Border Collies are beautiful and highly intelligent dogs, but they’re also very active and quite rambunctious. As such, they need plenty of physical and mental exercise to remain healthy and happy. And there is another thing they need for proper development and long-term wellbeing: the right kind of diet.
This diet must be packed with high-quality protein to help them build strong muscles, and it should also contain plenty of healthy fats and some complex carbohydrates to give them energy and stamina. To help you find such dog food for your Collie, we tried and reviewed dozens of different recipes – including the grain-inclusive and grain-free formulas – detailing some of our favorites below. And if you need more information on a healthy diet for Border Collies our comprehensive buying guide contains everything you need to know!
Crafted with novel and nutritious protein sources, including salmon and ocean fish meal, this tasty and well-balanced dog food is a good choice for all breeds, but especially Border Collies who are sensitive to typical proteins such as chicken and beef, as well as grains. Importantly, this recipe is also highly digestible thanks to added species-specific probiotics which not only boost gut health but also help strengthen your pup’s immune system.
But that’s not all – thanks to the many superfoods in this recipe, including blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes, the formula is also packed with antioxidants, which further help to boost immunity and overall health and well-being of your dog. To avoid any possible allergic reactions and to protect sensitive digestion, there are no eggs or grains, making this recipe ideal for sensitive Collies with high energy needs. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is one of 7 dog food recipes mentioned in our overview of Taste of The Wild Dog Food.
25 percent protein content provided by high-quality fish sources
Blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes and other antioxidants
Packed with essential fatty acids for shiny coat and healthy skin
Contains added probiotics for easy digestion
If you have a multi-pet household and you need healthy puppy food as well as adult and senior dog food for your Border Collies, we highly recommend CANIDAE All Life Stages recipe. Made with multiple proteins, including chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, and ocean fish meal, this formula contains a minimum of 24 percent protein to help your dog build strong, healthy muscle. There’s also a minimum of 14.5 percent of fat thanks to salmon oil, chicken fat, and flaxseed, which, aside from providing energy, is also essential for your pet’s skin and coat health.
The recipe also contains probiotics, added after processing so they are not damaged by the heat, making them easily digestible. To protect delicate digestion, the food is free from corn, wheat, and soy, however, it contains wholesome grains for extra antioxidant and fiber content. CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken is one of 5 dog food recipes included in our review of CANIDAE Dog Food.
Minimum of 24 percent protein
Contains chicken, turkey and lamb meal
Added probiotics (HealthPlus Solutions)
Vet-formulated for dogs of all breeds and ages
Made from simple and wholesome ingredients, this is a limited ingredients recipe to keep your sensitive dog’s diet nice and clean. The primary ingredients are sweet potato and salmon which provide plenty of carbohydrate and protein content, needed for energy and muscle development. Just what an active dog like a Border Colie needs!
The sweet potato contains highly digestible fiber and is packed with potassium, while salmon and fish provide all the amino acids your dog needs, plus plenty of omega-3 essential fatty acids for healthy skin and a thick, shiny coat. The kibble is completely grain-free and contains no artificial additives that could upset a delicate tummy. The recipe is formulated for all breeds but we find it suits best adult Border Collie dogs with high energy needs and sensitive stomachs. Natural Balance L.I.D. Small Breed Salmon & Sweet Potato is one of 5 dog food recipes included in our overview of Natural Balance Dog Food.
21 percent of protein
Limited ingredients recipe
Based on salmon and fish
Grain-free formula for adult dogs
Feed your Border Collie this delicious, protein-rich food that consists of both crunchy kibble and tender shredded pieces for maximum enjoyment and watch them thrive. Aside from deliciousness, this recipe also contains plenty of nutritious ingredients, including real salmon, fish meal, and wholesome grains.
There’s also natural prebiotic fiber sourced from wheat bran which promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, helping promote better digestion. Added vitamins and minerals are also there, making the food 100% complete and balanced for adult dogs.
Find out more about Purina Pro Plan Dog Food.
Minimum 26 percent protein
Contains real salmon and fish meal
Wheat bran as a source of natural prebiotic fiber
Made with rice, which is a great carbohydrate source for energy
Looking for high-protein dog food for your Border Collie? Check out Merrick’s Chicken & Sweet Potato recipe as the protein and healthy fat content makes up 70 percent of the formula. There are three protein sources – chicken, turkey meal, and salmon meal – plus several excellent fat sources such as salmon oil, sunflower oil, and flaxseed.
Some of the ‘super foods’ are also part of the ingredient list, including sweet potato, blueberries, apples, and peas, which deliver plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. Since the recipe has a very high protein content (38 percent minimum), it’s best suited for highly active Collies as well as pups with tummy issues as there are no grains or artificial additives of any kind.
You may also like our article on Merrick Dog Food.
Minimum 38 percent protein content
Contains deboned chicken, turkey meal and salmon meal
Powerful levels of omega-3 fatty acids
Glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
No grains or artificial additives
If you need delicious and nutritious wet puppy food, we suggest checking out Merrick Classic Grain-Free Canned Food. Made with multiple protein sources, including real turkey, chicken, and duck, plus antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits like carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and peas, this is one healthy puppy food specifically formulated to support the growth and proper development of young pups.
To provide a complete diet, the recipe is also fortified with added vitamins and minerals, however, it is free from grains and artificial flavors and preservatives, making it one of the best, if not the best food for a Border Collie puppy.
Minimum of 10 per cent crude protein
Multiple protein sources and easy to digest carbohydrates
Specifically formulated for puppies
If you want the best for your senior Border Collie, feed them a diet that is specifically formulated for their life stage. We recommend Orijen Senior dry dog food as it’s absolutely packed with highly nutritious, nourishing ingredients that will help your old canine companion thrive for many more years to come.
Made with real meat and fish, including real chicken and turkey, herring, flounder, mackerel, sardines, and more, this high-protein food contains a whopping 38% of protein. To preserve the nutritional content, a third of the meat has been air-dried at low temperatures, while the remaining meat content is fresh or raw and has been flash frozen. This removes the need for the use of artificial preservatives, making the food exceptionally healthy and biologically appropriate for your Collie.
It provides all the nutrients that a senior dog needs and has no grains or potatoes as cheap fillers. ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the best dog food recipes presented in our detailed Orijen Dog Food Review.
38 percent protein, multiple high-quality meat and fish sources
Carefully prepared meat to maintain nutrients
No grains or potato
Packed with antioxidants and fiber
Free-run chicken and turkey, cage-free egss and wild-caught fish
Another high-quality, nutritious food that is ideal for active Borders is the ACANA Grasslands recipe. Made with novel proteins, including lamb, duck, goat meal, catfish meal, nest-laid eggs, rainbow trout, and free-run quail, this is one high protein recipe that is guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of dogs out there.
The formula has been matched carefully to the diet of wild dogs to suit your dog’s natural physiology, so liver, tripe, and cartilage are included to provide essential nutrients. A full 30 percent of the recipe is made up of carbohydrates, including easy-to-digest vegetables and fruits, such as pinto beans, green lentils, pumpkin, apples, carrots, and more. All in all, a fantastic Border Collie food that is sure to nourish your pup and promote longevity. ACANA Grasslands Grain-Free is one of 4 dog food recipes mentioned in our review of Acana Dog Food.
Check out our article on Dog Food for Picky Dogs.
33 percent protein, high quality, novel sources
Matches the diet of wild dogs, biologically appropriate
Easy to digest fruit and vegetables
Free from grains and all artificial additives
A nicely balanced dry food, Nutro Wholesome Essentials contains everything your Border needs to thrive. As well as the protein to build strong muscles (farm-raised chicken), there are natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support your canine companion’s healthy joints, plus carefully controlled levels of calcium to build strong bones.
The recipe is full of flavor and contains easy-to-digest carbohydrates such as sweet potato and rice which provide plenty of energy for a lively pup. There are no grains, no chicken by-product meal, and no artificial additives that could upset a delicate digestion and trigger allergies, so it’s a safe choice for dogs with digestive issues.
Read here our detailed Nutro Dog Foods Review.
26 percent protein
Made with farm-raised chicken
Carefully controlled calcium levels
No grains or artificial additives
Feed your Border Collie puppy this high-quality wet dog food that is rich in protein and healthy fat, and watch them grow and thrive. Made with three proteins – chicken, turkey, and salmon – this recipe contains all amino acids your pup needs to develop strong muscles. And thanks to salmon oil and flaxseed oil, there is plenty of omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Peas, sweet potatoes, organic alfalfa, carrots, and apples are also part of the ingredients list, helping load up the antioxidant content. Of course, the recipe is also enriched with added vitamins and minerals, making it nicely balanced and 100% complete – perfect for Border Collie puppies who like wet food!
9 percent protein, 3 protein sources
Salmon oil and flaxseed oil for omega-3s
Grain-free formula for sensitive stomachs
To ensure your Border Collie develops properly and remains healthy and happy throughout their whole life, it’s essential you feed them a healthy, nutritious diet that will support their fast metabolism and high energy needs. But which Border Collie food should you pick? With so many different recipes available, finding the right one for your dog may be somewhat difficult. To help you pick out the absolute best food for your pet, we’ve prepared this buying guide in which we cover literally everything you need to know about quality dog foods for Collies, including how to find the right one for your pup.
Hard-working and exceptionally intelligent, Border Collies need a high-quality diet to fuel both their bodies and minds. Here are some of the things you should ask yourself when looking for the best food for your Collie.
Check out our reviews of Fish Oil for Dogs and Salmon Oil for Dogs.
Border Collies are highly intelligent and active dogs who need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to remain happy and healthy. Their diet is a big part of this so it is vital that you understand their nutritional needs. Here are the basics.
This needs to be carefully worked out for your individual dog depending on their age, size, activity levels, and lifestyle. Your vet will be able to give you an ideal weight that you should be aiming for and will advise on calorie intake to maintain that weight. Tailoring your pup’s diet to fit their specific needs may take some trial and error, but don’t give up. Border Collies will not self-regulate their diet and most will just carry on eating whenever there’s food available!
As a very rough guide, you could expect senior and less active dogs to need around 700 calories per day but an active dog that loves long walks and extended play sessions could need 1,000 calories per day. A Border collie that is actively working as a herding dog could need as much as 1,400 calories per day.
You may also like our guide on High-Calorie Dog Food.
Because they are very active dogs, Collies need a lot of high-quality protein to build strong muscle. This is essential for an active lifestyle and especially important for a working dog. High-quality sources of protein from lean meat and fish are the best options.
Working dogs place a lot of strain on their joints because they are running and leaping around so much. These two supplements are essential for healthy cartilage and joints. They can be found in food naturally as part of meat meals but they can also be added as a supplement. Look out for them on the nutrients list.
Calcium is essential for building strong bones and needs to be matched with phosphorous levels in the body. It is essential for active dogs but the levels of calcium in a pup’s diet need to be carefully controlled. Look out for food that is specifically crafted for active dogs.
Take a look at this article on Calcium Supplements for Dogs.
These are essential to provide energy for an active lifestyle but they must be provided by healthy sources. Look for ingredients such as whole grains, legumes, and antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits for carbohydrate sources as they’re also packed with fiber and will help regulate blood sugar levels.
Border Collies do shed quite a bit and anything that helps minimize this is a good idea. Consider buying dog foods that contain chicken fat as it’s rich in omega-6 fatty acids, but more importantly, fish and salmon oil, flaxseed and flaxseed oil as these are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which besides being excellent for skin and coat health, are also important for a strong immune system.
Border Collies are a fairly tolerant breed when it comes to diet but there are still certain ingredients that you may want to avoid feeding them.
You can expect your Border Collie to live anywhere between 10 and 14 years and to enjoy remarkably good health provided they have a suitable diet and plenty of exercises. However, as with all breeds, they can suffer from some minor health problems.
Here are some of the more common.
One characteristic of the Border Collie breed is that they will not self-regulate their food intake: if you keep feeding them, they will carry on eating! This will inevitably lead to obesity and all the associated health problems, such as diabetes and joint problems. Left to their own devices, a Border Collie will easily eat their whole day’s allocation of food in just 15 minutes. Therefore, a strict feeding routine is vital.
So, how much food should a Border Collie eat? Speak to your vet about the total calories your dog needs and then stick to what they prescribe. Monitor your dog’s weight and make adjustments if needed. Border Collie pups need to be fed twice a day but this should be continued into adulthood. One meal a day is not going to suit this breed, no matter how rich. In fact, some owners find that their pets do better on three meals a day – this depends on how active your dog is. Finally, remember that food treats given as rewards for training need to be subtracted from the overall daily calorie allowance.
While all dog foods featured on our Best List are fantastic recipes, our top pick has to be Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dry Dog Food. This is a nicely balanced formula that is rich in top-quality protein and contains plenty of healthy fats, plus some fiber- and antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, making it an ideal Border Collie food for both indoor and outdoor pets. As a bonus, the recipe is supplemented with probiotics for healthy digestion, which means it’s suitable even for sensitive canines.
Sharon is a Ph.D. scientist and experienced pet content writer. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a Cockapoo puppy. She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and turning it into easy-to-understand articles that offer practical tips. When it comes to our furry friends, she knows that there is always something new to learn!