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Best Dog Food For Border Collie (Puppy & Adult) : Dry & Canned

Border Collies are a rancher’s best friend.

While they can be pets in more urban areas, this breed is one of the most active I have seen.

Dog Food For Border Collie

The best thing a really active dog could get every day is a great food to keep them going.

So I rounded up the best dog food for Border Collies I could find and lay them out here for you.

 

In this article, we’re going to review the following food for border collies :

 

Nutrition Basics for Border Collies

As I mentioned above, Border Collies are very active dogs.

Most often they are used in herding or farm dogs, and they thrive with active lifestyles with mental stimulation.

 

This means that their food should include some quality protein and a high daily calorie intake.

Unless your pup has specific allergies or health concerns, almost any quality food will work great.

 

What Should be in Your Border Collie’s Food

Border Collies need some specific things in their food to insure they can get through their day happy and healthy.

 

I will be explaining what kinds of proteins, fats, and carbs you should be looking for when choosing a food for your collie.

 

Protein

Collies need quality protein to make up most of their diet in order to keep their energy up for very active days.

It is often suggested by expert nutritionists that you should have two or three meat protein options in the first few ingredients.

 

Either look for whole meats such as whole chicken, beef, lamb, or fish, or look for meat meals in similar options.

 

Fat

Border Collies also require good sources of fat in their diet. It is best to look for sources such as chicken fat or fish oil.

 

Fish oil is a great alternative if your dog is allergic to chicken, though it is also good with chicken fat since it has omega-3 fatty acids that help maintain a silky coat and healthy skin.

 

Carbs

Most people tend to avoid fillers like corn, soy, and wheat in their dog foods because they are mostly fillers and arise as allergens to most dogs.

However, you can replace them with rice, oats, or barely.

 

Though for a grain free option, sweet potatoes are a great source of carbs.

With Collies needing high protein though, it is best to keep carbs low in percentage.

 

Feeding Options for your Border Collies

There are a few different options to choose from when picking a food for your Border Collie.

 

It is mostly to your discretion what you choose to feed your dog, but I will let you in on what I think of each option.

 

Kibble

Kibble is the most common option chosen. Not only is it the most cost effective, it also is packed with more nutritional value such as fruits and vegetables.

 

It also can have more beneficial things such as vitamins and minerals not found in other sources of food.

 

Canned Food

Canned food is a great option if you are choosing a more protein rich food or a raw diet.

While it is beneficial for some dogs though, it may need supplements of kibble for others.

 

Canned food doesn’t often have the best sources of vitamins or minerals your dog needs to keep healthy.

 

Raw Diet

Some owners have chosen a more raw diet for their dogs.

This can be very beneficial for Border Collies since they are active almost all day long.

 

A raw diet can vary from day to day so you can insure they get what is needed to keep them healthy.

Though this is mainly done at home with raw ingredients and is very rarely found in easy to buy food bags.

 

Dry or Canned: Are They Both Good Options?

As I talked about above, both options are great. It really all depends on opinion or needs of your dog.

I however think dry kibble is above canned food, in my opinion.

 

It contains more than canned food does in many aspects. Though wet food is a great high protein option.

 

Dog Food Differences Between Puppy and Adult Stages

The differences in dog food for puppies and adults is as varied as the dog themselves in those life stages.

Puppy food is often higher in calories, protein, and fat percentage than adult foods.

 

This is often because puppies are more filled with energy than adults.

You would know if you ever had a puppy before; they do not slow down!

 

Best Dog Food For Border Collie

 

#1 Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Prairie
Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild is a brand that always has stood out to me because of their strive to create a diet a dog would eat in the wild.

This formula in particular is great for active dogs like Border Collies since it has a higher amount of calories and more complex carbs instead of filler grains.

 

It features three protein sources such as roasted bison, beef, and venison.

The complex carbs come in the form of peas and sweet potatoes.

 

Not to mention the food is packed with antioxidant rich fruits and veggies like tomatoes and raspberries as well as natural probiotics from chicory root.

This alone helps support a healthy stomach and dog.

 

High Prairie is also gluten and poultry free, so any allergen prone Collies will be mighty thankful.

 

Pros:

  • Great sources of protein
  • High in calories
  • Complex carbs
  • Probiotics and antioxidants for a healthy stomach

Cons:

  • Online retailers vary in quality and seem to be causing some ill dogs, buy locally

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#2 Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick is often a go to for most larger breeds food, and for Border Collies it is no different.

Right off the bat, there are two main sources of protein in the first five ingredients; deboned beef and lamb meal.

 

The total protein also adds up to a whopping 38 percent, so your active Collie will definitely benefit from this high protein meal.

This formula is also grain free, so there is no corn, wheat, gluten, or soy.

 

Plus you can count out the poultry by-products and artificial preservatives.

The fat content is at a decent 15 percent, and the fiber is at a low 3.5 percent.

 

With the glucosamine and chondroitin added in with the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, your Collie’s skin, coat, joints, and muscles are going to be benefiting from it.

Not to mention the formula being packed with farm fresh fruits and veggies like sweet potatoes, peas, blueberries, and others.

 

Pros:

  • High protein content
  • Quality sources of protein
  • No poultry
  • Grain free
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joints and muscles
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Cons:

  • Online retailers vary in quality
  • Can cause gas in some dogs

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#3 Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food

Eagle Pack is a single protein food with more natural ingredients.

It only features lamb instead of having other proteins mixed in.

 

This could be a problem when looking for more higher protein contents, however it doesn’t take away the fact this is still a great formula.

It helps promote a healthy coat and lean muscle mass with proper minerals.

 

It is low in carbs with only oats and brown rice, making it a pretty rounded diet in all.

It is grain free without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives within it.

 

It also has antioxidants from a blend of vitamin and minerals for a healthy immune system.

 

Pros:

  • Quality protein
  • Highly digestible
  • Allergen free
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Grain free

Cons:

  • Only one protein source
  • Really low on carbs
  • Most picky eaters do not enjoy it

>> Check Price On Price << 

 

#4 Arcana Regionals Dry Dog Food – Grasslands

Arcana is a well known food made by Orijen.

This specific one is made for varying regions so that you can pick which one would best help your dog.

 

The Grasslands formula is made for more working dogs on farms or ranches in the more rural areas.

With rich proteins like lamb, duck, whitefish, goat, catfish meal, and even lentils, your Border Collie will be all smiles.

 

For an active breed like the Border Collie, the 33 percent protein content and 17 percent fat content it perfect.

There is also no grains, potatoes, or tapioca.

 

However, it does have a good selection of fruits, botanicals, and even veggies.

Arcana boasts about their fresh quality and raw ingredients that are baked into the kibble.

 

Orijen is always a good pick to go for when choosing a dog food, but their Arcana brand is even better for Border Collies specifically.

 

Pros:

  • Grain free
  • Low in carbs
  • High in quality protein content
  • Great sources of nutrition with 30% fruits, veggies, and botanicals

Cons:

  • Some picky eaters may not enjoy it
  • It is on the more expensive side

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#5 Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

Canidae is a very versatile food you can use for your Border Collie through all stages of life.

It is packed full with nutrients and vitamins to promote a healthy diet for your dog.

 

The protein in it is mostly made of chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, and fish meal.

It does lack the quality whole protein sources, but the meal is still great.

 

Canidae is also free of grains such as soy, corn, and wheat. Instead it uses peas, papaya, and brown rice for healthy alternative carbs to keep energy all day long.

This formula doesn’t have artificial colors or flavors either.

 

It does have effective probiotics and antioxidants for a healthy and strong immune and digestive system.

 

Pros:

  • Great for all stages of life
  • Multiple sources of protein
  • Grain free
  • Healthy alternative carbs
  • Probiotics and antioxidants for healthy immune and digestive systems

Cons:

  • Uses poultry as a protein source, a known allergen
  • Mostly uses protein meals instead of whole protein
  • Online retailers vary in quality

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#6 Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan is great for Border Collies with the ingredients included that help promote a healthy system.

It contains fish oil, which not only contains DHA for brain and vision development, but it also has antioxidants and omega fatty acids for a healthy look.

 

The kibble also has glucosamine and calcium packed in through natural poultry and fish meal to help with joints, bones, and teeth.

Chicken meal is used as the main source of protein, which can be an issue for allergen prone pups.

 

However, it does use rice as the top healthy carbs.

While this formula is not grain free, it does have wheat bran to help with digestive health.

 

This formula in particular is great for larger active dogs to help with weight management and more sensitive stomachs.

 

Pros:

  • Contains fish oil
  • Has glucosamine and calcium for healthy joints, bones, and teeth
  • Uses rice as a healthy carbs

Cons:

  • Not grain free
  • Uses chicken as the main protein source, a known allergen
  • Prices have raised over time
  • Online retailers vary in quality

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#7 Victor Grain Free Dog Food

Victor is a quality brand making its name from Mid America.

It claims to source their ingredients within 200 miles of their facility so only the freshest can go into their kibble.

 

The kibble is free of any corn, soy, wheat, gluten, or grain by-products, so you don’t have to worry about pesky fillers upsetting your Collie’s stomach.

There is also no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives present.

 

The best thing I noticed though is the 32 percent protein and 15 percent fat.

However, the carbs content is far too high at 34 percent for a Border Collie’s diet.

 

Though, most of the protein does come from fish so it is less likely to cause allergic reactions in dogs sensitive to certain meats.

It is also low in calorie content per cup so you will end up feeding your Collie a little more than usual with other brands.

 

Really Victor is good in certain aspects, though iffy in others.

I suggest going with it if you feel your dog can really benefit from it.

 

Pros:

  • High protein content
  • Mostly fish related proteins
  • No grains or fillers to worry about
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Cons:

  • High in carbs content
  • Low calories per cup
  • Some online retailers give expired food

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#8 Fromm Gold Adult Dry Dog Food

Fromm is another known brand in the dog food industry known for this quality.

First off, the best thing is the top three ingredients being straight protein; duck, chicken meal, and chicken.

 

Though it being poultry is a bit on the iffy side since some dogs have an allergic reaction to it..

This protein does make up 24 percent of the food, so your Border Collie is still getting a great high protein food.

 

The fat content is at 16 percent with salmon oil making up part of it. This brings with it an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coats.

It also comes with probiotics and prebiotics packed. Since Fromm is a grain free dog food, you don’t have to worry about the corn, soy, or wheat being mixed in.

 

To make up for the lack of grains, it does feature rice, pearled barley, oatmeal, and potatoes as carbs.

Though this does raise the carbs content more than you may like for a very active Collie.

 

Pros:

  • High protein content of 24 percent
  • First three ingredients are protein sources
  • Grain free
  • Probiotics and prebiotics

Cons:

  • Has a little higher carbs percentage
  • Uses poultry as protein, a known allergen in some dogs
  • On the high end for pricing

>> Check Price On Amazon << 

 

#9 Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick as I said above is a great quality brand for Border Collies.

This backcountry formula though is made to target the more active lifestyles of Border Collies.

 

The protein sources are salmon, whitefish, and trout, meaning you don’t have to worry about any poultry.

This kibble is mixed with freeze-dried raw meat bits so the flavor is great and packed with nutrition.

 

The carbs in the food are complex and healthy like sweet potatoes and potatoes, making it easier to digest.

It is also packed with fruits and veggies so your Collie will have a more rounded diet with key vitamins and minerals.

 

With the protein content being high at 34 percent and a 16 percent fat content, this is a great blend for any working Collie out there.

 

Pros:

  • Quality ingredients
  • Uses fish for protein
  • Grain free
  • Fresh Fruits and veggies
  • No poultry

Cons:

  • Contains potatoes and peas as plant proteins
  • Online retailers vary in quality

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#10 Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro  is a great brand for Collies with more sensitive stomachs.

This limited ingredient formula is really digestible and grain free.

 

It features pasture-fed lamb as the main source of protein with chickpeas and potatoes as the source of carbs.

It is a more natural formula free of grains, fillers, and artificial additives so there is very little risk of allergens arising.

 

It has a content of 20 percent protein, which is a little on the lower side for active breeds like the Border Collie.

The fat content is a decent 14 percent however, which balances it out a bit.

 

Not to mention it contains chelated minerals to help your Collie better absorb the food.

 

Pros:

  • High quality ingredients
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Allergen free
  • Grain free
  • Easily digestible

Cons:

  • Plant based sources of fat and protein
  • Low protein content

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

Best Dog Food For Border Collie Puppies

 

#1 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Puppy Food

Blue Buffalo has definitely made a name for themselves being a quality brand with great ingredients.

So it is no wonder this puppy food has found its way onto the list.

 

The protein source in this formula is from real chicken and fish meal.

While it is a decent protein, it is often an allergen for most dogs.

 

The carbs come in a healthy form as brown rice. It is also packed with nutrients like omega oils and amino acids to help with development.

Not to mention it is high in calories to help keep your puppy going all day long.

 

Combine that with wholesome fruits and veggies and you got your puppy a great rounded meal.

Blue Buffalo is also grain free with a blend of calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins for healthy bone growth.

 

There are no artificial flavors or preservatives either.

 

Pros:

  • For the quality, it is affordable
  • High quality ingredients
  • Healthy carbs

Cons:

  • Contains chicken, a known allergen for some dogs
  • Has some oats in it
  • Online retailers vary in quality

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#2 Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Food

Again, Taste of the Wild is a great brand for Border Collies.

It even comes in a puppy formula to get you started.

 

It is made for larger breed dogs like Collies, so it is higher in calories and more natural than most foods.

Its main protein source is smoked salmon, which contains healthy acids and oils that promote strong healthy joints and coat.

 

It is also grain free, so there is no grain, corn, wheat, or any other fillers.

There is also no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives added to it.

 

It comes with a great nutrient rich and digestible blend of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.

It also features smaller kibble with antioxidants and DHA packed in to promote development in your growing puppy.

 

Pros:

  • Smoked salmon as the main protein
  • Grain free
  • High quality ingredients

Cons:

  • Tends to be on the more expensive side
  • Online retailers vary in quality

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#3 Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy Food

Hill’s Science Diet is from what I have seen, a vet recommended diet for most breeds and life stages.

This blend is made for large breed puppies up to a year old.

 

It has a great level of calcium for healthy bone growth as well as natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for muscle and joint development.

It even has a blend of Vitamins C and E for a healthy immune system.

 

This formula is made to be easy to digest with the proper vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Not to mention it is completely free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

 

The brand itself only uses high quality ingredients like real chicken so your Border Collie will have a great source of protein to start out with.

The only thing I would say this is missing out on is more protein sources.

 

Otherwise, it is a great stepping stone in the development of your active Collie.

 

Pros:

  • Often vet recommended
  • Optimum levels of calcium for bone development
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for muscle and joint health
  • Easy to digest
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cons:

  • Online retailers vary in quality
  • Not enough sources of protein
  • Contains chicken, a common allergen

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

#4 Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Puppy Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials is a quality brand for a growing Border Collie puppy.

It has real whole chicken as the top source of protein, claimed to be farm raised.

 

It also has Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA to help support the development of your puppy.

It is also made with calcium to help their bone growth and joint health.

 

Nutro also boasts about their non-GMO ingredients and by-product free kibble.

They also mention their suppliers for ingredients are trusted farmers around the world for only top ingredients.

 

Nutro has high quality proteins too such as chicken, lamb, salmon, or even venison.

The first few ingredients also includes more than one protein source as well so it will be very beneficial for Border Collies in particular.

 

Pros:

  • Great sources of protein
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • No by-product meal
  • Made with calcium for bone and joint development

Cons:

  • Has chicken, a known allergen
  • Some complain of soft poop because of it

>> Check Price On Amazon <<

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How Many Calories Should My Border Collie
be
Eating Daily?

For more active Border Collies weighing around 40 pounds, they should be eating around 1100 calories a day, split between two meals.

For puppies though averaging around 20 pounds, it is suggested to feed them 730 calories between three meals.

 

How Much Should You Feed Your Border Collie?

To know how much you should feed your Border Collie, always follow the instructions on the brand of food you chose.

Though if you are unsure or your dog has a medical condition, always consult your vet first.

 

What Food Allergens Are Common in Border Collies?

Border Collies are similar to most dogs where allergens like corn, soy, and wheat can affect them.

Other allergens like beef, dairy, grain, and chicken are also common for any dog.

 

If you are unsure what your dog is allergic to, watch for symptoms when switching foods.

 

Are Border Collie Puppies Prone to Picky Eating?

Picky eating is varied on a dog to dog basis.

Not all Border Collies are picky eaters, though there may be some underlying issues that are causing them to turn their nose up at their food.

 

Which Type of Food Would you Give your Border Collie?

I personally would give my Border Collie a kibble based diet high in protein.

Since they are an active breed, I would look for a kibble to fit the lifestyle they live.

 

When Should I Transition from Puppy to Adult Foods?

It is often recommended to transition your puppy to adult food around the six month mark.

Though if you are unsure otherwise, I suggest speaking to your vet.

 

Conclusion

Out of all the different brands I looked through today, I believe Merrick stood out most in the adult category for Border Collies.

Both the Backcountry and the Texas Beef formulas are great, so they have tied in my book.

 

They both have high quality and a great percentage of protein in their blends that will help keep your active Collie going all day.

For the puppy category, I would have to say Blue Buffalo stood out the most.

 

It has a great protein source with very little to no allergens present. It is a great starting food to help your puppy develop through their first year.

 

Further Readings

Other Puppy Food Related Topics
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