How Much to Feed a Border Collie (Feeding Chart & Guide)

Border Collie feeding time

The question of how much to feed a Border Collie puppy is a common concern among potential owners. As feeding a Border Collie can be tricky, it is one of the things aspiring owners must figure out.

For starters, how much a Border Collie eats daily mainly depends on age. Border Collie puppies can eat ¾ to 3 cups of food each day, which will gradually change to 2 to 3 ¼ cups daily once they reach adulthood. Meanwhile, senior Border Collies can be fed 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of dry dog food per day. 

Learning about the proper way of feeding your Border Collie is crucial to keep your dog’s health in check. This guide will discuss the recommended feeding plan, feeding frequency, and more!

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Border Collie? 

Border Collie waiting for food

The feeding requirements of a Border Collie puppy can be met when you consider its age, weight, and how much exercise it gets. Knowing these factors is a step in determining the best feeding approach for your dog. 

Here are the vital factors that influence how much a Border Collie needs to eat:

  • Age: Owners usually give their Border Collies wet or dry food. Regardless of the food option provided, a Border Collie puppy consumes a lot for its growth and development. Once it becomes an adult or a senior, the amount of food will have to be reduced.
  • Weight: If your Border Collie appears to be underweight or overweight, a weight management plan should be employed while using a body condition score to track progress. Ask for veterinary advice on this and inquire regarding what diet best suits your canine. 
  • Activity levels: A Border Collie will require a calorie-dense diet as a highly active puppy and adult dog. It will need fuel throughout the day and energy for vital bodily functions. Expectedly, a dog will have reduced energy levels by the time it reaches seniorhood. If this is the case, food intake must be adjusted accordingly to avoid becoming overweight. 

Consult your vet or pet nutritionist if you want accurate calculations on how much your Border Collie needs to eat based on the factors above. They can tailor diet plans modified according to your dog’s specific needs. 

How Much to Feed Your Border Collie? 

Feeding a Border Collie with food bowl

The following sections will further discuss how much to feed a Border Collie, including how many calories it needs based on its age. 

Border Collie Puppy Feeding Chart (2 months to 12 months)

A Border Collie puppy feeds on its mother’s milk during its first few weeks. Once the puppy reaches 3 to 4 weeks old, they can slowly transition from pure milk to soft puppy food.

The table below shows how many cups of puppy food a Border Collie puppy needs to eat daily:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 3 months¾ – 2328 – 886
4 – 5 months1 – 1 ¾468 – 787
6 – 9 months1 ½ – 2 ½677 – 1,115
10 – 12 months2 – 3943 –1,347
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

You may also have to take note of certain nutrient requirements a Border Collie puppy needs. Ensure its puppy food contains 22% to 32% of protein and adequate fat. Puppy food may come in either wet food or dry food form. 

Adult Border Collie Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)

The Border Collie breed becomes an adult by the time it’s 12 months old. During this stage, it must stop eating puppy food and switch to an adult dog food formula catering to its new dietary needs. 

Owners have plenty of alternatives when it comes to feeding Border Collies. Home-cooked meals are a great choice for those with time to prepare their dog’s food. 

Meanwhile, commercial dog foods are ideal if you want a more convenient option for feeding your Border Collie. Choose only high-quality processed dog food brands and make sure they’re age-appropriate. 

The feeding chart below shows how many cups of adult dog food a Border Collie needs to consume each day:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 7 years2 – 3 ¼795 – 1252
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Based on the figures on the table, an adult Border Collie will have slightly decreased caloric needs compared to when it was still a puppy. 

Furthermore, an adult Collie will experience a shift in its metabolic rate and no longer burn as many calories as a young puppy would. That said, Border Collie owners must ensure proper feeding portions are given to adult dogs.

However, for working dogs, like my uncle’s four-year-old Border Collie, Rod, the requirement might be a bit higher. Rod uses a lot of energy to herd my uncle’s sheep and cows on their countryside farm.

In this case, we give about 10 to 15% more calories on top of the indicated requirement for the breed to offset the high energy he consumes for his daily activities.

Senior Border Collie Feeding Chart (8 Years and Above)

A change in the Border Collie’s lifestyle can be observed during this stage. It will not be as active as it was during adulthood and will prefer to lie on the couch all day. 

Once the Border Collie becomes a senior dog, meeting its dog food requirements can be challenging. It will experience a slower metabolic rate, a declining muscular mass, and a greater chance of becoming overweight. 

Here’s a table showing how much a senior Border Collie should eat per day:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
8 years and above1 ½ – 2 ½636 – 1,002
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

A senior Border Collie should be given a low-calorie diet to prevent obesity. On the flip side, its protein consumption should increase by 50% compared to what younger Border Collies require. 

This prevents muscle loss, which is prevalent in most Border Collies and in aging dogs in general.

How Often Should You Feed Your Border Collie? 

Border Collie puppies eating from bowl

A Border Collie puppy under 12 weeks old must be fed at least 3 to 4 times a day. By the time it approaches its 13th week, you can adjust the feeding frequency to three meals per day. At one year old, a Border Collie can be fed twice a day, while seniors over eight years old can eat once daily.

Your dog’s feeding frequency is important in keeping its body weight and energy levels steady, especially if your dog joins dog sports. 

Once a feeding plan is established, commit to it and avoid the free-feed technique. Free-feeding Border Collies may result in the dog consuming more than they have to, which can disrupt their balanced diet. 

Below is the recommended frequency in feeding Border Collies according to their ages:

AgeFeeding Frequency
8 – 12 weeksThree to four times a day
4 – 12 monthsThree times a day
1 – 7 yearsTwice a day
8 years and aboveOnce a day

The Border Collie breed is highly active; hence, you must provide its meals several times as recommended. If you forgot to feed it, give your dog the same suggested meal portions on its next feeding. 

Provide just the right amount and never make up for its missed meal. But as much as possible, avoid missing your dog’s meal and stick to its feeding routine religiously.

How to Transition Your Border Collie to a New Food

Border Collie with a bowl of dog food

A transition in your Border Collie’s dog food may occur at any point in its life. It could be that it no longer requires puppy food but rather adult food, or your dog’s taste preferences have changed. 

Regardless, changing what your Border Collie eats should be done slowly. There should be a period where the gradual transition from old to new food takes place. 

Doing so will help you determine whether the new dog food doesn’t cause allergic reactions or serious health problems in its digestive system. 

Below is a 7-day plan on how to properly switch your Border Collie’s old food to the new one:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25%
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

Most adult Collies do fine when their dog food changes. Still, it’s important to understand that others may respond differently. 

If your Collie shows discomfort, stop dispensing the new dog food and contact your local vet immediately. Alternatively, you may slow down the transition by a few days to help your dog’s body adjust.

Further, when picking up a new puppy for the first time from its breeder, it is best to check what the current diet of the pup is. This information will aid you in what brand to use to transition your new pup to its new diet with less risk.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Border Collie

Border Collies aren’t particularly voracious eaters. Thanks to their high energy levels, they’re one of the breeds that are less likely to become overweight.

However, if dogs of this kind live a sedentary lifestyle, they’ll probably put on a few pounds. 

Here are some effective tips for feeding your overweight Border Collie:

  • Reduce food portions. Reduce the amount of food your Border Collie consumes daily. Do this gradually to avoid drastic changes in its metabolism.
  • Remove leftover meals. If your Border Collie doesn’t finish its food, remove the content 15 minutes after it leaves its bowl. This prevents your dog from going back to eat out of boredom.
  • Cut back on treats. Although dog treats can take up 10% of your Collie’s daily caloric or food intake, an overweight dog would only need a little of these snacks. Consider reducing its treats or switching to alternatives with high nutritional value and low-calorie content. 
  • Provide high-fiber, low-carb meals. Adding sweet potatoes and other high-fiber foods will make your Collie feel full for longer. These healthy carbs can be incorporated into all three meals of a puppy or depending on how many meals your dog needs in a day.

As you employ these tips for your Border Collie’s weight loss plan, do regular physical observations to see if its body is getting more defined. Likewise, you may also take your Border Collie to the vet for proper assessment. 

I remember how one of my friends went to me for help for her male Border Collie, Brock, who became overweight due to a lack of physical activity.

My friend’s busy work schedule just didn’t match the activity needs of the dog, which is known for its very high energy level.

The two major changes I made when the Border Collie stayed with me were to cut back on the food intake and to just let Brock do what it does best — run and play. We spent hours in the local dog park. It didn’t take long before Brock got back in shape.

Further, to avoid the same incident from occurring, she has also hired a dog walker to take care of Brock’s daily exercise needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman feeding Border Collie dog treat

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Border Collie Enough?

Looking at your Border Collie’s physique is one way to tell if you’re feeding it properly. From a bird’s eye, its waist should neither slope down exaggeratedly nor look non-existent.

If you examine your dog, you should be able to see and feel the outline of its ribs. The waist should also be noticeable and tucked up when viewed from the side. 

Moreover, if your Border Collie has enough energy to play and does not show signs of lethargy, then you’re probably feeding it enough. If you’re still in doubt, take your dog to the vet for a proper check-up.

Why Is My Border Collie Not Eating?

A Border Collie that is not eating may be sick or experiencing environmental stress. If you just moved to a new apartment or house, your own dog may feel anxious or stressed due to the changes. 

Allow it some time to adjust and help it feel comfortable and secure during this period. 

Meanwhile, if you suspect your Collie isn’t eating due to an illness, look for signs and symptoms affirming your assumption. If this is the case, get your dog checked by the vet immediately.

Can I Feed My Border Collie With Human Food?

You can certainly feed your Border Collie select human foods. This may include boiled eggs, vegetables, fruits, and cooked meats. If you’re unsure if the food is safe, it’s much better not to feed it to your dog. 

Also, even though you can share some of what you eat with your Collie, ensure that you don’t give it too much food since it can disrupt its diet.

Do Border Collies Eat a Lot?

Border Collies aren’t known to be voracious eaters, but they can be if they’re used to being fed in large quantities. Some owners share that these working dogs can be seen eating grass after they consume too much food. 

This is usually a natural response in dogs since grass can help them pass stool. Still, overfeeding should be discouraged if you want to keep your canine at a healthy weight. 

Can Border Collies Eat Bones?

Border Collies can eat bones, but these shouldn’t be in their cooked form. This is because cooked bones can easily be broken into shards, posing a hazard to your dog when ingested.

Instead, give it raw meaty bones to chew on. These must be large enough not to be swallowed and ideally durable so they don’t form sharp edges, which can injure the mouth.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand your Border Collie’s feeding requirements. If you have any other questions about feeding your Border Collie, please leave a comment below.

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