Best Dog Food for Border Collies

Dog Food

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Meg Marrs

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Best Dog Foods for Border Collies

If Usain Bolt and a genius chess grandmaster decided to have a fur baby, you’d get a Border Collie! 

It’s no joke that these speedsters of the canine world are always in fifth gear, whether they’re chasing a ball or rounding up sheep.

Most border collie owners will nod in agreement that their pooch isn’t just any dog – these pups are high-octane, high-performance athletes with fur. And just like any elite athlete, they require premium fuel. 

If you’re looking for the Michelin star dining experience for your fur-covered Einstein, you’re in the right place. Let’s delve into the best dog food tailored to the unique needs of your border collie.

Best Dog Food for Border Collies: Quick Picks

Picking a Dog Food for Your Border Collie: Dietary Needs and Health Issues

With their ceaseless energy and athletic prowess, border collies have specific dietary needs. Here’s a few of the things you need to look for when picking a dog food for your border collie:

  • Protein Rich: Border collies need a diet high in protein to support muscle development and repair. This means, among other things, looking for dog foods with a high-quality meat (such as chicken, beef, or fish) at the top of the ingredient list.
  • Joint Support: Unfortunately, border collies (who’re already active pups who put a lot of strain on their joints) are very susceptible to hip dysplasia – a condition in which the hip joint doesn’t form properly, leading to pain and lameness. This means you’ll want to look for foods with ingredients that promote joint health, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. 
  • Proper Caloric Content. Given their high-energy nature, border collies – especially those who work for a living – often require more calories than some other breeds. However, non–working and inactive border collies can become obese if fed too much (or a food with excessive calorie content). This can exacerbate some of joint and bone issues the breed is prone to. However, portion control is essential to prevent overfeeding and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Plenty of Healthy Fats: Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for maintaining a border collie’s shiny coat and healthy skin. Omega-3s also help to reduce inflammation, which can be helpful for protecting your active border collie’s joints. 
  • Lots of Vitamins and Antioxidants: All dogs need vitamins to stay healthy and antioxidants to promote a properly functioning immune system, but it’s especially important that border collies get these nutrients. Border collies frequently suffer from Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), which is a degenerative eye disorder that results in blindness. While the disease is primarily genetic, a diet rich in antioxidants, can support overall eye health (hurrah)! Additionally,  border collies are also susceptible to epilepsy and seizures. While primarily genetic, it appears that vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to seizures, so you want to make sure your doggo is getting what he needs.
  • High-Quality Carbs: Opt for dog foods that provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, preferably in the form of whole grains rather than potatoes or legumes. Diets rich in potatoes and legumes have been correlated with DCM – a potentially fatal heart condition some dogs suffer.  
  • Packed with Probiotics: A food rich in probiotics (and prebiotics – “food” that probiotics themselves need) can help maintain a healthy digestive system. Probiotics can also help prevent the kinds of digestive upset that frequently follow food transitions. 
Aside: Is Breed-Specific Food Necessary?

Let’s cut through the marketing hype and get straight to the truth: The idea that one specific dog food is tailor-made for a particular breed is often marketing nonsense.

While certain factors and ingredients may make a particular dog food more suitable for a breed like the border collie, it’s important to understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for any breed, including border collies.

So, yes, there may be dog foods with features that border collies find beneficial, but these qualities can often benefit a wide range of other dog breeds too. Remember, a dog’s individual needs, activity level, and dietary sensitivities play a significant role in determining the right dog food choice.

Best Dog Food for Border Collies

Now that you understand some of the things you’ll want to focus on when picking a food for your border collie, we can turn our attention to some specific recommendations. 

The foods discussed below are among the best possible choices for border collies – just remember to pick the one that is best-suited for your specific pet. 

1. Nom Nom [Best Overall Dog Food for Border Collies]

Best Overall Dog Food for Border Collies
Nom Nom

Premium, custom-formulated fresh dog food that's made from top-notch, US-sourced ingredients.

Special Discount: New customers can get 50% off!
Buy Now (Get 50% Off) Read Our Review

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

Because it is made with such high-quality ingredients, we consider this one of the best overall foods for ANY four-footer, including Malamutes.

About: Nom Nom is a premium fresh dog food brand that’s setting new standards of quality. Using only US-sourced ingredients that are cooked right here in the USA, each Nom Nom meal is designed with your border collie’s age, breed, and activity level in mind.

Nom Nom meals arrive in pre-measured servings, and they’re made from sustainably sourced, human-grade ingredients. Nom Nom is also an eco-friendly manufacturer, as the packaging used to ship your dog’s means is fully recyclable.

First Five Ingredients: Ground Turkey, Brown Rice, Eggs, Carrots, & Spinach

Features:

  • Backed by Science: Nom Nom meals are designed by a certified veterinary nutritionist, guaranteeing your border collie’s health and happiness are never compromised.
  • Top-Notch Quality: You can sleep easy knowing that Nom Nom uses only ingredients sourced from the USA, ensuring top-tier quality and safety in every bite.
  • Nutritious and Delicious: Nom Nom’s gentle cooking techniques lock in flavors, making every meal a nutritious treat for your furry friend.
  • Power-Packed Proteins: Every Nom Nom recipe starts with a high-quality protein source, ensuring your energetic border collie gets the vital nutrients he needs to live his best life.
  • Tailored for Your Dog: Nom Nom offers meals that are custom-crafted to cater to your border collie’s food allergies, health concerns, and dietary needs.

Ingredients List

Ground turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, spinach...,


dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, fish oil, natural flavor, vinegar, citric acid, taurine, choline bitartrate, zinc gluconate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, copper gluconate, niacin (vitamin B3), manganese gluconate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), selenium yeast, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12 supplement, cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), potassium iodide.

Pros

  • Cooked in US-based kitchens with US-sourced ingredients
  • No subscription needed – one-off orders are allowed
  • Great discounts for first-time orders
  • Option to add a probiotic supplement to your border collie’s dog food

Cons

  • Quite pricey (but this is true for most fresh dog food)
  • Most recipes are grain-free – only the turkey recipe has grains
  • No fish option for border collies who’d prefer salmon or whitefish

Like the fresh stuff?

If fresh dog food is your jam, be sure to check out our list of the best fresh dog food brands — they’re mouth-watering options that will please even the prissiest picky eaters.

2. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe with Grains [Best Dry Dog Food for Border Collies]

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

This is a great kibble for owners who want a good combination of nutrition and value, as well as border collies who love some crunch.

About: Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused is where kibble meets its wild side, a delightful combo of high-protein dry dog food and real, freeze-dried raw meat. 

Designed for the picky border collie who has a taste for the finer things in life, this recipe bridges the gap between conventional feeding and potentially dangerous raw diets (freeze-dried raw proteins are less likely to harbor pathogens).Looking to venture beyond the plains? Merrick has that covered too. If beef isn’t your border collie’s jam, swap the beef out for the aquatic allure of the Pacific Catch recipe teeming with salmon, whitefish, and trout.

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, & Oatmeal

Features:

  • Wild Protein Blend: Beef, lamb, and rabbit join forces, offering a diverse and protein-packed meal many dogs love.
  • Raw Infusion for Flavor Bonus: Freeze-dried raw meat pieces are included, offering a flavor burst that makes each bite an experience for your border.
  • Grain-Inclusive Diet: Brown rice and barley are both included, delivering energy without the inclusion of peas or lentils.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Skin and coat health get a boost, thanks to the included omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Joint Support Twofer:, This recipe is fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health (always a big bonus for borders).
  • Made in the USA: Quality and safety are paramount, with each bag reflecting the stringent standards of US manufacturing.

Ingredients List

Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal...,


Barley, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor, Lamb, Lamb Meal, Flaxseed, Beef Liver, Dried Yeast, Tapioca, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Calcium Iodate), DL-Methionine, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness. 2B20504

Pros

  • Freeze-dried raw pieces drive dogs wild
  • Grain-inclusive foods mean no worrying about grain-free DCM concerns
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine are nice bonuses

Cons

  • Even freeze-dried raw proteins can theoretically harbor pathogens
  • It’s a premium choice with a price tag to match 

3. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe [Best Wet/Canned Dog Food for Border Collies]

Best Wet/Canned Dog Food for Border Collies
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe

A tasty wet food made with nutritious proteins, whole grains, produce, vitamins, and natural antioxidants.

Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

Because it is made with such high-quality ingredients, we consider this one of the best overall foods for ANY four-footer, including Malamutes.

About: Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is a gentle-on-the-purse mix of authentic meat, organ-loaded liver, wholesome grains, and fresh-from-the-farm produce, all wrapped into a smooth pâté masterpiece. Plus, the magic of the broth not only jazzes up the taste but also amps up your furry friend’s hydration game. Perfectly tailored to meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for adult maintenance, this is a nosh choice worth wagging about. 

First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, & Peas

Features:

  • Meat for Days: Always placing real meat at the front of the pack, this food ensures your pooch enjoys the animal protein bonanza needed for muscle development and body repair.
  • No Triggers: Say ta-ta to common allergy-inducing ingredients like soy, dairy, and wheat. 
  • All Natural: This food is made without any artificial flavors and preservatives — this food goes natural all the way!
  • Veggie-Packed Potion: This meaty mix doesn’t neglect the green thumbs, with visible garden delights like crisp carrots and peppy peas, bringing fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants to the bowl.
  • Spoiled for Choice: Whet your border collie’s protein appetite with four scrumptious options — beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey meatloaf.
  • Home-Grown Goodness: Despite sourcing ingredients from around the globe, Blue Buffalo takes pride in their American roots and oversees production on their home soil.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas...,

Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Flaxseed, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Pros

  • Budget-friendly, high-quality canned goodness for your dog
  • Pâté texture that works for even toothless smiles
  • Bowls licked clean speak volumes about taste

Cons

  • Some dog parents turn their noses up at peas due to their correlation with DCM
  • Fussy furballs might be more enthusiastic about stew-style canned options compared to pâté

4. Nutro Ultra Puppy [Best Dog Food for Border Collie Puppies]

Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherd Puppies
Nutro Ultra Puppy

A kibble made with a superfood combo of quality proteins, produce, and grains for healthy puppy development.

Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

This is a great option for most border collie puppies!

About: Nutro Ultra Puppy consists of juicy morsels packed with lean animal protein, hardy grains, and wholesome fats. This kibble ensures the all-around growth and development of your little woofer, as it satisfies the AAFCO’s guidelines for growing puppies. With fiber promoting a smooth-as-butter digestive process and antioxidants fortifying the immune system, it’s a recipe that’s got your pooch covered!

First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Oats, & Whole Grain Brown Rice

Features:

  • Protein-Packed Poultry: Giving top billing to chicken, this recipe believes in putting the good stuff up front, along with a second helping of protein-rich chicken meal.
  • Brains and Ocular Oomph: Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA come to the rescue, enhancing brain and eye development in your border collie pup.
  • Skipping Sensitivity Triggers: Made without common allergy triggers like wheat and soy, this food is a safe haven for baby doggies with sensitivities.
  • Non-GMO FTW!: One of the rare champions of non-GMO fare, Nutro incorporates natural spinach, kale, and coconut in this recipe.
  • American Pride: Produced in the USA, Nutro blends in ingredients from across the global pantry.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin), Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Brown Rice...,


Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Whole Grain Sorghum, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Whole Flaxseed, Pea Protein, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Dried Coconut, Whole Chia Seed, Dried Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Dried Kale, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Spinach, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots, , DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Pros

  • Nibble-sized kibble, pawfect for your growing pup
  • Offers exceptional value for food of this quality
  • Big thumbs-up from pet parents questing for non-GMO nutrition

Cons

  • Finicky little furballs might need a bit of a nudge to try this kibble
  • We wish it included probiotics

5. Merrick Healthy Grains Senior [Best Dog Food for Senior Border Collies]

Best Dog Food for Senior Border Collies
Merrick Healthy Grains Senior

A grain-inclusive senior kibble that’s loaded with joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

Because it is made with such high-quality ingredients, we consider this one of the best overall foods for ANY four-footer, including Malamutes.

About: Keep your fur baby feeling youthful with Merrick Healthy Grains Senior, a recipe that packs a protein punch, tailored for pups in their golden years. This dog food’s claim to fame includes hefty doses of glucosamine and chondroitin to ease joint challenges, as well as plenty of omega-3 fatty acids to promote skin and coat health. 

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, & Barley

Features:

  • Meat Takes the Crown: The first ingredient in this food is a named meat, trailed by a well-detailed meat meal, making sure your furball is nourished with an extra protein punch.
  • Grains Go Classic and Quirky: Balancing the comfort of common grains like brown rice and oatmeal with the exotic charm of quinoa, this dog food takes an innovative approach to nutrition.
  • Spud and Legume Skip: Give your pup a legume- and potato-free feast with this senior dog food.
  • Omega Oasis: Flaxseed and salmon oil deliver a generous dose of omega-3 fatty acids, leading to envied skin health and shiny coats worthy of a glossy canine calendar.
  • Mobility Champions: With glucosamine and chondroitin doing their “joint wellness” dance, older border collies can bounce about with less aches and more joy.
  • Digestion Dabblers: A symphony of balanced probiotics make sure that digestion is never a ruff ride for your canine.
  • Proudly American: Mixing global ingredients with a dash of domestic brilliance, Merrick dog food is lovingly prepared in the USA.

Ingredients List

Deboned chicken, Chicken meal, Brown rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,


Turkey meal, Chicken fat, Quinoa, Natural flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon oil, Potassium chloride, Salt, Apples, Carrots, Sunflower oil, Organic dehydrated alfalfa meal, Choline chloride, Iron amino acid complex, Zinc amino acid complex, Zinc sulfate, Sodium selenite, Manganese amino acid complex, Copper amino acid complex, Potassium iodide, Cobalt proteinate, Cobalt carbonate, Taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, Mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E supplement, Vitamin B12 supplement, Riboflavin supplement, Vitamin A acetate, d-Calcium pantothenate, Thiamine mononitrate, Folic acid, Niacin, Biotin, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 supplement, Citric acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product

Pros

  • Contains tons of protein content that lets it edge out competitors
  • Many pooch parents vouch for the visible coat glow this food provides
  • The grain blend and probiotics may help soothe your dog’s digestion

Cons

  • It might be a tad rich with its above-average fat content
  • We wish there were more veggies in the mix.

6. Natural Balance LID with Grains [Best Dog Food for Border Collies with Food Allergies]

Best Dog Food for Border Collies with Food Allergies
Natural Balance LID with Grains

A nutritious, grain-inclusive dog food designed to nourish your pet without triggering his food allergies.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

Because it is made with such high-quality ingredients, we consider this one of the best overall foods for ANY four-footer, including Malamutes.

About: Natural Balance’s LID with Grains takes the art of simplification seriously. Every bag is formulated with novel proteins, carving out a sanctuary for border collies with sensitive stomachs and those prone to allergic reactions. 

Each bowl focuses on the essentials while leaving out any ingredients that could send your pup’s stomach or skin a-rumbling. With the added bonus of omega-3s and taurine, this quality food isn’t just about filling your border collie’s tummy – it also promotes his overall well-being, from a glossy coat to a robust heart.

First Five Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, & Rice Bran

Features:

  • No Fluff Here: No soy, no gluten, and definitely no artificial flavors or colors – this recipe is all about top-notch ingredients.
  • Real Meat Comes First: Real meat takes the center stage in every bite.
  • Various Protein Options: Choose from 5 protein options to accommodate both common and novel protein preferences.
  • Single Protein Source: Every bag of kibble features a single protein source to make dodging sensitivity triggers a breeze for your border.
  • Rich in Omega-3s: Every strand of fur of your pup’s glossy coat will benefit from omega-3s, for more luxurious locks.
  • Safety-First Manufacturing: Natural Balance LID is tested multiple times to ensure safety in every bite.
  • Made in the USA: Crafted with care on American soil, featuring a global collection of ingredients sourced from trusted partners.

Ingredients List

Lamb meal, brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran...,

canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and lactic acid), lamb, dried tomato pomace, brewers dried yeast, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, taurine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Inositol, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin), minerals (ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, citric acid (used as a preservative), rosemary extract

Pros

  • Each batch of dog food passes through rigorous testing
  • Wallet-friendly, offering an LID diet at a more affordable price than others
  • Many pup parents witnessed a change in skin health and digestive peace
  • It’s one of the few grain-inclusive LID recipes

Cons

  • Joint supplements and probiotics aren’t included
  • No produce – although this can actually be seen as a plus for an LID dog food

7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Plus Wholesome Grains [Best Dog Food for Border Collies with Joint Issues]

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

Thanks to its included joint-supporting compounds, this is a great option for border collies with joint problems.

About: Dive into a world where high protein meets wholesome grains with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon plus Wholesome Grains. This dry food marries real meat taking the lead, followed by a healthy dose of fresh fruits and vegetables, offering natural fiber and must-have nutrients. 

Plus, Blue Buffalo’s trademarked LifeSource Bits, which pack a powerhouse of antioxidants tailored for immune system support. In this diet, traditional grains like oatmeal and barley are complemented by alternative carbs like potatoes and sweet potatoes, crafting a balanced energy source for your border collie

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Fish Meal, Dried Chicken, Oatmeal, & Barley

Features:

  • Joint-Supportive Glucosamine: With a touch of glucosamine, each bite aims to rejuvenate the joints, ensuring spry steps for active young border collie puppies and graceful mobility for the seniors with grey-furred paws.
  • Salmon Protein & More: Salmon takes #1 spot on the ingredient list, followed closely by fish meal and chicken, offering a spectrum of proteins for your border collie buddy.
  • Belly-Friendly Probiotics: A harmonious blend of prebiotics and probiotics aims to cultivate a garden of gut health, aiming for optimal digestion and firmer stools.
  • Free of Common Triggers: With more sensitive border collies in mind, this recipe excludes artificial additives, soy, and wheat for canine dining experience free of common digestive adversaries.
  • Crafted in the USA: With a stamp of quality, Blue’s recipes are crafted on American soil, featuring a blend of domestic and globally sourced ingredients.

Ingredients List

Deboned Salmon, Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Chicken, Oatmeal, Barley...,


Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Potatoes, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Pea Protein, Potato Starch, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Salt, L-Threonine, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Dried Chicory Root, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Choline Chloride, Carrots, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary

Pros

  • Boasts an impressive 34% protein content
  • A versatile kibble size that caters to both the petite and the large pups alike
  • It’s packed with joint-supporting supplements

Cons

  • The mix of different animal proteins might not work for border collies with allergies
  • Some pups pick around the included LifeSource Bits

Want some more joint-health options?

This isn’t the only dog food on the market designed for dogs with joint issues. Check out some of our other favorite dog foods with glucosamine for more options!

8. CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dog Food with Lamb [Best Dog Food for Active & Working Border Collies]

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

This four-footer fuel is perfect for working border collies or canine athletes.

About: Does your border collie have a job? If so, you’ll want to provide him with a diet that can fuel his fast-paced lifestyle! CRAVE’s Grain Free High Protein Dog Food has positioned itself as a viable option for supporting the activity needs of these spirited canines. 

Inspired by the primal diet of ancient canines, CRAVE’s Lamb recipe aims to offer a balanced, meat-centric meal. With lamb and chicken meal taking center stage, this high-quality dog food boasts a robust protein content, constituting 34% of the total composition. 

It’s designed to support the muscle development and energy levels necessary for your collie’s pedal-to-the-metal mentality.

First Five Ingredients: Lamb, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, & Lentils

Key Features:

  • Protein Powerhouse: The inclusion of lamb and chicken ensures that your pup is getting a substantial amount of protein, aiding in muscle development and energy.
  • Grain-Free Goodness: Tailored for canines with grain allergies or for owners who opt for grain-free food, this formula omits grains and gluten.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Beyond its meaty core, these dog foods are fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids sourced from quality ingredients like flaxseed.
  • Natural Integrity: Absent of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, each serving is as close to natural as possible.
  • Other Options to Explore: CRAVE acknowledges diverse palates, offering fish, beef, turkey, and chicken recipes as alternatives, each maintaining a high protein content.

Ingredients List

Lamb, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Lentils...,

Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pork Meal, Fish Meal, Dried Chicken, Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract

Pros

  • High protein content to support the needs of active dogs 
  • Grain-free option can be appropriate for dogs with specific dietary requirements 
  • Many dogs love these kinds of meat-heavy recipes

Cons

  • As with any high-protein food, ensure your dog gets ample exercise to utilize the protein efficiently and prevent weight gain
  • We wish it had supplements like glucosamine or probiotics
Exercise Caution with Grain-Free Foods

Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before selecting a grain-free food for your doggo.

Veterinarians have established a correlation between grain-free foods and increased rates of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

It isn’t yet clear whether grain-free foods are causing these problems or if it is coincidence.

Nevertheless, caution is warranted.

Additionally, the overwhelming majority of dogs digest grains without issue, and few four-footers are actually allergic to grains (most food allergies are caused by things like chicken, beef, or dairy products).

9. Blue Buffalo Veterinary Diet W+M

Best Dog Food for Overweight Border Collies
Blue Buffalo Veterinary Diet W+M
A veterinarian-designed prescription diet that's formulated with joint supplements and a ton of omega-3s.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Chewy

WHO’S THIS FOOD BEST FOR?

Any border collie who’s struggling with obesity — especially those who also have joint problems.

About: There’s no denying that Border Collie’s have a knack for agility, but they’re also predisposed to hip and bone challenges. Keeping them fit and trim is our top priority. Enter Blue Buffalo’s W+M Recipe, the perfect partner for a heftier canine’s waistline management. 

Sure, it’s a prescription food, but it has a stellar combo of salmon and chicken, and a boost of omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin, making this grain-free dry dog food perfect for glowing skin, a lush coat, and pain-free joints. 

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Powdered Cellulose, & Peas

Features:

  • Protein Power Play: Led by deboned salmon, followed up with chicken meal and shrimp meal, this healthy diet dog food promises protein-packed goodness.
  • Fruit & Veggie Fiesta: Blueberries, sweet potatoes, and peas serve up fiber, flavor, and vital vitamins to keep those tails wagging and tummies satisfied.
  • Antioxidant Avalanche: Thanks to Blue’s LifeSource Bits, your pup gets a dose of cold-pressed, antioxidant-rich nuggets. 
  • Sensitive Stomach Superhero: This food’s all about keeping tummies happy. It’s a grain-free food too, which can be an added boon for grain-sensitive pups.
  • Red, White, and Blue Buffalo: Crafted with love in the USA, using top-grade ingredients cherry-picked from trusted global sources.

Ingredients List

Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Powdered Cellulose, Peas...,


Tapioca Starch, Natural Flavor, Pea Starch, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Fish Oil (source of EPA-Eicosapentaenoic Acid), Gelatin, Cranberries, Dried Tomato Pomace, Canola Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Shrimp Meal (source of Glucosamine), Potassium Sulfate, Pea Fiber, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Betaine Hydrochloride, Calcium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Chicory Root (source of Soluble Fiber), Taurine, Calcium Sulfate, Potatoes, Turmeric, Pomegranate, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, L-Threonine, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, L-Tryptophan, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Garlic, Vegetable Juice for color, Salt, Blueberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Copper Sulfate, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

Pros

  • Owners witness better mobility and more weight loss after switching to this dog food.
  • Some owners say this dog food made their canines more energetic
  • We love the inclusion of antioxidant-rich ingredients

Cons

  • Relatively pricey (but that’s expected for a prescription diet)
  • Grain-free dog food diet that includes peas, which isn’t ideal for those concerned about DCM

Bonus: Got a Picky Border Collie?

picky border collies

Any dog breed can be picky, and this includes many border collies. But fortunately, there’s an easy fix: Add a tasty topper to your dog’s kibble! 

There are a number of great dog food toppers on the market, but Stella & Chewy makes one of our favorites. 

Best Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Super Beef

Grain-free, freeze-dried raw dog food that's packed with nutrients, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

You can think of Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Meal Magic Toppers as a tasty treat packed with top-shelf proteins (yep, we’re talking drool-worthy organ meats) and a garden of organic veggies. 

While you can use these recipes as stand-alone diets, most owners use them to upgrade their dog’s  boring ol’ kibble with some added protein and taste.

And here’s the kicker: This is one of the rare freeze-dried meals with a bonus dose of probiotics! Whether you splash some water for a solo serving or sprinkle it atop your furball’s fave dish, mealtime is sure to get a lot more wag-worthy.

Features:

  • Pick Your Protein Parade: From clucking chicken, grazing lamb, to diving salmon and cod — there’s a flavor to tickle every canine taste bud.
  • Tail-Wagging Nutrition: Every mix (except the fishy one) is all set to nourish your border buddy from wobbly pup stages to majestic doggo strides, adhering to AAFCO’s standards for growth and maintenance.
  • Solo-Protein Showdown: Except for the Savory Salmon & Cod, each bag sticks to one protein hero — perfect for our allergy-prone fur friends.
  • Fuss-Free Feasts: A snap to store and even simpler to serve, it’s freeze-dried delight in a resealable pouch. Simply pour, mix, and watch that tail go wild!
  • Proudly American: Stella & Chewy whip up this yumminess right here in the USA, sourcing top-notch ingredients globally.

Pros

  • Probiotics and organic produce are major plus 
  • This can function as normal dog food or a dog food topper
  • Even picky pups tend to be big fans of this food

Cons

  • It’s likely too expensive for most pet parents to use as a complete meal
  • It’s grain-free
Pet-Care Pro Tip: Change Foods Gradually

It is crucial to change your dog’s food gradually to avoid any potential digestive upset or tummy trouble.

To transition your dog to a new food, start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your dog’s current food. Gradually increase the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of the old food over a period of 7 to 10 days.

This slow transition will allow your dog’s digestive system to adjust to the new food comfortably and healthily.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Good Dog Food: Boxes to Check!

how to pick dog food

When it comes to nourishing your beloved barker, choosing the right dog food is crucial. This is especially true for border collie owners, given the breed’s unique nutritional needs aligned with their high energy levels and intelligence. 

Some key considerations for choosing a dog food, for any dog, include:

  • Adherence to Nutritional Guidelines: While a plethora of dog foods are available on the market, always opt for ones that strictly adhere to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional standards for your dog’s life stage. These stringent guidelines ensure that every bite your pet takes is enriched with the key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals he needs. 
  • Consultation with a Veterinarian: Embarking on the journey to select the perfect dog food should always involve consulting a trusted veterinarian. Your vet’s professional insight, coupled with his or her understanding of your dog’s individual health history, is instrumental in making an informed decision.
  • Addressing Specific Health Needs: Every dog is unique, with some requiring special attention due to particular health conditions or sensitivities. In such cases, it’s vital to select a dog food that is specifically formulated to address these health concerns. 

Additional Criteria for Selecting a Dog Food: Going from “Good” to “Great!”

secondary dog food considerations

While all good dog foods will satisfy the three criteria explained above, the very best foods will also check these boxes: 

  • Is there a canine nutritionist on staff at the brand? Having a canine nutritionist on board signifies the brand’s commitment to understanding and catering to the specific dietary requirements of dogs. 
  • How often are safety inspections performed by the company? The frequency of safety inspections is a testament to the brand’s commitment to ensuring their products are manufactured in hygienic conditions and are free from contaminants. These inspections validate the freshness and safety of the ingredients incorporated in a quality dog food.
  • Is the dog food manufactured in a Western country? The geographic location of the production plant can be a telltale sign of the food’s quality. Western nations typically enforce rigorous regulations and quality assurance practices in the domain of pet food manufacturing.
  • Does the brand operate its own manufacturing kitchens? A brand that possesses its own production infrastructure often is able to offer enhanced quality control and safety protocols, which is more difficult to do in shared kitchens.
  • Is a complete protein prominently featured as the primary ingredient in the dog food? When a dog food has a meat ingredient as the #1 in the list, it typically signifies a diet with a sufficient amount of protein, which is key for dogs.
  • Are meat meals and by-products explicitly detailed on the ingredient list? Avoid ambiguous listing of “meat meals” and by-products and instead opt for labeled meat meals (like “salmon meal” or “chicken meal”).
  • Does the dog food integrate whole grains? Incorporating whole, lightly processed grains ensures that the dog food is enriched with fiber and other necessary nutrients, fostering optimal health. While grain-free dog food diets may be suitable for some dogs, it’s not worth the DCM risks for many.

Best Dog Food for Border Collies: FAQ

border collie food questions

Still have questions about the best dog food for your border collie? Fret not! We’re here to help! We’ve rounded up some of the most common queries and explained the answers below!

What type of dog food is best for border collies?

Border collies are energetic and athletic dogs, requiring a dog food that’s rich in protein to support their fast-moving life. Look for dog food with whole protein sources such as chicken, beef, pork, turkey, or lamb as primary ingredients. Look for dog foods where the second ingredient is a meat protein too.

How many times a day should I feed my border collie?

Adult border collies should be fed two meals a day to maintain their metabolism and energy levels. However, border collie puppies may require feeding three to four times a day until they’re mature.

Can I give my border collie the same food I feed my other dogs?

It depends on the nutritional needs of your other dogs. If your other dogs are equally active and healthy, then it might be okay. However, it’s essential to ensure that the food meets your border collie’s specific dietary needs and health issues.

Are there specific food ingredients I should avoid for my border collie?

Try to avoid dog foods filled with unnamed by-products or mystery meals, artificial additives, or sweeteners, all of which can contribute to obesity and other health issues.

My border collie is a picky eater. What should I do?

Try different varieties of food to find out what your dog likes. Including some wet food or bone broth in your border collie’s dog food can make dry kibble more appealing. You may also have better luck with a dog food that features freeze-dried raw bonus bites or fresh dog food. However, try to avoid frequently switching between dog food brands as it can upset your pet’s stomach.

   

Your border collie deserves only the best – including the food he eats! We hope this collection of recommended dog food for border collies will get your barker  ramped up and ready to take on the world – or at least the backyard — with gusto!

What do you feed your border collie? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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