How Much to Feed a Collie (Rough & Smooth Collies)

Collie waiting for food

If you have a Collie or you’re planning to get one, you’re probably interested in knowing how much to feed them. From the proper food portions to the optimal frequency, this feeding guide has it all covered.

Keep reading if you are eager to learn more about the proper Collie feeding. This guide thoroughly discusses the dietary needs of both Rough and Smooth Collies.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Collie?

Owner feeding a Collie by hand

Determining the right amount of food is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Several crucial factors come into play when deciding the quantity and type of food suited for each individual Collie.

Here are some factors that influence how much a Collie should be fed:

  • Age: Puppies, adults, and senior Collies each have different nutritional needs. Thus, they require varying amounts of food. In general, Collie puppies need more food than adults and seniors to aid their rapid growth.
  • Weight: A Collie that is over or underweight may need adjusted food portions. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to avoid health issues like diabetes or joint problems.
  • Activity Level: Collies are generally active and energetic dogs. Those participating in activities or sports may need more calories to replenish their energy levels than less active ones, thus requiring more food.
  • Health Status: Dogs with health conditions may have special dietary needs. For instance, a Collie with a sensitive stomach may need a special diet, while one with allergies may need hypoallergenic food.
  • Type of Food: Different foods have varying nutritional values. High-quality foods are often more nutritious and might be consumed in lesser quantities than lower-quality foods, which may require larger servings to meet the Collie’s nutritional needs.

Note: Similar to weight, watching out for the size of your Collie also matters when it comes to its diet. Hence, bigger or smaller Collies, like in the case of a miniature Collie, require a unique diet that will meet their nutritional needs.

Since this feeding guide focuses on the standard-sized Rough and Smooth Collie, it is best to reach out to pet nutritionists and veterinarians regarding the needs of these uniquely-sized dogs.

How Much to Feed Your Collie

Rough Collie begging for food

Feeding a Collie requires understanding a variety of factors, and while each Collie has its unique needs, there are general guidelines you can follow.

Below are feeding charts that offer estimated food amounts for a Collie based on its age, including both the number of cups and the daily caloric intake.

Collie Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

Weaning a Collie puppy from its mom dog’s milk typically begins around three to four weeks after birth. During this time, you can gradually transition your dog to solid food to better suit its needs.

This feeding phase is also important because, around this time, the milk of the dog mother alone is not enough to sustain the needs of a growing puppy.

Like any other breed, a Collie pup that grows will begin to need around twice the calories per pound of body weight that its adult counterpart needs.

Refer to the table below for recommended daily feeding amounts for Collie puppies:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 3 months2 ½1,179 – 1,114
4 – 6 months2 – 3 ½942 – 1,520
7 – 9 months2 ½ – 41,161 – 1,771
10 – 12 months2 ¾ – 4 ¼1,254 – 1,953
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Since it is still developing physically, a Collie puppy’s diet will need to be rich in protein and fats, as well as calcium and phosphorus for its bones. Be mindful, however, with the amount you give to avoid growth deficiencies.

Adult Collie Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)

As Collies transition into adulthood, around 12 to 14 months, their dietary focus changes significantly. This period marks the need for a well-adjusted diet to support their ongoing development and energy demands. 

When determining how much to feed your adult Collie, refer to the table below as a guide:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 7 years2 ¾ – 41,058 – 1,562
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Remember, these meals should provide a balanced mix of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Including omega fatty acids can also benefit your dog’s coat, skin, and joint health.

It’s crucial to align your Collie’s food intake with their activity level to prevent obesity. While regular exercise is beneficial for adult Collies, those who are less active will require fewer calories.

As an intelligent breed, my friend made it a passion to conduct 1 to 2 hours of skills and tricks training for his 3-year-old Rough Collie, who he aptly called Lassie.

While many Rough Collies I know are utilized as excellent home companions and pets, Lassie is the life of parties, always being invited to perform, which he loves to do.

Due to his active lifestyle, I recommended giving Lassie at least half a cup of nutrient-dense kibbles to cover his energy needs. Along with the treats given as positive reinforcement, this rounds up Lassie’s diet for his lifestyle.

Senior Collie Feeding Chart (8 years and above)

As Collies age, their diet needs closer attention. Like humans, physical changes also come with aging in dogs, making them more prone to developing diseases.

For most senior dogs, reducing caloric intake by around 20% can help mitigate risks associated with aging, such as cancer and joint diseases.

However, very old senior dogs may have different needs depending on their overall body condition.

Refer to the table below to get an idea of how much to feed your senior Collie:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
8 years and above2 – 3 ¼846 – 1,250
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

With aging, there’s an increased protein requirement to counter muscle mass loss, a common issue in older dogs. Conversely, due to reduced physical activity in seniors, their fat requirement often decreases.

Feeding a senior Collie will certainly be more complicated compared to younger Collies. That said, it is best to discuss it with a veterinarian.

How Often Should You Feed Your Collie?

In the early stages of life, from 8 to 12 weeks, Collie puppies need frequent feeding due to their rapid growth and development. As they mature to four months, this can be adjusted to three meals a day.

Once a Collie reaches six months, the meal frequency should be tailored to two or three times a day, depending on factors like the dog’s size, activity level, and specific health needs. 

This routine should continue as the Collie reaches adulthood at around 12 to 13 months.

Here’s a table outlining the ideal feeding frequency for a Collie at different ages:

AgeFeeding Frequency
8 – 12 weeksFour times a day
4 – 6 monthsThree times a day
6 months and aboveTwo to three times a day

However, every Collie is unique, so it’s essential to observe your dog’s individual needs and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly.

How to Transition Your Collie to a New Food

Sudden changes in any dog’s diet can have adverse effects on its overall health, so it is important to know how you should introduce new food to your pet.

Remember that depending on its life stage, a dog requires varying amounts of nutrients, so it’s only normal to upgrade or adjust its diet.

Below is a transition chart to guide you in transitioning your Collie to new food:

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

The key to a smooth transition when it comes to feeding any dog is doing it gradually. It’s crucial to introduce the new food in smaller to bigger portions until the diet is completely changed.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests doing this over the course of a week, but this can be longer depending on an individual dog’s response and sensitivity to certain ingredients.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Collie

Although generally an active breed, a Collie may still become obese if not properly fed.

If you have determined that your dog is overweight, you should start planning on addressing this issue and making your dog healthier.

Here are some tips to help manage your dog’s weight effectively:

  • Gradually cut portion sizes: Avoid sudden reductions in your Collie’s food portions, as it may decrease metabolism and cause irritability. Gradually lessen the amount over several days and remove uneaten food after 15 minutes to prevent overeating due to boredom.
  • Measure food portions: Using a standard measuring tool ensures accurate feeding amounts. Consistent measurements and timings, possibly with an automated feeder, can prevent overfeeding. Consider smaller, more frequent meals instead of one large meal.
  • Cut back on treats: Limiting treats and snacks is vital, as they should comprise no more than 10% of calorie intake. Opt for healthier alternatives like carrots or green beans and adjust meal sizes if using kibble for treats.
  • Maintain consistency: Consistency in diet and lifestyle changes is key to sustaining weight loss. Continuing a balanced diet and regular exercise helps maintain the achieved target weight.

Managing your Collie’s weight involves dietary changes, portion control, exercise, and consistent monitoring. Adhering to these tips and maintaining a balanced approach will lead to a healthier and happier life for your Collie.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman feeding her Collie dog

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

Regularly assessing your Collie’s body condition is the best way to determine whether or not it is fed enough.

You should be able to feel, but not see, their ribs, and there should be a visible waistline when viewed from above. If the ribs are excessively prominent or concealed by fat, it’s time to adjust the food portions.

Observing your Collie’s energy levels is also telling. A well-fed Collie will be active and spirited, while signs of lethargy or excessive hyperactivity might indicate an imbalance in nutrition.

Keeping a check on your Collie’s weight is also essential. If you notice unexpected weight loss or gain, it can indicate whether you’re feeding your pet the right amount.

Why Is My Collie Not Eating?

Unlike Border Collies, Rough and Smooth Collies are not known to be picky eaters. However, it’s not unusual for dogs to suddenly not be interested in food due to various reasons such as illnesses or medications.

Like humans, a dog’s appetite can also be affected by social and emotional factors like its owner’s absence. It could also be that your Collie just does not like its food.

Can I Feed My Collie With Human Food?

Feeding your Collie human food can be tempting, but it’s essential to know what’s safe. While some human foods are harmless and beneficial, many can harm a Collie’s health.

Foods, like cooked lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, can be good in moderation, but avoid giving them anything with added salt, sugar, or spices.

Meanwhile, foods like chocolate, grapes, onions, and garlic are toxic to dogs and must be avoided. These can cause severe health issues. It’s always best to consult with a vet before introducing new foods into your Collie’s diet.

Do Collies Eat a Lot?

Collies are not much of a big eater. However, like most dogs, they can eat much more than they need if left unrestricted, so it’s best to monitor their food intake closely.

Remember also that they are prone to go above their ideal weight, so it’s important to control what they eat.

Can Collies Eat Bones?

Although bones can provide nutrients to your Collie, it is not advisable to feed cooked bones because they are brittle and can break your dog’s teeth.

You can, however, let your Collie chew on the raw bones of poultry animals like chickens and rabbits. Lamb and sheep bones are also suitable. Another ideal choice is a raw beef bone or a large marrow bone to avoid choking.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn a thing or two about feeding your Collie dog. Have additional questions about feeding your Collie? Comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer.

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