How Much Do Border Collies Eat? (shocking Truth)

Border collies were developed to control and gather sheep together on the border between England and Scotland.

These dogs are known for their unlimited stamina, working drive, and giving sheep an intense stare or ‘eye’ that helps control the docile livestock.

Just how much do border collies eat?

Border collie eating a sandwich from off the side of the kitchen table

The quantity of food a border collie needs is equal to the amount of energy she expends during the day. However, the specific average amount is two meals per day totaling 2 cups of kibble. Although your dog’s age should, size and weight will determine a more accurate measure.

If your border collie fails to consume the required daily nutrition, her energy levels, coat texture, and overall health is significantly impacted. Overfeeding is also a constant mistake made by dog owners since borders will never turn down food.

Keep reading to avoid making the same mistakes by learning more about border collie food requirements and their lifestyles. 

What's In This Guide?

      How Much Dog Food Should a Border Collie Eat?

      Compared to other dog breeds, borders have higher calorific requirements due to their heightened physical and mental stimulation. 

      Due to the different types of dog food on the market, serving suggestions for your border collie will vary. No matter what the brand, however, you should measure calories instead of food amount by weight. 

      For instance, a border collie that’s growing may require 1,400 calories every day. On the other hand, an average adult is not as active and thus requires 1000 calories to thrive. Whilst, senior borders can consume 700 calories or less daily. 

      Observing your dog’s behavior is a good way of gauging the appropriate feeding to avoid overeating and weight gain. Even when following general feeding guidelines, I would still recommend looking at varying up amounts since each dog’s life and circumstances are unique. 

      How Many Times Should I Feed My Border Collie?

      Anytime is feeding time for Border collies; as you’ll quickly find that this breed is not one to self-regulate their eating habits. A good measure is feeding 2 times per day for adults and 3 times per day for puppies, however, although you may notice that your pup prefers otherwise.

      Avoid automatic or free feeders for your border, and instead, focus on how much energy they expend throughout the day. I have also seen owners that give their dog a single large meal, which can be detrimental to performance if yours is a working dog. A home-bound couch potato pooch will likely suffer from obesity. 

      A developing pup should have more frequent feeding times than adults, translating to about four times every day. At around the 6-month mark, you can still art to reduce the amount of feeding down to two or three times per day. Throughout your dog’s continued growth, reducing meal frequency is evenly as important as portion sizes to ensure a healthy well-balanced diet.

      The following is a more specified feeding timetable for border collies according to their age; 

      Nourishing Springing Puppies

      From six to 12 weeks, your on-the-move puppy requires high amounts of proteins, vitamins, and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. I would recommend three to four feedings of moistened food to keep your pup growing at the appropriate rate. 

      After three months, decrease a border pup’s feeding times to three, which helps reduce the pudginess and prominent potbelly. Your dog will start to mature, and you should maintain puppy-sized food portions until six months before reducing frequency. 

      From six to 12 months, wean your dog from puppy foods to adult feed. If your pooch is male, your vet may recommend neutering which affects energy and activity levels. However, you may find that your dog makes the transition into an adult a lot faster than expected that may require larger dogs feeding earlier than the typical 10 to 12 months. 

      Read Also: >> What bowls are best for dogs that eat too much?

      image of border collie running with the ball in the mouth for post on how much do border collies eat
      Photo by Anna Dudkova

      Feeding Adult Borders 

      Between 12 and 14 months, your border collie should be a full-grown dog. You’ll have to feed her sustainably for stellar fitness and health, and more so she can avoid developing debilitating health problems. 

      The amount of food you give an adult border collie is relative to their size and lifestyle. Adequate nutrition will mean slightly above or below the recommended allocations that youll find on the back of branded dog foods.

      From the 1st to the 7th year of your dog’s life, feed her two half portions. You can do this by measuring the calorific content of the food according to your border’s activities, and then splitting that into two meals. 

      Feeding Older And Senior Border Collies

      At year seven and beyond, your pooch is now older and slower. It’s time to introduce a senior’s diet into the mix as health challenges can start to occur. Foods that support energy, brain function, digestive and healthy immune systems are the best choice at this stage. 

      Food formulated for an aging dog should consider a slowed-down metabolism while offering a burst of energy that brings her youthful bounce back. To strike a healthy balance, keep an eye on the shine in her coat. 

      After this stage, your border collie will be over the hill in dog years, and her diet changes accordingly. Due to lessened activity, you’ll want to cut back on weight adding foods while continuing with twice a day feedings. 

      Here’s a feeding table for border collies according to their age and whether they work or have a sedentary lifestyle. 

      Age of Border CollieTips for FeedingAdvice on NutritionFeeding Etiquette
      Border puppies (Under six months old)Feed three times a day or feed twice a day if there are treats in between mealsFollow breeders, vets, or dog food packaging instructions with care not to overfeedGradually add new foods and discourage feeding from the table, begging and off schedule meals
      Adult border colliesFeed twice a day at around the same times with water access at all timesDepending on whether your dog is working or a couch potato, balance nutrition on energy levels and activityKeep a watch on weight for sedentary dogs, and reduce treats that are high in fat content
      Senior border collies (Over ten years old)Feed two times a day, reducing portions if there is a problem with weightOffer nutrition according to individual needs. Supplement food with calcium for joint careSwitch meaty bones for chicken when your dog starts having chewing issues and offer soft foods like gravy

      What Are the Signs That My Border Collie is Over-Eating?

      You’ve learned that the portion of food to feed your border collie has to factor in weight, size, and level of activity. That said, an inaccurate gauge may lead to unbalanced diets and weight.

      Around 1 to 1 ½ cups of dog food should be sufficient from weaned pup to active adult. 

      Since this breed can’t say no to food, there is a risk you may be overfeeding your border collie. You can tell when your dog is overweight as her speed and agility are affected, and you can’t feel her ribs when you rub her coat gently. 

      If there is no discernible waist on your furry friend, and the hips are padded with fat, you’re probably overfeeding or underexercising your collie. The base of the tail is another telltale spot, while her overall gait will be a waddling one. 

      If you notice weight gain in your dog, it’s time to cut back on food rations. On the other side, underfeeding will also cause serious health issues that impact your dog’s requirements for a healthy and productive lifestyle. 

      What Is the Best Food for a Border Collie?

      High-quality food is an investment for the productivity and general health of your border collie. The best food for your dog will have holistic properties and doesn’t have filler material. This means that you’ll be able to feed less regularly while maintaining the caloric requirements for your dog’s age and size. 

      A good example of a quality border food is potato kibble or naturally balanced duck. I recommend plenty of exercises to burn off excess calories, and begging for more shouldn’t sway your resolve for a healthy feeding regime. 

      To minimize upset stomach issues, avoid changing diets or feeding treats and scraps to your border.

      Border collies require ample amounts of water, something they should have free access to both in the day and nighttime. This breed’s intelligence is that once a feeding routine is established, she’ll be glad to remind you with a bit of nudging. 

      Read Also: >> What are the best treats to give your Border collie?

      What to Look For In the Food You Give a Border Collie

      Quality dog food contains essential macronutrients vital for your pet’s healthy development. As a paw parent, it’s important to ensure the nutritional status quo is maintained. A diet fit for Border Collies is one that has more proteins and fats to keep up with their active lifestyles. 

      The more of this essential nutrient a border collie has, the better for her energy and immunity or disease resistance levels. Many dog food formulas will contain at least 25% proteins, but borders require 50% if they can get it. Without the amino acids contained in proteins, your dog will grow lethargic and weak.
      Fats have been given a bad rap because of the human relationship with cholesterol. But essential fats are vital to your border’s coat and skin health. While easy to digest, fat gives your pet that added boost of stored energy. It makes food more appealing for your pooch, and the natural or unprocessed it is, the better. 
      Omega Fatty Acids
      These essential limpid are found in flaxseed oil and fish, which is one of the best sources. Salmon oil will add a flavor that your pet will love while providing that extra vitamin edge against common dog ailments. 


      Are you still not sure how much you should feed your border collie? Then talk to a veterinarian about her dietary requirements. Feeding takes a pivotal role in your dog’s wellbeing, and you shouldn’t completely disregard calorie requirement instructions on dog food packaging. 

      During the periods when your border is transitioning from pup to adult or senior adult food, make the changes gradual. Abrupt changes will result in stomach upsets and diarrhea, and the mix should involve increasing the new food type while decreasing the old. 

      Picture of Rachael Summers

      Rachael Summers

      Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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