What is the Best Dog Food for Feeding Border Collies?

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Beautiful, intelligent, and full of boundless energy, Border Collies are one of the most popular dog breeds.

These dogs need plenty of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They also need high-quality nutrition packed with protein to sustain their muscles and development. 

A Border Collie at a dining table
A hungry Border Collie

Alongside plenty of protein, the right dog food for your Border Collie should feature a healthy blend of fats and carbohydrates to maintain the high energy levels of this breed.

To help you find that perfect dog food for your Border Collie, we’ve examined the best out there to compile our list of the nine best diets for Border Collies.

Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of these foods below as you search for the ideal formula for your fun-loving pooch:

Quick Top Picks: Best Dog Food For Border Collies

  Dog Food Recipes Our Rating The Price for Feeding a 15-lb adult dog per day
Best Overall Acana Grasslands Recipe with Highest Protein 4.8 $1.71
Best Dry Dog Food American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 4.6 $1.25
Best Wet Dog Food Merrick Classic Puppy Plate Wet Food 4.0 $0.79
Best Budget Dog Food Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food 4.4 $0.49
A Border Collie looking at a food bowl
Junior Blue, a Border Collie, patiently waits for his food to be served – Image source

1. Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe

Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal
Type: Grain-free dry dog food
Producer: Merrick
Daily Feeding Cost: $1.81 per day
Caloric Content: 3,668 kcal/kg, 388 kcal/cup
Best for: All adult dogs

Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe is a high-protein dog food that derives its protein content from chicken, turkey, and salmon. 

For a cost of $1.81 a day, your dog gets a delicious recipe added with superfoods such as blueberries, apples, sweet potatoes, and pears, which are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins.

The recipe includes a whopping 34% protein, 17% fat, and 3.5% fiber.

Advantages:

  • Sunflower oil, flaxseed, and salmon oil supply essential fatty acids to keep your Border Collie’s coat and skin looking and feeling great
  • This recipe includes no grains or artificial additives
  • This food is fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to support your active dog’s joints

Disadvantages:

  • Some dogs just didn’t seem to care for this food

CHECK PRICE ON CHEWY

2. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Our rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Turkey Meal
Type: Grain-free dry dog food
Producer: American Journey
Daily Feeding Cost: $1.25 per day
Caloric Content: 3,740 kcal/kg, 390 kcal/cup
Best for: All adult dogs

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe is full of nutritious ingredients with real, deboned salmon as the first ingredient for building strong muscles.

Sweet potatoes and chickpeas are also included in the recipe to sustain the energy levels of active Border Collies.

For a cost of $1.25 a day, you’re getting a high-quality dry dog food with 32% protein, 14% fat, and 5% fiber.

Advantages:

  • The recipe features a number of antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits such as blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp
  • Salmon oil and flaxseed provide omega fatty acids, including DHA for brain development
  • Perfect for pups with food sensitivities, the recipe is free from any corn, wheat, or soy

Disadvantages:

  • Some dogs had very hard stools on this diet

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3. Natural Balance L.I.D. Small Breed Salmon & Sweet Potato

Natural Balance L.I.D. Small Breed Salmon & Sweet Potato

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Type: Grain-free dry dog food
Producer: Natural Balance
Daily Feeding Cost: $1.75 per day
Caloric Content: 3450 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/cup
Best for: Small adult dogs

Natural Balance L.I.D. Small Breed Salmon & Sweet Potato is available for $1.75 per day and offers your pet a wholesome diet made from limited natural ingredients.

Salmon and sweet potatoes supply your dog with nutritious proteins and carbohydrates to sustain your active Border Collie. The recipe includes 24% protein, 10% fat, and 4% fiber.

Advantages:

  • This food is packed with omega-three fatty acids to help your pet’s immune system and build healthy skin and coat
  • The sweet potato content supplies your pet with potassium and a highly digestible fiber source for improved gut health
  • This grain-free kibble contains no artificial additives that could upset your Border Collie’s stomach

Disadvantages:

  • Some pet owners complained that the kibble size was not uniform and thus was either too big or too small for their dog

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4. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Purina
Daily Feeding Cost: $0.46 per day
Caloric Content: 3934 kcal/kg, 419 kcal/cup
Best for: Large breed puppies

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food is a high-quality dry dog food specifically made for large breed puppies.

It is available for $0.46 a day and offers your pet 28% protein, 13% fat, and 4.75% fiber. This recipe has a great fat to protein ratio for active pups.

Advantages:

  • This food contains DHA from fish oil to stimulate brain growth and improve vision
  • The poultry and fish meal included in the recipe includes glucosamine to support your pet’s joints
  • Calcium is included to build strong bones and teeth

Disadvantages:

  • The recipe includes a number of inferior ingredients such as corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, and poultry by-product meal

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5. Acana Grasslands Recipe with Highest Protein

Acana Grasslands Recipe with Highest Protein

Our rating: 4.8
Top Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Deboned Duck, Eggs
Type: Grain-free Dry Dog Food
Producer: Acana
Daily Feeding Cost: $1.71 per day
Caloric content: 3,405 kcal/kg, 388 kcal/cup
Best for: All adult dogs

Acana Grasslands Recipe with Highest Protein is a great choice for Border Collies with 33% protein, 17% fat, and 6% fiber.

This high-quality, nutritious dog food features several novel protein sources including lamb, duck, goat, trout, quail, and catfish.

For a cost of $1.71 a day, this food is designed to appeal to even the pickiest of pups.

Advantages:

  • Liver, tripe, and cartilage supply your pet with nutrients they would have got in the wild
  • The grain-free recipe includes a variety of easily digestible carbohydrate sources including green lentils, pumpkin, pinto beans, carrots, and apples

Disadvantages:

  • Some pet owners complained that the kibble size was too big for their dog

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6. Annamaet 32% Ultra Dog Food

Annamaet 32% Ultra Dog Food

Our rating: 4.4
Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
Type: Dry dog food
Producer: Annameat
Daily Feeding Cost: $0.79 per day
Caloric content: 4228 kcal/kg, 1922 kcal/lb, 480 kcal/cup
Best for: All adult dogs

Annamaet 32% Ultra Dog Food is a protein-rich formula that offers your pet 32% protein, 20% fat, and 3% fiber. The main sources of protein include a chicken meal and herring fish meal.

For a cost of just $0.79 per day, your dog is guaranteed a simple but nutritious formula that will cater to his whole body health.

Advantages:

  • This food is rich in omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s coat looking and feeling great
  • This food contains proteinated minerals to make it easier for your dogs to develop lean muscles and improve their immune system 

Disadvantages:

  • Some dogs got diarrhea on this food

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7. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Food

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Food

Our rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Grain Sorghum
Type: Grain-free Dry dog food
Producer: Nutro
Daily Feeding Cost: $0.82 per day
Caloric content: 1353 kcal/kg, 487 kcal/can
Best for: All adult dogs

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Food is a well-balanced dry dog food packed full of flavors your large breed puppy will love.

It contains 26% protein, 14% fat, and 3% fiber, with farm-raised chicken as the primary protein source and the first ingredient.

For a cost of $0.82 a day, this is a great choice for sensitive pets.

Advantages:

  • This food contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s joints
  • The recipe also contains carefully controlled levels of calcium to help build your Border Collie’s bones
  • This dog food contains no grains, by-products, or artificial additives that could trigger allergies or upset the digestive system

Disadvantages:

  • Some picky pups did not want to eat this food

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8. Orijen Senior Adult Dry Food

Orijen Senior Adult Dry Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Atlantic Flounder
Type: Grain-free Dry Dog Food
Producer: Orijen
Daily Feeding Cost: $0.94 per day
Caloric content: 3,630 kcal/kg, 417 kcal/cup
Best for: Senior dogs

Orijen Senior Adult Dry Food features 38% protein, 15% fat, and 8% fiber.

This high-protein dog food has been formulated for dogs in their senior years and is packed with all the nutrients your elderly dog needs to thrive. 

For a cost of $0.94 a day, your dog is guaranteed a diet packed full of protein from various sources, including free-range chicken and turkey, cage-free eggs, and wild-caught flounder, mackerel, sardines, and herring.

Advantages:

  • A third of the meat used in this recipe has been air-dried at low temperatures to preserve the nutritional integrity, while the remaining meat content is fresh or raw
  • This food contains no artificial preservatives, grain, potato, or other cheap filler ingredients

Disadvantages:

  • Some pet owners disliked the strong fishy smell of this food

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9. Merrick Classic Puppy Plate Wet Food

Merrick Classic Puppy Plate Wet Food

Our rating: 4
Top Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal
Type: Grain-free Wet Dog Food
Producer: Merrick
Daily Feeding Cost: $0.79 per day
Best for: Puppies

Merrick Classic Puppy Plate Wet Food is a grain-free wet dog food that features 10% protein, 5.5% fat, and 1.4% fiber.

For a cost of $0.79 per day, your Border Collie will get a delicious recipe featuring multiple protein sources, such as turkey, chicken, and duck, as well as a range of healthy fruits and veggies. 

This food has been specifically formulated for growing puppies.

Advantages:

  • This food is packed with antioxidants from carrots, peas, apples, and sweet potatoes
  • This recipe is free from any grains or artificial preservatives and flavors

Disadvantages:

  • A few pet owners complained about the quality of the cans, saying they dented easily or split open during delivery

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

How to Feed a Border Collie?

A Border Collie looking up
A smiley Border Collie – Image source

Border Collies have a fast metabolism and lots of energy. They need a dog food that is designed to support these needs while offering complete, well-balanced nutrition. 

The best food for your dog should contain plenty of protein as your pup needs amino acids to build healthy muscles.

For this breed, you ideally want to look for a food with a protein content higher than 30%.

In addition to protein, your dog’s food should contain several highly digestible carbohydrate sources, which will also help sustain your pet’s energy levels.

These can include complex carbs like legumes and whole grains or fiber-rich vegetables such as sweet potato. 

You’ll also want your dog’s food to contain supplements designed to support the joints and ward off common health issues of active dogs, such as arthritis.

Thus, look for dog food that has been fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin. Calcium is also essential for the building of strong bones and teeth.

Your pet’s food should also contain plenty of omega fatty acids which work to build a healthy immune system and keep your pet’s coat shiny and healthy.

These omega-three and omega-six fatty acids are commonly found in fish, salmon oil, and flaxseed.

How often should you feed a Border Collie?

A Border Collie in a kitchen
A Border Collie helping out in the kitchen

A strict feeding schedule is essential for this breed.

Most Border Collies won’t self-regulate and will just keep eating if there is food available, so it’s up to you to supply the right amount of food to support your dog’s needs.

Free feeding isn’t recommended for these dogs. Instead, focus on feeding your adult Border Collie twice a day.

One meal a day won’t be enough to support this pet’s energy levels for the entire day. Very active dogs may even benefit from three meals a day. 

How many calories should a Border Collie eat?

It’s essential to consider how many calories your chosen dog food will supply your Border Collie as these highly energetic dogs need plenty of calories to support their daily activity.

It is best to check with your vet regarding your pet’s specific calorie intake, as this will vary based on your dog’s age, health, and condition. 

On average, Border Collies will need around 1,000 calories a day to support their energy levels. That said, if your dog is a working dog, it could need as much as 1,400 calories per day.

On the other hand, less active dogs or senior pets only need around 700 calories each day.

Too many calories can lead to weight gain, obesity, and a whole host of health problems, so there is a delicate balance.

Remember also to subtract any training treats from your pup’s daily calorie intake when calculating meals.

Should Your Border Collie Eat Dry Kibbles, Wet Food, or Raw Food?

A Border Collie with a treat
Coolmay, a Border Collie, appreciates every food she receives – Image source

Border Collies can eat a dry or wet diet. Dry kibble is of course, more affordable and there are more dry dog food recipe options available for owners.

Wet food, on the other hand, while more expensive, generally has a higher protein content which can be better for active breeds. 

For picky Border Collie pups, wet or raw dog food is also often more appealing due to the higher fat content and more pungent smell and flavor.

What Should Border Collies Not Eat?

A sad Border Collie
A sad Border Collie who needs to stay away from foods that cause allergies – Image source

Border Collies are quite a tolerant breed, and allergies are not common with these dogs. That said, there are some ingredients you want to avoid when searching for the perfect dog food.

This includes cheap filler carbs like potato, tapioca, and refined grains that offer little nutrition and just serve as bulk. 

You also want to avoid unidentified meat by-product meals, which are a cheap, low-quality source of protein and will not provide your dog with all the amino acids he needs.

You also want to avoid any artificial additives like preservatives and flavors that hold no nutritional value but could trigger an allergic reaction.

Some other ingredients that could cause allergies include corn, wheat, and soy

Do Dog Foods Have an Effect on your Border Collie’s Health?

A Border Collie puppy looking at a food bowl
A hungry Border Collie pup – Image source

Yes, your dog’s food can have an effect on the health condition of your pet.

Border Collies can suffer from weight issues if fed the incorrect diet which can lead to obesity and a number of other problems, such as diabetes.

That said, hypothyroidism is also common amongst Collies, which can also cause obesity.

Common health problems in Border Collies include diseases that affect eyesight such as progressive retinal atrophy, lens luxation, and Collie eye anomaly.

Other diseases that are common amongst Border Collies have an effect on their mobility, such as canine hip dysplasia and osteochondritis dissecans. 

Do Border Collies have sensitive stomachs?

Yes, Border Collies frequently suffer from sensitive stomachs. A recipe that has been fortified with probiotics will aid your pet’s digestion. 

Also, be sure to look for dog food that has a good fiber content that will help improve your dog’s gut health.

Pumpkin, carrots, apples, and sweet potatoes are some examples of great fiber-rich veggies that you can include in your dog’s diet.

So, What is the Best Dog Food for My Border Collie?

Finding the perfect dog food for your active Border Collie can be a challenge. These dogs need a nutrient-rich recipe packed full of calories to support their high energy levels.

All of the dog foods listed above are excellent choices for your Border Collie.

These formulas offer a great balance of high-quality protein, healthy fats, highly digestible fiber options, and antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies. 

Do you feed your dog one of these diets? Or is there another food you love that we haven’t mentioned above?

We’d love to hear all about your Border Collie and what he loves to eat in the comments below.

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