recipe is full of them. Featuring real turkey as the number-1 ingredient, this recipe also contains protein-rich chicken meal and fresh duck, complemented by digestible grain-free carbohydrates like split peas and dried potatoes.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Chicken Puppy Recipe

When it comes to high-quality nutrition for your Border Collie puppy, it’s hard to do better than this Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Chicken Puppy Recipe. This recipe features cage-free chicken as the main ingredient in a formula that contains high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces. It’s also loaded with healthy omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, and probiotics.

Go! Fit + Free Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Trout Puppy Recipe

If you’re worried about your Border Collie puppy’s sensitive stomach or food allergies, this Go! Fit + Free Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Trout Puppy Recipe is a great option. It features the highest quality ingredients to ensure digestibility and it is naturally grain-free. This recipe contains premium-quality chicken, turkey, and salmon with grain-free carbohydrates and nutrient-rich chicken fat.

2 More Picks for Senior Border Collie Foods

Nulo Freestyle Trout & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Senior Recipe

An example of premium-quality nutrition for older dogs, this Nulo Freestyle Trout & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Senior Recipe could be a good choice for your Border Collie. This recipe features several premium animal proteins including trout, turkey, and salmon with grain-free carbohydrates to ensure digestibility. Overall, it provides 30% protein and 12% fat to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass and to support his energy requirements with a lot risk for unhealthy weight gain.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Deboned Turkey Senior Recipe

As your Border Collie gets older, his metabolism may slow down so his needs for energy may reduce but he still needs plenty of protein to maintain lean muscle mass. This Wellness CORE Grain-Free Deboned Turkey Senior Recipe is a great option because it features high-quality animal proteins, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, and a balance of omega fatty acids. Plus, it is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s aging joints.

Our FAQ and Border Collie Feeding Guide

On top of picking out a healthy dog food for your Border Collie you need to think about practical things like picking a dog bowl and storing your dog food. Choosing a dog bowl is easy, but you should think about things like size, durability, and safety. A medium-sized bowl should be adequate for your Border Collie’s meals and one made from durable materials like stainless steel or ceramic would be a good choice. Just make sure you wash the bowl often to prevent bacteria from growing.

When it comes to storing dog food, you should take the whole bag and place it in the container instead of pouring the food in. The insides of dog food bags are treated to help preserve the product, so you don’t want to lose that benefit. You also shouldn’t just roll up the bag and throw it in the closet because any exposure to air can cause the product to lose some of its nutritional value.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Border Collie:

How much food should I feed my Border Collie? – The amount you feed your Border Collie will depend on his age, weight, and activity level as well as the calorie content of the product you choose. Generally speaking, however, you’ll be feeding your dog between 1 ½ and 2 cups of food per day. To determine exactly how much to feed your dog, choose a high-quality dog food and refer to the feeding instructions according to your dog’s weight and age.

How many times a day should I feed my Border Collie? – Most Border Collies do well on two meals a day, though highly active or working dogs may need an additional meal or some snacks between meals to make up for their high energy expenditure. Remember, the amount on the feeding recommendation for your dog food is for the whole day, so take that amount and divide it by the desired number of daily meals.

What kind of food do Border Collies eat? – The best dog food for any dog is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and formulated to meet his nutritional needs. Fresh food is a great option for Border Collies because these dogs have a high risk for food allergies and they need higher levels of fat than many breeds. If you can’t afford fresh food, dehydrates or freeze-dried food is a good option, as is kibble infused with freeze-dried raw pieces. With this kind of product you get the convenience and dental benefits of dry food with the nutritional quality of raw food. It is a win-win for you and your dog.

What vegetables are good in a Border Collie food? – Vegetables provide dietary fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins and minerals. As such, they are a valuable addition to any high-quality dog food. Here are some of the best vegetables for Border Collies:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Even if the dog food you choose contains fresh vegetables, you might still want to consider supplementing his diet with veggies as a healthy snack. Just make sure they are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them thoroughly before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.

Do Border Collies need grain-free dog food? – There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the long-term benefits of grain-free diets for dogs, but the fact remains that many Border Collies are allergic to grains. If your dog has recurrent ear infections or skin problems, it may be a food allergy and grains could be the culprit. Switching to a grain-free recipe or a limited ingredient diet could resolve the issue. If your dog can tolerate grains, however, there is no need for a grain-free recipe.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Border Collie’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Border Collie food. Remember to look for a product that is made from wholesome natural ingredients with plenty of animal protein, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. A limited ingredient or grain-free recipe would not be a bag choice and beneficial supplements like probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin are a must.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Border Collie dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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