What Are Border Collies?
Border Collies are a dog breed that was first bred for herding sheep in England & Scotland’s hilly environment. Many Border Collies still work on farms to herd sheep today. Their continued use is thanks to the unique traits and characteristics that Border Collies possess.
Border Collies excel at their specialization thanks to several traits, but their intelligence is the primary of these. They are capable of learning complex tasks and concepts, which makes them stand out compared to other dog breeds.
In addition to their intelligence, Border Collies have high endurance levels, which is another valuable trait when herding sheep.
Some of the typical visual characteristics of Border Collies include a black and white coat and a distinctive stare. Male Border Collies are usually between 19 to 22 inches tall and weigh between 35 to 45 pounds. Female Border Collies are slightly smaller than their male counterparts and stand 18 to 21 inches tall and weigh in at 30 to 40 pounds.
For more information on Border Collies and their history, we recommend the American Kennel Clubs breed page.
Border Collies – Nutrition & Diet
The extremely high levels of activity that many Border Collies partake in regularly strongly dictates what type of nutrition and diet they require.
Fat Proportion & Calorie Density
Border Collies are more than capable of consuming higher fat levels in their diet than other, less active, dog breeds. This is as they will have no difficulty utilizing this nutrition effectively thanks to their activity.
Many dog breeds must avoid dog food recipes with a high proportion of fat as it can cause weight gain or obesity. However, this is unlikely to be the case for an active border collie.
However, it is important to note that Border Collies do not need to eat a higher proportion of fat, and this is optional. Border Collies will cope well with a diet that has more of its calories from protein or carbohydrates.
However, an essential consideration for Border Collies is the calorie density of the food they are consuming. If a Border Collie is taking part in high levels of activity, it may be wise to feed them a kibble that is very calorie-dense.
This approach will allow them to more quickly and effectively take in the calories they need daily without eating a large food volume. This ties into what we discussed above as Calorie Density has a strong correlation to fat proportion. This is as fat contains more than twice as many calories per gram than protein or fat.
Working dogs such as Border Collies and German Shepards require a different kind of nutritional balance to non-working dogs. As we mentioned above, breeds such as border collies can eat a higher proportion of fat.
However, while eating a higher proportion of fat is optional, consuming a higher proportion of protein is not.
Protein is critical to maintain, repair, and grow a dog’s muscles and tissues. Dogs who are active in a working environment are likely to require more upkeep on their bodies. While Border Collies will not need extreme protein levels like working Huskies, they should consume more than average.
Also, the protein that border collies consume should be animal or fish protein. Animal and fish protein is preferred to plant-based protein as it contains the full range of amino acids and is more bioavailable. This means that dogs can more easily digest and absorb them.
Plant-based protein concentrates such as Pea Protein, and Potato Protein are not effective protein sources and should be avoided if possible.
Find out more about Pea Protein in our article Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour, and Pea Fiber in Dog Food.
The Omega 3 Fatty Acids
An important consideration for all dogs, but some more than others, is the Omega 3 Fatty Acids level present in their diet. Consumers have become aware of the benefits of these fatty acids in humans for many years, but these also apply to dogs.
They can have a positive effect on dogs’ skin and coat and improve heart and brain health.
The best sources of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids are fish ingredients. Examples include Salmon, Mackerel, and Herring. While non-fish formulas can still provide a satisfactory level, the most reliable source is undoubtedly one with a large portion of fish.
Best Dog Food For Adult Border Collies
Nature’s Variety Instinct is one of our favorite players in the premium pet food market. They are best known for their raw and semi-raw products. Instinct is found in various pet food stores, including some of the retail giants like PetSmart.
While not as well known as their raw products, their Original dry dog food range uses high-quality ingredients to provide top-notch nutrition, all while remaining available at an affordable price range.
There is quite a wide selection of formulas offered by instinct, including recipes that utilize Rabbit, Salmon, Beef, and Chicken. This variety of meat and fish ingredients means there is likely to be a formula that appeals to a dog’s tastes or tolerances.
However, we believe the Salmon Formula would be the most advantageous to a breed like Border Collies of all the original formulas. The Salmon Formula is very high in the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which we discussed earlier in this article. As we pointed out, they are crucial to maintaining healthy skin and coat as well as preventing heart disease.
The formula also includes some other minor fish ingredients in addition to Salmon, such as Menhaden Fish Meal and Herring. Menhaden Fish are small oily fish from the Atlantic ocean and commonly found in dog food due to their low cost and high nutritional value. Find out more about this in Menhaden Fish Meal In Dog Food.
These fish ingredients are combined with Peas and Tapioca, which provide a satisfactory proportion of carbohydrates and Fiber. Tapioca is not well known in the western world and is a root vegetable popular in South America. Please find out more about Tapioca in our article Tapioca In Dog Food.
NomNom Chicken Chow Review
NomNom is a fresh home-delivered pet food brand. Many consumers are not familiar with this new type of dog food, but its popularity is surging thanks to its benefits.
The food is freshly prepared in small batches and then flash-frozen and quickly shipped directly to dog owner’s doors.
The product range’s of fresh dog food companies tends to be quite small, and NomNom is no different with four recipes available. Of these four recipes, we thought that Chicken Chow-Wow came as the clear winner for Border Collies.
Chicken Chow-Wow has a very satisfactory nutritional profile that is marginally better than the other dog food recipes from Nom Nom. This excellent nutritional profile is thanks to the large portion of Chicken the recipe uses. Chicken is one of the most reliable animal-based protein sources in dog food and a suitable match to an active Border Collie.
This Chicken in the formula is combined with Sweet Potatoes, Squash, and Spinach. These three ingredients could be considered positive and nutritious additions to dog food recipes thanks to the modest portion of carbohydrates they provide. They can also provide some vitamins and minerals that traditional, more popular, vegetables, such as legumes, lack.
Nom Now’s website includes some reviews by users of their products. You can find these “Success Stories” here.
Nature’s Logic may be a brand that many consumers are unfamiliar with. Still, their product range fills an essential niche in the premium and hypoallergenic dog food market and is worthy of mention.
At PetFoodReviewer, we try not to suggest dog food formulas that contain a significant quantity of grain ingredients as we believe them to be low-quality. However, for those dogs who react poorly to other vegetable and starch ingredients, there is a genuine place for them. An example of a dog who could benefit from grains in their diet could be a dog with a severe Pea and Legume allergy.
Nature’s Logic’s dry dog food recipes make use of the grain Millet. Brown Rice and Oats are usually our first suggestion for grains, but Millet is not far behind, and we believe it is far superior to the other less desirable grains such as Wheat and Corn. Many believe that Corn and What are low-quality fillers.
The Duck & Salmon Meal Formula featured above contains a mix of Duck, Turkey, and Salmon ingredients along with Pork Liver. Liver ingredients can provide many minerals and vitamins that traditional meat cuts can not. This mix of ingredients is unusual, but the proportion of protein and fat supplied by them is extremely satisfactory and suitable for dogs of all activity levels.
Nature’s Logic has several other dry dog food formulas, including a Pork Formula, which is worth mentioning for those dogs who do not react well to multiple meat and fish ingredients.
Its nutritional profile is almost identical to the Salmon and Duck formula, but it only makes use of Pork Meal and Pork Liver alongside the everpresent Millet.
Victor is a well known and popular dog food brand. They sell a variety of dog food formulas, including some that are grain-free and some that are grain-inclusive. One of Victor’s greatest traits is that they are very cost-effective. Their low price-point is in part thanks to the large volume they sell their products in.
Most Victor products are available for purchase in 35 or 40-pound bags, which is significantly larger than most other dog food brands.
Hero Canine is one of our preferred formulas and provides very satisfactory nutrition, which aligns closely with most Border Collies needs. Its nutritional profile includes an above-average proportion of protein and fat and a modest proportion of carbohydrates.
This nutrition is thanks to a variety of meat and fish ingredients. This mix includes Beef Meal, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, and Pork Meal. These ingredients are meat or fish meals, which puts off many consumers, but it shouldn’t. These meal ingredients are simply meat and fish that have had their moisture removed, which results in an incredibly nutritionally dense ingredient.
While there isn’t a significant portion of any one of these meal ingredients, their combined portion size is substantial and easily explains the favorable nutrition the recipe offers.
The carbohydrates in this recipe are provided by a portion of Sweet Potatoes and Peas. These ingredients are regulars in the industry and can provide other benefits beyond their carbohydrate content, such as select vitamins and minerals.
Merrick Real Buffalo + Sweet Potato Review
Merrick’s Grain-Free range is a regular feature in a variety of the best of articles we’ve produced. Merrick’s recipes in this range provide excellent nutrition from a range of high-quality ingredients.
In addition to this, there is a huge variety of meat and fish ingredient-based formulas to choose from, so there is almost certainly one that would appeal to even the pickiest of dog.
Some examples of Ingredients that are used within this range include regulars such as Chicken or Beef. But there is also much less common ingredients such as Rabbit or Venison. Some of these more unusual formulas have been highlighted in our articles Best Dog Food With Rabbit and Best Dog Food With Venison.
While not exotic, Merrick’s Buffalo formula is a reliable and consistent choice and contains some of the best nutrition in the range. Meat and fish ingredients such as Buffalo, Chicken, and Salmon are combined with Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, and Peas.
These meat ingredients are the formulas protein and fat sources, while the starches and vegetables provide a modest portion of carbohydrates.
Acana Heritage – Feast Review
Acana is a brand that many readers will be familiar with and is the sister brand to Orijen, which is considered to be one of the best premium brands around. However, Acana is more affordable than Orijen while still providing great nutrition from high-quality ingredients.
Acana’s product range is moderately sized, and their Heritage range Acana has recently expanded and been given a facelift.
One of the new recipes created during this expansion was Heritage – Feast. Heritage Feast has a core of poultry ingredients but doesn’t use Chicken. This is quite unusual as Chicken is the most popular meat-based ingredient found in dog food. It instead uses Duck and Turkey, among others.
While these ingredients may be less popular, they are still excellent additions and provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat for an active Border Collie.
Beyond its poultry content, Heritage Feast uses the same vegetable ingredients as the rest of the Acana product range. This includes common legumes like Peas, Lentils, and Chickpeas.
These legumes provide carbohydrates, fiber, and some vitamins and minerals. While there have been recent concerns around the high use of legumes by brands like Acana, meat still makes up the bulk of this recipe, which is critical.
Best Dog Food For Border Collie Puppies
Go! Fit + Free Grain Free Puppy Food Recipe Review
Go! is one of several brands owned by Petcurean. Other examples include Gather and Now. The Go! range includes a range of mixers, dry dog food, and wet dog food.
They also have formulas for puppies, senior dogs, and dogs attempting weight loss. The above-mentioned Fit + Free Puppy Recipe is their only dry puppy formula but is, without a doubt, one of their best.
Fit + Free Puppy Recipe contains an extensive range of poultry and fish ingredients, including Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, and Trout. These ingredients provide an abundance of high-quality protein and fat, which is perfect for a growing young pup.
The Salmon and Trout provide a satisfactory level of the Omega Fatty Acids. As we discussed earlier, these fatty acids can improve the skin and coat of a puppy as well as brain function and heart health. Being able to supply these fatty acids from an early age should be a strong consideration for any new dog owner.
The formula also includes a broad range of vegetable and fruit ingredients. The majority of this content is made up of Peas and Chickpeas, but there are smaller portions of others like Blueberries and Bananas. These fruits can supply less common vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants.
American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe Review
American Journey is a brand owned by the online pet food distributor Chewy and is only available from their website. American Journey doubles up on Chewy’s low cost of shipping by also making the formulas they produce very affordable. Not all Border Collie owners can afford the premium brands, so we need to offer a lower-cost alternative.
American Journey has multiple puppy recipes, all of which can provide a very satisfactory protein proportion, which is critical to enable a puppy’s growth. This protein is from the generous portions of meat ingredients present, such as Turkey, Lamb, and Chicken. The formulas also contain Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and Chickpeas, which are industry favorites to provide carbohydrates and fiber.
Unfortunately, American Journey’s puppy recipes have a lower proportion of fat in comparison to their rivals. We discussed earlier that Border Collies are more than capable of consuming a higher proportion of fat. Still, it isn’t necessary, and the carbohydrates can act as a source of energy instead.
If you want to learn more about affordable dog food and your best options, you should read our Best Cheap Dog Food guide, which provides a detailed overview.
Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy Review
After seeing the disproportionate quantity of carbohydrates used in modern dog food, Michael Lander created the brand Nulo in an attempt to produce a more balanced type of dog food.
Thankfully, Nulo hasn’t strayed from this idea since its inception almost two decades ago and produces a range of formulas for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs that have a balanced and satisfactory nutrition profile.
Nulo’s puppy range is relatively small, but the recipes they produce align with all the principles we’ve aligned in this article. Turkey & Sweet Potato is our favorite of the bunch due to it’s significantly above average nutrition, which could prove crucial during a Border Collie puppy’s growth stage.
The formula includes a mix of poultry and fish ingredients such as Turkey and Salmon. As we discussed in the previous article, this mix of poultry and fish ingredients can provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat, as well as the Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
The formula also contains a range of vegetable ingredients, including Chickpeas, Peas, and Sweet Potatoes. None of these are unique, and you should be well familiar with them by now. The portion of each is small, but and their combination is modest.