The food that you, as a pet owner, feed your dog is one of the most important aspects of keeping your pet healthy. If you own a Border Collie, then you know how high their energy and activity levels can be. They need to be fed a diet that is suitable for their high metabolism so that they can maintain that energy level to get the stimulation and exercise that they require.
Like all dog breeds, Border Collies benefit from high-quality dog food that contains the essential nutrients they need to survive. The most important ingredients a dog food should contain are meat-based proteins, and any dog food that is high in these proteins is suitable for your Border Collie. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best dog foods for Border Collies, complete with reviews, so that you can determine which one is best for your dog.
A Quick Look at Our Favorite Picks in 2023
|Best Overall||The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription||
||Click to Save 50%|
|Budget Buy||American Journey Active Life||
|Orijen Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food||
|ACANA Wholesome Grains||
|Wellness CORE Wholesome Grains||
The 11 Best Dog Foods for Border Collies
1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Main Ingredients:||USDA Beef, Sweet Potato, Lentils|
Border Collies are a breed of dog known for their intelligence and working abilities. They require a diet that is high in protein and good-quality fats in order to maintain their energy and health. The Farmer’s Dog pet food is a great option for Border Collies because it is made with real, human-grade ingredients, and it is free from grain, gluten, and artificial additives. Subscribe to The Farmer’s Dog and get fresh, custom-made dog food delivered to your door packed in dry ice.
The first step is to build a customized feeding profile by inputting your dog’s age, weight, breed, activity level, and allergies. You can then select a flavor (beef, turkey, pork, or chicken) and arrange a delivery schedule. Designed and formulated by veterinarian specialists certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, The Farmer’s Dog is manufactured in USDA-inspected facilities in the United States.
By gently cooking at lower temperatures, each recipe avoids damaging vitamins and nutrients that are sensitive to high temperatures, and this recipe contains more protein, fat, and quality carbs than typical wet-recipe dog food. The Farmer’s Dog is made with the highest-quality ingredients, and features added taurine, fish oils, and chelated minerals to further support the overall health and vitality of Border Collies and help meet the nutritional needs of these dogs.
2. American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food – Budget Buy
|Main Ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice|
Besides high-protein dog food, you can also feed your Border Collie dog food that is formulated for active dogs. American Journey Active Life dog food is one of the best foods for active dogs because it contains meat-based proteins and vegetable ingredients that can keep your dog’s entire body healthy. Although the main ingredients are meat-based proteins, this dog food also contains sweet potatoes and carrots, which are rich in nutrients, as well as antioxidants to help keep your Collie’s beautiful coat healthy and shiny as well.
Because it isn’t specifically a high-protein formula, this food does contain less protein than other foods, but enough that your dog can get the protein he needs. It also has appropriate fat content for active dogs and is low in calories as well. The only downside is that your dog may not like this particular food if he doesn’t like chicken, but it doesn’t come in other flavors as well. But it’s extremely affordable, so overall, we think this is the best dog food for Border Collies for the money.
3. Orijen Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Chicken, turkey, flounder|
Even though Orijen Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food isn’t labeled as being high-protein, it contains the highest protein content of any food on this list. It’s made with 85% animal ingredients, including chicken, turkey, and fish, so it’s a great source of meat-based proteins for your Border Collie. But it also contains vegetable ingredients as well, which provide other key nutrients that your Collie won’t get through proteins.
Because it contains so many different kinds of meat, even picky dogs are sure to love the flavor. This is definitely a superb choice for dog food, so it comes with a hefty price tag. But, if you want your Border Collie to have the best quality dog food possible, then we highly recommend this food.
4. ACANA Wholesome Grains Puppy Recipe Gluten-Free Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Deboned Chicken, chicken meal, oats|
Especially for active breeds such as Border Collies, feeding them a high-protein diet from the time they are puppies can help them develop strong muscles before they reach adulthood. Although the ACANA Wholesome Grains Puppy Recipe dog food doesn’t specifically say that it is high-protein dog food, it does contain a minimum of 28% protein which is much higher than other puppy foods. The main ingredient is chicken as well, so it’s a great flavor for puppies to enjoy.
This dog food is a little bit higher in fat than some adult dog foods, which is good for puppies because it helps them put on a little weight. However, you have to be careful with how much you feed your puppy so that he or she doesn’t gain too much weight. This dog food also contains grains, but it is gluten-free. Gluten is one of the main causes of allergic reactions to grains, so this food shouldn’t cause any problems. That being said. watch your puppy closely for the first few days if you decide to use this food, just in case.
5. Wellness CORE Wholesome Grains Original Recipe High Protein Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Deboned turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal|
Wellness CORE Wholesome Grains Original Recipe High Protein Dog Food is a little more expensive compared to other dog foods on this list, but it contains all of the essential nutrients your Border Collie needs to stay healthy. The protein content is 34%, which, again, is a lot higher than most normal dog foods. Another benefit of this dog food is that although it is higher in protein, it is lower in fat and calories compared to our top product.
The flavor of this food is described as savory, but when you look at the ingredients list it is made with turkey and chicken as the main sources of protein, which most dogs love. In fact, the first three ingredients are meat-based proteins, so despite the price, we think this is a great food option for your Border Collie.
6. Crave High-Protein Chicken Adult Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, split peas|
We think another good dog food for Border Collies is Crave High-Protein Chicken Adult Dog Food. For starters, most dogs love the chicken flavor of dog food, but this high-protein formula is ideal for active and working dogs such as the Border Collie because it helps to keep their muscles in good shape. While most dog foods range between 25%-27% protein, this formula has a minimum of 34% protein, so it is sure to keep your dog healthy provided that he is given the appropriate amount.
This dog food is also comparable in fat and calories to other dog foods that aren’t high-protein formulas, so it won’t cause your dog to gain weight as long as he isn’t overfed and still gets plenty of exercise. It’s also grain-free, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your dog eating it if he has allergies to grains. The only downside is that some picky dogs may not like the chicken flavor, but it does come in other flavors as well, including lamb and beef, if the flavor is an issue.
7. ACANA Red Meat Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Beef, deboned pork, beef meal|
There are many reasons why we think that ACANA Red Meat Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food is a great choice for Border Collies. This food provides a good balance of protein to fat content, and even though it isn’t one of the higher protein content dog foods on this list, it is much higher in protein than other dog foods. It’s also low in calories, which will help your Collie maintain a healthy weight.
The first three ingredients in this dog food are meat-based proteins, which is exactly what you want in dog food. It contains primarily beef and pork, so all dogs may not like the flavor, especially if your dog is used to eating something like chicken. But, fruit and vegetable ingredients such as pumpkins, apples, and pears provide plenty of vitamins and minerals that an active dog needs to stay healthy and give it more flavor as well. It is a little pricey compared to other foods, but overall, this is a good food choice for your active dog.
8. Victor Purpose Active Dog and Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Beef meal, peas, sweet potatoes|
Although this Victor Purpose Active Dog Food isn’t labeled as being high in protein, it has a minimum of 33% protein which is comparable to most of the high-protein dog foods on this list. The difference between this food and high-protein dog foods is that it is formulated for active dogs, so it contains a few more vegetable ingredients, such as peas, sweet potatoes, and carrots. These ingredients help provide additional nutrients besides protein that are beneficial for active dogs.
This food is also lower in fat and calories, which is great for helping your dog maintain his or her weight and metabolism over time. It’s a good choice for both puppies and adult dogs, so you can feed it to your Collie throughout its life. The downsides are that this food is a little more pricey than other foods we’ve reviewed, plus it contains fewer meat-based proteins than other foods. Although beef meal is the main ingredient, peas are the second ingredient, which means that peas provide a large portion of the proteins for this food. Even though plant-based proteins are okay for dogs, meat-based proteins are better. Plus, peas have shown to be a potential cause of heart disease in dogs, but studies to prove this are still ongoing.
9. IAMS Large Breed Real Chicken High Protein Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Chicken, whole grain barley, whole grain corn|
We should start off by saying that compared to other products on our list, IAMS Large Breed Real Chicken High Protein Dog Food doesn’t contain anywhere near the same high percentage of protein, but it does have chicken as the main ingredient, and it is lower in fat and calories. It’s a great choice if your Collie is a bit overweight or doesn’t get the same level of exercise, but it may not be the best choice for the most active of dogs.
However, this dog food is very affordable and contains no filler ingredients, plus it’s formulated with ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, which promote bone and joint health. This dog food does contain grains, which some dogs can be allergic to, so avoid this food if that applies to your dog.
10. Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe Dog Food for Performance Dogs
|Main Ingredients:||Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat|
Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe Dog Food is great for active and working dogs such as Border Collies because it has a higher protein content than other dog foods. This food is designed for both puppies and adult dogs, but it has a really high fat and caloric content compared to other dog foods. It may be a better choice for puppies that need to gain a little weight rather than older adult dogs whose metabolisms have started to slow down some.
Be careful not to overfeed your dog with this food, because it may cause weight gain. However, this food does have plenty of meat-based proteins in it, so your dog’s muscles can still remain healthy as long as he is fed the appropriate amount. Even though it does contain some grains, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because some grains are nutritious. Just avoid this food if your dog has a grain allergy.
11. Purina One SmartBlend Healthy Weight High-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food
|Main Ingredients:||Turkey, rice flour, soybean meal|
Purina One SmartBlend Healthy Weight High-Protein Dog Food is great for active dogs that need to maintain a healthy weight. Maybe your dog was a bit overweight and needed to lose some or you want to make sure that he doesn’t become overweight due to a health issue. Whichever the case, this dog food is a good choice because it has a high enough protein content to keep your Collie’s muscles healthy while being very low in fat and calories.
The downside to this food is that it contains only one meat-based protein, turkey, and is lower in protein than other dog foods, although it isn’t the lowest on this list. It also contains a lot of grain ingredients and gluten. Unless your dog needs to maintain a healthy weight for health reasons, it may not be the best choice for your Collie.
Buyer’s Guide – Picking the Best Dog Food for Your Border Collie
Now that you’ve seen our list of top choices for dog food for your Border Collie, you may still have some questions about how to choose. We’ve created this Buyer’s Guide that tells you everything you need to know about buying dog food as well as different factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best food for your Collie.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a dog food are the ingredients. Although dogs can survive on a plant-based diet, meat-based proteins are the best ingredients for keeping them their healthiest. This is especially true for dogs such as Border Collies which tend to have a bit more energy and higher activity levels than other dogs.
Proteins provide important nutrients for your dog, including B vitamins, iron, and zinc which are needed for proper muscle function. Meat-based proteins are higher in these nutrients than plant-based proteins such as peas.
But, when choosing dog food, it’s important that at least the top three ingredients are meat-based proteins if you want your dog to be as healthy as possible. Real meat ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and beef are better than meat by-products.
That doesn’t mean that dog food should only contain meat, as plant ingredients can be an important part of your dog’s diet as well. Fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs, including apples, pears, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, etc., can provide fiber as well as various vitamins and nutrients that help your dog maintain a healthy immune system, digestive system, or skin and coat, for example.
The best dog foods for Border Collies contain both meat and a variety of vegetable ingredients. But, real meat should always be at least the first ingredient when choosing dog food. Meat as the first two or three ingredients are even better.
Health and Age
After deciding on dog food that has the right ingredients in it, you also need to make sure that the food is appropriate for the age and health of your dog. For example, puppies and senior dogs may require a different dog food, with smaller kibble or more or less fat. Puppies may need to put on a little weight, while senior dogs may need to lose weight as their metabolism slows down. You may need dog food with more or less fat.
You should also be aware of any health conditions or allergies that your dog may have. Dogs can be intolerant or allergic to certain ingredients, including gluten, grains, or even certain meats and vegetables.
For example, grains aren’t necessarily a bad thing in dog food, as they can provide fiber for your dog. But they can be a bad thing if they make your dog sick. Make sure any dog food you choose doesn’t contain something your dog is allergic to or intolerant of.
Finally, you’ll need to consider the price of dog food as well as how many dogs you have. If you’re on a budget, you don’t want to buy expensive dog food that you go through really quickly. If you find a dog food that works for your dog, you want to make sure that it is sustainable as far as your ability to pay for it is concerned.
The good thing about dog food is that most of it comes in different-sized bags, so you can choose a size that suits your needs as far as what you can pay for. But, if you have multiple dogs, buying the smaller bag to save money may not actually save you any money, especially if you go through it much faster. That’s why in this list, we’ve provided dog food suggestions in a variety of price ranges so that you have plenty of options when it comes to your budget.
Hopefully, these reviews helped make choosing dog food for your Border Collie a little bit easier. We think that the best overall dog food for Border Collies is The Farmer’s Dog since it is made of high-quality, human-grade ingredients and can be tailored to your dog’s specific needs. The best dog food for the money is American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food. But even if you don’t end up choosing food from this list, we hope you at least know what to look for when it comes to choosing dog food for your Border Collie.
Featured Image Credit: Emolaev Alexander, Shutterstock